Philadelphia Naval Shipyard
The oldest shipyard in the United States, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard has a long history of building and repairing some of the nation’s greatest ships. Philadelphia, a center for Colonial politics, was thought to be the perfect location for a shipyard and, in succeeding years as the city grew, the Philadelphia Navy Yard was expanded greatly.
Right before the Civil War, many additions were made (though records indicate the base was inadequate during the war) and at the turn of the century, this shipyard became a major repair facility rather than a shipbuilding facility, though it was involved in some construction.
During World War I, the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard became much more than a ship repair facility. The military added barracks, a chemical laboratory, a POW camp for German ship crews, and the Naval Aircraft Factory.
This shipyard saw its busiest period from 1937 to 1941, when its more than 45,000 employees built 53 ships and repaired nearly 600. It’s most famous ships were the carriers Princeton, Antietam, and Valley Forge; the battleships New Jersey and Wisconsin; and the destroyers Butler and Gherardi. All were built with great speed.
After World War II, repair and overhaul once again became the focus of employees here, and in the 1980s, workers were largely responsible for rebuilding outdated aircraft carriers as part of the military’s Service Life Extension Program. The base closed in 1996 and is now owned and operated by the Kvaerner Corporation, the largest shipbuilder in Europe.
Deteriorated asbestos products, like gaskets, floor coverings, cements, pipe coverings, adhesive, and so many more, presented great danger to those who felt free to sand, hammer, or otherwise manipulate the materials, causing asbestos fibers to fill the air. Those exposed employees at the Philadelphia Navy Yard may have included Boiler Technicians, Construction Mechanics, Damage Controlmen, Electronics Technicians, Enginemen, Fire Control Technicians, and many others.
Our Mesothelioma Information Kit will assist you in learning more about the Philadelphia Navy Yard and other work sites that may have contributed to the development of Mesothelioma. To learn more about the disease and the rights of exposed individuals, send for your free information today.
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