"American divers at work," wreck of the USS "Maine," Havana, 1898

Contributed by Maine Historical Society

"American divers at work," wreck of the USS "Maine," Havana, 1898

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The American battleship USS "Maine" sunk off the coast of Havana, Cuba on February 15, 1898. Named for the state of Maine, but built in New York, the ship was sent to the Caribbean to protect American interests during the Cuban War of Independence. The disaster, which killed many the officers and crew on board, was used as a propaganda tool in the months leading up to the Spanish-American War. The slogan "Remember the Maine!" embodied the media uproar which followed the disaster.

Shortly after the explosion, American divers reviewed the wreckage to determine the cause of the explosion. Official reports at the time concluded a sea mine was to blame (with fingers unofficially pointed at Spain). Later 20th century research contradicted such findings, attributing the blast to an accidental explosion below deck. A number of conspiracy theories also surround the international incident.

In keeping with the vessel's name, there were Maine sailors aboard the ship when she met her fate. Five Maine men died in the explosion: Millard F. Harris of Boothbay Harbor, Clarence Lowell of South Gardiner, Bernard Lynch or Portland, Frank Talbot of Bath and William Tinsman of East Deering (Portland).

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About This Item

  • Title: "American divers at work," wreck of the USS "Maine," Havana, 1898
  • Creator: Strohmeyer & Wyman Publishers
  • Creation Date: 1898
  • Subject Date: 1898
  • Town: Havana
  • Media: Stereograph
  • Dimensions: 8.9 cm x 17.8 cm
  • Local Code: Coll. 797, Box 5 - Vessels
  • Collection: Stereo view cards of Maine towns and scenes
  • Object Type: Image

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For more information about this item, contact:

Maine Historical Society
485 Congress Street, Portland, ME 04101
(207) 774-1822 x230

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