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View Full Version : Western Marine & Salvage Co., Alexandria, Va.



Paul Pless
06-03-2016, 08:20 AM
http://66.media.tumblr.com/32d63d8efc02c5b133abe99fcc121297/tumblr_o0va0q7PVI1qd7ygho1_1280.jpg

Duncan Gibbs
06-03-2016, 08:45 AM
That's a rubbish picture! :p

skuthorp
06-03-2016, 08:50 AM
Depends winch way you look at it

Garret
06-03-2016, 08:51 AM
The stuff to the left is kinda propping it all up...

Duncan Gibbs
06-03-2016, 08:53 AM
The stuff to the left is kinda propping it all up...
But it really tanked out on the right!

Anthony Zucker
06-03-2016, 08:58 AM
Surely that's a very old photo. Waterfront property in Alexandria; It must be totally developed by now.

Paul, can you identify the location?

Garret
06-03-2016, 08:59 AM
But it really tanked out on the right!

At least it was shored up...

Gerarddm
06-03-2016, 09:01 AM
Lotta recycling opportunity there...

Duncan Gibbs
06-03-2016, 09:01 AM
At least it was shored up...
... with lots of purchase.

Paul Pless
06-03-2016, 09:02 AM
Surely that's a very old photo. Waterfront property in Alexandria; It must be totally developed by now.

Paul, can you identify the location?

Not sure the exact location but the pic was taken in 1925.

Paul Pless
06-03-2016, 09:05 AM
But it really tanked out on the right!
pretty sure those tanks are boilers

http://maritime.org/doc/merchant/engineering/img/pg32.jpg

mmd
06-03-2016, 09:08 AM
To quote a line from a current TV show:

"People say that I've got a yard full of junk, but I think I have a yard full of potential!"

Arizona Bay
06-03-2016, 09:24 AM
Surely that's a very old photo. Waterfront property in Alexandria; It must be totally developed by now.

Paul, can you identify the location?

I'm pretty sure it was near the Torpedo factory, now an art center. You can see the Long Bridge (now the site of the Woodrow Wilson Bridge - 495) in the background.



Yep, South Union St.

https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedFiles/historic/info/attic/2010/Attic20101202WestMarine.pdf

Catching Fire: West Marine and Salvage CompanyAlexandria Times, December 2, 2010Image: West Marine and Salvade Company, 1920s. Photo, Library of Congress.

When the United States enteredWorld War I, hundreds of shipswere manufactured to meet wartimeneeds. The war’s end created asurplus of ships, including wooden vessels,which had to be disposed of. In 1922, theWestern Marine and Salvage Companyestablished an operation in Alexandria at thesame waterfront location to the east of SouthUnion Street where the Virginia ShipbuildingCompany had built warships just a couple ofyears earlier.

Western Marine and Salvage purchased more than 200 wooden ships with the intent ofdismantling them and salvaging the metal. The ships were transported from the James River to a stagingarea in the Potomac near Widewater, Va., and then towed to Alexandria for salvaging. A large crane witha wrecking ball and magnetized cup would be used to retrieve the scrap metal from the ships.

As soon as the first two ships, the Alanthus and the Mojave, arrived in October of 1922, the plantbegan hiring workers, like the men seen in this photograph. But the operation encountered problemsalmost immediately when the Alanthus caught fire just days later. Another fire in the summer of 1924resulted in the death of a teenaged Alexandria firefighter. George Whalen suffered fatal injuries when hefell through a hatchway onto a pile of scrap in the hold of another ship that had caught fire.

Both sailors and fishermen found the large presence of these wooden hull ships in the river to bepotentially dangerous. After fires, complaints, and difficulty in towing and dismantling these ships,Western Marine and Salvage moved its ships and salvage operation to Mallows Bay in Maryland. In theearly 1930s, the company shut down, abandoning dozens of ships which today remain on the floor of thebay.

https://thevoicefromthenorth.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/13476u.jpg?w=666&h=505

https://thevoicefromthenorth.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/western-marine-salvage-co-alex-va-3.jpg

willmarsh3
06-03-2016, 09:36 AM
When I saw this thread title I was hoping for a salvage store more along the lines of Bacon or Sailors exchange or Traditional Marine Outfitters of Annapolis Royal, NS.

It's a pretty cool picture nonetheless.

I do enjoy going to Alexandria whenever I go visit that area.

Canoeyawl
06-03-2016, 11:49 AM
I worked right there on the waterfront unloading railcars full of vermiculite. That was the nastiest job I ever had, and quit it after just a few weeks. Unbelievable dust (asbestos), no shade, 100 degree heat, 95% humidity. I had heard that later it became a superfund site. In the early 1960's, as you approached the 14th st. bridge from Va. you could look down the river and still see that mess.
(In the first image there are a few men working around some sort of primitive hammer mill breaking up pieces of boilers?)

moTthediesel
06-03-2016, 12:04 PM
The water looks very calm is the background, I guess it was a windlass day.

Canoeyawl
06-03-2016, 12:25 PM
1919 ?

https://www.alexandriava.gov/uploadedImages/historic/info/history/OHAMcVeighWarehouse.jpg