WWI Concrete Shipwrecks in Texas

Author(s): Dorothy Rowland

Year: 2018


During World War I, raw material supply shortages in the United States caused many manufacturing innovations to be made, including the use of concrete for the hulls of merchant ships. Concrete ships were manufactured by both the US government and private companies, but few were ready in time to contribute to the war effort. These ships were unique in their design, sailing capabilities, and working lifespan. There are four recorded archeological examples of concrete oil tankers in Texas, wrecked in the vicinity of Matagorda and Galveston Bays. Two of the ships are known to be the SS Selma and Darlington, and though not confirmed, research suggests that the other two SS Dismore and Durham as the remaining wrecks. Little archaeological research has been completed on these ships, and so this paper explores both the historical backgrounds of these ships and their future archaeological potential.

Cite this Record

WWI Concrete Shipwrecks in Texas. Dorothy Rowland. Presented at Society for Historical Archaeology, New Orleans, Louisiana. 2018 ( tDAR id: 441599)

This Resource is Part of the Following Collections


Temporal Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -129.199; min lat: 24.495 ; max long: -66.973; max lat: 49.359 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Society for Historical Archaeology

Record Identifiers

PaperId(s): 416