Hagley Library will be closed on Monday, September 8 for Labor Day. We're also posting this March 3, 1941 photograph in observance of the holiday; it shows A. G. Spiegelhalter, President and General Manager of the Pusey & Jones Corporation, signing a labor agreement with the Congress of Industrial Organizations labor union.
Pusey & Jones Corporation built ships and machines in Wilmington, Delaware, beginning in the mid-19th century. In its initial operations, the firm produced general machinery and steam engines and did a variety of repair work. The company established a marine department in 1853 which engaged in shipbuilding.
In 1867 a paper machinery department was created that made agitators, beaters, calendars, dryers, and an array of machines for the paper industry. Meanwhile the general machinery department continued its production of industrial presses, boilers, pumps, and various heavy machinery for a variety of customers.
By 1891 the company had expanded, according to "Delaware's Industries: An Historical and Industrial Review," to a plant of over eight acres and ten buildings (boiler, smith and machine shops, a pattern house, storage houses) and a workforce of 900 employees.
Shipbuilding, however, was the largest part of Pusey & Jones's business. The company was widely known in the area of pleasure craft and built these notable yachts: Cambriona, Nakhoda, Onika, Rene, Savarona, among others. In the last robust years of the company during World War Two, Pusey & Jones was engaged in building 19 cargo ships for the U.S. Maritime Commission and hopper dredges for the U.S. Engineer Department. Pusey and Jones built almost five hundred ships in its company lifespan.
Our Digital Archive offers a selection of more than 2,100 of the approximately 6,700 images from the Pusey and Jones Corporation photograph collection (Accession 1972.350). Click here to view it online now.