The United States entered World War I in April 1917. Within days, the federal government created the Emergency Fleet Corporation (EFC) to construct a fleet of merchant ships. The EFC hired the American International Shipbuilding Corporation to build and operate the largest shipyard in the world: Hog Island, near Philadelphia.
This unusual ship model of a standard Emergency Fleet Corporation Type A freighter was made of solid silver in 1919 by the silversmith Carl Zapffe, Inc. of Seattle, Washington for the Association of Northwestern Shipbuilders (ANS).
In gratitude for the nation’s massive investment in American shipbuilding during World War I, the ANS presented it to outgoing Emergency Fleet Corporation Director-General Charles Piez on 30 April 1919. The model was donated to the Smithsonian in 1976 by the nephew of the original recipient.
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