The Psychogenealogist Pic of the Week (#112) - Hog Island Shipyard

Every Friday The Psychogenealogist shares a "Pic of the Week." The intent is to encourage thought and imagination about the spaces where psychology, genealogy, and history converge.

Collecting random photographs provides wonderful opportunities to learn more about the history of people, places, and things. This photo caught my eye mainly for the inscription on the back. The front shows a rather drab industrial looking scene in the water.

Hog Island Shipyard

The inscription on the back reads:

Hog Island Shipyard

59 ships can be built here all at the same time


A simple google search for “Hog Island Shipyard” indicates that Hog Island “is the historic name of an area southeast of Tinicum Township, Pennsylvania along the Delaware River, to the west of the mouth of the Schuylkill RiverPhiladelphia International Airport now sits on the land that was once Hog Island.” In the late 1910s and early 1920s this area was used to experiment with new shipbuilding processes.

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I will direct you to this excellent article about its history: Hog Island Shipyard: Context and Discoveries. It is an older article from what appears to be the dormant “Necessity for Ruins” website. It has some broken links but great information and many wonderful photos.

Here are some questions I encourage you to think about.


  • Is there any Hog Island history in your family?

  • What was it like to live and work in this area when the shipyard was actively being used?

  • Who took the photo, when did they do it, and why?

  • What does the marking on the front left side say after “Hog Island”? It appears to be a date but I can’t decipher it.

  • What do you think, feel, and wonder about as you look at this photo?

  • What reactions to you have to the article linked to above?

I would love to hear your thoughts about these questions or other ideas that occur to you about the photo. Please feel to leave a comment below!

Featured Tag: Pennsylvania