The story of America
has, in part, been shaped by her inventors and their inventions.
Americans have historically pushed the boundaries
of engineering, production, and technology. William Francis Gibbs,
while a lesser known figure in history, has a place in this lineage.
Gibbs was a boy with a dream and a passion to build ships. His
colossal goal at the age of eight was to design the largest,
American flagged ship ever to cross the Atlantic Ocean.
He was completely
self-taught in naval architecture and design. While completing
law school he spent all of his spare time designing
own blue prints of navy vessels.
Growing up to
head his own naval architecture and marine engineering firm, Gibbs & Cox,
Gibbs exhibited a fortitude and passion strong enough to persevere
many obstacles and delays to
dream a reality. His American flagged superliner, the S.S. United
States was completed in 1952, some fifty years after his original
idea was conceived.
W.F. Gibbs became
arguably the greatest naval architect and maritime inventor of the
He designed 74%
of the naval
vessels used in World War II and his revolutionary steam pressure
advanced the capabilities of the U.S. navy and merchant marine;
designs that are still used today - almost forty years after