Page images
[graphic][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]


It requires six and a half million pounds of material to build a fabricated steel ship of 7,500 deadweight tons capacity, and nearly half a million rivets are needed to hold the parts together.



For merchant vessels equipped with comparatively slow-moving engines, four-bladed propellers are used. The three-bladed propellers are usually used on fast merchant and naval ships. The first screw man-of-war ever built in any country was the U. S. S. Princeton, of 1,000 tons, launched less than 80 years ago.

rush and confusion of the early days, was excessively high. In one great yard early this year 141 men out of every 1,000 employed during one month were injured, the average length of time lost by each injured worker being 17 days. Five months later the percentage of accidents had been reduced nearly two-thirds, and the average number of days lost from work by the injured men did not exceed six.

The chief factor in bringing about this gratifying decrease in casualties has been the safety-first educational propaganda upon which the directors of industrial relations insist. Much of the credit is due, too, to improved hospital facilities, which enable injured men to receive immediate treatment, thus greatly lessening the danger of infection.

Committee on Public Information

The percentage of accidents in the shipyards throughout the country today is

not as high as in the steel mills, but corresponds to the general industrial rate. The Submarine Boat Corporation of Newark, N. J., which ranks second only to Hog Island in size, having 28 shipways, claims a world record for safety, in that it launched four ships without a fatality.



In time of war the word morale comes to have a significance so broad as to embrace all conditions which affect man's social relations and physical surroundings as well as his mental attitude, and the morale of the shipbuilder, like that of every other workman employed in an essential industry, is of as far-reaching importance in achieving ultimate victory as is the stamina of the man who operates a machine-gun or leads a bayonet charge.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

In the expansion of existing shipyards and the establishment of new plants, the Emergency Fleet Corporation was, at the very outset of its activities, brought face to face with a critical menace to the workingman's morale-the problem of where and how he should live. Thousands upon thousands of laborers were needed to construct the shipways, to lay the railway tracks necessary for the economic distribution of material, to erect machine shops, executive quarters, hospitals, restaurants, and commissary depots.

In the majority of cases the shipyards were being built on low-lying waterfronts, sometimes far removed from cities. In every instance there was an influx of population so large as to overtax with distressing results the normal housing facilities of the several communities. Often the question for which shipyard contractors had no answer was not

Committee on Public Information


This operation fills the air with a dust of emery and bronze particles which proves disastrous to the workmen if it is drawn into the lungs. The wearing of dust masks is essential to health.

[blocks in formation]
[graphic][ocr errors][subsumed][subsumed]

Committee on Public Information


The military police are conspicuous in many shipyard pictures nowadays. Every precaution is taken against enemy bomb outrages. A stick of dynamite in a shipbuilding plant is as much to be dreaded as a Whitehead torpedo at sea.

of the hour, the Emergency Fleet Corporation came to the financial aid of the Shipbuilding Company and a complete city of homes was erected.


On a tract of 155 acres adjoining the plant, a model town was conceived with the aid of experts in city planning. Broad thoroughfares were laid out, spaces for parks set aside, and locations for schools, churches, bakeries, restaurants, and for a theater, city hall, and department store were designated.

That was a few months ago. Today a $5,000,000 city of dwellings is nearing completion, not after the higgledy-piggledy fashion in which the Topsy boom towns of the past have "jest growed," but after a well-ordered, scientific plan.

The first impression which the visitor gains of this shipworkers' town of Harriman, with its 5,000 dwellers, is that of architectural comeliness. There are no frail, spindle-shanked three and fourstory frame tenements with windows and doors flush against the outer walls, reminding one of a person without eyebrows; there are no tortuous alleys; no rows of tatterdemalion shacks and leantos surrounded by tumble-down, snaggletooth picket fences; no unkempt areaways; no fire-escapes adorned with all imaginable articles of intimate family wash; no vacant lots strewn with tomato cans or other goat pasturage. In contrast, there are more than a score of attractive stucco, slate-roof homes of six rooms each, 232 group houses of four and five rooms each, 200 three and four room apartments, and 60 brick homes, accommodating more than 500 families. The bachelor quarters include lodging houses, open dormitories, and a small number of neat bungalows, providing for the comfort of 2,300 men.

Every home has electric lights, porcelain bath, and hot-air heat. The apartments and bachelor quarters have porcelain tubs or showers, electric lights, hot water, and steam heat.

A VALUABLE EXPERIMENT IN HOUSING Rents are fairly moderate. The most desirable homes in the community, those which face a wide, curving boulevard and

are surrounded by attractive lawns, may be had at from $36 to $42 a month. Bachelor accommodations range from $1.75 to $3.00 a week, including attendance, the housekeeping being conducted. by three-score orderlies under the direction of four foremen.

The school-house, with its spacious playground, is thoroughly modern in its lighting, ventilation, and sanitary arrangements, a ten-room structure furnished and equipped after the most approved standards.

At present the Y. M. C. A. building is the club-house of the town, and a temporary hall, with a seating capacity of 1,500, is serving as a community assembly room until the theater is built. The community bake-shop is run in conjunction with the cafeteria, where the equipment is ample to supply not only the inhabitants of Harriman, but all the other workers in the shipyard.

There is no municipal government in Harriman, for it is not incorporated. W. F. Smith, who has the title of city manager, is the mayor, council, and board of aldermen-the Pooh Bah of the community and vice-regent for the shipbuilding company and for the financial sponsor of the model city, the Emergency Fleet Corporation.

Harriman promises much, not merely as the fulfillment of an urgent need in time of war, but also as a valuable experiment in community housing. It has its defects, many of them, one being the danger of depriving its dwellers of civic responsibilities, but it is a long step in advance of the makeshift housing methods which obtain in so many industrial centers. It is worthy of close study, and may afford worth-while lessons for those who are to rebuild the devastated villages of Belgium and northern France.

[blocks in formation]
« PreviousContinue »