As World War One (WWI) raged in Europe, the United States shipbuilding industry began to expand it's shipbuilding facilities. Gloucester City's small waterfront would host two large vessel shipbuilding yards.
Pusey & Jones Shipbuilding
Starting in 1916, where the Big Timber Creek empties into the Delaware River , two new companies would selected Gloucester for their combined new facilities.
The New Jersey Shipbuilding Company and Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company would unite their shipyards at the south end of Gloucester shortly thereafter operating under the corporation of the Pusey & Jones Shipbuilding at Gloucester.
P&J Shipbuilding historical had long operated shipbuilding facilities at Wilmington, Delaware. The P& J yard at Gloucester would build cargo, tankers and mine sweeper vessels during WWI.
After WWI ended, P&J would close up, but it's facilities would be the basis for Gloucester City industrial heart into the late 1980's.
The New York Shipbuilding Company
Along the Delaware River north of Newton Creek The New York Shipbuilding Company (NYS) had been operating a yard in south Camden since 1899, but with the onset of WWI, NYS expanded into the north end of Gloucester.
The NYS would become one of the largest shipyards in the world and would build a vast number of war ships for both World Wars that would continue into the 1960's.
The NYS would be a larger employer of skilled worker, many of whom were Gloucester City residents. As the post WWII naval vessels contracts went to southern shipyards, the Camden ship yard work close down in the mid-1960's.
With the closure of the NYS, many Gloucester City residents would lose their livelihoods and Gloucester would begin to experience a drop in it's population for the first time since the American Revolution. The downward trend in population would continue to this day (2021).
Portions of the Gloucester NYS yard would be repurposed for the receiving of inter-modal containers cargo & loose cargo and frozen foods cargo.
Today these water depended cargo operations contribute significantly to Gloucester City tax base.
For more information about the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, we suggest the following link;
More information on the Pusey & Jones Shipbuilding at Gloucester can be found at the HAGLEY LIBRARY in Wilmington, Delaware. Hagley has a vast number of photographs (+200) of the P&J Gloucester yard:
John Trumpy & Sons
Other shipbuilding operations would build vessels in Gloucester City at different times. One legendary company would be John Trumpy & Sons which started as Mathis Yacht Building Company. John Trumpy took over Mathis Yachts and would would operate in Gloucester during WWII at the site of the P&J yards along Water Street. During WWII, Trumpy would build patrol boats for the U.S. military and as WWII drew to a close, Trumpy would begin to design and build, what would become classic yachts for the rich and famous.
Trumpy & Sons would leave Gloucester City after WWII, but go on to be known for building luxury yachts that today are consider classic yachts worth millions of dollars.
For more information on the John Trumpy & Sons:
Clay & Torbensen
Another boating building company from the 1890's located in Gloucester would be Clay & Torbensen which later become Clay & Sons. They were builders of Steam Launches and Yachts. Not much is known about their location. Advertisements from the company are all that we know of their Gloucester City operations.
But one of the partners, Viggo V. Torbensen would leave the company and would become a pioneer in automotive transmissions .
Lopers Works at Gloucester
Captain Richard F. Loper was an inventor and the propeller he invented greatly increased the speed of steam power vessels.
Capt. Richard F. Loper also owned the "Philadelphia and Gloucester Ferry Company" in the 1840's and 1850's; as well as, the "Loper Works" machine shop in Gloucester in the 1850's.
1917 - Panoramic view of the great shipbuilding plant
of the Pusey & Jones Co., at Gloucester City, N.J.
National Archives at College Park MD