1917 - 1921

In August 1917, the auspicious day finally arrived. Secretary Daniels traveled to Charleston from Washinton D.C. to break ground on his "great dream."

The first building would not be completed until 1918. Flu outbreaks, labor shortages, and a lack of housing and transportation on the south side of the river slowed its development. But by June of that year, the "Projectile Plant" on the banks of the Kanawha River poured its first ingot of steel.

In February 1921, the Armor Plant followed suit. The dream of Secretary Daniels, father of America's modern fleet, was complete. But if South Charleston had hoped for an era of prosperity in the wake of the NOP's completion, it was not to be...

Browse our Flickr archive at right for an album of the Naval Ordnance Plant's construction from 1917 to 1922.

For more information from primary sources on the NOP's construction, check out the Textual section of our Library!