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View of the Whyalla shipyards
Title : View of the Whyalla shipyards View of the Whyalla shipyards
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Creator : Smith, Robin, photographer
Source : B 68982
Date of creation : ca. 1962
Format : Photograph
Contributor : State Library catalogue
Catalogue record
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Copyright : This item is reproduced courtesy of Robin Smith. It may be printed or saved for research or study. Use for any other purpose requires written permission from Robin Smith and the State Library of South Australia. To request approval, complete the Permission to publish form.
Description :

View of the Whyalla shipyards showing two cranes poised over a ship under construction, with materials in the left foreground.

Broken Hill Proprietary Ltd decided to build a shipbuilding yard at its Whyalla works in the late 1930s as war in Europe loomed. Progress was rapid. Starting from scratch they built wharfs, building and fitting-out berths and all the other requisites for shipbuilding. Their first order was received in June 1940 and the keel laid the next month while the yard was still being built. This was the corvette Whyalla built for the Royal Australian Navy.

In the late 1950s Whyalla Shipbuilding adopted all-welded construction: this produced ever bigger ships. The slipways were extended to accommodate the larger ships, and crane capacity was increased to enable prefabrication techniques to be utilised. In the early 1960s the company entered into a Technical Co-operation Agreement with Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Company (I.H.I) of Tokyo which gave it access to the resources and technical resources of that company.
The ship being built here is likely to be Bulkships Ltd's. Mittagong, launched in 1962. The Mittagong was taken over by BHP Shipping in the 1970s and renamed the Iron Mittagong. The vessel remained on the same run that it was built for: iron ore to Newcastle and Port Kembla, returning with coal for Whyalla. This was known colloquially to seamen as the 'Black & Tan run'.
Coverage year : 1962
Place : Whyalla
Region : Eyre Peninsula and Far West Coast
Further reading :
Shipbuilding in Australia [editorial Errol H. Coote] [Canberra: Australian Shipbuilders Association[, 1968
The Whyalla Shipbuilding & Engineering Works, Whyalla, South Australia: builders of Australia's largest ships [Whyalla?: The Works?, 1968?]
Scheiffers, Sue. A ribbon of steel Whyalla, Whyalla Jubilee 150 Committee, 1985.
Internet links :
Exhibitions and events :

State Library of South Australia: Mortlock Wing exhibitions. Wooden Walls and Iron Sides August 2004-



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