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Theda Andersen Carle Collection on Henri A. Andersen, 1917-1953

Overview of the Collection

Creator
Andersen Carle, Theda
Title
Theda Andersen Carle Collection on Henri A. Andersen
Dates
1917-1953 (inclusive)
Quantity
1 box, (.21 cubic feet)
Collection Number
1996.11 (accession)
Summary
Photographs, newspaper clippings and papers related to the career of Northwest shipbuilder Henri A. Andersen
Repository
Museum of History & Industry, Sophie Frye Bass Library
Sophie Frye Bass Library
Museum of History & Industry
P.O. Box 80816
Seattle, WA
98108
Telephone: 206-324-1126
Fax: 206-780-1533
library@mohai.org
Access Restrictions

The collection is open to the public by appointment.

Languages
English.


Biographical NoteReturn to Top

Henri Aldof Andersen was born in San Francisco, California on July 19, 1891, to Norwegian parents Bernard and Anna. He was the oldest of five siblings. The family relocated in around 1910 to Tacoma, Washington. Henri A. Andersen married Alice Fullerton on February 21, 1914 and the couple had two children, Henri and Theda. He worked as a boat builder at Motorship Construction Company in Vancouver, Washington from 1917-1918, where he managed the construction of large wooden boats. In the 1930s, he was employed by Blanchard Boat Company in Seattle.

During WWII, Henri Andersen was employed as superintendant of the yards by the Department of Justice, Bureau of Prisons at McNeil Island Penitentiary, supervising military boat building under the prison labor program. After the war, he stayed on at the penitentiary as general foreman of mechanics and maintenance until his retirement in 1956. Henri Andersen died on March 16, 1970. He was a resident of Tacoma for 69 years

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

Photographs include images of passenger boats, tugboats, sailboats and motor yachts on the water and under construction at various Northwest shipyards and locations. A separate series of photographs document the cargo net construction industry at McNeil Island Penitentiary and the prison in El Reno, Oklahoma during World War II. Newspaper clippings include detailed coverage of military tugboat launchings on McNeil Island in 1943, including boats used for prison transport at McNeil and Alcatraz Islands. Other documents include invitations, programs and menus from launching events on McNeil Island, a letter of recommendation written for Henri Andersen in 1918, and personal correspondence between Henri Andersen and C.C. Yount of El Reno, Oklahoma. Also included are handwritten lists of employees, wages and dates worked, and a small spiral notebook with notes on cargo net construction and boat building.

Historical BackgroundReturn to Top

A Washington territorial jail was established in 1867 on McNeil Island in southern Puget Sound to replace a small county jail in Steilacoom. A shipbuilding industry was founded at the prison in 1883 by Captain Neil Henley of Steilacoom. The first ship built on McNeil Island was a 36-foot sailboat, and the last boat under this initial program was launched in 1907. The territorial jail was declared a Federal Penitentiary in 1905, and by 1919 the island prison had 250 inmates.

Under the Federal Prisoner Industries Act incorporated in 1934, a variety of industries were instituted on McNeil Island, allowing prisoners to receive job training and earn small wages while providing labor for food production and operations. During World War II, the shipbuilding program was revived. In November 1942, the Q-86 was the first military vessel in the United States built with inmate labor. On June 17, 1943 two 65-foot sister tugboats, T-88 and T-89, were launched with great local fanfare to support the war effort. These were the second and third boats built for the Army Transport Service at McNeil Penitentiary. The prison war effort also included food preservation and cargo net construction. A similar cargo net industry was instituted at the penitentiary in El Reno, Oklahoma, possibly based on the model at McNeil Island.

The 65-foot passenger boat Warden Johnston was launched on McNeil Island in May 1945. The vessel was designed by L.H. Coolidge, a Seattle naval architect. The officials supervising construction were Henri Andersen, V.E. Smith and Evert Soldin. Prisoners were paid 15 cents an hour and selected on the basis of good behavior and the need to send money to their impoverished families. The boat was named for Warden James Johnson of Alcatraz Penitentiary, and was used as convict transportation at Alcatraz Island, California.

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

Theda Andersen Carle Collection on Henri A. Andersen, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top


Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Photographs, circa 1917-1945Return to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
1
1996.11.1: U.S. Army Tugboat 89 and John Sergeant
8x10 inches
1943
1
1996.11.2: Motor yacht Conquista on the water, Seattle
8x10 inches
Built at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, originally a WWI submarine chaser and converted to private yacht by Blanchard Boat Works, c. 1919
circa 1920
1
1996.11.3: Motor yacht Conquista on Lake Union, Seattle
8x10 inches
Built at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, originally a WWI submarine chaser and converted to private yacht by Blanchard Boat Works, c. 1919
circa 1920
2
1996.11.4: Motor yacht Conquista at dock, Lake Union, Seattle
8x10 inches
Built at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, originally a WWI submarine chaser and converted to private yacht by Blanchard Boat Works, c. 1919
circa 1920
2
1996.11.5: Passenger boat Captain Connor
8x10 inches
Vessel used to transport passengers to McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington
circa 1945
2
1996.11.6: Passenger boat Captain Connor
8x10 inches
Vessel used to transport passengers to McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington
circa 1945
2
1996.11.7: Tugboat Butte in dry-dock
8x10 inches
circa 1953
3
1996.11.8: Tugboat Butte being rehabilitated in dry-dock
5x7 inches
1953
3
1996.11.9: Shipyard interior with workers and boats under construction, Motorship Construction Company, Vancouver, Washington
8x10 inches
Stamped on back, Columbia Commercial Studio
circa 1917
3
1996.11.10: Shipyard exterior with boats, Motorship Construction Company, Vancouver, Washington
8x10 inches
Stamped on back, Columbia Commercial Studio
circa 1918
3
1996.11.11: Barge being launched on McNeil Island
5x7 inches
Handwritten on front, launched September 13, 1951
1951
3
1996.11.12: Small sailboat on the water
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, K. Morris
circa 1945
4
1996.11.13: Gar Wood runabout on Lake Union
8x10 inches
circa 1930
4
1996.11.14: GarWood runabout on the water
8x10 inches
circa 1930
4
1996.11.15: Launching of boat Warden Johnston at McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington
5x7 inches
Vessel used to transport passengers to Alcatraz Penitentiary, California
1945 May
4
1996.11.16: Passenger boat Warden Johnston, built and launched on McNeil Island
5x7 inches
Vessel used to transport passengers to Alcatraz Penitentiary, handwritten on back, Warden Johnston launched May 12, 1945
1945
4
1996.11.17: Schooner Quascilla on the water
5x7 inches
Built by Blanchard Boat Company, Seattle, 1924
circa 1930
5
1996.11.18: Schooner Quascilla on the water
8x13 inches
Same image as 1996.11.17, colorized and enlarged
circa 1930
6
1996.11.19: McNeil Island gas station with car
6x8 inches
1941
6
1996.11.20: McNeil Island gas station with uniformed attendant
6x8 inches
1941
7
1996.11.21: Seated prisoner constructing a cargo net
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, McNeil Island Cargo Net Industry, September 14, 1943
1943
7
1996.11.22: Prisoners making cargo nets, McNeil Island Penitentiary, Washington
6x8 inches
1943
7
1996.11.23: Group of prisoners constructing cargo net
6x8 inches
Handwritten on back, McNeil Island Cargo Net Industry, September 14, 1943
1943
7
1996.11.24: Prisoner working on cargo net, Mc Neil Island Penitentiary, Washington
6x8 inches
1943
7
1996.11.25: Overhead view of prison cargo net workshop
6x8 inches
1943
7
1996.11.26: Overhead view of prison cargo net workshop
6x8 inches
Handwritten on back McNeil Island Cargo Net Industry, September 14, 1943
1943
8
1996.11.27: Prison cargo net workshop
6x8 inches
1943
8
1996.11.28: Cargo nets under construction at McNeil Island Penitentiary
6x8 inches
Handwritten on back, McNeil Island Cargo Net Industry, September 14, 1943
1943
8
1996.11.29: Prison cargo net workshop
6x8 inches
Handwritten on back, McNeil Island Cargo Net Industry, September 14, 1943
1943
8
1996.11.30: Stack of rolled nets
6x8 inches
1943
8
1996.11.31: Stack of rolled nets
6x8 inches
Handwritten on back, McNeil Island Cargo Net Industry, September 14, 1943
1943
8
1996.11.32: Cargo net hanging on wall
6x8 inches
1943
8
1996.11.33: Cargo net hanging on wall
6x8 inches
1943
9
1996.11.34: Group of prisoners constructing cargo nets
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.35: Group of prisoners constructing cargo nets
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.36: Two prisoners constructing cargo nets
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.37: Two prisoners constructing cargo nets
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.38: Two prisoners constructing cargo nets
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.39: Net spread on workshop floor
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.40: Two prisoners constructing cargo nets
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
9
1996.11.41: Net spread on workshop floor
5x7 inches
Handwritten on back, El Reno, Oklahoma, Cargo Net Industry, January 18, 1944
1944
12
1996.11.47: Wooden boat under construction, Dockton, Vashon Island
3x5 inches
Handwritten on back, Henri A. Andersen, Foreman
circa 1920
12
1996.11.48: Wooden boat under construction, Dockton, Vashon Island
3x5 inches
circa 1920
12
1996.11.49: Wooden boat under construction, Dockton, Vashon Island
3x5 inches
circa 1920
12
1995.11.50: Wooden boat under construction with worker on deck, Dockton, Vashon Island
3x5 inches
circa 1920
12
1995.11.51: Wooden boat being launched, Dockton, Vashon Island
3x5 inches
circa 1920
12
1995.11.52: Wooden boat being launched, Dockton, Vashon Island
3x5 inches
circa 1920
15
1995.11.58: Wooden boats under construction, Motorship Construction Company, Vancouver, Washington
8x10 inches
circa 1917
15
1995.11.59: Wooden boats under construction, Motorship Construction Company, Vancouver, Washington
8x10 inches
circa 1917
Container(s) Description Dates
Folder
10
1996.11.42: Spiral notebook with handwritten notes on cargo net and boat construction
circa 1940
10
1996.11.43: Correspondence between Henri A. Andersen and C.C. Yont, El Reno, Oklahoma
Personal letter, including details on Oklahoma prison cargo net industry.
1945
10
1996.11.44: McNeil Island Penitentiary, war effort buffet supper menu
1943 June 17
11
1996.11.45: Webster and Stevens Commercial Photographers, empty mailing envelope
Handwritten on front, Lake Union DDC
circa 1940
11
1996.11.46: Frank Nowell Commercial Photographers, empty mailing envelope address to Blanchard Boat Works
circa 1940
13
1996.11.53: Handwritten notes on employees, dates, wages and type of work
2 pages
circa 1930
13
1996.11.54-56: Newspaper clippings (photocopies)
Clippings on McNeil Island boat launchings, war salvage work and prison transport boat launch. Includes invitation card for launch
1943
14
1996.11.57: Letter of recommendation written for Henri Andersen by Motorship Construction Co, Vancouver, Washington
Includes undated newspaper clipping on death of Emil B. Andersen
1918 September 10