Federal Shipbuilding was located on the Hackensack River at Kearney Point, New Jersey. Federal Shipbuilding was organized in 1917 as a subsidiary of United States Steel Corporation (US Steel) to construct steel ocean-going vessels. Federal Shipbuilding was prosperous and provided cheap and reliable ocean transport. In 1949, Federal Shipbuilding closed.

Federal Shipbuilding History

In 1917, US Steel entered the shipbuilding business by purchasing 60 acres on Newark Bay. US Steel quickly constructed Federal Shipbuilding’s 160 acre yard to build large quantities of ocean-going cargo vessels. When the Federal Shipbuilding facility was complete, 30 vessels of 10,000 ton capacity were quickly constructed for the United States Army. The expedience was necessary because the Army needed cargo vessels to transport war materials and supplies to the troops in Europe.

Federal Shipbuilding and World War I & II

Federal Shipbuilding, like many shipyards, flourished during World War I. Federal Shipbuilding employed over 2,000 workers to efficiently construct ocean-going cargo vessels to transport supplies to the soldiers. Federal Shipbuilding was recognized as one of the country’s five most predominately used shipbuilders during World War I. Federal Shipbuilding also built more destroyer vessels than any other shipbuilding company besides Bath Iron Works for the U.S. Navy.

Federal Shipbuilding built other vessel types including cruisers and merchant ships. Federal Shipbuilding earned a reputation of working efficiently. Federal Shipbuilding’s shortest time from keel laying to launch was 103 days (the ship Melvin); shortest time from launch to commission was 21 days (Thorn); and shortest time from keel laid to commission was 137 days.

Asbestos at Federal Shipbuilding     

Most shipyard workers are at risk of developing asbestos-related diseases such as:

  • Mesothelioma (a rare cancer that affects the lung’s inner lining)
  • asbestosis (lung tissue scarring)
  • lung cancer
  • esophageal, stomach, colon, or rectum cancer

Asbestos’ durable and fire resistant properties make it ideal for ship construction. Shipbuilders used asbestos in ship insulation, siding, and many ship products. When asbestos fibers are airborne and inhaled, they can become permanently lodged in the lungs causing severe and fatal cancers. Federal Shipbuilding’s employees were unaware of asbestos’ dangers and handled asbestos without wearing protective clothing or respiratory equipment. Asbestos-related diseases may take 40 years to manifest and many Federal Shipbuilding’s workers may still develop cancer.

Asbestos Injuries at Federal Shipbuilding – New Jersey

If you or a loved one worked at Federal Shipbuilding and have been diagnosed with an asbestos-related disease, please contact us today to have our experienced lawyers assess your legal rights and options.

Published November 17, 2011 by