The New York Shipbuilding Corporation was founded in 1899 by industrialist Henry G. Morse. Its name reflects its originally intended location in Staten Island, New York. Land proved to be cheaper in Camden, New Jersey, so Morse constructed the shipyard there on 160 acres on the east side of the Delaware River and retained its originally incorporated name.
From the outset it was decided to break away from the accepted traditions of shipbuilding and construct a yard which employed the most up-to-date machinery and advanced methods of structural steel construction. The keel was laid for its first ship on November 29, 1900.
By the time America entered World War I, NY Shipbuilding had grown to be the largest shipyard in the world.
The company had significant government contracts during both World Wars and built ships for the United States Navy and the Emergency Fleet Corporation. World War I-era ships constructed at the yard included primarily tankers, colliers, and passenger/cargo vessels, many under Emergency Fleet Corporation contracts.
Narrative adapted from The New York Shipbuilding Corporation, 50 Years: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey (1949).
Photos courtesy of:
Black & white photos - 50 Years: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey
Vintage postcards - Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives