Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company

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The Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company constructed the deepwater automobile ferry Princess Anne in 1935-36 for the Virginia Ferry Corporation's run between Cape Charles and Little Creek, Va., across the mouth of Chesapeake Bay. It had the distinction of being the first fully "streamlined" ship, with exterior styling by industrial designer Raymond Loewy. The curved sheet metal surfaces were later removed as impractical.

From the description of Plans of ferry Princess Anne, 1935-1936. (Unknown). WorldCat record id: 78751782

The Sun Shipbuilding Company was incorporated on May 23, 1916, as a tanker-building subsidiary of the Sun Company. Construction soon began on a shipyard in Chester, Pennsylvania, on the Delaware River. In July 1916 the yard acquired the Chester factory of Robert Wetherill & Company, a manufacturer of stationary steam engines since 1872. The company converted the facility into a site for the manufacture of marine engines.

During the First World War the company was managed by J. N. Pew, Jr., but after 1919 John G. Pew became president and chief operating officer. The firm was renamed the Sun Shipbuilding and Dry Dock Company in January 1923. After some lean years in the 1920's and 30's, Sun Ship emerged in World War II as the nation's largest private shipyard and single biggest producer of oil tankers. The American shipbuilding industry collapsed under low demand and foreign competition in the 1960's and 70's. Sun launched its last cargo vessel, the WESTWARD VENTURE, on February 15, 1977, marking the end of the once thriving private shipbuilding industry on the lower Delaware River. In 1982 Sun Ship was sold to the Levingston Shipbuilding Company.

From the description of Records, 1890-1982. (Hagley Museum & Library). WorldCat record id: 122355369

Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Associated Factory Mutual Fire Insurance Companies. Plan Division. corporateBody
associatedWith Carver family. family
associatedWith Glomar Explorer (Ship). corporateBody
associatedWith Loewy, Raymond, 1893-1986. person
associatedWith Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Pew family. family
associatedWith Pew, John G., 1902-1982. person
associatedWith Pew, Joseph N. (Joseph Newton), 1886-1963. person
associatedWith Princess Anne (Ferry). corporateBody
associatedWith Robert Wetherill & Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Seward, Ralph T. (Ralph Theodore), 1907- person
associatedWith Sun Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Sun Company. Office of the president, corporateBody
associatedWith Sun Shipbuilding Company. corporateBody
associatedWith Virginia Ferry Corporation. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
Delaware County (Pa.)
Cargo ships
Container ships
Steam engines
Hospital ships
Marine engineers
Marine engines
Marine machinery
Naval architecture
Petroleum industry and trade
Shipbuilding industry
Ship trials

Corporate Body

Active 1935

Active 1936



Ark ID: w6n061f7

SNAC ID: 54476115