William Cramp & SonsShipbuilding Company (also known as William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company) of Philadelphia was founded in 1830 by William Cramp, and was the preeminent U.S. iron shipbuilder of the late 19th century. In 1890 the company built the battleships USS Indiana and USS Massachusetts, armored cruiser USS New York, and protected cruiser USS Columbia. Three of these ships took a part in the battle with the Spanish fleet in 1898 at Santiago de Cuba. The victory in this battle heralded America's emergence as a great power.The American Shipping and Commercial Corporation bought the yard in 1919 but closed it in 1927 as fewer ships were ordered by the U.S. Navy after passage of the Naval Limitations Treaty in 1923.
In 1940, the Navy spent $22 million to reopen the yard as Cramp Shipbuilding to build cruisers and submarines. Cramp used the long slipways to construct two submarines at a time, with the intention of launching them simultaneously. However, the shipyard's submarine construction program was not especially successful, as poor management hindered the delivery of the boats. The first delivery was made two years after keel laying, and fitting out was then done by Portsmouth Navy Yard. The best construction time for a submarine was 644 days.
William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
William Cramp, patriarch of the firm
1899 advertisement for William Cramp & Sons
SS Valencia, a small ocean liner built for the Red D Line in 1882. She was wrecked on the coastline of Vancouver Island, on January 22, 1906, killing around 116 people.Valencia's loss is considered one of the worst shipwrecks in the region known as the Graveyard of the Pacific.
SS Malolo, an American ocean liner and cruise ship built in 1927 for the Matson Line in its Pacific/Hawaiian services and the largest passenger ship built in the United States up to that time at 17,226 registered tones (only the German-built SS Leviathan of the United States Lines was larger in the 1920s). The Matson ship was scrapped in 1977 in Greece after being sold in the meantime.
SS St. Louis (1894) and SS St. Paul (1895)—the first major ocean liners built in the United States after the collapse of the Collins Line in the 1850s. On 15 November 1899, St. Paul, en route from New York to England with Guglielmo Marconi on board supervising the ship's new wireless telegraph equipment, became the first liner to report her imminent arrival by radio.
On 8 December 1942, the keel to the Cleveland-classlight cruiser designated CL-91, was laid down by the Cramp Shipbuilding Company. On 22 April 1943, Oklahomans were outraged, having just learned that the Japanese had executed the captured American pilots from Jimmy Doolittle's bombing raid over Tokyo. That same day, booths were set up in Oklahoma City with the a goal to sell $40 million in War Bonds to fund the construction of a cruiser. That goal was topped by $5 million when the booths closed that night. CL-91 then became the USS Oklahoma City.
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