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Loading Hawaiian Merchant
Matson Navigation Company


This object appears in the following sections:

Making the Exhibition
Container Back Story — Matson Navigation and the Hawaiian Merchant

Loading Hawaiian Merchant
In collection
From the Smithsonian Collection
This photograph shows workers loading the first container for Gerber Baby Foods aboard the Hawaiian Merchant at Alameda, California, on August 31, 1958. Later that day the ship departed for Hawaii on its first Pacific voyage with containerized cargo. The crane arrangement in the photograph shows the improvised nature of shoreside operations at the beginning of the container revolution.
Physical Description
Date Made:
Dates Used:
1958 - 1971
California, Hawaii
Built in 1945 as the Sea Skimmer by the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation, in Pascagoula, Mississippi, the ship was sold to the Matson Navigation Company in 1947 and renamed Hawaiian Merchant. In 1958 it was altered to carry shipping containers as well as bulk cargo and, on August 31, the Hawaiian Merchant sailed out of the Golden Gate with the first containerized cargo in the Pacific. The ship was sold and scrapped in 1971.

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