William A. Bergstrom Engineering Collection of California Shipbuilding Corporation

i May 22nd No Comments by

Los Angeles Maritime Museum Research Library Collection 1

Image of construction worker standing above steam winch.

California Shipbuilding Corporation shipyard construction worker guiding head block and boom in Liberty and Victory ship construction circa 1941.

Shipbuilding and engineering together form the science of ship design and the skills required in ship construction. Challenges include the design aspects of stability, strength, speed, buoyancy, rolling, and trim. Engineers practice this science with an array of tools and a knowledge of physics, materials, and the properties of water.

Description: The William A. Bergstrom Collection is a collection of photographic prints, documents and training manuals that pertain to engineering and shipbuilding at the California Shipbuilding Corporation during World War II. The collection offers a glimpse of twentieth century building standards and innovation. Prints depict a range of subjects from model ship to full size construction, displaying both prototypical designs and hull and engine construction phases. The collection also contains training manuals used for employees of the corporation.

Biographical Notes: William Bergstrom was trained at California Shipbuilding Corporation by his father-in-law, Cyril Hubert, a chief engineer. Bergstrom became Chief Loftsman (the supervisor in charge of making full-size templates of ship parts) and coordinated all training in the loft (a large open area which can accommodate the full-size plans of a ship). After World War II, the shipyard closed and Bergstrom and Hubert worked at MGM Studios building sets. Later Bergstrom founded the “Vent-a-Hood” company in Buena Park, California.

A selection of images from this collection can be viewed at online exhibits.

Copyright Notice: Copyright restrictions may apply. See the copyright notice here.

Request Library Appointment: To view the collection in person, please make an appointment online.

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