Betty Burns Papers on the Moran Brothers Company, 1898-1924  PDF

Overview of the Collection

Burns, Betty M., 1917-2004
Betty Burns Papers on the Moran Brothers Company
1898-1924 (inclusive)
2 boxes, (.7 linear feet)
Collection Number
Scrapbooks, correspondence, and other materials documenting the work of the Moran Brothers Company, a Seattle shipbuilder.
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

Robert Moran was born in New York City on January 26, 1857. He came to Seattle in 1875, and as a mechanical engineer, engaged in shipbuilding and marine engineering. With his brothers Frank and Sherman, he established Moran Bros. Marine and Sawmill Machinery Co. in 1882, which later 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. 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. He was active for many years in numerous civic, professional, public, and fraternal organizations. After selling the company in 1906, Moran retired to Rosario, the estate on Orcas Island that he had designed. In 1914, he donated 5,000 acres on Orcas Island to the State of Washington, which became Moran State Park. He died in 1943 at the age of 86.

Content DescriptionReturn to Top

This small collection contains various materials relating to the work of the Moran Brothers Company. Many items document the company's construction of Yukon River steamers, including correspondence with Standard Oil and the transcription of a logbook from the journey to deliver the vessels to Alaska. The collection also includes a scrapbook of clippings related to the NEBRASKA.

Use of the CollectionReturn to Top

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

Betty Burns Collection on the Moran Brothers Company, Museum of History & Industry, Seattle

Administrative InformationReturn to Top

Detailed Description of the CollectionReturn to Top

Container(s) Description Dates
1 Miscellaneous manuscripts
  • Transcription of logbook describing delivery of Yukon steamers to St. Michaels, Alaska
  • Specifications, correspondence, etc. re: steamers for Standard Oil
  • Specifications for Yukon River steamer
  • Patents for water turbines
  • Shipping articles
  • Copper plate for engraving NEBRASKA launch invitation
  • Expense books
2 Scrapbooks
  • Engines, boilers, and vessels
  • NEBRASKA (mostly clippings)

Names and SubjectsReturn to Top

  • Subject Terms :
  • Shipbuilding -- Washington (State) -- Seattle
  • Personal Names :
  • Moran, Robert, 1857-1943
  • Corporate Names :
  • Moran Brothers Company (Seattle, Wash.)