"Consolidated Shipbuilding was a builder of luxury yachts, the result of the merger of Charles L. Seabury Co., originally established at Nyack in 1885, and Gas Engine & Power Co. Note that the companies operated jointly for many years: their activities were consolidated under the Consolidated Shipbuilding name during World War One. The yard was located on Matthewson Road, in the Bronx, in what is now Roberto Clemente State Park. See the shipyard site from the air on Google here. After WWII, Consolidated bought the Robert Jacob shipyard on City Island and closed the Morris Heights yard. It ceased to be an active shipbuilder in 1958 but continues as a yacht repair center. "
I was surprised to read that many yachts and smaller ships owned by private citizens or businesses were requisitioned by the Navy for use in the war. During WWII they built mainly for the Navy but also for the Coast Guard and the Army. They built sub chasers and tug boats.
My mother had graduated from Hunter College with a political science major in 1942. There were no jobs available for her major without going to graduate school. The war had started so she found a job as the secretary to the Admiral in charge of the ship yard. In this photo she is the woman at the desk. Who is the man at the other desk? He would probably be older than my mother, who would have turned 90 this year.
She met my Dad here. He had been drafted at the age of 38 because he was unmarried and had no children. The Army Air Corps tried to turn this business man into a bombardier mechanic but finally gave up, and sent him to Consolidated to work as a civilian for the Navy. He met my mother, they married in 1944, and in the early 1960’s she did go back to graduate school as the only woman student at a Jesuit college. Now almost everyone goes to grad school but it was rare in my mother’s time, and she helped pave the way for those who followed.
This photo has always reminded me of a Humphrey Bogart movie scene.