The National Iron & Steel Heritage Museum
SS United States - A Moment in Time
The SS United States is a luxury passenger liner built at the Newport News Shipbuilding and Drydock Company in Virginia for United States Lines that entered service in 1952. It was designed to break the trans-Atlantic speed record. Built at a cost of $78 million, the ship is the largest ocean liner constructed entirely in the U.S., the fastest ocean liner to cross the Atlantic, and she still holds the Blue Riband for that crossing.

Designed by renowned American naval architect and marine engineer William Francis Gibbs, the liner’s construction was a joint effort between the United States Navy and United States Lines. The ship was designed to be easily converted in times of war to a hospital ship or to a troopship with a capacity of 15,000 troops. The vessel was withdrawn from service in 1969 and served as a reserve ship for the U.S. Navy until 1978.

Today, the SS United States rests in Philadelphia and efforts are being made to preserve the ship.

  • Type: Passenger Liner 
  • Tonnage: 53,330 tons
  • Length: 990 ft 
  • Displacement: 47,264 tons
  • Beam: 101.5 ft 
  • Launched: June 23, 1951