Gibbs, William Francis

Gibbs, William Francis
born Aug. 24, 1886, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.
died Sept. 6, 1967, New York, N.Y.

U.S. naval architect.

He initially studied law but turned to naval architecture, studying for a year in seclusion, and with his brother Frederick H. Gibbs designed a transatlantic liner. During World War I they designed ships for the U.S. government, and after the war they were commissioned to recondition the Leviathan. Gibbs's design for the Malolo (1927), with its numerous watertight compartments and other safety features, became an industry standard. In 1940 he designed a cargo ship suitable for mass production; using prefabrication techniques, he reduced production time from as long as four years to as little as four days, an innovation of enormous value in World War II. His passenger liner United States (1952) set speed records in transatlantic service.

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▪ American architect and engineer
born Aug. 24, 1886, Philadelphia
died Sept. 6, 1967, New York City

      naval architect and marine engineer who directed the mass production of U.S. cargo ships during World War II, designed the famous, standardized cargo-carrying Liberty ships, and made many improvements in ship design and construction, notably in the passenger liner “United States” (1952).

      Gibbs became a lawyer in 1913 to please his father but abandoned the profession after winning his first and only case. Turning to naval architecture, he studied for a year in seclusion; then, in partnership with his brother Frederick H. Gibbs, he designed a transatlantic liner. On the strength of that design, the brothers were given positions with the International Mercantile Marine Company, where they continued on their project until the outbreak of World War I. Wartime design work for the U.S. government made Gibbs's reputation, and at war's end he was chief of construction of the company.

      In 1922 the Gibbs brothers won a contract to recondition the “Leviathan,” for which they organized their own firm. Success with that project led to further reconditioning work and finally to shipbuilding contracts. In 1927 Gibbs designed the “Malolo,” whose numerous watertight compartments provided an exceptionally high safety factor. When during her trial run the “Malolo” was rammed and a gash torn in her hull, her survival made the Gibbs design standard.

      Gibbs built several yachts and luxury liners in partnership with the yacht designer Daniel Hargate Cox, and in 1933 they began to design destroyers for the U.S. Navy, developing a high-pressure, high-temperature steam turbine of great efficiency. In 1940 Gibbs undertook the design of a cargo ship suitable for mass-production manufacture. Breaking completely with shipbuilding custom, he proved that different portions of a ship could be constructed in different places and brought together for assembly. The result was the reduction of production time for a single vessel from as long as four years to as little as four days.

      After World War II Gibbs and Cox continued design work for the U.S. Navy. In 1952 the “United States” was launched. Built for speed, safety, and quick conversion to troop transport in case of war, the vessel incorporated many of Gibbs's most advanced design concepts and set new speed records in transatlantic passenger service.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • William Francis Gibbs — (24 août 1886 6 septembre 1967) est un architecte naval américain. Il est à l origine de la transformation du paquebot allemand Vaterland en Leviathan, paquebot des United States Lines suite à la Première Guerre mondiale. Il a également conçu le… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Francis Giauque — (12 mai 1895 à Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada – 28 mars 1982 à Berkeley, Californie, E. U.) est un ingénieur chimiste américain d origine canadienne. Il a reçu le prix Nobel de chimie en 1949 « pour ses contributions dans le champ de la… …   Wikipédia en Français

  • William Francis Gibbs — Las obras maestras de William F. Gibbs: El SS United States (fondo) y el SS America en New York. William Francis Gibbs (Filadelfia, USA, 24 de agosto de 1886 New York, 6 de septiembre de 1967) fue un ingeniero naval y abogado estadounidense. Su …   Wikipedia Español

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  • Gibbs — Gibbs, Josiah Willard * * * (as used in expressions) Gibbs, J(osiah) Willard Gibbs, William Francis McAdoo, William G(ibbs) …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • William — /wil yeuhm/, n. 1. a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter W. 2. a male given name: from Germanic words meaning will and helmet. * * * (as used in expressions) Huddie William Ledbetter Aberhart William George William… …   Universalium

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