William Cramp & Sons

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Not to be confused with Cramp & Co., builder of schools in Philadelphia.
William Cramp, patriarch of the firm

William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding 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. The American Ship & Commerce 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.[1] 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.[2]

Cramp closed in 1947 and the site, on the Delaware River in Philadelphia's Port Richmond neighborhood, became an industrial park.

William Cramp & Sons Ship & Engine Building Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Notable projects[edit]

1899 advertisement for William Cramp & Sons

Works of the firm that are listed on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places include:

See also[edit]

Coordinates: 39°58′19.34″N 75°7′4.13″W / 39.9720389°N 75.1178139°W / 39.9720389; -75.1178139


  1. ^ Stefan Terzibaschitsch, Submarines of the US Navy, Arms and Armour Press, 1991. p.70, 71
  2. ^ Terzibaschitsch, p.70, 71
  3. ^ Preble, George H. (1895). "A Chronological History of the Origin and Development of Steam Navigation". Reprinted. L.R. Hamersly & Company. p. 398. Retrieved 9 September 2013. 
  4. ^ Belyk, Robert C. Great Shipwrecks of the Pacific Coast. New York: Wiley, 2001. ISBN 0-471-38420-8
  5. ^ Paterson, T. W. (1967). British Columbia Shipwrecks. Langley, BC: Stagecoach Publishing. pp. 72–76. Archived from the original on 2006-09-05. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  6. ^ Scott, R. Bruce; A.G. Brown. "The History of the Sinking of the Valencia". Breakers Ahead. Archived from the original on October 8, 2007. Retrieved 2006-08-26. 
  7. ^ "William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilders". Shipbuilding History. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  8. ^ "Some Notable Early Cruise Ships from Miami". Original. GetCruising.com. Retrieved 8 October 2013. 
  9. ^ a b c d Staff (2009-03-13). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 
  • "Cramp & Sons". Builders. Destroyer History Foundation. 2007. Retrieved 2007-11-05.