Prototype Texaco Tanker Completed
Prototype Texaco Tanker Completed ~ March 9, 1930
The first electrically welded commercial vessel Prototype Texaco Tanker Completed ~ March 9, 1930, the Texas Company (Texaco) tanker M/S Carolinian, was completed in Charleston, South Carolina. The 226-ton vessel was a prototype design by naval architect Richard F. Smith, according to historian Zachary Liollio.
“The wartime shipbuilding boom of World War I led American and British shipbuilders to explore the advantages of electric welding in depth,” he notes in a 2017 article for the International Committee for the Conservation of the Industrial Heritage (TICCIH).
The Texaco oil products tanker was “the first truly electrically welded ship,” Liollio explains in “The M/S Carolinian: The First Welded Commercial Vessel.” The welding eliminated the need for about 85,000 pounds of rivets, he adds. The success of the prototype led to orders for similar ships by 1931, and “the standard of welded hulls and internal combustion engines would become universal in construction of new vessels.”