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1983.017, Richmond Shipyard--Workers--General
Scope and Content Note
Arrival and/or departure of workers
Workers performing various jobs
John Hallett giving presentation to various workers
Workers (general photos)
Launching Committee of S.S. Geo. Washington Carver
Supervisory and Management personnel
Numbers not used
82 No image
83 No image
84 No image
85 No image
Mr. C. P. Bedford, Vice-President and General Manager
Harmonettes; Richmond singing group
Commendations to employees
Welders. June 28, 1943-November 27, 1944
Unidentified workers. September 9-25, 1943
Shipfitters. June 6, 1945
Unidentified workers, no date or yard
Workers in Pre-fab Dept. September 9-18, 1943
Labor management. September 16, 1943
Chain and steel cable makers
Unidentified yard personnel. October 12, 1944
Welders. October 17, 1944
Riggers on deck. February 28, 1945
Unidentified yard workers. May 31, 1945
Unidentified yard workers. June 2, 1945
Ed Hanney. September 27, 1941
M. Nicholls and J. Friedman. September 27, 1941
Contribution to Red Cross
Yard and shipworkers. April 16, 1942
"Fare Thee Well", workers after launching. November 12, 1942
Welfare. November 27, 1942
Workers and equipment. February 16, 1943
Yard 1 workers. February 19, 1943
Bob Boles. February 19, 1943
Yard workers. June 14, 1944
Thomas H. Hunt (Naval Offices?). June 16, 1944
Fire protection personnel. January 31, 1945
Fireman. May 10, 1945
Plant protection personnel. December 28, 1945-January, 1946
Plant Police. July 2, 1946
Invoice and audit group, yard 2. May 14, 1946
Fire protection personnel. June 20, 1946
Net lenders Warehouse. April 17, 1946
First Aid Station (personnel and patients). April 9, 1946
Ordinance Department. March 25, 1946
Preston. May 28, 1946
Christmas tree. May 23, 1946
Public Voucher Department. January 17, 1946
Margarite Dutscher. January 17, 1946
Eusin Ford. January 17, 1946
Phil Southkeep. January 10, 1946
Warehouse, A Group. January 10, 1946
Merin Micke. January 31, 1946
B.E. Wood. January 31, 1946
June Krumm. January 31, 1946
Richard Peterson. February 6, 1946
Mike Cerini. February 6, 1946
Vault Custodian Group. February 6, 1946
Merit Award. February 13, 1946
Unidentified shipyard workers. February 28, 1946
Bill Stone, J. Stubbleford (?), McCuan, Quinn. February 28, 1946
Jack McCuan. February 28, 1946
Kato Brothers, net makers. March 21, 1946
Graham, Zack, and Thornson. March 21, 1946
Unidentified warehousemen. March 26, 1946
Al B. Capron. March 26, 1946
Unidentified yard maintenance workers
Jim Wishart. April 3, 1946
Victory yard workers. May 8, 1946
Workers on Aultman. May 8, 1946
Catherine Doone. May 23, 1946
Myrtle Pollard. May 23, 1946
Workers yard 2. May 28, 1946
Peter Mapes. July 19, 1946
Bret Holmes. July 19, 1946
Pile drivers. April 1-3, 1941
Plant Protection, all yards
Surveyors. April 3, 1941
Yard workers. March 15, 1945
Yard workers. March 5, 1942
Dockmen and storage riggers. January 3, 1946
Deep sea diver
Workmen arriving at (or departing from) yards
Workers at Pre-fab facility
Workers at unspecified area
1983.018, Richmond Shipyard--Workers--Women
Scope and Content Note
Women employees performing various jobs
Kaiser Co. Inc. Women's Basketball team. January 25, 1946
Burners. February 4 and February 19, 1943
Welders. April 19, 1944
Firefighters. August 8, 1945
Unidentified personnel. March 11, 1943
Tool control personnel. March 11, 1943
1983.019, Richmond Shipyard--Workers--Housing
Scope and Content Note
Living Conditions Prior to Shipyard Housing, no. 1-86
2 [Explanatory text, no photograph]
3 A shipyard worker and his wife were asleep in their car at the time this picture was taken. The flashlight woke them. "Did we intend to sleep in our car when we came here? Hell no!" the workman exclaimed, bitterly. "But what else can we do? Our tires are too thin to drive 25 miles each day." Richmond police periodically "relieve congestion and promote sanitary living conditions" by asking these people to move somewhere else - usually just beyond the city limits, but there are always new settlers for this eucalyptus grove not far from the Richmond Shipyards. "I've seen 50 workmen sleeping in their cars there," one man said.
