In 1956, Mr. Eriksen arrived in the United States and 1973 he started his own company, but his fascination with model-building continued to occupy his free time.
“As an amateur modeler, then and now, I believe I have built more models than most. Some of my projects included building an 18-karat gold pocket watch, a miniature Model B3 Hammond organ (which can actually be played by using toothpicks), working miniature machine tools of all kinds, as well as numerous other models. Though I no longer have to work with my hands, I derive a great deal of pleasure in creating all kinds of working-scale models.”
His first model of the Navy’s USS Constitution was featured in the United States Naval Academy Yearbook, Lucky Bag 1987, and was displayed in Atlantic City for many years in Trump’s Castle Casino. When a noted model shipwright criticized the accuracy of this model, Mr. Eriksen started to research this fabled frigate further, and found to his dismay that this model was indeed wrong. In 1989, he obtained some additional modeler’s plans of the Constitution and discovered many points of disagreement between them and the original plans, particularly in the matter of the rigging. He decided to investigate the ship’s form thoroughly and build a second, completely accurate model. Twenty years later, after countless hours of research and leaving no stone unturned, he now has his new book “ Constitution—
Mr. Eriksen’s book is dedicated to Tyrone G. Martin, Commander of the USS Constitution (1974-1978), USN Retired, without whose assistance, guidance, and thousands of pages of information and data, this “restoration”
Although I have seen many of the best collections of ship models in this country and in England, I have rarely seen such a virtuoso combination of technique and accuracy coupled with sheer size in any other model. Your hull, masts, and fittings are not only accurate, but beautiful. To the knowledgeable ship modeler it is worthy of serious respect. As an art object it will be impressive and evocative to the layman.
—Daniel W. Pariser, Model Shipwright
Conservator of Ship Models, South Street Seaport Museum, NYC
There can be no doubt that Mr. Eriksen is presenting the definity of the USS Constitution.
—Jim Roberts (deceased), Model Shipwright
President, Ship Model Society of New Jersey
Director of Nautical Research Guild
Genre: Model Shipbuilding
About the Author: Olof A. Erikson was born 1936 in Bergen, Norway. Mr. Eriksen is a well-known model builder and has appeared on TV and in numerous papers and magazines. His first book, Memoirs of an Immigrant, is the true story of his life and was published in March of 2008. He and his wife currently reside in Denville, New Jersey.
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