A Glimpse at Shipbuilding in the Early 20th Century

A Glimpse at Shipbuilding in the Early 20th Century

The boom for shipbuilding occurred in the early part of the 20th century, fueled by the demand for warships and ship repair yards. It was also the only method of intercontinental travel. But the 1920's gave it its steepest decline - with unemployment reaching almost 40% by the end of the decade. It wasn't uncommon for communnites based almost enetirely around shipbuilding to have nearly three-quarters of its entire city in unemployment.

World War II brought with it a revival in shipbuilding, and again with a brief comeback in the 1950's, but by the 1960's the industry had begun to dwindle.

Here are some images from the Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums that give us a small look at the shipbuilding industry (and a look inside a German submarine) from about 1910-1925.


8441844226_ae07b9d138_c
HM floating dock, Medway
Yard no. 867. Inside of dock, looking forward
Date: 1910-1912

8440753773_28e6a3775c_c
Wallsend Slipway: Photograph of the Brass Foundry Department (Core making)
Taken from a photograph album entitled 'War Activities,' Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company Limited’s Collection.
Date: 1914 - 1918

8441845404_bd7867f9c6_c
Wallsend Slipway: Photograph of the Iron Foundry Department (Machine moulding)
Taken from a photograph album entitled 'War Activities,' Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company Ltd. Collection
Date: 1914 - 1918

8441846390_8180b33bdd_c
Wallsend Slipway: Oil burning installations in course of erection
Taken from the The Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company Limited’s Collection
Date: February 1924

8440751493_c3d8901610_c
Wallsend Slipway: Worker operating a turbine blading machine
Taken from the The Wallsend Slipway and Engineering Company Limited’s Collection
Date: December 1916

8441843940_2af4e9a8b9_c
S.S.Franconia. Franconia in dock, bow view.
Yard no's. 857, 877
Taken from the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd, Shipbuilders Collection
Date: 1910-1911

8441846768_1e00b83513_c
German Submarine, UB-110. Photo of Control room looking aft, starboard side
This image shows manhole to periscope wall, valve wheels for flooding and blowing. Hanwheels for periscope gear, air pressure gauges. The UB-110 sunk after attacking a merchant shipping convoy near Hartlepool in July 1918. It was then salvaged and transferred to Swan Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd. Dry Docks (Wallsend), with an order to restore her to fighting state. The order cancelled following Armistice and she was scrapped thereafter.
Taken from the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. Shipbuilders Collection
Date: November 1918

8440749587_305e0ce79a_c
S.S.Franconia. Upper ‘tween' docks looking forward.
Yard no's. 857, 877
Taken from the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. Shipbuilders Collection
Date: 1910-1911

8441845818_6fd9a087d0_c
German Submarine, UB-110. Photograph Looking forward, showing four torpedo tubes
The UB-110 sunk after attacking a merchant shipping convoy near Hartlepool in July 1918. It was then salvaged and transferred to Swan Hunter Wigham Richardson Ltd. Dry Docks (Wallsend), with an order to restore her to fighting state. The order cancelled following Armistice and she was scrapped thereafter.
Date: November 1918

8441842114_86a9683fea_c
S.S. Giulio Cesare. Luxury class suite – two bedded state room
Taken from the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. Shipbuilders Collection
Date: 1920-1921

8440750501_e9b6d85d0e_c
S.S. Franconia. First Class single berth state-room
Yard no's. 857, 877
Taken from the Swan Hunter and Wigham Richardson Ltd. Shipbuilders Collection
Date: 1910-1911

8440748695_4017fcfc41_c
HM floating dock, Medway
Yard no. 867. Outside of port wall showing landing stage, platform and ladders
Date: 1910-1912

8440751769_fe15bf4cd3_c
Postcard of a steam tug called Vigilant coming through the swing bridge in Newcastle.

[Via Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums, Gizmodo, and The BBC]

Posted In: 
Log in or register to post comments

7 Comments

The Photo titled: S.S.Franconia. Franconia in dock, bow view. Is amazing, would look lovely in my hallway! Thanks for posting!

This is outstanding!!! Absolutely fantastic!

Amazing photos! Quite interesting to see

great article, but the typo in the title is killing me.

I have a newpaper cutting dating back to just after the Franconia was launched of my great Aunt organising and taking part in one of the first ever fashion catwalks on the deck of the ship. It's nice to see other pictures of the Franconia in dock.

Lorenzo P's picture

Incredible

Agreed... film has so much feeling to it. These are beautiful.