May 11, 2009
Eighty years of Gibbs & Cox
Gibbs & Cox, Inc. this year celebrates 80 years of operations as one of the largest independent U.S. naval architecture and marine engineering firms. Since its founding in 1929, the company has continuously provided the U.S. Navy, international navies, government agencies, shipyards, and commercial clients access to the capabilities required to take a ship from a "clean sheet of paper" to detail design, production, and lifetime support.
Over this 80-year period, more than 6,000 naval and commercial ships have been built to Gibbs & Cox, Inc. designs. With the commissioning of the U.S. Navy's first Littoral Combat Ship (LCS-1) USS Freedom, nearly 80 percent of the current U.S. Navy Ship Battle Forces surface combatant fleet, and over 45 percent of the entire U.S. Navy's active in commission surface ship fleet, have been built to Gibbs & Cox, Inc. designs.
"As we celebrate 80 years of business, we salute the U.S. Navy and other government customers, our employees past and present, and industry partners who have supported us," said Kevin Moak, Chairman of Gibbs & Cox, Inc. "The future is an exciting time for Gibbs & Cox as we continue to extend our legacy of maritime innovation and design and engineering expertise to help the U.S. Navy meet our nation's maritime defense priorities with solutions that balance capability and cost."
A Place in Maritime History
The company was founded on June 29, 1929 by lawyer and engineer William Francis Gibbs, his brother Frederick H. Gibbs and Daniel Cox, a noted yacht designer. As the inspirational leader of the company, William Francis, designed the famous, standardized cargo-carrying Liberty ships of World War II and was instrumental in the implementation of modular construction, centralized material and equipment procurement, and design-for-production features that are the foundation of cost-effective shipbuilding today. The firm developed and implemented many improvements in ship design and construction based on fleet feedback during World War II, constantly improving the designs of surface combatants and other ships throughout the war.
During World War II, Gibbs & Cox was a leader in the shaping of the U.S. maritime forces. Approximately 80 percent of the ships built during the war were built to Gibbs & Cox, Inc. designs. These included destroyers, destroyer escorts, light cruisers, landing ships and amphibious assault vessels, liberty ships, minesweepers, icebreakers, tankers and tenders. Since 1933, the firm has designed every class of destroyers for the U.S. Navy, except the DD 963 and DDG 1000 Class ships.
Following the war, Gibbs & Cox incorporated the advances in fire protection and ship survivability developed during the war into the design of the passenger liner SS United States (1952), a ship that many consider to be the greatest American ocean liner ever built. This ship, which could be rapidly converted from a luxury liner to a high-speed troop transport or hospital ship in wartime, was the largest and fastest passenger vessel ever constructed in the U.S. On her maiden voyage in 1952, she set the record for fastest eastbound and westbound transatlantic crossings. Though she lost the eastbound record in 1990, the westbound record still stands at 3 days, 12 hours and 12 minutes at an average speed of over 34 knots (nearly 40 miles per hour).
Gibbs & Cox, Inc. is an independent engineering and design firm specializing in naval architecture, marine engineering, management support, and engineering consulting. The firm is headquartered in Arlington, Virginia with offices in New York City, Washington D.C., Hampton, Virginia, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.