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Whirly Gig: 1942

Whirly Gig: 1942

"Ship launching in Portland, Maine. The men behind the launchings. High in the cab of a 'whirly crane,' these workers operate the derrick which raises the iron gates and releases water into the dock where ships are built. Eight vessels were put into service in a mass launching on August 16, 1942." 4x5 nitrate negative by Albert Freeman for the Office of War Information. View full size.


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Personalized ID badge

Interesting the employee badge was a photo ID. It didn't occur to me they would have those back then. I guess really all you need would be a photograph and a button maker. Here is a similar one close up.

Armor-plated chair

Wow, that chair-back looks to have been roughly cut from a thick piece of steel - may have been made in-house?

War Production

Eight vessels put into service in one day! This goes to show you how fast the USA tooled up war production.

Clyde Whirly

Whirly was a trademark for a line of pedestal cranes built by Clyde Iron Works in Duluth Minnesota. Some of the buildings are still there but they've been converted into restaurants, a hockey rink and things like that.

They specialized in these pedestal cranes along with logging, construction, and shipbuilding hoists. You can see another of their cranes in the background in the picture.

As is typical of these companies in the USA, they closed for good in 1986 after building some of the largest of these types of cranes in the world, citing foreign competition. Two of their cranes are in a very prominent location right at home in the Port of Duluth.

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