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Catalog Number WF 1865
Caption Anacortes Shipways ship #900
Description This view of Anacortes Shipways shows the bow and side of ship #900 under construction. Ferd Brady contracted with the Federal Government during WW II to provide photographic documentation of ships built in the Anacortes area for the war effort. In an article published in the 10-30-1952 ANACORTES AMERICAN upon his retirement, Brady reflected on those images taken for the government. "This meant taking monthly pictures of every boat under construction. And it meant that Brady had to hire four girls to keep up with the work."

The 9-17-1942 paper reported that Portland interests had leased the site for Anacortes Shipways from Carl E. Edlund for a period of five years and would "fulfill $3,228,000 contract of building six 274-foot barges of wooden construction. The new venture is Anacortes Shipways, Inc. Nearly 500 men will be employed there." The first keel was laid in November 1942. The 3-11-1943 paper reported that Anacortes Shipways had won an army contract for wooden freight boats for Army Transport Service. This boat-building site had a connection to early Anacortes boat-building history. The 6-24-1943 paper reported that Anacortes Shipways was built on the "exact site used for approximately the same purpose as far back as 1899. During that year Charles H. Trafton was operating a yard here for the building of scows ... In those days power tools were unknown to the small yards and all construction was handled through the use of the adz, broad axe, ship's auger, cross-cut saw and such other hand tools as could be procured. Also, instead of the 700-man crew which the 1943 organization employs, Charles Trafton probably had not more than an even dozen on his payroll." The 1-16-1944 paper reported that Anacortes Shipways launch of its third vessel, and the first freight passenger vessel:F. & P. No. 249. The 3-23-1944 paper reported on the launch of another ship, "the second freight and passenger vessel built for U. S. Army at Anacortes Shipways." A community celebration, sponsored by the Anacortes Chamber of Commerce, marked the launching, and the "success of a twenty month campaign to mobilize an almost forgotten craft in support of the war effort." The art of wooden shipbuilding had died out after WWI supplanted by steel ships, and Anacortes Chamber of Commerce had assisted in the effort to "located the veterans of the wooden-ship day on the Sound, whose know-how, would be vital to the new enterprise" of building wooden ships in Anacortes for WWII. The newspaper noted that the average age of workers was 50 years old. See WF 1858 -1864.
Date 1944, April 18
Photographer from the BRADY, Ferd collection
Collection Wallie Funk Collection
Subjects Place -Anacortes, WA
Industry - Boat Building
Maritime - Boat
Credit line Donated by Wallie Funk, Wallie Funk Collection
Place Anacortes, WA
Search Terms Anacortes Shipways
Boat yard
Anacortes Lumber & Box Co.
wooden boat
Army Transport Service
Anacortes Chamber of Commerce
Object Name Print, Photographic