April 11, 1803
- John Stevens, of New York, NY, received a patent for
"Producing Steam"; engine used on twin-screw propeller
November 14, 1825 -
Codorus, the first ship made
in the U.S. with sheet iron fastened with iron rivets, built by
Quaker John Elgar at York, PA, was tested on the Susquehanna
River; weighed five tons (two tons for the coal- and wood-
fueled boiler which provided power for an 8 h.p. engine);
keel length of 60-ft and a 9-ft beam, drew about seven inches of
water; 1826 - difficult three-month voyage
upriver trip to Binghamton, NY proved that upstream navigation
on the shallow, rock-filled Susquehanna was impractical.
February 1, 1838
- John Ericsson (Swede in London, UK) received a patent for
a "Screw Propeller" ("Purpose of Propelling Steamboats
Effectually Notwithstanding any Variations in Their Draft of
July 19, 1843
- S.S. Great Britain, first all-metal liner steamship, launched
from Bristol, England; 1845 - world's first
screw-propeller driven (and first iron-hulled) steamship to
cross the Atlantic; six-masted, single-screw, 3,270-ton vessel
is 322 feet in length overall, carried a crew of 130 including
30 stewards for her 360-seat dining room.
March 26, 1845
- Joseph Francis, of New York City, received a patent for a
"Ship's Implement" ("Making Boats and Other Vessels of
Sheet-Iron or Other Metal"); corrugated sheet-iron lifeboat.
- Robert Hickson and Company opened shipbuilding yard on Queen's
Island (River Lagan, Belfast) to build iron-hulled ships; hired
Edward J. Harland (23) as General Manager; 1857 -
Harland acquired yard for 5,000 pounds (financed by Gustvae
Schwabe, Liverpool banker); 1861 - Gustav Wilhelm
Wolff (Schwabe's nephew) made partner; January 1, 1862
- name changed to Harland & Wolff; merged with Black Ball and
Eagle Lines, formed conglomerate called Liverpool, Melbourne and
Oriental Steam Navigation Company Limited; October 1867
- failed; January 1868 - White Star Line (dated to
1845) acquired by Thomas H. Ismay (31, financed by Gustvae
Schwabe with understanding that all ships to be built at Harland
& Wolff yards); formed Oceanic Steam Navigation Company to sail
steamers under White Star flag (Harland, Wolff big
shareholders); July 30, 1869
- Harland & Wolff received first construction order from
White Star Line (built more than 70 White Star vessels);
August 20, 1870 - launched Oceanic for final fittings;
1871 - put into service; 1895 -
William James Pirrie named chairman of Harland & Wolff (started
as apprentice in 1862, made partner in 1874); 1899
- J. Bruce
(son, 38) assumed control of White Star Line; 1902
- White Star acquired by Pirrie, J. P. Morgan (subsidiary
of International Mercantile Marine,
shipping trust with fixed
shipping prices); Harland & Wolff to build all ships for IMM
trust; March 31, 1909 - construction began on
Titanic; April 10, 1912- maiden voyage.
Sir Edward Harland
- Harland & Wolff (http://www.
Gustav Wilhelm Wolff
- Harland & Wolff
November 3, 1863
- James G. Tarr and Augustus H. Wonson, of Gloucester, MA,
received a patent for "Paint for Ships' Bottoms"; antifouling
paint for ships' hulls made of copper oxide, tar, naptha (to
prevent clinging by barnacles, sea-weed, other substances).
April 7, 1896
- Simon Lake, of Atlantic Highlands, NJ, received a patent for a
"Submarine Locomotive" ("to furnish the means for direct
communication and cooperation with divers working upon submerged
wrecks, means for supplying them with air under the requisite
pressure, and means for relieving them so as to obviate the
necessity of going to the surface...to provide for securing the
apparatus to the side of of a sunken vessel when required, and
to effect certain other improvements in the details of the
apparatus"); April 20, 1897 - received a patent
for a "Submarine Vessel"; December 16, 1897 -
Columbian Iron Works and Dry Dock Company of Baltimore, MD
demonstrated Argonaut, first U.S. submarine fitted with internal
combustion engine invented by Simon Lake, on Patapsco River;
first submarine to salvage sunken objects of value.
