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The Frank J. Trezza Seatrain Shipbuilding Collection

By Dan Brenner

Posted on October 17, 2019

Frank J. Trezza, [Ship fitters], 1977, Color slide, v1988.21.120; Brooklyn Historical Society.

This image comes from the Frank J. Trezza Seatrain Shipbuilding collection, which documents the Brooklyn Navy Yard through a turbulent period of change. Closed by the Department of Defense in 1966, the Navy Yard was reopened a few years later under the management of the Seatrain Shipbuilding Corporation. A subsidiary of the shipping and transportation company Seatrain Lines, the Seatrain Shipbuilding Corporation was founded in 1968 with the help of federal government subsidies and operated in Brooklyn through the 1980s.

In 1988, Frank J. Trezza donated his collection of assorted photographs, pamphlets, and newspaper clippings to BHS. These items document his time as a mechanic helper at the Navy Yard, from 1973 through 1978. Unfortunately, a work-related injury forced Trezza to leave the job, and he was told he may never again work in the shipbuilding profession as a result. Soon after his recovery however, Trezza relocated to Maine and worked as a First Class Marine Electrician at Bath Iron Works, and later the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard in New Hampshire. In 2007, Trezza published his memoir Brooklyn: Steel-Blood Tenacity, about his time spent working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Want to know more about the history of Brooklyn’s waterfront? Visit our BHS DUMBO location at 55 Water Street and check out our current Waterfront exhibition which includes photographs from this collection and more!

For more information on the Frank J. Trezza Seatrain Building collection (1988.016) please see our finding aid here and for more photographs from this collection please visit our image gallery here.

Interested in seeing more photos from BHS’s collection? Visit our online image gallery, which includes a selection of our images. Interested in seeing even more historic Brooklyn images? Visit our Brooklyn Visual Heritage website here. To search BHS’s entire collection of images, archives, maps, and special collections; visit BHS’s Othmer Library Wed-Sat, 1:00-5:00 p.m. [email protected].

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