4 Long padlocked, untenanted, abandoned to termites and decay, this dump becomes a shipyard worker's hotel again with virtually nothing new except a sign. Each small, dreary room is the residence of several shipyard workers or their families. "Single rooms" are almost unobtainable at any price; landlords will not rent them.
6 A handful of vacant buildings - mostly in ruins as this one was, remain available in Richmond (population 20,000 before the Yards were built; at year's end the Yards will employ 85,000.) These long-condemned and long-unoccupied structures are being made into habitable dormitories. At best, when all are so rebuilt, they will sleep only a few hundred more men, will accomodate [sic] no families.
This group of buildings is bounded on one side by the city dump, on another by a tidewater swamp. The swamp smells at low tide; burning refuse in the dump smells always. On a third side of this site is a particularly odorous hog farm, where hundreds of pigs are fattened on garbage and swill. Never-the-less, the group of shacks provide homes for four shipyard workers' families. "Very temporarily," they say.
23 More than 50 trailer camps are utilized by present employees of the Richmond Shipyards. More are being established. All are crowded; all charge high rates for parking privileges. This is one of the worst. A farm family has turned its barnyard into a trailer camp. At $3.50 per week from each trailer site, revenue from both sides of the barn is approaching $1500 a month. At present, when the barnyard is dry, conditions are bad enough. When rains begin this whole camp will be a stinking quagmire. One water faucet serves scores of families; there are no sewers; waste water is dumped everywhere. Four outdoor privies, all very dirty, serve this camp. Several people live in the barn. On subsequent pages appear more details.
24 Two months ago there were no trailers in this camp. The total now exceeds 100. Parking space is $4.50 per week with the owner prepared to park additional rows of trailers in the foreground. This is one of the "better" camps. It is five or six miles from the Richmond Shipyards, but nearer ones are filled.
Additional views of barnyard trailer camp described on previous pages. Each day more trailers arrive. Outdoor privies, no sewers, no bathing facilities. In winter, this old barnyard will become very muddy.
Scores of children live in this barnyard trailer camp which will soon become a sea of mud. Although flies are bad, these places are habitable in the summer because for four months no rain falls in the San Francisco Bay area. Schools are several miles away.
Typical privies - scores of them have been hurriedly erected - that serve Richmond Shipyard workers. Other families, living within a block or two of brush-lined Richmond "creeks" that are dry at this time of year, use the gravelled creek beds as latrines. After heavy rains, these lowlands overflow.
35 Most of the hundred-odd ladies for whom this toilet room is reserved - it's the only one available in a shipyard worker's auto camp - are counting the days until their husbands have made and saved enough money to enable them to quit the Richmond Shipyards and find jobs elsewhere, "even at smaller wages, but where living conditions are at least bearable."
36 "Gents fare no better than their ladies, whose sister-structure is illustrated on a previous page. This privy serves 100 men and boys. It has no roof. It swarms with flies. Heavy autumn rains begin in a month from the time this picture was taken. The men who are forced to use such accomodations [sic] have known good homes, to which most are eager to return. Some of the 10,059 shipyard workers who quit the Richmond yards in the last month did so because they could not stand to live and raise their children here.
