Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company

Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company records, 1916–1986.
12 boxes, 5 flat file drawers, 1 filing cabinet drawer, and several rolled plans (26 linear feet).
About Sun Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Company

The Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company was incorporated in May 23, 1916 as a tanker-building subsidiary of the Sun Oil Company. Soon after its founding it began building ships for other companies. During World War II, the National Defense Program helped make the Sun shipyard one of the world’s biggest producers of oil tankers. The company launched its final ship in 1980.

About the collection

This collection is scheduled to be arranged and described. Please stay tuned for updated collection information. This is a collection of records of Sun Shipbuilding plans, photographs, and printed materials. Plans for vessels built by Sun Shipbuilding are arranged in hull number order from #1 to 683. Most of the plans are general arrangements, with a small number of plans for other systems, including shell plating, trusses, and propellers. The collection also includes aperture cards of plans for hulls #3-100 (not complete). Most of the photographs and negatives document vessels built by the company (hull #17 to 678), but there are also photographs of executive staff and images of the yard, including several aerial views. Business records of Sun Shipbuilding include: lists and registers of ships; rolled charts of hulls built by Sun from 1931 to 1981 (listing ship name, construction and delivery dates, measurements, owner, engine type, cargo capacity, and other information); launching brochures (1950s-1970s); records related to trial trips, including schedules and personnel lists; typescripts of articles on ship design by Merville Willis (a naval architect for Sun Shipbuilding) on naval design; a small collection of papers of George Blair (an employee of Sun), including an identification card, pay sheets, and photographs; specification books for specific hulls; an Engineer’s Operating Manual for hull 610/611, including system blueprints and text descriptions; course materials on engineering topics including a set of “class notes” on combustion, 1948, and diesel test questions from the 1940s; and magazine and newspaper clippings about Sun (1930s-1981). Materials printed by Sun Shipbuilding include: advertising booklets and brochures on products and services; Our Yard (1945, 1954-1956, 1960-1965); Sun Ship Log, 1978-1979; miscellaneous staff newsletters; and a copy of the 1986 Centennial Celebration: The Story of Sun Company. The collection also includes brochures, booklets, and reports of the United Seaman’s Service and the U.S. Maritime Service (1940s); various other printed materials on shipfitting, rigging, pumps, and engines; and brochures of other shipbuilding and transportation companies.

  • Naval architecture–Designs and plans
  • Shipbuilding–Pennsylvania–Chester
  • Marine engineering–Study and teaching
Types of material
  • Negatives (Photographic)
  • Newsletters
  • Photographs
  • Registers (lists)
  • Ships plans
  • Business records
  • Specifications
  • Clippings
Related collections
  • ISM: John Orner papers
This entry was posted in Large Vessel Builders, Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture, Photo-rich Collections, Plan Collections, Shipbuilding and Shipyards, Tankers and Cargo Vessels. Bookmark the permalink.

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