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Time Traveller: Second World War forces North Van shipbuilding boom

New techniques were developed in the 1940s to rapidly increase the speed of production at Burrard Dry Dock

Times of war often mean big changes in industry, as seen in this 1944 photo of the Burrard Dry Dock Plate Shop No. 3 by Jack Cash.

During the Second World War, Canadian shipbuilding exploded, with the demand for merchant ships requiring new techniques to get them finished fast. Here we can see wooden patterns being used to lay out dimensions for a ship deck, with a union-melt automatic welder operating in the midground.

Welding rapidly became a weight and cost saving feature on Second World War ships, with Burrard expanding their welding section to around 1,200 workers by 1945. The union-melt machine could weld 2.5 feet a minute without the need for eye protection!

Visit the MONOVA website for more information about the history of the North Shore and to plan your visit to MONOVA: Museum of North Vancouver, now open at 115 West Esplanade in The Shipyards.

Currently, MONOVA: Archives of North Vancouver ,at 3203 Institute Road in Lynn Valley, is open by appointment only. Contact:

Navigate culture on the North Shore by using the North Shore Culture Compass.