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list price: $39.95
edition:Hardcover
category: Transportation
published: Nov 2000
ISBN:9781550172423

Ships of Steel

A British Columbia Shipbuilder's Story

by T.A. McLaren, with Vickie Jensen

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history, corporate & business history, pictorial
0 of 5
0 ratings
rated!
rated!
list price: $39.95
edition:Hardcover
category: Transportation
published: Nov 2000
ISBN:9781550172423
Description

A century ago, the steel ships working coastal waters were built elsewhere. Gradually marine engineers began migrating to the coast with their families, and the BC industry got underway.

Ships of Steel chronicles that industry from the early development of steel construction facilities, equipment and qualified personnel; to the World War II boom when BC yards delivered two 10,000-ton freighters every week; to the postwar production of tugs, barges, fish boats and sophisticated supply vessels; to the present day.

The heart of the story is a half-century's worth of observations and recollections by Arthur McLaren (1919-99), a natural storyteller who owned and ran Allied Shipbuilders for 50 years and who knew the business inside out. This invaluable oral history is presented in the context of an engaging, readable history of the industry by Vickie Jensen, a marine writer who was a friend of Arthur McLaren. Also included are anecdotal and technical information from McLaren's archives, memories from his colleagues, and provincial steel shipbuilding statistics and photographs published here for the first time. Ships of Steel is a behind-the-scenes look at a coastal shipyard, an invaluable piece of BC maritime and industrial history, and a tribute to the skill, determination and ingenuity of BC's shipbuilding crews.

About the Authors

T.A. McLaren

Thomas Arthur McLaren (1919-99) was the son of Scottish shipbuilder William Dick McLaren, who, in search of new opportunities, brought his family to Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1928. WD became managing director of West Coast Shipbuilders, established on False Creek at the outbreak of World War II. Arthur joined the company in 1941 after graduating in mechanical engineering from the University of BC. He had always wanted to build ships, and in 1948 he launched his own company, Allied Builders (later renamed Allied Shipbuilders Ltd.)-against the advice of his father, who suggested a business with "more future." Over the next half century Arthur went on to build more than 250 vessels, always leading by the example of common sense, honesty and hard work. He served as president of the Association of Professional Engineers of BC and was a fellow of both the Society of Naval Architect & Marine Engineers and the Royal Institution of Naval Architects, among other professional and public activities. He and his wife Dorothy raised three sons, James, Douglas and Malcolm, who continue with Allied Shipbuilders.
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Vickie Jensen has built her writing career around the importance of documenting and celebrating work. As editor of Westcoast Mariner magazine she travelled on coastal tugs, charter yachts, dredges, ferries and water taxis for nearly four years, interviewing skippers, crews and owners about maritime life. She is the author of Saltwater Women at Work and Working These Waters, and coauthor of the children's book Build Your Own Underwater Robot and Other Wet Projects. For three decades, she and her husband Jay Powell have also worked with First Nations elders to produce more than thirty schoolbooks, documenting a variety of Native languages spoken on the Northwest Coast. She lives in Vancouver, BC.

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