June 27, 1902
- Elias Gunnell, Charles West, Lynford Geer founded Manitowoc
Dry Dock Company, small shipbuilding and ship repair firm, in
lakeshore community of Manitowoc, WI; serving the Great Lakes
maritime industry; 1910 - renamed Manitowoc
Shipbuilding Company; evolved into Manitowoc Marine Group;
1925 - developed Manitowoc Speedcrane (now Manitowoc
Crane Group - cranes and crane support systems); post WW I
- formed Manitowoc Equipment Works (now Manitowoc Foodservice
Group - commercial ice, beverage, refrigeration equipment);
1952 - reorganized as The Manitowoc Company, Inc.;
1966 - introduced first commercial grade ice-cube
machine; 1995 - acquired Shannon Group, leading
manufacturer of walk-in refrigerators, freezers (foodservice
equipment sales 54% of company sales);
2001 - acquired Potain
S.A., world's leading producer of tower cranes; 2002
- acquired Grove Worldwide, leading manufacturer of mobile
hydraulic, truck mounted cranes; $1.3-billion enterprise, more
than 6,000 employees, 25 manufacturing facilities in six
- John B. (J.B.) Caddell, two partners, opened boat yard in Red
Hook, Brooklyn, NY; 1916
- established John B. Caddell Dry Dock Company at foot of
Broadway (at Richmond Terrace) in West Brighton, NY; Leroy
Caddell (son) succeeded; 2009
- John B. Caddell II (grandson) head of
dry docking, ship repair
- William Todd Company purchased a shipyard from Seattle
Construction and Dry Dock Company; became first iron and steel
shipbuilding yard in Pacific Northwest; WW II -
eleven facilities nationwide, constructed or repaired 23,000
ships; 1986 - filed for bankruptcy protection;
1990 - restructured to single 46 acre facility on
Harbor Island in Seattle (Northwest's largest ship repair,
(William Beardmore), John R. Hume, Michael S.
Beardmore: The History of a Scottish Industrial Giant.
(London, UK: Heinemann, 364 p.). William Beardmore
Ltd.--History; Industries--Scotland--History. Engineering and
(Cammell Laird Shipbuilders Ltd.), Kenneth
Steel, Ships and Men: Cammell Laird, 1824-1993.
(Liverpool, UK: Liverpool University Press, 313 p.). Cammell
Laird Shipbuilders Ltd.--History; Shipbuilding industry--Great
(Cornell Steamboat), Stuart Murray;
introduction by Roger W. Mabie ; essays by William duBarry
Thomas Cornell and the Cornell Steamboat Company. (Fleischmanns,
NY: Purple Mountain Press, 223 p.). Cornell, Thomas, 1814-1890;
Cornell Steamboat Company; Tugboats; Steamboats; Shipyards;
Shipbuilding industry; Hudson River Valley (N.Y. and N.J.).
(Harland and Wolff), Michael S. Moss and John
R. Hume (1986).
Shipbuilders to the World: 125 Years of Harland and Wolff,
Belfast 1861-1986. (Wolfeboro, NH: Blackstaff Press, 601
p.). Harland and Wolff--History; Shipbuilding--Northern
Ireland--Belfast--History; Belfast (Northern Ireland)--History,
(Harland and Wolff), Michael McCaughan (1989).
Steel Ships & Iron Men: Shipbuilding in Belfast, 1894-1912.
(Belfast, IR: Friar’s Bush Press, 104 p.). Harland and
Wolff--History--Pictorial works; Harland & Wolff Historic
Photograph Collection; Shipbuilding--Northern
Ireland--Belfast--History--19th century--Pictorial works;
century--Pictorial works; Photograph collections--Northern
(R. & W. Hawthorn, Leslie & Co.), J. F. Clarke
(1979). Power on Land and Sea: 160 Years of Industrial
Enterprise on Tyneside: A History of R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie &
Co., Ltd., Engineers and Shipbuilders. (Wallsend, UK: Clark
Hawthorn, 118 p.). R. & W. Hawthorn Leslie & Co.--History.
(Higgins Industries), Jerry E. Strahan (1994).
Andrew Jackson Higgins and the Boats that Won World War II.
(Baton Rouge, LA: Louisiana State University Press, 382 p.).
Higgins, Andrew Jackson, 1886-1952; Higgins Industries--History.
Industrialists--United States--Biography; Shipbuilding
Torpedo-boats--Louisiana--New Orleans--Design and
construction--History; Landing craft--Louisiana--New
Orleans--Design and construction--History; World War,
1939-1945--Equipment and supplies.
