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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Alexandria, Virginia — The American South (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Mountains of Materials and Massive Manpower

Fighting World War I

 
 
Mountains of Materials and Massive Manpower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 7, 2012
1. Mountains of Materials and Massive Manpower Marker
Inscription. The concrete foundations you see here were part of a craneway servicing two shipways and launch sites -- elements of an enormous World War I-era shipyard. To speed delivery of cargo ships needed for the war effort, the Virginia Shipbuilding Corporation hired thousands of workers and ordered tens of thousands of tons of steel. The yard's 7,000 workers and support staff used mass production techniques developed by the auto industry to move materials and speed assembly of simple, pre-fabricated steel components. The first ship, the SS Gunston Hall, took just over a year to complete.

Calling All Hands

Employees of the shipyard knew they were racing the clock to build the ships needed to win the war. To turn out ships as quickly as possible, the U.S. Emergency Fleet Corporation sought both experienced shipbuilders, and anyone who could use construction tools.
 
Erected by National Park Service.
 
Location. 38° 47.529′ N, 77° 2.375′ W. Marker is in Alexandria, Virginia. Marker can be reached from Jones Point Drive 0.3 miles east of South Royal Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is along the Potomac south of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge in Jones Point Park. Marker is in this post office area: Alexandria VA 22314, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers.
Mountains of Materials and Massive Manpower Marker image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 7, 2012
2. Mountains of Materials and Massive Manpower Marker
At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Race to Build Ships on Jones Point (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); A Tale of Three Jurisdictions (about 400 feet away); World War I-Era Rudder (about 600 feet away); Mistress Margaret Brent (about 600 feet away); The Remarkable Margaret Brent (about 600 feet away); Who Owns the River? (about 600 feet away); The Nations Capital Begins Here 1791-1793 (about 700 feet away); First Original Federal Boundary Stone (about 700 feet away but has been reported missing). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Alexandria.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWar, World IWaterways & Vessels
 
Calling All Hands image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 7, 2012
3. Calling All Hands
Ship under constrution at the pre-assembly yard image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 7, 2012
4. Ship under constrution at the pre-assembly yard
Bronze Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 7, 2012
5. Bronze Plaque
A gang of expert riveters could hammer home up to 1,200 Rivets per day.
Concrete remains of the craneway image. Click for full size.
By Allen C. Browne, October 7, 2012
6. Concrete remains of the craneway
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on December 19, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. This page has been viewed 531 times since then and 31 times this year. Last updated on January 3, 2013, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on December 19, 2012, by Allen C. Browne of Silver Spring, Maryland. • Bernard Fisher was the editor who published this page.
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