The story behind the ships

You might have noticed the hand-crafted ships that are displayed in the Campbell County Public Library’s three branches. You may not know that those ships were created by a local craftsman and former sailor, Ruddell Bowling.

Rudy’s models are spread out across the nation and were prominently displayed at the now-defunct Johnny’s Toys. But the library is very fortunate to have five on permanent loan in our branches.

Rudy didn’t use any kits or instruction in the construction of these ships. The models range in size from about 3 feet to about 5 feet in length and the attention to detail is startling.

At Cold Spring, the library is pleased to display three World Word II models: the USS Ahrens, two versions of the USS Block Island and the German U-549.

You can see Rudy’s beautiful model of the USS Constitution at the library’s Carrico/Fort Thomas branch. A look inside the case will reveal amazing detail and a piece of wood from the actual ship that was obtained during a restoration of the original.  The ribs are revealed in this model so you can see how close the ribs are in the hull. That is what earned this ship its nickname, “Old Ironsides” during the War of 1812.  The real ship is the world’s oldest, still floating, commissioned warship.

At Newport, the library is honored to showcase the HMS Victory, the oldest ship in the British Royal Navy’s fleet.  The real ship, commissioned in 1765, actually still exists, although in dry dock to this day.

Please stop in one of our branches to admire the detail and artistry of Rudy’s ships.

More Library Love