Pusey and Jones

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The Pusey and Jones Corporation was a major shipbuilder and industrial-equipment manufacturer from 1848 to 1959.

Shipbuilding was the primary focus from 1853 until the end of World War II, when the company converted the shipyard to production of machinery for paper manufacturing. The yard built more than 500 ships, from large cargo vessels to small warships and yachts, including “Volunteer”, the winner of the 1887 America’s Cup.

History[edit]

The company began in 1848, with the partnership between Joshua L. Pusey and John Jones in the operation of a machine shop in space rented from a whaling company, in Wilmington, Delaware.[1] The shipyard was located between the Christina River and the main line of the Pennsylvania Rail Road.

In 1851, Edward Betts and Joshua Seal, who were operating an iron foundry in Wilmington purchased an interest in the business, and the name of the company then became Betts, Pusey, Jones & Seal.[1]

In 1854, Pusey and Jones built the first US iron hulled sailing vessel, the schooner "Mahlon Betts". In 1887, the company built the first steel-hulled yacht to win the America’s Cup, "Volunteer".

At the beginning of the Civil War the company began building war vessels. The first was a sloop of war, which required immediate expansion of the workforce. The company also built engines and boilers for other shipbuilding firms.

During World War I, the firm grew to more than 2,000 employees. A second shipyard was added in Gloucester City, New Jersey, which was initially called Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company but was soon changed to Pusey & Jones. After producing 19 ships, the name was changed to New Jersey Shipbuilding Company. The yard was closed after the war.

After the business slump of the early 1920s, the Company reorganized in 1927 under businessman Clement C. Smith, becoming Pusey and Jones Corporation. The company focused on building large luxury steam and motor yachts for wealthy patrons.

As World War II, approached military orders increased. The highest employment was reached during World War II when more than 3,600 employees worked in the shipyards, plants and offices of the company. Pusey and Jones built 19 Type C1 ships for the U.S. Maritime Commission.

Other craft such as minesweepers were built along with specialty and smaller vessels. Many commercial and private vessels originally built by the company were also converted to military use.

On Liberty Fleet Day — 27 September 1941 — the yard launched one of the first Liberty ships, SS Adabelle Lykes.

After WWII, Pusey and Jones converted the shipyard's facilities for the manufacture of papermaking machinery.

The company closed in 1959.

Notable vessels[edit]

References[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Dixon, Stuart Paul (January 1992). "Chap. 4: "THE PUSEY & JONES CO."". The Wilmington Waterfront Analysis Area Intensive Level Architectural Survey:. City of Wilmington Office of Planning. p. 171. Retrieved September 18, 2013.