(Howard Ship Yards and Dock Company), Charles
Preston Fishbaugh (1970).
From Paddle Wheels to Propellers; The Howard Ship Yards of
Jeffersonville in the Story of Steam Navigation on the Western
Rivers. (Indianapolis, IN: Indiana Historical Society,
240 p.). Howard Ship Yards and Dock Company.
(Marinship), Charles Wollenberg; foreword by
Jack Tracy (1990).
Marinship at War: Shipbuilding and Social Change in Wartime
Sausalito. (Berkeley, CA: Western Heritage Press, 120
p.). Marinship (Firm)--History;
World War, 1939-1945--Social aspects--California--Sausalito;
World War, 1939-1945--California--Sausalito; Sausalito
(Mitsubishi Z¯osen Kabushiki Kaisha. Nagasaki
Z¯osenjo), Yukiko Fukasaku (1992).
Technology and Industrial Development in Pre-War Japan:
Mitsubishi Nagasaki Shipyard, 1884-1934. (New York, NY:
Routledge, 189 p.). Mitsubishi Z¯osen Kabushiki Kaisha. Nagasaki
Industries--Japan--History--20th century; Technology
(Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock
Company), William A. Fox ; foreword by Alexander Crosby Brown
Always Good Ships: Histories of Newport News Ships.
(Norfolk, VA: Donning, 387 p.). Newport News Shipbuilding and
Drydock Company--History; Shipbuilding--Virginia--Newport
News--History; Ships--Virginia--Newport News--History; Newport
News (Va.)--History, Naval.
(Newport News Shipbuilding and Dry Dock
Company), William L. Tazewell (1986).
Newport News Shipbuilding, The First Century. (Newport
News, VA: Mariners' Museum, 256 p.). Newport News Shipbuilding
and Dry Dock Company--History.
(North Carolina Shipbuilding Company), Ralph
L. Scott (2007).
The Wilmington Shipyard: Welding a Fleet for Victory in World
War II. (Charleston, SC: History Press, 160 p.). North
Carolina Shipbuilding Company--History; Shipyards--North
Carolina--Wilmington; Shipbuilding industry--North
Carolina--Wilmington--History--20th century; World War,
1939-1945--North Carolina--Wilmington; Wilmington
(N.C.)--History--20th century. 1942-1946- some 243 Liberty-,
Victory-class ships built in Wilmington to bolster United States
Navy's World War II fleet; impact of shipyard, its effect on
Wilmington's transformation from sleepy post-Depression coastal
town into major state industrial center.
(Richards Shipbuilders Ltd.), Charles Goodey
The First Hundred Years: The Story of Richards Shipbuilders.
(Ipswich, UK: Boydell Press, 111 p.). Richards (Shipbuilders)
Ltd.; Suffolk Lowestoft Shipbuilding industries.
Schlieker KG), Richard Tilly (2008).
Willy H. Schlieker: Aufstieg und Fall Eines Unternehmers
(1914-1980). (Berlin, Germany: Akademie Verlag, 204 p.).
Schlieker, Willy H., 1914-1980; Steel industry and trade --
Germany; Coal trade -- Germany.
(Southeastern Shipbuilding Corporation), Tony Cope (2009).
On the Swing Shift: Building Liberty Ships in Savannah.
(Annapolis, MD, Naval Institute Press, 288 p.). Liberty
ships --Georgia --Savannah --History; Shipbuilding --Georgia
--Savannah --History; World War, 1939-1945 --Naval operations,
American; Merchant marine --United States --History.
II - 88 of almost 3,000 Liberty ships built in America were
launched in Savannah, GA (fought in Battle of the Atlantic);
story of men, women (45,000 during four years of shipyard's
existence) who built these merchant ships in Savannah.
(Alexander Stephen & Sons), The Company
(1932). A Shipbuilding History, 1750-1932: A Record of the
Business Founded, about 1750, by Alexander Stephen at Burghead,
and Subsequently Carried on at Aberdeen, Arbroath, Dundee and
Glasgow. (Cheltenham, UK: E.J. Burrow & Co. ltd., 212 p.).
Stephen, Alexander, 1722-1793; Shipbuilding--Great
(Alexander Stephen & Sons), John Lees Carvel
Stephen of Linthouse; A Record of Two Hundred Years of
Shipbuilding, 1750-1950. (Glasgow, Scotland: Alexander
Stephen and Sons, Ltd., 211 p.).
