Though diminutive for a warship at just 172 feet long, the USS Monitor
packed a wallop in terms of technological advancements. Its designer, the Swede
John Ericsson, stuffed it with up to 40 of his own patentable inventions, from
a revolving gun turret to flushing toilets (both firsts). While leaky, dark,
and often intolerably hot, the Monitor was also quite well-appointed,
with gold-gilt china and paneling of the finest walnut and oak.
After familiarizing yourself with the Monitor's layout below, take a
tour of the ship that ushered in the era of armored, steam-powered navies.
To learn how the striking 360° panoramas we present here were created, see
Remaking the Monitor.
Jeff Johnston is a researcher at the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary
in Newport News, Virginia. A specialist in the navies of the American Civil
War, he is one of the leading authorities on the USS Monitor (and
Monitor-class vessels), particularly the details of her layout and