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The Bo's'n's Whistle

  • BW-OSC
  • Collection
  • 1941 - 1946

The Bo's'n's Whistle was a publication distributed to the employees of the Kaiser Shipyards in Oregon and Washington between 1941 and 1946. The first publication was released on July 18, 1941 under the editorial direction of Chick Johnson, and was given its distinctive name by Edgar Kaiser the General Manager of the shipyard. Subsequent issues released bi-weekly, along with a special issue on September 27, 1941 commemorating the launch of the "Star of Oregon". Distribution expanded to the Vancouver and Swan Island Shipyards in April 1942, with Hal Babbit, director of public relations for Kaiser Company serving as editorial supervisor.

The format of the Bo's'n's Whistle changed from a magazine to a weekly newspaper beginning March 10, 1944, with separate editions for each of the three shipyards - Oregon Shipyard, Swan Island, and Vancouver. On September 7, 1945 The Bo's'n's Whistle was again consolidated into one edition for all three shipyards, and on January 1, 1946 it was moved to a twice-monthly publication schedule. The final issue of The Bo's'n's Whistle was published on May 24, 1946. At its peak, The Bo's'n's Whistle was circulated to 90,000 employees, with over 4,000,000 copies distributed over its lifespan.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 02

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Brief history of shipbuilding; feature on African American janitorial staff; article on employment and payroll increases and improved transportation services; a two page photograph spread on welders; employee birthdays; a notice from local labor leaders; a series of photographs depicting the Columbia River Shipbuilding Corporation's plant from 1917-1920; employee photographs; safety notices; jokes and cartoons.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 03

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Segment titled "All Hands On Deck!" detailing the naming of the Bo's'n's' Whistle and soliciting for content suggestions; safety notices; employment announcements; housing advertisements; an article about the work of shipbuilding including drafting, rigging and molding; an article about Benson Polytechnic Defense Training School advertising tradecraft courses; notices from management; Articles on the installation of IBM accounting machines and associated punch card technology; Article about Esther Hawley Holmes a stenographer and aspiring engineer; safety advertisements and motivational poetry.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 04

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: An article about the impending launch of the first ship from the Oregon Shipyard; Story about a war casualty that was a relative of Roy Bennett, a maintenance worker; a feature on the workers of the plate shop at the shipyard; an explanation and chart of ship and facilities construction shifts; an article detailing various construction cranes using dinosaur metaphor; a notice entitled "The Foreman as a Leader"; miscellaneous news items and cartoons; reader suggestions; training announcements; and requests for safety suggestions.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 05

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A message from Rear Admiral Emory S. Land of the United States Maritime Commission; articles about the scheduled launch of the Star of Oregon on September 27, 1941; advertisements for trade extension classes; an article detailing transportation issues and facilities in the shipyard and Portland industrial areas; Transcripts of speeches given by Emory S. Land and Henry J. Kaiser, both on August 16, 1941; employee safety messages and cartoons; Opinion pages and employee contributions; a piece on the merits of welding based ship construction versus riveting methods; and motivational illustrations.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 06

Employee newsletter for the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation. Special edition titled "Liberty Fleet Day" commemorating the launch of the Star of Oregon. Contents include: An article describing circumstances behind "Liberty Fleet Day" and the launching of twelve liberty ships from shipyards around the country on September 27, 1941; the launching day program; the story of the naming of the Star of Oregon and the construction of the ship; a promotional statement on the ship launching ceremony; an article about the various leisure activities workers participated in; a historical perspective and physical comparison of the Star of Oregon and its namesake; An article advertising vocational training courses at Benson Polytechnic School; an article about superstitions involving launching ceremonies; cartoons, illustrations and photographs; a short piece about the availability of supplementary reading material made available to shipyard workers by the Portland Library Association; a list of children born to shipyard employees; an advertisement for a private shipyard launch party at Janzen Beach; safety messages and illustrations; a poem by Joaquin Miller accompanied by an illustration.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 07

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Photographs and illustrations from the launch of the Star of Oregon on Sept 27, 1941; an article about the Star of Oregon launch, and the next ships to be launched; notes and letters of congratulations from employees; advertising for the formation of an employee band; poems; a two-page photo spread titled "Labor Men and Ships: Workers Lauded"; an article about workers leisure activities; an article about vocational trailing and procedures for enrollment; safety messages and cartoons; and USO advertising.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 08

