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Model maker at function at the North Sands shipyard

Image by Tyne & Put on Archives & Museums
Model maker at operate at the North Sands shipyard of J.L. Thompson &amp Sons, February 1962 (TWAM ref. DT.TUR/2/28432K).

This set celebrates the achievements of the popular Sunderland shipbuilding firm Joseph L. Thompson &amp Sons. The company’s origins date back to 1846 when the firm was known as Robert Thompson &amp Sons. Robert Thompson senior died in 1860, leaving his second son Joseph Lowes Thompson in control. In 1870 the shipyard completed its last wooden vessel and was then adapted for iron shipbuilding.

By 1880 the firm had expanded its operations over significantly of North Sands and in 1884 completed the construction of Manor Quay, which served as fitting out and repair facilities. For a lot of years in the late nineteenth century the yard was the most productive in Sunderland and in 1894 had the fourth biggest output of any shipyard in the planet.

The Depression impacted the firm severely in the early 1930s and no vessels were launched from 1931 to 1934. Nevertheless, throughout those years the organization created a hull style giving greater efficiency and economy in service. In the course of the Second Globe War the prototype created by Joseph L. Thompson &amp Sons proved so well-liked that it was employed by the US Government as the basis of more than 2,700 Liberty ships constructed at American shipyards between 1942 and 1945.

Following the War the North Sands shipyard went on to create numerous fine cargo ships, oil tankers and bulk carriers. Sadly the shipyard closed in 1979, although it briefly reopened in 1986 to construct the crane barge ITM Challenger.

(Copyright) We’re satisfied for you to share these digital pictures inside the spirit of The Commons. Please cite ‘Tyne &amp Wear Archives &amp Museums’ when reusing. Particular restrictions on higher quality reproductions and industrial use of the original physical version apply although if you’re unsure please e-mail