The New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, New Jersey

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Excerpts from 50 Years: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, N.J. (The New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Camden, NJ, 1949).

THE New York Shipbuilding Corporation was organized in 1899. The original plan was to build the new plant on Staten Island, and the company which was formed was therefore called the New York Shipbuilding Company. Inability to acquire the desired site, however, necessitated a survey of other locations down the coast as far as Virginia. The result of investigations by several inspection parties was the purchase of a tract of approximately 160 acres on the east side of the Delaware River in the southern part of the city of Camden, New Jersey, across the river from Philadelphia. The ground conditions were especially suited to the building of shipway foundations, and railway facilities were adequate. Time has shown the selection to have been a good one.

1899: Artist's Drawing of New York Shipbuilding Corporation Site

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[Caption for Above] 1899: Artis'ts drawing, from an old photograph, of the 160 acre farm on the Delaware River selected as the site of the New York Shipbuilding Company. The old farmhouse, near the center of this picture, was moved to the street and is now an integral, but distinctive, part of the Employment Office and Hospital Buildings.

Henry G. Morse
(1850-1903)

At the outset it was decided to break away from the old century's accepted traditions of shipbuilding and build a yard in which could be applied the most up-to-date labor-saving machinery and advanced methods of structural steel construction. The planning and opening of the New York Shipbuilding Company yard was due mainly to the foresight and energy of the late Henry G. Morse, its first president.

Mr. Morse, who had resigned from the presidency of the Harlan and Hollingsworth Company, of Wilmington, Del., to form the new shipyard, was the guiding force throughout "New York Ship’s" organization. He survived the completion of the yard and the delivery of the first nine ships. Up to the time of his death he had secured for his company twenty contracts. Among these was the armored cruiser WASHINGTON, first Naval vessel ordered from New York Ship.

Ground was broken for New York Ship on July 3, 1899. Contracts for preliminary work and equipment for the yard were let within a month. On June 15, 1900, in the sixth month of the new century and the twelfth month of the new yard, the contract for New York Ship's first vessel was signed. On November 29, 1900, the keel was laid.

1900: The New Yard Under Construction

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[Caption for Above] 1900: The new yard under construction, a picture taken on August 17, 1900. The covered ways are just beginning to take shape.

1901: The Yard in 1901, Showing the Completed Ways

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[Caption for Above] 1901: The yard in 1901, showing the completed ways and original buildings, with the farmhouse in its new position facing Broadway.

The Washington (1930, Contract 406)

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