A Shipbuilder’s Letters to Shipowners: William Pickersgill & Sons 1903–1907

By Ian Buxton, published November 2020


The shipbuilder William Pickersgill & Sons of Sunderland focused on building dry cargo ships for British shipowners, particularly from Liverpool. Some insights into that market early in the twentieth century are provided by the out letter volume from 1903 to 1907 written by one of the partners, Frederick Pickersgill, He combined the roles of what today we would call sales director and technical director. The letter book covers the period from July 1903 to the end of 1907. Fred Pickersgill left the business in 1908, when there were no ships on the stocks after a severe depression had hit shipbuilding. From these letters it is possible to build up a picture of the relationship between the shipbuilder and shipowners and their negotiations, as well as the fortunes of the business as it negotiated a shipbuilding slump.

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Filed under: Atlantic
Subjects include: Administration | Shipbuilding & Design

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