Thirty items (ca. 1959-1971), consisting of photographic prints with captions, one note, and one newspaper clipping, concerning the launch and retirement of the NS SAVANNAH which was the first nuclear powered merchant vessel.
The NS SAVANNAH was the world's first nuclear powered merchant vessel. Construction began in 1956 in Camden, New Jersey by the New York Shipbuilding Corporation. The vessel was part of President Dwight D. Eisenhower's "Atoms for Peace" initiative and was a joint project between the Maritime Administration of the Department of Commerce and the Atomic Energy Commission. The ship was christened by First Lady Mamie Eisenhower on July 21, 1959, and was launched on March 23, 1962. The NS SAVANNAH was in service from March 1962 until October 1971.
Included in the collection are black and white photographs of the July 21, 1959 christening ceremony and related participants. These photographs feature the ship's starboard bow, port bow, and propeller, as well as honorable guests such as Secretary of Commerce Fredrick H. Mueller, Harry W. Pierce and Edward E. Teale of the New York Shipbuilding Corporation, Senator Oren Harris of Arkansas, Senator Herbert C. Bonner of North Carolina, and First Lady Mamie Eisenhower. Also included is another black and white photograph of the ship that includes the dimensions of the ship and a cutaway view of the nuclear power plant. The two non-photograph items consist of one handwritten note and one newspaper clipping. The note is from the Great Lakes and Inland Waterways, and contains information pertaining to the Coast Guard's connection to the atomic merchant ship and who built the ship. The note also contains information about the cost, length, height, weight, occupancy and maximum speed of the vessel. The newspaper clipping is from The Evening Star (Washington, DC, 10/29/1971) and discusses the retirement and eventual fate of the ship. For more details, see container list. Note: The U.S. Coast Guard's original photo number is included on the list.
Gift of Robert M. Browning, Jr., U.S. Coast Guard
Encoded by Lindsay Flood April 2008
Processed by Adam Nye April 2006
Literary rights to specific documents are retained by the authors or their descendants in accordance with U.S. copyright law.