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A guide to the L. Christian Norgaard photographs, circa 1954-1995
P95-035 (SAFR 22581)  
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Collection Details
Table of contents What's This?
  • Access
  • Publication and Use Rights
  • Processing Note
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Historical or Biographical Note
  • Collection Scope and Content
  • Collection Arrangement
  • Related Materials

  • Title: L. Christian Norgaard photographs
    Date: circa 1954-1995
    Date (bulk): 1960-1980
    Identifier/Call Number: P95-035 (SAFR 22581)
    Creator: Norgaard, L. Christian
    Physical Description: 2.4 linear ft. Some items available online.
    Repository: San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park, Historic Documents Department
    Building E, Fort Mason
    San Francisco, CA 94123
    Abstract: The L. Christian Norgaard photographs, circa 1954-1995, bulk 1960-1980, (SAFR 22581, P95-035) consists of 15 photograph albums, loose photograph album pages, and loose photographs of vessels that L.C. Norgaard worked on during his career as a naval architect while consulting and while working for Del Monte, Inc. The collection is processed at the file unit level.
    Physical Location: San Francisco Maritime NHP, Historic Documents Department
    Language(s): In English.


    This collection is open for use unless otherwise noted.

    Publication and Use Rights

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the researcher's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections.

    Processing Note

    Most of the photographs in this collection were in albums or binders. These have been disbound for preservation purposes and storage but are still described intellectually as photograph albums. The original order of all album and binder pages has been maintained.
    All of the photographs in this collection were received with the L. Christian Norgaard SAFR-980 accession of manuscripts and objects. Four folders of the photographs were separated from the manuscript collection (HDC 1294) and transferred to the photograph collection. The original arrangement of the photographs is unclear due to lack of documentation. A few of the loose photographs were removed from folders with manuscript materials but it was not noted from which folder they were removed from or which vessel was pictured. Consequently information for these photographs was no longer unavailable during processing and the photographs have been placed into series in this collection where appropriate.
    The descriptions in this collection guide were compiled using the best available sources of information. Such sources include the creator's annotations or descriptions, collection accession files, primary and secondary source material and subject matter experts. While every effort was made to provide accurate information, in the event that you find any errors in this guide please contact the reference staff in order for us to evaulate and make corrections to this guide.
    Please cite the title and collection number in any correspondence with our staff.

    Preferred Citation

    [Item description], [Location within collection organization identified by Collection Number/Series Number/File Unit Number/Item Number], P95-035 (SAFR 22581), L. Christian Norgaard photographs, San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Acquisition Information

    The collection (Accession SAFR-00980) was donated by Loring Christian Norgaard on July 14, 1995, and included manuscript materials, plans and photographs. The photographs were separated out and form this collection (P95-035, SAFR 22581). The manuscript collection has been cataloged as HDC 1294.

