The Fore River Shipyard
November 4, 2009 7:17 PM   Subscribe

The Fore River Shipyard was in service between 1886 and 1985, first under the management of the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company, then Bethlehem Steel, and finally General Dynamics. She helped to close out the age of sail with the construction of the largest sailing vessel in history without any kind of engine. Besides providing a substantial number of liberty ships, surface warships of various classes, and submarines during WWII, it may also be the source of the "Kilroy was here" graffiti.

The shipyard was home to a notable feature of the skyline south of Boston: the Goliath crane, which stood from 1975 to 2008. In 2008 it was disassembled (with one fatality) and transported to Romania.

The shipyard, and the Fore River Ship and Engine Building Company, were founded by Thomas Watson, who is more generally remembered for one of his previous jobs.
posted by rmd1023 (3 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
My uncle was a welder there for a good part of his life, right up until they shut it down. He developed lung cancer year before last. He was a smoker, but had quit ten years earlier.

His coctor said the combination of being a smoker, being a welder, and working in a shipyard gave him pretty much a 100% chance of chronic respiratory disease of some sort, he was just surprised it had taken this long for something to emerge.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:21 AM on November 5, 2009

Wot no Chads?
posted by adamvasco at 5:23 AM on November 5, 2009

My grandfather was there, building ships just after the Depression and into the war years. I still have an old power drill that is stamped with an F that I think he (ahem) acquired somehow. He left for other work after the war.

There used to be a good bar right outside one of the shipyard gates. I don't know if it's still there, though.

Thanks for the post.
posted by kuujjuarapik at 6:05 AM on November 5, 2009

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