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Cover story "Meriwether Lewis" launched October 19, 1941 about the launching of that ship, designated Hull 170, and Hull 172 the "William Clark" to be launched October 26, 1941; A list of guests and their photos including Gov. Charles A. Sprague, Mayor Earl Riley, Henry L. Corbett, Donald Ross, John H. Burgard, O.V. Badley, Joseph K. Carson, Ralph Dugdale; an article about descendants of Meriwether Lewis who work for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation; a three panel comic about the Lewis and Clark Expedition; information about an employee band and announcement for a hobby show; notes about other hobby groups including roller skating and bowling; a photo spread and article chronicling the construction of the Meriwether Lewis; A segment titled "Human Interest Stuff" which includes safety messages and illustrations, employee submissions, a "Lost and Found" segment and a call for reader submitted photographs; a log of ships launched and the launching program for the Meriwether Lewis; and an advertisement for vocational classes and training.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 09

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Schedule of events for the launching of the William Clark (Hull 172) October 26, 1941; details on the laying of a new keel after the ceremony; a four panel comic; an article about the launching ceremony of the Meriwether Lewis; an article on the members of the United States Maritime Commission to be present at the launch of the William Clark; facts about William Clark; description of the first meeting of workers interested in starting a shipyard band, including member list and instruments; photographs of the launching ceremony of the Meriwether Lewis; "Sighting the Pacific -- 1805" by D. Curtis Freeman reprinted from Lewis and Clark Journal 1905; an article about the custom of women sponsors for ship launching, a brief history of Sacajawea, and a note about Mrs. Charles A. Shea the sponsor for the William Clark; a feature title "Sportsman's Corner" describing hunting and fishing activities by Oregon County; descriptions of leisure activities and hobbies; an advertisement for vocational training courses; a safety article; and an advertisement for Navy Day on October 27, 1941.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 10

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Announcement of group sickness and accident insurance plan for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation employees; Payroll and employee information; Photographs of the launch of the William Clark; articles on hobbies, groups, and leisure activities; a map and schedule for public transportation to the shipyard; advertisements for carpools; and a poem by Longfellow with illustration.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 01, Number 12

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A holiday message from Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation to its employees; an article on the launch of the John Hancock and the future launch of the Phillip Livingston; advertisements for defense bonds; safety messages and cartoons; a Christmas message to the armed forces from the employees of Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation; a mock advertisement advocating lynching Japanese people; an article about vocational training; and reader submitted letters.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 01

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A New Years message from Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation; A transcript of a radio broadcast aboard the trial run of the Star of Oregon; an article about employees collecting donations for their co-workers who were unemployed or in need; an article about A.R. Hammond and his experiences in Thailand; an article about ship sponsors; advertisements for vocational training; Air raid blackout instructions; and a message and advertisements about the Red Cross.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 02

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A warning against wastefulness in the workplace, a cartoon advertisement for a minstrel show; an article about the expansion of the liberty ship program and the construction of the Vancouver Shipyard; messages encouraging ride sharing and carpools, in response to traffic congestion; an article on group sickness and accident insurance plans; safety messages; poems and comics; an article about the trial run and delivery of the Meriwether Lewis; advertising for training courses in blueprint reading and ship construction; an article about the State Employment Service; an "important notice" to employees from the United States Maritime Commission and Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation about rule changes for employees; a notice about the passing of Charles A. Shea, president of Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 03

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A message from Ralph Collett, traffic director; safety statistics for 1941 at the shipyard; advertisements for defense bonds and automatic payroll deductions; shift announcements and seven day schedules; information about the launching of the John Jay (Hull 181) and the William Dawes (Hull 183); advertisements for vocational classes; schedule of games for the table tennis teams, and a call for participation.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 04

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A message about U.S. Treasury defense savings bond payroll deductions; an article about the Oregon Shipyard receiving the Navy "E" award, along with photos of the ceremony; photo essay about safety and handling of tools and materials; "News and Views of Oregon Shipbuilders" feature; a message from the Multnomah County Rationing Board about automobile tires; an article about the construction of the Vancouver (Washington) shipyard with a timeline of the work; and an announcement of Orville Bennett as the new head of the welding school and test shop.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 05

