25 February 2010


From the Montreal Gazette on this day in 1931:


Nearly 250,000 Expected to Benefit Indirectly From 73,000-Ton Contract


Considerable interest is being aroused by the latest progress report on the new 73,000-ton Cunard liner, which should be launched from the shipyards of John Brown & Co., Limited, early next summer. It is expected that she will be completed and delivered to her owners before September, 1933. The keel has been laid and hull plates have been cut and prepared for placing in position.

About two thousand workers will be engaged on the construction of this liner at Clydebank by the end of this year, the majority of whom will be employed steadily until the contract is completed. Another thousand should be provided with work in the shipyard itself from time to time, bringing the total to 3,000 actually being engaged in building the ship. It is estimated, however, that nearly a quarter of a million persons will benefit directly or indirectly as a result of the order placed by the Cunard Steamship Company for this, the largest liner in the world.

Apart from men in the shipyard, thousands will be engaged in making hull and boiler plates, and in supplying internal fittings for berths, cabins and public rooms. Over four hundred beds will be required, 30,000 pieces of silverware have been ordered, 60,000 pieces of cutlery will be fashioned in Sheffield, and the chinaware and glassware are expected to stimulate trade in the pottery industry. Electricians will have to thread over a hundred miles of cables and wires through the ship, while joiners, upholsterers, marble workers, plumbers, and a host of other tradesmen will be employed to supply their quota of essential or luxury appointments. It is estimated that $15,000,000 will be expended in subcontracts.

In addition to labor engaged in building the ship and in providing equipment, the Clyde Trustees are spending about $400,000 in widening and deepening the river to facilitate the launch and despatch [sic] of this mammoth vessel. The Southern Railway Company are building a graving dock at Southampton specially for
her accommodation, which will be 1,200 feet in length, 45 feet wide and have an entrance width of 135 feet. Both these tasks will absorb many workers.

Getty Images circa 1931: Men working on the cast steel frame of the new Cunard liner at Clydebank.

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