EASTERN SHORE SHIPBUILDING CORPORATION
EASTERN SHORE SHIPBUILDING CORPORATION
WHEN the ravages of the German U-boats were destroying tonnage of Allied and neutral nations without stint or limit, at the same time there rose a demand for tonnage not only for the usual commercial purposes, but also for war purposes, creating a tonnage famine of unprecedented proportions. The declaration of war by this country aided to the need, and the United States organized a shipbuilding program which brought into the industry many new companies and greatly enlarged the demand upon the resources of those already in existence. The shipping program gave an impetus to the industry which put in motion every possible available resource, and put into harness all the men and machines that could be assembled to aid in the purpose of giving to the Government, industries and commerce of the country shipping available for their overseas transportation needs.
In the list of the organizations called into action in aid of the shipping program there were several in the State of Maryland, the location of which, midway on our great Atlantic coastline, was especially favorable for operations of this kind. The shipbuilding organizations which engaged in work in connection with the program of the United States Shipping Board were by no means confined to the construction of ships for ocean voyages, but also included several that were engaged in the equally necessary branch of the building of vessels appropriate for use in harbor and coastwise activities.
The Eastern Shore Shipbuilding Corporation was one of the organizations which were extensively occupied in this part of the American shipbuilding problem. The yard of the company is conveniently located at Sharptown, Maryland, on the eastern shore, where the company has a complete equipment for the building of wooden tugs, schooners and barges, and there they put to work a large force of workmen, who were engaged for a long time in the building of tugs for the United States Shipping Board Emergency Fleet Corporation and afterward for private account for vari-ous firms and companies, and in the summer of 1919 they had in course of construction two 88- foot tugs, six tugs for the Emergency Fleet Corporation, were finishing five tugs for private account, building a schooner of 2,650 tons deadweight capacity and four wooden tugs for the Todd Shipyards Corporation.
Connected with the company were a number of expert superintendents and foremen, especially familiar with the special branch of shipbuilding connected with the construction and equipment of wooden tugs, and the products of the yard in this respect conform to the most complete requirements of strength, speed and endurance, which are so necessary in the building of vessels for towing purposes. The operations also were quite extensive in connection with the building of schooners for coastwise and barges for bay and river transportation, and during the time of especial boat-building stress these departments were kept busy up to the fullest capacity of the yard.
The convenient location of the yard with reference not only to the harbor of Baltimore and its surroundings, but also to the various other ports and inlets of the contiguous bays, enabled this yard to be an especial advantage in the supplying of the needs of those harbors and land-locked waters for tugs, barges, etc., for harbor and coastwise towing.
In addition to the yard at Sharptown, the cor-poration has its principal office in New York, located at 2 Rector Street, Mr. Robert Livingston, the president of the company, directing its affairs from there and carrying on the business end of the enterprise and its transactions with the Government and the private owners for whom the product of the corporation was made.
The vessels launched at the Sharptown yard went into the service of the Government in perfect readiness for work, and in every way the performance of these vessels in active service testified to the efficiency in organization and workmanship of the yard.
The building program, of which the work produced in this yard was a by no means unimportant item among those which contributed to the winning of the war. It also gave the initial momentum to the wonderful expansion in matters maritime which is so important a factor in the development of our commerce.