Feb. 28, 1890: Bath Iron Works wins its first contract for the construction of complete ships – two iron gunboats for the U.S. Navy. Flags are hoisted at the shipyard and the yard’s whistles issue three loud blasts at noon to celebrate the occasion.

The award accelerates the rush to convert the yard’s South Division into a true shipbuilding facility.

Founded in 1884 by Thomas W. Hyde, the storied Bath company would become a subsidiary of General Dynamics in 1995 and remains one of Maine’s largest employers.

Joseph Owen is a retired copy desk chief of the Morning Sentinel and Kennebec Journal and board member of the Kennebec Historical Society. He can be contacted at: [email protected]

Bath Iron Works shipyard today. Kathleen O’Brien/The Times Record

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