The Early Years

Above: The armored cruiser USS Washington (ACR-16), the first naval warship ordered from New York Ship, seen on the ways in 1905.

Home History The Early Years

The First Ships

Within its first decade of existence, New York Ship established itself as a major shipbuilder of both small and large naval and civilian merchant vessels. Its first battleship, USS Kansas (BB-21) was completed in 1907, while it also quickly established a high reputation for building quality, high speed destroyers, the newest type of naval warship.

The armored cruiser USS Washington (ACR-16), the first naval warship ordered from New York Ship.

By the time America entered the First World War in 1917, New York Ship had grown to become the largest shipyard in the world, with the completion of its middle and southern yards. These additions were necessary to keep up with the ever increasing number of civilian and naval construction orders being placed.

During its early years, New York Ship became known for its construction of the latest type of U.S. navy warship: the destroyer. Here, a row of famous “four piper” or “flush decked” type destroyers are lined up in the outfitting basin.

It was also during the years of WWI that New York Ship began to build nearby communities in order to attract and house its ever expanding work force. Yorkship Village, a self-contained community within the City of Camden and now known as Fairview, was an example of this type of self-contained neighborhood. It received a national award as a “planned unit development” community.

The early years at New York Shipbuilding were busy ones. Here the nearly completed battleships USS Arkansas (BB-33) and USS Utah (BB-31) are seen after launching alongside the destroyer USS Ammen (DD-35) and the large civilian coastal liner Suwantee. Utah would later be sunk by the Japanese at Pearl Harbor in December 1941, along with the battleship USS Oklahoma (BB-37), also built at New York Ship in 1912.