44 in HIGH x 60 in WIDE
(111.76 cm HIGH x 152.40 cm WIDE)
Gift of U. S. Maritime Administration

Henry J. Kaiser: Think Big, OM History Special Gallery, January 24, 2003 - August 29, 2004

Painting. Description: oil painting, Richmond Shipyards, aerial view, antiqued gold frame, one small tear in canvas. From the History Information Station: Object: Oil painting of Richmond Shipyard #3, by Leland Hyde. History: Before the United States entered World War II, Henry Kaiser proposed the construction of several massive shipyards to construct new navy ships and to refit already existing boats for military use. The new yards included sites in Oakland, Richmond, and Vallejo. This aerial view of the Richmond Yard, near the site of the Richmond-San Rafael Bridge, shows several ships, each in a different stage of construction. Ships were built and rebuilt quickly at Richmond and the other new yards; the fastest was completed in under ten days. About ten ships a month were completed in 1942. Instead of the old-fashioned dry-docks, Kaiser yards were dug at the edge of the water and dammed. The ships were constructed inside, and when they were ready to be launched, the dams were opened and the dock flooded so the ships could float out. Gift of the U. S. Maritime Administration

Kaiser Shipyards and the Making of the East Bay In 1940, despite the easy access provided by the new Bay Bridge, much of the East Bay was still not metropolitan. But when Henry Kaiser received the government contract to build Liberty ships, the area boomed. Shipyards went up in Sausalito, South San Francisco, Alameda, Richmond, and Vallejo, and the need for workers exploded. Civilian employment in California's shipyards reached 300,000 by the end of the war. Added to these were the suppliers of goods for the yards like Kaiser's steel plant in Fontana, east of Los Angeles; and social services from home-building to schools to stores to gas stations. The population of Richmond and Vallejo grew from about 20,000 each in 1940 to 100,000 by 1945, and the economy expanded along with them. To serve these needs, people came from all over to live in the bay area. Farm workers from the central valley, African Americans from the southern states, and numerous other groups came together to create a multi-ethnic community unlike those anywhere else in the world.

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