    Historical or Biographical Note

    L. Christian Norgaard (1920-2000) was a naval architect and marine engineer. He is perhaps best known for his designs of the replica of Sir Francis Drake's flagship, GOLDEN HINDE, Western Pacific's train ferry LAS PLUMAS and the majority of the Red and White Fleet--the sightseeing boats used in the San Francisco Bay during the fifties, sixties and seventies.
    Naval architect and marine engineer Loring Christian (Chris) Norgaard was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on August 29, 1920. He studied Architecture at the Rhode Island School of Design, and Naval Architecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Chris was a longtime resident of the San Francisco Bay Area and of Sacramento, California.
    Between 1940 and 1947, Norgaard worked at various naval architecture firms in San Francisco, including Joselyn & Ryan and Matson Navigation Co. He was an associate with Pillsbury & Martignoni where he designed small craft. During this period, Norgaard helped design U.S. Navy, U.S. Army, and Maritime Commission auxiliary and small combatant vessels. He also spent one year in the U.S. Navy in the Technical Section, Ship Repair and Construction in San Diego.
    In 1947, L. Christian Norgaard and Thomas Clark, Jr. formed the firm Norgaard and Clark, Inc. to provide design and consulting services to the marine industry and governmental agencies. In 1948 Mr. Clark left for the East Coast and subsequently formed Marine Consultants, Inc. in Hoboken, New Jersey. Mr. Norgaard remained in San Francisco and continued to work as L.C. Norgaard and Associates and as the West Coast affiliate of Marine Consultants, Inc.
    During the years of 1948-1970, Norgaard designed and supervised construction of over 100 vessels, many operating in the San Francisco Bay Area. He designed the Crowley tugs MERIDIAN, FEATHER RIVER, SEA SCOUT, SEA WITCH, and SACRAMENTO. Norgaard designed the cargo vessels MOKUHANA and KOMOKU for Bay and River Navigation Company, and the train ferry LAS PLUMAS for the Western Pacific Railroad, which was christened July 28, 1957. Mr. Norgaard also designed and supervised the building of the tug REDONDO for the Standard Oil Company of California, the San Francisco pilot boat DRAKE, and the Los Angeles pilot boat ANGELS PILOT. He designed the fireboat BETHEL GIFFORD (no. 4) for the City of Los Angeles and also supervised its construction.
    Norgaard also designed and constructed many passenger vessels in the Red and White Fleet for Harbor Tours; the replica of the GOLDEN HINDE, from 1971-1973; and restorations of famous vessels, such as President Roosevelt's yacht POTOMAC. During this time, Norgaard also served as a consultant for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Hawaii (for 5 years) and the California Department of Fish and Game, for whom he designed the patrol boat ALBACORE. He advised corporations like Kaiser Engineers International and Union Oil, consulted in Admiralty Law Cases and for U.S. Coast Guard Rules, and spent two years as Naval Architect for the Mexican Navy consulting on re-powering their destroyer fleet. From 1970 until 1978, Norgaard was Director of Marine Engineering for Del Monte Corporation in San Francisco where he was responsible for design, supervision of construction and setting the standards for maintenance and repair of approximately 300 refrigerated cargo ships and fishing vessels. During this period Norgaard also served as Marine Consultant to the Alaska Packers Association in Bellevue, Washington.
    In 1974, Thomas Clark returned to San Francisco and in 1977 returned to private practice. In 1978, Norgaard and Clark again formed their partnership under the name Norgaard and Clark. Norgaard served as vice president and continued to design harbor service craft, re-power commercial small craft and refit and reconstruct vessels, like the brigantine TAIYO. In addition, Norgaard served as a consultant to various tug companies and various small boatyards on the East and West coasts; did drawings of small craft for the Maritime Museum in San Francisco; and served as an expert witness for law firms.
    Over the course of his career, Norgaard was responsible for numerous maritime engineering innovations, such as the developing and designing the "Kort Nozzle" for U.S. West Coast application. He also authored and compiled a number of technical papers and books, including "Golden Hinde II: a galleon, c1570" (1974). Norgaard was a member of: the American Bureau of Shipping, Committee on Naval Architecture; Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers; and the American Society of Naval Engineers. He died at the age of 79 on February 23, 2000, in Bellingham, Washington, where he had lived for the previous two years. Norgaard was survived by his wife Jean and his two sons, Peter and Gregory.


    • L.C. Norgaard resume, circa 1978
    • "Loring Christian 'Chris' Norgaard Obituary," San Francisco Examiner, 2000 March 4
    • "Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering Consulting Services," by Norgaard and Clark, circa 1978
    • [Written by Marjorie Bryer, SAFR staff, 2007 August. Revised by Amy Croft, SAFR staff, 2011 October.]

    Collection Scope and Content

    The L. Christian Norgaard photographs, circa 1954-1995, bulk 1960-1980, (SAFR 22581, P95-035) consists of 15 photograph albums, loose photograph album pages, and loose photographs of vessels that L.C. Norgaard worked on during his career as a naval architect while consulting and while working for Del Monte, Inc. The collection is processed at the file unit level.
    The collection is primarily comprised of photographs of cargo vessels, passenger vessels, public vessels, fishing vessels and tugs that Norgaard worked on during his career during the 1950s-1970s. Most of the photographs show exterior and interior views of the vessels. There is a small amount of photographs showing people on board the vessels or at work on the docks. There are photographs of L.C. Norgaard, some where he is aboard vessels. Most of the photographs were taken in waters near the Pacific Coast, primarily in California, Washington, and Alaska.
    The collection also includes photographs of a trip to Alaska in 1972, an Alaskan cruise that Norgaard and his wife took in 1974, a San Francisco Bay cruise in the 1980s, two albums of photographic and picture postcards of vessels of varying types, some photographs of actors in the Artist's Repertory Company, vessels (some unidentified) where it is unclear whether Norgaard's involvement with them was personal or professional, and other photographs.

    Collection Arrangement

    The collection is organized into 3 series: Series 1. Consulting work; Series 2. Del Monte Corporation and Alaska Packers Association; Series 3. Personal and other photographs.

    Related Materials

    Loring Christian Norgaard collection (HDC 1294, SAFR 980)
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    Stone Boat Yard records and marine architectural drawings (HDC 1288, SAFR 01946) contain (34) sheets, "San Francisco Fire Department, Reconstruction of Fireboat Phoenix." Norgaard & Clark, 1983
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park
    Donald V. Reardon ships plans collection (HDC 1479, SAFR 21335) contains plans from L.C. Norgaard & Assoc. (San Francisco CA.)
    • This material is located at San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Naval architects--United States
    Naval architecture
    Fishing industry--Northwest, Pacific
    Mokuhana (built 1953; freighter)
    Komoku (built 1967; cargo ship)
    Eagle (built 1966; motorboat)
    Enterprise (motorboat)
    Delores M. (fishing vessel)
    Sacramento (tugboat)
    rgaard, Loring Christian
    aska Packers Association
    Del Monte Corporation
    L.C. Norgaard and Associates
    Washington (State)
    Photograph albums
    Black-and-white prints
    Color prints (photographs)
    Naval architects