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Second Shift: 1943

Second Shift: 1943

April 1943. "Traffic jam on the road from the Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard to Baltimore as the second shift of workers leaves the plant." Medium-format negative by Marjory Collins for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Long Way Home

My maternal grandfather worked at the Bethlehem Fairfield shipyard during WWII even though he was a butcher by trade (and bought a small grocery store/butcher shop after with war with the money he made at the shipyard). Although my grandparents lived about only a few miles away from the shipyard as the crow files, they were on the other side of the harbor and, thus, my grandfather had a long way home. Given that my grandparents did not have a car until the 1950s, my grandfather commuted by streetcars just like the ones in the photo.

Long way around

We're looking north on Hanover Street. Frankfurst Avenue is slipping in to the right,and the Patapsco River is at far right. The landmark gas tanks of South Baltimore are in the distance directly above the Esskay sign. The long line of billboards behind it was later occupied by South Baltimore General Hospital, known today as Harborview Hospital.

The dump truck on the left side road was likely headed for the city landfill at Cherry Hill, closed in the early '70s.

The Baltimore Transit No. 6 line streetcars have come up through Fairfield and Brooklyn to get to this point; the autos at right got here much quicker directly from Fairfield on Frankfurst Avenue. This mess was later relieved by construction of Potee Street parallel to and one block west of Hanover Street. What's seen here is now one-way northbound, and we don't have to put up with shift changes at the Shipyard anymore.

Presto, Changeo!

Four lanes magically become two!

2nd shift?

Second shift ending in daylight? Most places 2nd shift ends between the hours of 11PM and midnight. Yet this seems to be an overcast morning.

[The second shift at the shipyard ended at 3 p.m., according to the Office of War Information. - Dave]

Hope they had rideshare!

They had 27,000 employees at their peak

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