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American Car and Foundry Company World War II era photographs

1943-1944
 Collection
Identifier: 1993-257

Abstract

American Car and Foundry Company is a manufacturer of railroad rolling stock and railcar parts, founded in 1899. In 1901, the company began leasing the facilities of a railroad rolling stock and shipbuilding manufacturer the Jackson and Sharp Company. From the end of World War One to 1938, the plant built small pleasure boats. These photographs document different activities at the American Car and Foundry Company Jackson and Sharp Plant shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware, during World War II. There are several photos taken on the occasion of the presentation of the Army-Navy "E" award in 1942.

Dates

  • 1943-1944

Creator

Extent

16 item(s)

General Physical Description

15 photographic prints : b&w ; 8 x 10 in. or smaller. 1 item (medal).

Historical Note

American Car and Foundry Company is a manufacturer of railroad rolling stock and railcar parts, founded in 1899 as the result of a merger among thirteen railroad carbuilding companies, including St. Charles Car Manufacturing Company. In the company's early years, American Car and Foundry Company constructed its railcars from wood. Additionally, the company engaged in architectural millwork for buildings. The patterned woodwork components would be fabricated by milling at the plant and then installed.

In 1901, American Car and Foundry Company began leasing the facilities of railroad rolling stock and shipbuilding manufacturer the Jackson and Sharp Company. The plant was located on the Brandwine River in Wilmington, Delaware. In 1911, American Car and Foundry Company purchased the plant. While the main products were railroad rolling stock, they continued to produced watercraft out of both wood and steel.

By 1904 the first all-steel passenger car ever ordered from a car builder left American Car and Foundry Company former Berwick, Pennsylvania shop. It was the first of a shipment of 300 similar cars built for New York City's pioneer subway, the Interborough Rapid Transit Company. By 1906, American Car and Foundry Company opened steel shops at St. Louis, Detroit, Berwick, Huntington, and Madison, Illinois. American Car and Foundry Company's reputation rapidly spread abroad and in 1905 more than 100 motor and trailer subway cars were shipped to England for use in London's underground system.

From the end of World War I to 1938, the American Car and Foundry Company's Jackson and Sharp plant built small pleasure boats. During World War II, its production was devoted to building landing barges, LCM tank lighters, aluminum pontons, plywood smoke barges for the American forces and YMS minesweepers for the British Navy. In the 1930s the plant ceased manufacturing railcars and wooden shipbuilding ended in 1938. American Car and Foundry Company's Jackson and Sharp plant continued to build steel ships until 1950 and sold the plant in 1952.

In 1955, the company changed its name to ACF Industries, Incorporated. In 1962, the Berwick plant closed. The company name changed again in 2003 to ACF Industries, LLC. It still is a leading American manufacturer of railcars and railcar parts. Its manufacturing plant is in Milton, Pennsylvania.

Scope and Content

These photographs document different activities at the American Car and Foundry Company shipyard in Wilmington, Delaware, during World War II. There are several photographs taken on the occasion of the presentation of the Army-Navy "E" award in 1942. Images show ship launchings, shipbuilding, BYMS British motor minesweepers, an undated bird's eye view of the A.C.F. plant, and caricatures of A.C.F. draftsman, Robert C. Martin. There are magazine clippings of three A.C.F. advertisements showing landing craft (one was published in The Marine News, April 1943) and a few other clippings. The collection includes a small medal with the words, "War Service Ship Building," and the image of a ship.

Location

GL Box 1.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research.

Related Archival Materials

Images of American Car and Foundry's World War Two business found in The Armed Forces of A.C.F, collection: HD999 R24 A5, Published Collection Department, Hagley Museum and Library.

Language of Materials

English


Additional Information

Related Names

Creator

Finding Aid & Administrative Information

Title:
American Car and Foundry Company World War II era photographs
Status:
Online
Date:
2014
Description rules:
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description:
English
Script of description:
Latin

Repository Details

Repository Details

Part of the Audiovisual Collections Repository

Contact:
PO Box 3630
Wilmington Delaware 19807 USA
302-658-2400