Construction Approval to Commission
4 June 1910 to 12 March 1914

  Approval to Keel Laying:  24 June 1910 to 17 April 1911  
As of  3 April 1911

One of the first actions after President Taft's 24 June 1910 approval of the US Navy appropriation bill was creating the design plans. The 29 September 1910 contract plans were the first images of what she would become.

The contract bidding began 27 Sept 1910.with Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company (NNS), Newport News, Virginia, winning the contract. The construction contract was signed 17 Dec 1910, for a price of $5,830,000. The price did not include the armor and armament. The contract called for a three build period, with a completion date of 17 December 1913. The contract plans were delivered to NNS on 24 December and the first hull materials were ordered on the 27th.

Before the contract was signed, a major change to the ship's design was made in early December when the originally intended 32,000hp turbine with quadruple propellers was replaced with two steam reciprocating engines with each having one propeller. The fuel efficiency of the turbine at cruise speed was worse than the reciprocating and the reliability of the turbines was of concern.

The name "Texas" was assigned to battleship 35 on 16 February 1911, via special order 88.
  Building The Hull: 17 April 1911 to 18 May 1912  
The construction of hull #147 started 17 April 1911 with the laying of the keel and ended 425 days later with the launching on 18 May 1912 The keel laying was immediately followed by the erection of the first of the 141 frames made by Carnegie on the 21st. The first armor was received and installed on 7 August, for Central Station. On the hull's exterior, a layer of teak wood was installed where the armor would be located. The last major hull work prior to launch was installing the white pine-filled rudder, on 14 May 1912. During construction, horse drawn wagons and wooden scaffolding were used.

Three of the hull's nine layers of paint was applied

2 - red lead
1 - anti-corrosive .

Though TEXAS had many state of the art features, old terminology descriptions were still used. In a throw back to wooden ships with cannons lining the lower deck, 2nd deck was labeled as "Gun Deck" on the 29 September 1910 contract plans for 5inch guns were to placed almost the full length of 2nd deck.

As of 2 October 1911:The worker in the foreground is on the level above Steering Room-Steering Gear.  To the left of him is "H-147", the designation for BB35 at this time

  Launching:  18 May 1912  
Launched on 18 May 1912, TEXAS was sponsored by Miss Claudia Lyon, of Texas.  The choice of Miss Lyon by the Secretary of the Navy created controversy in  Texas and Washington DC because Miss Lyon's father was an important person in the Republican Party in Texas and congressional members were Democrats. In addition, the temperance union asked that a bottle of champagne not be used. (A bottle of champagne was used). The New York Times coverage of the launch reflects the influences of the time, such a protection as compared to the Titanic.

The two torpedo tube openings are visible.
Above the light colored hull area  is a layer of wood over which armor will be placed. 
Ms. Claudia Lyon 

  Outfitting:  18 May 1912 to 12 March 1914  
2 October 1912 At a Newport News outfitting pier

The outfitting started with the 18 May 1912 launching and finished 532 day later with the commissioning on 12 March 1914.  The outfitting including the installation of various systems inside the ship, armor plate on the hull and structures on the main deck and above. The internal outfitting of hundreds of compartments are reflected in the 1912 joiner plans. Among the details shown:

***Storage of champagne and claret glasses in the Ward Room Officer's Pantry

***Torpedo Rooms showing stowage location of the torpedoes and the location of the torpedo tubes

***A 3rd deck compartment near the bow labeled "Aviation Room" but not details.

***The Captain's Cabin having a 42 inch brass bed and bath tub.

Six of the nine hull paintings was done during three periods in the Norfolk Navy Yard
***3 September 1912: 1 anti-corrosive, 1 anti-fouling
***9 April 1913: 1 anti-corrosive, 1 anti-fouling
***29 September 1913: 1 anti-corrosive, 1 anti-fouling

Armament installation was in 1913 with the first turret structure installed on 22 February with the first 14inch/45caliber Mark I gun on 5 March. The first of twenty-one 5inch/51caliber guns was installed on 5 August. All guns were installed before leaving NNS for Rockland, Maine, on 19 October 1913, for her speed trials.

  Sea Trials: Rockland Maine 21 to 29 October 1913  
Enroute to Rockland, a 50 mile per hour gale was encountered yet maintained an average speed of 19 knots.  Maximum speed of 22.28 knots (25.5mph) was obtain, which was also the fastest speed in the ships history. The top of the main mast was not compete at this time.
After the speed trials, the main mast top was completed and the searchlights installed on two-tiered on both masts. The final parts of the outfitting was a 21 February 1914 final inclining experiment to determine her buoyancy properties and the installation of the last armored plate on 10 March 1914. 