38 About 25 people, their men folk shipyard workers, live in shacks and tents in this waterfront eucalyptus grove several miles from the yards. "We haul every drop of water a couple of miles...." "A baby got sick in that tent yonder. It died. Its father quit his shipyard job and went home." "What'll we do when wet weather comes? Cars can't drive in here then."
40 About 25 people, their men folk shipyard workers, live in shacks and tents in this waterfront eucalyptus grove several miles from the yards. "We haul every drop of water a couple of miles...." "A baby got sick in that tent yonder. It died. Its father quit his shipyard job and went home." "What'll we do when wet weather comes? Cars can't drive in here then."
41 This woman, a refined and rather lovely grey-haired woman of two children and wife of a shipyard man, carries water for washing, has to dump waste water on the ground, because there are no sewers, uses a dirty outdoor privy kept that way by others - less fastidious. "We bathe in the washtub," she says. This family plans to stick it out, "because whenever we get to feeling sorry for ourselves, we think of what the soldiers are up against." But this viewpoint isn't too common.
44 Waste disposal facilities near Richmond Shipyards take the form of outdoor privies like that in the background, and open cesspools like this into which waste water is piped or dumped. With the coming of rainy weather and frequent cloudbursts, both will often overflow in this low, flat region. There is danger of typhoid.
45 This outmoded bus has become a home for a family of six. Two children have been sleeping in the luggage compartment visible on the roof. (See interior view on facing page.) Since they could not rent a house, the father is building one (framework at right shingles in foreground.) "I get one day a week for it."
47 "I earned $40 a week in the West," says this man, "and there we had a good house. I'm earning $60 a week here, but what good is it? Money's not good at all. I can't even buy a decent tent. There aren't any for sale. This is still fun while the weather is dry, but if we don't get a house or an apartment before it starts to rain, we'll just have to go back home. A welder can get work anywhere now."
48 This is one room of a "two room apartment" occupied by a Richmond Shipyard worker's family of five. Rent is $40. "We're from Idaho," they say, "and there we rented a whole house for $10. There were good schools, too, and something to do of an evening. None of that here. For the children's sake we expect to return in time for school - this is too much."
49 Both these excellent, intelligent workmen are employed in Richmond shipyards. "We brought our tent so's we could camp out on the way here; we didn't figure to have to live in it," they said. Between them, the men earn $100 weekly. "That's good money, but if we quit and go back home," the woman said, "it's only because of the kids. How can they keep clean in a place like this? Mister, when'll those houses be done?"
52 "We always had a good house to live in, until now," said the neat housewife who lives in this old school bus with her children and her shipyard-worker husband. "Maybe we could get by with it awhile if we could find a nice place to park it, but I wish I had a house - any kind of house."
Both these families are now forced to live and eat and sleep in and under the "covered wagon" truck at the right, because the other truck is used as a "pest house" for two members of the family who are ill. "Our friends back home write and ask us about jobs in the shipyards," they say. "We write back and tell em wages are high, but we wouldn't have come if we'd known we couldn't find houses to live in."
56 There are several $40-per-month "apartments" in this building, to which this is the street entrance. All the apartments are occupied by shipyard worker's families. The men like their jobs, but all plan to get others. "There's one dirty, unheated outdoor bathroom, and one sink out back for all of us," they said.
57 A corner of the barn shown in the previous photograph. It required thirty minutes' argument with the people who live here to obtain permission to take a picture. They said "We've never lived this way before; we aren't going to continue to live this way long; we're very much ashamed of having to sleep in this dirty old barn - and we don't want any pictures taken. Suppose our friends should see them?" They would not pose. The figure providing perspective is Labor-Management's representative. For other shots of this camp, see subsequent pages.
58 "I consider myself lucky," says this Richmond Shipyards worker, "because I found this months ago, when you could still get single rooms." He pays $16 a month, uses his only chair for a dresser top, usually sits on the stairs to read the paper. "When I get me a good stake, I'm going back to Denver - unless they get some house built." Note the alarm clock, the broken window.
