Todd Shipyards Corporation, the Los Angeles Division Collection

Finding aid created by Los Angeles Maritime Museum staff using RecordEXPRESS
Los Angeles Maritime Museum
Berth 84 Foot of Sixth Street
San Pedro, California 90731
(310) 548-7618

Descriptive Summary

Title: Todd Shipyards Corporation, the Los Angeles Division Collection
Dates: 1917-1989 (bulk 1976 - 1989)
Collection Number: Collection # 69
Creator/Collector: Todd Shipyards Corporation
Extent: 9.5 cu. feet: 10 boxes. 85 engineering drawings, average size 25x35 inches.
Repository: Los Angeles Maritime Museum
San Pedro, California 90731
Abstract: Todd Shipyards Corporation, the Los Angeles Division Collection consists of photographs, engineering drawings, photographic slides and negatives, and papers related to the company and its involvement in shipbuilding. The bulk of photographs are of specific ships and Navy vessels that Todd repaired or built in the port of Los Angeles.
Language of Material: English


Prior arrangement with the Library for all materials.

Preferred Citation

Todd Shipyards Corporation, the Los Angeles Division Collection . Los Angeles Maritime Museum

Biography/Administrative History

In 1917 the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp began business on Smith Island in San Pedro. Decades later in 1930, the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp. went into receivership. The Todd Shipyards Corporation took over active management of the facilities on December 7th, 1943, by direction of the U.S. Government. On January 6th, 1946 Todd Shipyards purchased the facilities owned by the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp. During, and subsequent to the war, Todd rebuilt the facilities into a modern efficient yard. The U.S. Navy installed an 18,000 ton dry dock, and with a new look the yard had taken on the business of ship-repair and conversion work in the post war period. In 1958 Todd re-entered the shipbuilding business by modernizing its plant with expenditure in excess of two million dollars. Over the years the Los Angeles Division continued repairing, constructing, and converting ships. In 1983, Todd Pacific Shipyards, the Los Angeles Division employed more than 5600 workers and was enlisted on a multibillion-dollar Navy program to build 18 frigates. Despite the success the Los Angeles division eventually closed in 1990 due to the inability to secure new Navy construction contracts. In the 1990s Todd Shipyard Corporation continued work at its other divisions in the Northwest. In 2011, Todd was bought by Vigor Industrial, where it continues the shipbuilding business.

Scope and Content of Collection

The collection contains photographs, engineering drawings, and papers acquired from the Todd Shipyards Corporation, Los Angeles Division. The bulk of the collection is of photographs taken of ships and shipbuilding. There are also photographs of Todd employees and departments, facilities and grounds, and damage and repairs made on ships and grounds. There are papers related to the company’s photography business transactions such as correspondence, invoices, and photographer contracts. The collection also has 80 engineering drawings and plans dating back to 1917 when the Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corp was still operating. The majority of folders employ a numerical filing system and identification number that are closely related to the date the photograph was taken or processed. The slides also have an identification numbering system and are grouped together according to their numbers.

Indexing Terms

Shipbuilding-Equipment and supplies
Todd Shipyards Corporation
Los Angeles Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Corporation
Terminal Island, California
Terminal Island (Port of Los Angeles), California

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