Resources for Patients and their Families

New York Shipbuilding

New York Shipbuilding

The brainchild of Henry G. Morse, the New York Shipbuilding Corporation (aka New York Ship) was established in 1899. With an interest in a change, Morse transitioned from building tunnels and bridges to creating his own company. In Camden, New Jersey, New York Ship founded their first shipyard. It was named New York Shipbuilding because it was originally meant to call Staten Island home. He chose New Jersey because it offered better local resources. On this location, they constructed over five hundred vessels, contracted by the US Coast Guard, the US Navy, and the US Merchant Marine. Their construction ran the gamut from luxury liners to battleships, and barges to aircraft carriers.

Morse's shipyard was meant to be the embodiment of efficiency, and he had five principles that served as the foundation of the company. To start, construction of pieces and assembly were done separately. The second was that larger parts were constructed beforehand. Also, they used cranes to move parts for improved ease. They also covered all construction with roofing to prevent foul weather from affecting progress. Last, several jobs that were normally done while outfitting were finished right before launching.

As with most shipyards, New York Shipbuilding had an influx of work during World War II. At the time, it was the foremost shipyard on earth, providing the most globally impressive output. The NYSB constructed some famous ships, such as the cruiser USS Indianapolis, the destroy USS Reuben James, and the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk. They also produced the NS Savannah, a nuclear-powered cargo vessel.

New York Shipping received many orders from the US Navy and Emergency Fleet Corporation during World War I. During World War II, the yard constructed many vessels that were instrumental in the invasion of Normandy on D-Day. As with many yards, the commissioned work slowed down with the finish of the Second World War But they continued to survive on jobs from the US Maritime Administration as well as the US Navy.

After the war, the shipyard began constructing nuclear vessels, including many submarines. They also had the distinction of constructing the first commercial nuclear ship, which was named the NS Savannah. Needless to say, shipyard workers were exposed to a variety of potentially toxic materials and situations.

Working at any shipyard would undoubtedly result in asbestos exposure. This substance has been definitively linked to lung ailments such as asbestosis and mesothelioma. Symptoms of these diseases often go unnoticed for up to 40 years. Anyone who has been exposed to asbestos should consult their physician and fill out the form here for more information.

Author: Linda Molinari

Editor in Chief, Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance

Linda Molinari