59 This trailer, hastily built of junk, is home to three Richmond Shipyard workers, one of whom sleeps in the lean-to at the left. "We couldn't rent a place," they said. "We're trying to build, but we can't get material." One water faucet, a block away, serves 17 such "homes." Privies are built of old boxes. There are no baths.
60 Four people - all shipyard workers - live in the two room house before which the woman and girl are standing. They share with eight families in adjoining buildings the single outdoor sink in front of the single bathroom and single privy visible in upper left. Rent for this "house" is $40 a month. Because Richmond Shipyards were in operation so long before the effective date at which rents were frozen, ceilings had little effect; rents were already atrocious in this area.
63 New employees may often be found asleep in a ruined building a mile or so from the Yards. Said the man in the foreground, "I'm a Texan. I got a construction job right away when I came here. I couldn't find me a room, so I slept in my jalopy at first. Then I found this place, so I sold my car for $7.50 because the tires were shot. I used that money to eat on, and sent my first check home to my babies. At night I just bummed around town - what else can you do? One night I had a little argument, hurt my hand. I didn't go back to work, figuring my hand would be better in a few days. But it isn't." When the Labor-Management Committee's investigator saw the hand, he drove the man to the Richmond Shipyards Field Hospital, where the doctors said, "You brought this man in just in time. A few days longer, and he'd have lost his hand." Lack of cleanliness, lack of hot water in proper living quarters nearly cost one able-bodied defense worker.
Scores of albums like this one could be filled with pictures of workmen who have had to sleep in their cars because there are no rooms near enough to be reached on their thin tires. These men are wearing Richmond Shipyards badges.
66 "The car windows aren't broke," said this machinists wife. "We had to put up something to keep the sun out of Daddy's eyes. He works nights and sleeps in the car days. The children and I sleep in it nights. I wish we were home again. War or no war, if I'd known there'd be no place in Richmond we could live, I just wouldn't have come. You can live like this only so long, then you can't stand it any more."
67 Scrap lumber, strawboard cartons, old roofing, used plywood, etc., are the only building materials available to many people who obtain good shipyard jobs, but cannot rent homes, apartments, or even rooms. They build shacks like this, from lumber shown in the pile. Ground rental runs $10 a month for such homes.
These men are not bums; they are skilled workers helping to build ships. Several hundred of them sleep outdoors for lack of rooms. These pictures were taken in August, when it never rains. "We deliberately choose to work the graveyard shift," they explain. "We get off at eight in the morning, have breakfast. By then it's warm enough to sleep most anywhere there's grass. Along toward evening we get up, shave in a filling station, and bum around town - in the bars, mostly; where else is there? - until time to go to work at midnight again."
72 This old, windowless brick storeroom has been converted - with wood floor, skylight, toilet, shower, plenty of paint - by an enterprising man into a 14-room dormitory. Every bed was occupied long before the place was complete. The man, unique in Richmond, is being assisted by the Richmond Shipyards to convert the few other such buildings that are available into sleeping quarters. But at best, they will accomodate [sic] only a few hundred men.
Shipyard Housing Projects, no. 81-102
Condemned improved property, October 1942. United States Maritime Commission Housing Project, Richmond, California [copy prints]
[Street and house views]
Schools, no. 103-108
Federally built school
USMC Nursery School
Housing Projects, no. 109-127
United States Maritime Commission Housing Project, Richmond
Richmond [housing tracts]
United States Maritime Commission Housing Project, Richmond, March 1943
United States Maritime Commission Housing Project, Richmond, March 1943
1983.027, The Building of the Robert E. Peary
Scope and Content Note
Construction of the Prefab Ship Robert E. Peary, no. 1-28
Construction of the prefab ship Robert E. Peary
Miscellaneous Photos (Construction, Launching, Sea Trials), no. 29-33
Miscellaneous photos (construction, launching, sea trials)
Proposed Erection Sequences, no. 34-49
Proposed erection sequences