Propeller Club of the United States

The Propeller Club was conceived in New York in the latter part of 1922 when a small group of marine industry men gathered frequently to discuss mutual problems concerning American shipping. This original group slowly expanded and on January 24, 1923, formally organized themselves as the “Propeller Club of New York,” the keel of the Propeller Club of the United States which was to be founded four years later.

The name “Propeller” was chosen as being emblematic of the driving force. During the next four years, a similar group was founded in Boston and asked if it might also use the name “Propeller Club.” A loose affiliation was established with that group in February 1927. In May of 1927, the Propeller Club of New Orleans was formed and later that year, at Yale University, a body of engineering students was organized as the first Student Port.

In November 1927 delegates representing the four Propeller Clubs (of New York, Boston, New Orleans and Yale University) convened in New York City. The result of that meeting was the formation of the Propeller Club of the United States with a constitution, by-laws, national officers and a very modest treasury.

Growth at the start was slow. It was not until two years later that Port Number 5 was charted at Tampa, Florida in May 1929. Port Number 6, at Seattle, Washington (the first on the west coast) was charted on July 6, 1929. Since then, the organization has grown steadily. In 1932, the first overseas port was established at Hamburg, Germany. Its membership consisted of American citizens engaged in maritime activities.

Today there is a Propeller Club in practically every city of consequence in the continental United States, on the seacoasts, the Great Lakes and the inland waterways. Overseas there are Propeller Clubs in Puerto Rico, Panama, Europe, Guam, Japan, the Mid-East and the Philippines.

*Image: the Navy and Merchant Marine Memorial in Washington, DC