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Announcement of a new ten-way shipyard to be constructed on Swan Island; instructions on what to do during a blackout; an article about an employee questionnaire regarding family medical insurance plans; a safety notice regarding eye hazards; employee "news and views"; an article about transportation methods encouraging car pools and public transit; employee contributions; a photo spread about employee wives acting as sponsors for ship launches; and an article about the ongoing construction of the Vancouver shipyard.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 06

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Photographs of the launching of the S.S. John Dickinson (Hull 189) and the S.S. Fisher Ames (Hull 190); praise for cutting the waste of welding materials; an advertisement for vocational training courses; an article about bus transportation; an article about fire safety; employee "news and views"; a sexist cartoon about women working in the shipyard; photographs and charts illustrating the productivity of the shipyard; articles about the construction of the Vancouver and Swan Island Shipyards; employee contributions.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 07

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: An article about the payroll allotment plan for defense bonds; an article about improvements to pipe assembly procedures, and improved bushings; safety messages; employee "news and views"; advertisements for bus service; updates on the plans for the Swan Island Shipyard; an article about the Vancouver shipyard with photographs of construction progress; job and vocational training advertisements; employee contributions.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 08

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: A message from Edgar F. Kiser urging increased production and addressing rumors that Kaiser Co., Inc. is profiting off the war effort; an article explaining the rules for vacation and sick time accrual; article titled "How Liberty Ships are Built"; a quiz titled "What do you know about ships?"; safety messages; employee "news and views"; a photo spread showing the progress of the Vancouver and Swan Island shipyards; employee notices and contributions.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 09

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Photographs and accounts of the ceremony to commemorate the "Awards of Merit" given to the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation by the United States Maritime Commission; photographs and an article about war bonds; safety messages; advertisements for vocational training courses; employee "news and views"; article titled "How Liberty Ships are Built"; Housing information for the Vancouver Shipyard; Photographs and updates on the construction of the Swan Island Shipyard; article about conservation of scrap shipbuilding materials; employee contributions.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 10

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: An article encouraging the purchase of war bonds through the O.S.C. Payroll allotment plan; an article about the transportation options available to employees; promotion and proclamation of National Maritime Day, May 22, 1942; short histories of a number of Oregon pioneers whom ships would be named after; employee "news and views"; an article about the raising of the Deck House Assembly Building at the Vancouver Shipyard; an article updating the construction work at the Swan Island Shipyard; an article titled "How Liberty Ships are Built" focusing on the Mold Loft; advertisements for the housing service, and job training.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 11

Employee newsletter for the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation. Special edition to commemorate Maritime Day. Contents include: Photographs and description of the first ship launch at the Oregon Shipyard held at night; photographs and description of the second launching in celebration of Maritime Day; photographs and description of the third ship launch in celebration of Maritime Day; call for employees to donate blood; update on the progress of the Vancouver Shipyard, with photos; article about the construction of school buildings for the Swan Island Shipyard; article titled "How Liberty Ships are Built" focusing on activities in the Plate Shop; updates on Payroll Allotment War Bond Plan enrollment, radio shows, and John B. Hughes.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 12

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: An article about the start of a war bond drive for employees of the Kaiser Shipyard in Vancouver; an article about the new administration building with architectural drawing of the front of the building; announcement of the employees hospital insurance plan; commendation for shipbuilding production records; safety notices; employee "news and views"; photos and an article about the first ship construction starting at the Swan Island Shipyard; bus schedules for the three shifts and a naming contest for the passenger ferries; an article titled "How Liberty Ships are Built" continuing the focus on the plate shop; and employee contributions.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

The Bo's'n's Whistle, Volume 02, Number 13

Employee newspaper for Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation covering shipyard productivity and current projects, safety and injury reports, war bond drives, employee sports leagues, award recipients, and human-interest stories. Topical coverage in this issue includes: Details of a contest to select six workers and their alternates who would choose the sponsors for future ship launchings; details of medical and hospital group insurance plans with photographs of local hospitals; article about equipment and materials shortages ending and encouraging workers to increase production; an article about the Award of Merit for production presented to the Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation; An article on the results of the ferry naming contest winners; employee "news and views"; an article on painters; a message about the speed of construction of the Vancouver dormitory with photos; an article about the first ship to be launched from the Vancouver Shipyard; a piece about the First Aid station and practices at the Vancouver Shipyard; an article titled "How Liberty Ships are Made" focusing on the Sub Assembly Shop; employee contributions and a short paragraph about the progress of the Swan Island Shipyard, with photos.

Oregon Shipbuilding Corporation

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