  Commissioning: 12 March 1914  
As 12 March 1914

Note the absence of the opening on the front side of Turret 2 and Turret 4 for the gun directors.
The needed openings made and gun directors installed in the New York Navy Yard, 27 March to 13 May 1914.

2,850 miles sailed.

Not all design features installed:
**Eight 3inch anti-aircraft guns: 2 - crane tops, 2 - on superstructure, 2 - atop Turret 3, 2 - atop Turret 4.
**Fire Control Tower atop the Conning Tower.
**Searchlights on a single platform on each mast.
**Enclosed Pilot House.

14" Guns

The most powerful ship in existence being the first ship to have 14inch guns.

The New York Times described the 14"/ 45 caliber guns as "Monster Guns" and cost $777 to fire each of the 10 guns.

Build Time

 Construction took 1060 days, which was 213 days below the average for all 57 completed battleships and the MAINE and TEXAS of the 1890s.

Modern Systems

 Among her many modern systems were electric ovens in the galleys, which the New York Times devoted an entire article to.

BB35 was also the first US battleship built with a laundry for the crew.


 The ship's two engines were the first Newport News built American battleships with reciprocating engines to have a forced lubrication system.

Antiquated Propulsion

 BB35 was the last coal fired US battleship and the next to last with steam reciprocating engines(with OKLAHOMA BB37 being the last).

Propulsion by coal fired boilers and steam engines was antiquated but as with any technology change there is always the last version.

BB35 Before BB34

 Though sister ship NEW YORK was BB34, every BB35 construction period predates BB34.

Hard to tell BB34 and BB35 apart

 The only easily identifiable external difference between BB34 and BB35 in 1914 through 1917 are the searchlight platforms on the masts.

NEW YORK has a single platform on each mast while TEXAS has a 2-tiered arrangement on each mast..

  Completed cost: $10,971,524.93  
 "1917-1918 Navy Year Book"

(NEW YORK $11,323,130.63).
  $9,373,440.38:  Hull, and equipment including armor (1917-1918 Navy Year Book)
                 $5,830,000 - hull and equipment (contract price)
  $2,899,000 - Class A armor (1917-1918 Navy Year Book lists 6,738 tons of Class A with tonnage and price for the three manufacturers)
        $644,440 - unknown
  $1,598,084.55 - Equipage including armament (1917-1918 Navy Year Book)
  $1,112,080 - 14 inch guns and mounts (1910 Navy Year Book)
  $161,070 - 5inch guns ("Gray Steel Blue Water Navy" - used price average $5,480 (US Gun Factory) and $9,500 (lowest private bid) 
source for BB35 is unknown
  $324,934 -  unknown
  $969,374 total unknown
  Construction Time  
The table shows average construction days for all 57 numbered battleships plus the 1890s MAINE and TEXAS. 
TEXAS  keel to launch was well below the USN average but exceeded launch to commission though it took less total time to build. 
NEW YORK was built in less time. 

The contract called for completion by 17 December 1913 but finished 12 March 1914
    Keel to Launch  Deviation  . Launch to Commission  Deviation  . Keel to Commission  Deviation   
  NEW YORK 425 -273 . 532 -43 . 957 -316  
  TEXAS 397 -301 . 663 88 . 1060 -213  
  USN 698 . . 575 . . 1273 .  

  Building Chronology  
Retyped from the 1914 "General Information 'U.S.S. TEXAS', finished plans 37 and 38"
  June 24, 1910 Authorization by Act of Congress  
  September 27, 1910 Advertisement approved by the Navy Department  
  December 1, 1910 Bids received and opened  
  December 17, 1910 Contract signed, $5,830,000;   
  December 17, 1913 Contract date of completion  
  December 24, 1910 Plans and specifications delivered to the Contractor  
  December 27, 1910 First hull material ordered  
  January 16, 1911 Lines faired in the mould loft  
  January 19, 1911 First hull material received  
  April 17, 1911 Keel laid  
  April 21, 1911 First frame erected  
  May 5, 1911 First transverse bulkhead erected  
  July 1 1911 First large casting received  
  August 5 1911 First large casting erected (stern post)  
  August 7, 1911 First armor plate received (Central Armor)  
  August 7, 1911 First armor plate installed (Central Armor)  
  September 14, 1911 First compartment tested  
  May 14, 1912 Rudder installed  
  May 18, 1912 Ship launched  
  September 3, 1912 Ship first docked at Norfolk Navy Yard  
  February 22, 1913 First turret installed (Structure)  
  March 5, 1913 First 14" gun installed  
  August 5, 1913 First 5" gun installed  
  October 21-29, 1913 Official sea trial  
  February 21, 1914 Final inclining experiment  
  March 10, 1914 Last armor plate installed  
  March 12, 1914 Delivery at Norfolk Navy Yard  
  March 12, 1914 Commissioned  

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