Count Francois Marion Rafailovich
COUNT FRANCOIS MARION RAF AILOVICH
EMINENT as engineer and shipbuilder, Count Rafailovich is now president of the United States Shipbuilding Corporation. He was born in Nish, Serbia, the son of the Count and Countess de Bannissis Rafailovich. He was educated at the College Capodistrica, Corfu, Ionian Islands, and afterward as student with the Faculty of Medicine in the University of Paris; but later, having a bent toward engineering, he studied in and was graduated from the Ecole Polytechnique of Ghent, Belgium. He afterward entered the profession of naval architect, and has since been a student of all the progressive ideas of modern shipbuilding. He has had important experience in various branches of engineering, and was one of the engineers engaged in building a railroad from the Piraeus (Greece) to the Turkish frontier.
Later he settled in the United States and entered the shipbuilding business, and on September 10, 1917, he bought a hill on the coast of South Portland, Maine, as president of the United States Shipbuilding Corporation, which he had organized in that same month. Although labor was scarce and high in price he went to work with such vigor that by October 31 he had a shipyard on that tract in full working order, with r ve shipways and three keels laid down—which I s believed to be a record performance in the creation of a shipyard from the bare ground.
A ery few ship carpenters with previous expe-rience in building wooden ships could be found, r.nd most of the men he employed had to be taught the shipbuilding trade from the simplest rudiments, but Count Rafailovich so organized their training that many of these men became; more skillful workmen than those who were originally employed as experienced ship carpenters. On each of the five ways ships have been continuously building. Two have been launched, and others will be launched at a rate of about one per month.
The plant now has seven shipways, two new and larger ways having been constructed upon which it is intended to engage in the building of
steel ships in size up to 5.000 tons deadweight, It is also contemplated to build a drydock on the same site, together with a complete ship repair plant so as to furnish facilities for the making of ship repairs at South Portland. The equipment of the yards is very complete, the original ways being built for the construction of wooden ships of 2,000, 2,500, and 3,200 tons deadweight capacity. They are built after the designs of Count Rafailovich and under his personal general supervision, aided by a staff he has especially trained, and conform to the rules of the French Bureau Veritas, which gives them the highest classification for vessels of that kind.
Count Rafailovich is also president of Rafail-ovich & Company, Inc., and director of the P. LI. Doyen Shipbuilding Company. He is a member of many clubs here and abroad, arid an officer of the Greek Army Reserve, having fought in two wars against Turkey. His engineering ability and business enterprise have brought him success in his shipbuilding activities, and assure the future expansion of his company.