Moran Brothers Company Collection, 1893-1939  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Moran Brothers Company (Seattle, Wash.)
Moran Brothers Company Collection
1893-1939 (inclusive)
7 boxes , (3 linear feet)
Collection Number
Photographs, clippings, and other materials documenting the work of the Moran Brothers Company, a Seattle shipbuilder, between 1893 and 1906.
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Funding for encoding this finding aid was provided through a grant awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Historical NoteReturn to Top

After working on ships for a number of years, Robert, Sherman, and Frank Moran established Moran Bros. Marine and Sawmill Machinery Co. in 1882. The company became Moran Bros. Co. (ship and engine builders) in 1890. In 1898, the firm built -- in the record time of only four months -- a fleet of 12 steamers and 10 barges, and delivered them on the Yukon River to carry food to the miners. The firm also built many large steel and wood vessels, including the U.S. battleship NEBRASKA. Robert Moran served as mayor of Seattle from 1888 to 1890, overseeing both the response to the Great Fire and the development of the Cedar River water system.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This collection documents the work of the Moran Brothers Company between 1893 and 1906. A large proportion of the collection is photographs, including images of vessels, ship components, machines, construction processes, facilities, and workers. Non-photographic materials include clippings, brochures, and correspondence. Much of the material relates to the NEBRASKA, including photographs, clippings, correspondence, and invitations and programs from the launch.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

Alternative Forms Available

View selections from the collection in digital format by clicking on the camera icons in the inventory below.

Restrictions on Use

The Museum of History & Industry is the owner of the materials in the Sophie Frye Bass Library and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from MOHAI before any reproduction use. The museum does not necessarily hold copyright to all of the materials in the collections. In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.

Preferred Citation

Moran Brothers Company Collection, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Series 1:  Photographs Return to Top

Photographs of vessels, machinery, workers, and facilities, some in scrapbooks. Item-level photograph inventory available at repository.

Container(s) Description Dates
1995.49.1-1995.49.56:  USS Nebraska under construction at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, March 1904
 Engines for the USS Nebraska at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, circa 1903
Identified vessels, including steamers, tugs, schooners, and the battleship USS NEBRASKA. Box also includes copy negatives and photograph inventory.
1995.49.57-1995.49.150:  Robert Moran posing near a propeller at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, circa 1899
 Moran Brothers employee operating a compressed air chipping gun, Seattle, circa 1902
 Construction of USS Nebraska's main deck at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, 1904
Identified and unidentified vessels, as well as ship construction. Includes USS NEBRASKA (also invitation to launching), SS WILLAMETTE, and other steamers, torpedo boats, and tugs, as well as the wreck of the SS UMATILLA.
1995.49.151-1995.49.243:  Photographs
Unidentified vessels, facilities (exterior and interior shots), and machines and parts. Includes dry docks, shop buildings, and some shots of workers.
1995.49.244-1995.49.275:  Portrait of Robert Moran, circa 1900
  Moran Brothers employees working at lumber yard, Seattle, circa 1900
 Machine shop at Moran Brothers shipyard, Seattle, July 4, 1902
Machines and parts, people (including striking workers), vessels, and facilities. Also includes album containing images of the USS NEBRASKA along with people and facilities, and a set of commemorative photos of the construction of the NEBRASKA.
1995.49.276-1995.49.277: Photographs
Scrapbook with images of Yukon River steamboat building, loose photos from scrapbook, copy prints and negatives from Moran albums, and photo of NEBRASKA main propelling engines.

Series 2:  Manuscript material Return to Top

Correspondence, articles, clippings, and ephemera. Also includes visitors' register logging visitors to the company from 1896-1902.

Container(s) Description Dates
Miscellaneous manuscripts:
"Salving of the Steamship WILLAMETTE"
Letter from Wm. B. Mershon & Co. re: building carriage
Carriage blueprints from Wm. B. Mershon & Co.
Standard lists and standard dimensions
American Machinist article on centrifugal pump
Moran Bros. Co. history
Address by Robert Moran to 50th Jubilee Meeting of Pioneers Association
Invitations to NEBRASKA launching
Correspondence re: KOMO radio program about NEBRASKA
Moran Bros. brochure
Robert Moran biographical sketch
NEBRASKA souvenir booklet
Employee notice and invitation to launch of USS GOLDEN GATE
Shop orders book
Seattle Sunday Times article re: laying of keel of NEBRASKA
NEBRASKA launch program, NEBRASKA furnace markings and firing schedules
Robert Moran correspondence
Seattle Star special edition re: launch of NEBRASKA
Correspondence re: NEBRASKA bid
Visitor's register

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Mayors -- Washington (State) -- Seattle
  • Shipbuilding -- Washington (State) -- Seattle -- Photographs
  • Personal Names :
  • Moran, Robert, 1857-1943
  • Form or Genre Terms :
  • Photographic prints