This ca. 1960s photograph offers a peek into the Bethlehem Steel Company's model ship room in the company's corporate offices in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
The exhibit featured ninety-eight models of ships built during the mid-1950s by the Bethlehem Steel Shipbuilding division in Quincy, Massachusetts in the mid-1950s, as well as a model of and replicas of the deck and railings of the company's famed luxury ocean liner, the SS Independence. The exhibit was backed by murals of the company's shipyard at Quincy.
This item is part of Hagley Library's collection of Bethlehem Steel Corporation and Bethlehem Ship Corporation photographs (Accession 1980.300). At the turn of the century, under the direction of Charles M. Schwab (1862-1939) and Eugene Grace (1876-1960), Bethlehem Steel Corporation became the second largest American steel company, in part through acquisitions of smaller steel producers and related industries.
in 1905, the company acquired the Union Iron Works, a San Francisco shipyard. In 1917, the Union Iron Works was incorporated as Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corporation, Limited and its headquarters were relocated to Quincy, to a site that Bethlehem Steel had acquired through the purchase of the Fore River Shipyard in 1913.
By 1940, Bethlehem Shipbuilding was operating out of four shipyards in Quincy (Fore River), Maryland (Sparrows Point), San Francisco, and Staten Island. and was, along with the Newport News Shipbuilding & Drydock company and the New York Shipbuilding Corporation (New York Ship), one of the "Big Three" U.S. shipbuilders capable of building any kind of ship on the market.
This collection includes a wide range of photography which documents the company’s long history and the breadth of its enterprises from east to west coasts and overseas. It contains eighteenth, nineteenth, and twentieth century industrial and non-industrial images and of management and workers. To view a selection of digitized material from this collection, as well as other collections at Hagley related to the Bethlehem Steel Company, click here.