(Todd Shipyards), C. Bradford Mitchell (1981).
Every Kind of Shipwork: A History of Todd Shipyards Corporation,
1916-1981. (New York, NY: The Corporation, 320 p.). Todd
(W. H. Walker & Brothers), The Company (1991).
Walkers' of Ricky: A History of W. H. Walker & Brothers Limited
of Rickmansworth, Hertfordshire. (Rickmansworth,
Hertfordshire, UK: W. H. Walker, 248 p.). W.H. Walker &
Brothers; Boats Construction Hertfordshire (England).
(Yarrow and Company), Alastair Borthwick
Yarrow and Company Limited; The First Hundred Years, 1865-1965.
(Glasgow, Scotland: Yarrow, 135 p.). Yarrow and Company.
(Yarrow and Company), Alastair Borthwick
Yarrow and Company Limited: 1865-1977. (Glasgow,
Scotland: Yarrow and Company Limited, 158 p.). Yarrow and
Anthony Burton (1994).
The Rise & Fall of British Shipbuilding. (London, UK:
Constable, 272 p.). Shipbuilding industry--Great
Jeffery M. Dorwart with Jean K. Wolf (2001).
The Philadelphia Navy Yard: From the Birth of the U.S. Navy to
the Nuclear Age. (Philadelphia, PA: University of
Pennsylvania Press, 271 p.). Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
Geoffrey M. Footner (1991).
The Last Generation: A History of a Chesapeake Shipbuilding
Family. (Solomons, MD: Calvert Marine Museum Press, 194
p.). Davis, Clarence E., 1883-1936; Davis family;
Sidney Pollard and Paul Robertson (1979).
The British Shipbuilding Industry, 1870-1914.
(Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 312 p.).
Shipbuilding--Great Britain--History; Shipyards--Great
Alistair J. Reid (2010).
The Tide of Democracy: Shipyard Workers and Social Relations in
Britain, 1870-1950. (Manchester, UK: Manchester
University Press, 361 p.). Fellow of Girton College (Cambridge).
Shipbuilding industry -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th
century; Shipbuilding industry -- Great Britain -- History --
20th century; Shipbuilding industry -- Great Britain --
Employees -- History -- 19th century; Shipbuilding industry --
Great Britain -- Employees -- History -- 20th century;
Industrial relations -- Great Britain -- History -- 19th
century; Industrial relations -- Great Britain -- History --
20th century. British shipbuilding in its heyday - organization
of production, relationship between leaders and members of
industry's key trade union, and involvement of that union in
wider labour politics; impact of new machinery on skills,
significance of independent rank-and-file movements and role of
craft unions in origins and early development of Labour Party;
shipyards in all of major locations (industrial movements on
Clydeside, north-east coast of England).
Leonard A. Swann, Jr. (1980).
John Roach, Maritime Entrepreneur. (New York, NY: Arno
Press, 301 p. [orig. pub. 1965]). Roach, John, 1813-1887; Ship
brokers--United States--Biography; Shipbuilding--United
William H. Thiesen; foreword by James C.
Bradford and Gene A. Smith (2006).
Industralizing American Shipbuilding: The Transformation of Ship
Design and Construction, 1820-1920. (Gainesville, FL:
University Press of Florida, 240 p.). Historian for the United
States Coast Guard, Formerly Curator and Director of Operations
of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum. Shipbuilding--United
States--History--19th century; Shipbuilding--United
States--History--20th century; Shipbuilding industry--United
States--History--19th century; Shipbuilding industry--United
States--History--20th century. Story of culture dictating
technology; transformation of American shipbuilding into an
Business History Links
Essex Shipbilding Museum
Established in 1976 - story of a small New England village that
built more two-masted wooden fishing schooners than any other
place in the world; history of the wooden shipbuilding industry,
an integral part of the economy and culture in New England and
the United States since the 1630; one of the best maritime
collections in the region.
Pier 70 San Francisco: Historic Shipyard
at Potrero Point
Background and historic and modern photos of "Potrero
Point ... [which] was the most important center of western U.S.
heavy industry for well over 100 years." Also provides material
about "Dogpatch," a neighborhood on the eastern edge of Potrero
Hill, which "includes the city's largest collection of 19th and
early 20th Century workers cottages." Also includes details
about current uses and future development. From a member of the
Citizens Advisory Group for Pier 70.