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The Philadelphia Navy Shipyard
The Philadelphia Navy Shipyard
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - 1800 - 1850's
The Birth Place
of the
USS QUAKER CITY
That carried
Mark Twain
to the HOLY LAND.

The Ship Yard was created on the site of
"Association Battery",
the first fortification on the Delaware River
built to defend Philadelphia in 1748.

The battery fell into decay after the war,
and the site was repurposed
for the shipyard in 1794.

HIDDENCITY-PHILADELPHIA

In 1800, the federal government commissioned Master shipbuilder JOSHUA HUMPHREYS to purchase a site along
the Delaware River to be used as a building yard and dock for the U.S. Navy. The tract at the foot of Federal Street,
just south of Prime Street (Washington Avenue), was the first location of the Philadelphia Navy Yard,
the first naval shipyard of the United States, and the foremost building and outfitting plant of the
U.S. Navy Department for 75 years.
An irregular rectangle in shape, it was enclosed by a high brick wall.
Major buildings included barracks, a mould loft, machine shops, and two, towering, gable-roofed ship houses
that were the most eye-catching structures on Philadelphia's riverfront for decades.

The original Philadelphia Navy Yard, appeared on Samuel Smedley's 1862 Philadelphia Atlas.
Today, Columbus Boulevard passes north-south (up-down) through the center of the former yard.
This webmaster has copied the details of that Atlas drawing, displaying it as footprint on a 2018 Google Map.


By the 1850s, the Philadelphia Navy Yard had grown to 18 acres, yet it was still cramped.
The yard became even more packed with the special fabrication shops and equipment needed to
put together vessels made of iron. The yard needed to expand.
But surrounding development in Southwark precluded this.
Even more damning was the fact that the success of ironclad warships rendered wooden warships-
the yard's specialty-instantly obsolete.

In 1876, the U.S. Navy moved their yard to open space at the confluence of
the Delaware and Schuylkill Rivers in South Philadelphia.
The Navy's former shipbuilding facility became a freight station complex for the Pennsylvania Railroad, complete with an immigration station at Pier 53 (now Washington Avenue Pier).
At League Island, a sprawling new shipyard was laid out, and the Philadelphia Navy Yard
entered its second glorious phase of American history.
by Author Harry Kyriakodis

KEY MAP
< - -Birth place of
 
USS Quaker City
          in "1854"
ONE HUNDRED YEARS LATER -
 A ship was build just a half mile south,
 in New Jersey;
at the New York  SHIPBUILDING COMPANY.

The author of this website
is a plank member of a that ship.

THE USS KAWISHIWI AO-146

The GRAY Dot
above "D" in
Word "UNITED"
 is where
Associated Battery
was.

This drawing shows the many vessels that were constructed at the site and the buildings in which they were built. Due to the activity of the yard during the Civil War, soldiers and cannons, seen in the foreground of the drawing, were at the ready. Although the Navy Yard saw increased production levels during the late nineteenth-century, its outdated facilities created manufacturing problems.
PHILADELPHIA HISTORIAL COMMISSION - SOUTH PLANNING DISTRICT
Drawing shows many people from Philadelphia ice skating on the Delaware River,
possibly  near the Philadelphia Navy Yard, "during the severe winter of 1856."
Contributor: Queen, James Fuller on grey blue wove paper : graphite and crayon, color ;
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS
Harper's illustration of the Philadelphia Navy Yard sectional dry dock, 1853
This report is REALLY - INTERESTING.
WATERFRONT ARCHEOLOGY REPORT