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Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Norflok Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Corporation

TheNorfolk Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation, Norfolk, Virginia, was originally established in 1900 by Smith & Mc- COY About 1910 the F. O. Smith Shipbuilding and Dry ok Company succeeded, and in October. It was purchased by the present own- 0 in 1917 changed the name to the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation, of Which George W. Roper is president; J. R. Seemer - :r-president and general manager; W. E. Treasurer; W. W. Colonna, vice-president B. O. Colonna, secretary; C. S. Rogers, as-sistant secretary; and J. R. Guy (naval architect), general superintendent.

Started as a repair plant with about 150 feet of water frontage and a marine railway, it now contains about 800 feet of water frontage, with 3.000 linear feet of wharf capacity and 14 acres of land; one marine railway, 230 feet long, capacity 800 tons; one three-section floating drydock, 244 feet long on l-teel blocks and 65 feet wide, with deadweight lifting capacity of 2,400 tons, and another 60- foot section under construction which will increase the dry-dock to

304 feet on keel, with deadweight lifting capacity of 3,200 tons; two building ways under construction, 250 and 265 feet long respectively; also new two-story brick building for machine and electrical shops and storerooms; a brick boiler and blacksmith shop; brick fitters' shop and mould loft; brick ship carpenters' and joiners' shop; brick sawmill and brick office building. All these shops and offices have been constructed since the summer of 1917. The equipment also includes paint shop, electric welding and acetylene welding and cutting facilities, pneumatic machinery, etc. All shops are equipped with the latest improved tools, all independently and electrically driven.

The president, George W. Roper, is a man of large lumber and business experience, for many years with the John L. Roper Lumber Company, one of the largest in the South. The other officers are practical shipbuilders and ship repairers.

John Russell Seemer, vice-president and general manager, born October 1, 1869, educated at the Longwoods, Talbot County, Md., school, and the Easton Academy, Md., being graduated in 1883.

He worked on his father's farm until he became of age and then was fireman on the floating equipment of the Baltimore and East Shore Railroad, and after re-ceiving a marine engineer's license was employed by the Choptank Steamboat Company, and later by the Tunis Lumber Company and the Old Dominion Lumber Company, respectively. In 1895 he became assistant engineer and later chief engineer on one of the passenger boats of the New York, Philadelphia and Norfolk Railroad Company until 1892, then superintendent engineer of the floating equipment until November 1, 1916, when he became assistant treasurer and general manager of the F. O. Smith Shipbuilding Company, now the Norfolk Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation. In October, 1918, he assumed his present position as vice-president and general manager, in which capacity his long experience and energetic oversight assure the best results.

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