Philip Dillon Sloan
THOSE who thought that the day of the wooden ship was over were doubtless surprised at the extent of the demand for that kind of vessel in the great shipbuilding revival that began in 1917. The wooden ship has demonstrated its usefulness again, and has now many representatives on all the seas. Many of the ships built during that campaign show, by their build and excellence of performance, that their construction was evidently completed under the supervision of an expert. This is especially true of the vessels built by the Sloan Shipyards Corporation in its yards on Puget Sound.
The name of Sloan has long been famous in shipbuilding annals. The family was identified with the industry of building ships on the Great Lakes before its present members transplanted their expert knowledge and their activities to the Puget Sound region.
Philip Dillon Sloan, of Seattle, Washington, is in all probability the best-known wood shipbuilder in this country. He was born in Cleveland, Ohio, July 4, 1866. He received his early training associated with his father, Edward H. Sloan, a well- known shipbuilder of the wood shipbuilding period of the Great Lakes.
In his earlier years he did special work in the yards of F. W. Wheeler Company and the James Davidson Company of Bay City, Michigan; also the Craig Shipbuilding Company of Toledo on a sub-contract basis.
When he thought he had enough of his old trade and wanted to learn the commercial side of the business he went to Chicago and became a salesman. In a very short time he became the highest-paid salesman selling building material in that city.
In 1907 Mr. Sloan went to Seattle to join his brother, Joseph A. Sloan, in the shipbuilding business, and has been more or less associated with him since that time.
Mr. Sloan can truly be called the father of the full-powered wood motor ships for oversea service. Two years ago, when builders were advocating the building of and were building auxiliary schooners, he took the stand that these ships were neither full-powered nor full-canvased sailing vessels, therefore the results from their operation would, to a certain degree, be unsatisfactory, and he insisted that a full-powered motor ship was the only ship to build; the results being that in the face of adverse criticism he secured a contract for four 3,200-ton full-powered Diesel engine motor ships from the Clinchfield Navigation Company of New York. These motor ships were afterwards sold to the Australian Government and are now in service, being recognized by marine interests to be the only successful motor ships built in this country, and by far the best wood ships built. This is the opinion publicly expressed in marine circles.
The "Cethana," the first of these four vessels, made her maiden voyage from San Francisco to Sydney in thirty-one daysa performance that aroused enthusiasm in Australia.
Wherever he is known, Mr. Sloan's word is regarded and accepted as being as good as his bond. He does business in a large way; he wastes no time, and by the time one transaction is consummated he is half way along with the next. His reputation for making good at whatever he undertakes, his ceaseless activity, his ability as a salesman and finding customers for ships, have made him the good friend of many shipbuilders on the Pacific Coast.
Mr. Sloan is essentially one of the men who achieve success because they deserve it.
Mr. Sloan is president of the Sloan Shipyards Corporation, which includes the above-named company, the Capital City Iron Works, and the Anacortes Shipbuilding Company.
These are companies of progressive and merited prosperity, which have earned their way to prominence as the result of the experienced executive guidance given them by Mr. Sloan. It is because of such men in its citizenship that Seattle has enjoyed the wonderful development to a place level with the greatest of American cities.
The success made with motor ships built by the Sloan Shipyards Corporation has started a demand which will make permanent the building of wooden ships of that type. The materials and the expert knowledge are at hand to continue Seattle as the center of that industry.