Edward Walker Nichols
AMONG those who have, improved the opportunities offered by the growth of overseas commerce is Edward Walker Nichols. President and general manager of the United Marine Contracting Corporation, which was organized July I, 1916, taking over a business which Mr. Nichols had previously started.
The business was originally ship scaling, boiler scaling and cleaning, and was practically confined to those branches for about a year. It had two boats with the necessary scaling and pneumatic tools and a capacity for about sixteen pneumatic chipping hammers. Then the business was enlarged and a complete equipment gathered to add to the business that of marine painting, which the corporation now executes in all of its branches. "When the United States Government took over the German vessels after the declaration of war, the company was awarded contracts for scaling, painting and getting them ready for service. The contracts covered a large amount of work to be completed very rapidly, and included nearly all of the larger German ships, and the work was exerted to the perfect satisfaction of the authorities.
Having these departments fully organized and tripped, the company added a department of electric welding, a branch which has met with rerate success. They added to -their floating raiment seven new boats specially built for their teeds and fitted up with all the necessary apparatus for both electric welding and the furnishing f air for pneumatic tools. This was an oppor- :_ne addition to the company's facilities. The pyards all about the harbor of New York were ngested, and ships needing work of this kind Id not get into the yards for that purpose. 1 he United Marine Contracting Corporation, the its barges all fully equipped for electric - aiding and the supplying of air for pneumatic. Was able to do work of this kind outside the shipyards and thus save much valuable t — e for ships needing such services.
The company entered into an open contract the Navy Department for work in its lines when the Government took over the Dutch seventeen of them were turned over to corporation for such work as was necessary in
the line of scaling, painting and electric welding work. After the war activities of the United States began the work of the corporation for the Government assumed constantly growing im-portance until the work for the Government con-stituted the major part of its work, although the corporation also does a very greatly increased amount of work for steamship owners than for-merly. When the company was organized and for a few months afterward its monthly payroll averaged about fifteen thousand dollars per month, but in less than two years the payroll had mounted up, with the growth and expansion of the business, to an amount in excess of one hundred thousand dollars monthly. Additional equipment to that furnished by the seven 'barges is afforded by a new tug, launched in the summer of 1918. Such a record of success in an enterprise is not achieved without the impetus of a strong personality, with appropriate training and experience. This basic element was supplied by E. W. Nichols, president of the company, who has had a long connection with the shipping industry.
Edward Walker Nichols was born in Orring- ton, Maine, November 6, 1875, the son of Stephen Walker and Abbie H. (Gray) Nichols. He is a direct descendant from James Nichols, who with two brothers came from England to Cape Cod in 1654.
After passing through the town schools Mr. Nichols continued his education in the Hampden Academy at Hampden, Maine, and the Bangor (Maine) Commercial College, from which he was graduated in 1893. He remained in Orring- ton until he entered the employ of the Knickerbocker Ice Company, with which he remained until 1900, then became connected with M. P. Smith & Sons Company, contracting stevedores, and was for about fifteen years with that company, and as its superintendent did a large business in the loading of steamers for all parts of the world. Then for six months he was with Norton, Lilly & Company, in charge of the shipment of railroad material for Vladivostok, and other shipping work. Following that he established the present business and soon afterward incorporated it, and has since built it up to a most substantial success.