Wilmington in New Castle County, Delaware — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Harper's New Monthly Magazine, April 1878
The Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation purchased the Harlan & Hollingsworth shipyard in 1917. The shipyard was then immediately commandeered by the United States Shipping Baord-Emergency Fleet Corporation for a massive effort to aid the European Allies in World War I. Called the "bridge of ships," the program required a huge buildup of equipment including the giant cranes seen here lining the riverfront. The yard operated three shifts a day, seven days a week, and turned out nine tankers, fourteen cargo ships, and forty-seven various other vessels.
So much building caused a glut of ships after the War, and a year after this photo was taken in 1925, all shipbuilding on the site had ceased. Bethlehem sold the shipyard to the Dravo Corporation in 1927.
From workboats built for sailing the coastal waterways to schooners for overseas trade, the first ships built in Wilmington, were made of wood. The brig Nancy was said to be the first to fly
Iron & Steel
The Bangor, built by Harlan & Hollingsworth, was Aemrica's first ocean going iron-hulled propeller steamship. Powered by twin screw propeller engines, the Bangor also had three schooner-rigged masts.
Early Navy War Ships
During the Civil War, the Union Navy used Wilmington-based ships as blockade gunboats, troop transports and supply vessels. Harlan & Hollingsworth built three Monitor-class warships like this one shown in the 1864 bird's eye view.
Ferryboats & Steamers
At the end of the 19th century there was a strong market for ferries, both side wheelers and stern wheelers. The excursion steamer Brandywine was built in 1885 for the Wilson Line.
World War I Ships
Among the warships protecting American convoys were submarine chasers like #345 above, built at the Jackson & Sharp Plant of the American Car & Foundry Company in 1917.
World War II Ships
The S.S. Cape Corwin was one of 15 type C1-A cargo vessels built in Wilmington by Pusey & Jones during World War II.
Erected by Riverfront Wilmington.
Location. 39° 44.15′ N, 75° 33.554′ W. Marker is in Wilmington, Delaware, in New Castle County. Marker can be reached from Justison Street south of Poole Place, on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 308 Justison Street, Wilmington DE 19801, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named Historic Shipyards (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Delaware Korean War Killed In Action Memorial (about 500 feet away); The New World (approx. ¼ mile away); The Underground Railroad (approx. ¼ mile away); South Market Street Bridge (approx. ¼ mile away); South Market Street Bridge Dedicated in Honor of Senator John E. Reilly, Sr. (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Great Railroad Boom (approx. 0.3 miles away); Freedom Lost (approx. 0.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Wilmington.
Categories. • War, US Civil • War, World I • War, World II • Waterways & Vessels •
Credits. This page was last revised on March 2, 2019. This page originally submitted on March 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. This page has been viewed 48 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on March 2, 2019, by Devry Becker Jones of Washington, District of Columbia. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.