Vulcan: the Offshore Experience

Everyone has an experience in their life that they count the greatest. Corporations do, too. For Vulcan Iron Works, that experience was its involvement in offshore oil development.

PMW 5150 1979 Apr 23
Vulcan’s Executive Vice President, Pembroke M. Warrington, in front of a Vulcan 5150 for his customer, Brown and Root, April 1979. It arrived from Chicago on the rail car, waiting to be offloaded. Equipment of this size was almost commonplace in the offshore oil industry. Twelve years later Pem stated that Vulcan had been “the experience of a lifetime,” and equipment like this was a large reason why that was so.
5100
Vulcan 5100 hammer driving pipe pile in the Gulf of Mexico. This photo graced offshore literature in the late 1970’s and again in the 1990’s.

Come join us as we take a look at Vulcan’s involvement offshore, which follows a fascinating (and very profitable) saga of American commercial history. You can click here to start or pick one of the topics below:

About the Photos

mcdermott-dual-bargeWhen putting together this collection, we wanted to tell the story of both the construction of conventional platforms. It’s tempting just to surf the web and take “stock photos;” however, we chose to use something closer to home. Virtually all of the photos in this section were either taken by Vulcan employees or were commissioned by Vulcan and taken by professional photographers. Many of these photos were rescued from destruction when Vulcan sold its Chattanooga facility; they are a priceless legacy of a great endeavour.

For their part Vulcan’s employees were not photographers; they were service, sales, technical and management people. The photos weren’t always the best, but they told the story better than just about anything else we can think of, and modern digital processing has improved many of these shots. Most of them are named in the narrative.

Although there may be others, three professional photographers are known to have their work in this collection:

  • Sam R. Quincey of West Palm Beach, FL, who took the outside photos of Vulcan’s Florida executive office;
  • Bill Blakeney of Palm Beach Gardens, FL, who took some of the better photos offshore; and
  • Jim Wilson of Hixson, TN, who took those of the plant expansion dedication.
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