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"This 1952 Navy documentary looks at the design and production facilities of the former Naval Gun Factory at Washington Navy Yard. Source: Naval History and Heritage Command, Photographic Section, UM-31."
The original video was of very poor quality, but the content is excellent, so I cleaned it up as best I could.
Public domain film from the Naval History and Heritage Command, slightly cropped to remove uneven edges, with the aspect ratio corrected, and mild video noise reduction applied.
The soundtrack was also processed with volume normalization, noise reduction, clipping reduction, and/or equalization (the resulting sound, though not perfect, is far less noisy than the original).
The Washington Navy Yard is the former shipyard and ordnance plant of the United States Navy in Southeast Washington, D.C. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy.
The Yard currently serves as... home to the Chief of Naval Operations, and is headquarters for the Naval Sea Systems Command, Naval Historical Center, the Department of Naval History, the U.S. Navy Judge Advocate General's Corps, Naval Reactors, Marine Corps Institute, the United States Navy Band, and other more classified facilities.
In 1998, the yard was listed as a Superfund site due to environmental contamination.
The history of the yard can be divided into its military history and cultural and scientific history.
The land was purchased under an Act of Congress on July 23, 1799. The Washington Navy Yard was established on October 2, 1799, the date the property was transferred to the Navy. It is the oldest shore establishment of the U.S. Navy. The Yard was built under the direction of Benjamin Stoddert, the first Secretary of the Navy, under the supervision of the Yard's first commandant, Commodore Thomas Tingey, who served in that capacity for 29 years...
From its first years, the Washington Navy Yard became the navy's largest shipbuilding and shipfitting facility, with 22 vessels constructed there, ranging from small 70-foot (21 m) gunboats to the 246-foot (75 m) steam frigate USS Minnesota. The USS Constitution came to the Yard in 1812 to refit and prepare for combat action.
During the War of 1812, the Navy Yard was important not only as a support facility, but also as a vital strategic link in the defense of the capital city...
Following the War of 1812, the Washington Navy Yard never regained its prominence as a shipbuilding facility...
During the American Civil War, the Yard once again became an integral part of the defense of Washington...
Following the war, the Yard continued to be the scene of technological advances. In 1886, the Yard was designated the manufacturing center for all ordnance in the Navy. Commander Theodore F. Jewell was Superintendent of the Naval Gun Factory from January 1893 to February 1896. Ordnance production continued as the Yard manufactured armament for the Great White Fleet and the World War I navy. The 14-inch (360 mm) naval railway guns used in France during World War I were manufactured at the Yard.
By World War II, the Yard was the largest naval ordnance plant in the world. The weapons designed and built there were used in every war in which the United States fought until the 1960s. At its peak, the Yard consisted of 188 buildings on 126 acres (0.5 km²) of land and employed nearly 25,000 people. Small components for optical systems, and enormous 16-inch (410 mm) battleship guns were all manufactured here. In December 1945, the Yard was renamed the U.S. Naval Gun Factory. Ordnance work continued for some years after World War II until finally phased out in 1961. Three years later, on July 1, 1964, the activity was redesignated the Washington Navy Yard. The deserted factory buildings began to be converted to office use.
The Washington Navy Yard was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and designated a National Historic Landmark on May 11, 1976.
It was headquarters to the Marine Corps Historical Center. That was moved in 2006 to Quantico...
The Washington Navy Yard was the scene of many scientific developments. Robert Fulton conducted research and testing on his clockwork torpedo during the War of 1812. In 1822, Commodore John Rodgers built the country's first marine railway for the overhaul of large vessels. John A. Dahlgren developed his distinctive bottle-shaped cannon that became the mainstay of naval ordnance before the Civil War. In 1898, David W. Taylor developed a ship model testing basin, which was used by the Navy and private shipbuilders to test the effect of water on new hull designs. The first shipboard aircraft catapult was tested in the Anacostia River in 1912, and a wind tunnel was completed at the Yard in 1916. The giant gears for the Panama Canal locks were cast at the Yard.
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