Banning Shipbuilding Company

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Banning Shipbuilding Company was established by the sons of Phineas Banning, William, Joseph and Hancock, in 1869. It was located on Mormon Island in the Inner Harbor of San Pedro Bay. It became a part of the Wilmington Transportation Company in 1884.



» Wilmington Transportation Company



In the News~

October 26, 1900 [LAT/SP]: “The tugs Wizard and Hercules, which were the property of the former breakwater contractors, Heldmaier & Neu, have been taken to the Banning shipyards on Mormon Island for repairs.”


June 2, 1903 [SBMP]: “The Brothers, a freight schooner, brought over a load of 549 sheep Sunday from Santa Rosa Island for the local markets. She will go to San Pedro today, when her captain, Fred Widing, will take command of the new schooner [Santa Rosa Island] recently completed for Vickers and Vail, owners of Santa Rosa, to ply between this port and the island. The new vessel will be the largest of the local fleet, equipped with a 92-horse-power gasoline engine. She was recently launched at the Banning ship yards.”


February 16, 1904 [LAT/SP]: “…In addition to the vessel launched today [Cabrillo], there has been built at the Banning shipyards the Warrior, Hermosa and Cricket for the company; the steamer Eureka, built for the Pacific Steamship Company, now in passenger service between San Francisco and Eureka, and two smaller vessels — the Santa Rosa Island and Torqua. All these boats were built under the supervision of William Muller…”


June 22, 1914 [LAT]: “New motorboat is real palace on the water. The Velero, belonging to Allan Hancock and built by the Banning shipyards in Mormon Island, is considered as being the most palatial motorboat ever built on the coast. Safety first on sea as well as land has been practiced by G. Allan Hancock in the building of his palatial motor boat Velero, which yesterday took its trial trip in the waters of San Pedro Harbor. Mr. Hancock has a boat which is without parallel on the coast, having put in a great deal of time aiding in the designing and building of the craft. The Velero is of the "torpedo boat" type of motor boat, and her two engines of 210 horsepower develop a speed of sixteen or seventeen knots. But the men who installed the huge engines which drive twin screws say that she can develop a speed nearer twenty knots. Of fifty tons' displacement, the Velero is seventy-seven feet over all, has a fourteen-foot beam, and five feet draft. The hull has a bent oak frame and Oregon pine planking. The deck and deck houses are finished in teak. Below decks the rooms are in white and gold, heavily enameled. The pilothouse and owner's room are abaft the raised deck forward. The pilothouse is fitted with all the latest in instruments of navigation, and is finished in mahogany. The owner's room adjoining it is finished in white enamel with gold trim, and a stairway from both rooms leads to the main cabin, which is also finished in white and gold. There are transoms on both sides of the cabin, and here repose the great variety of musical instruments. Forward of the cabin is a double stateroom, with lavatory and all modern fittings. Abaft the cabin is the galley, electric stove, refrigerator, and next the galley is the engine room, with one 150-horse power Eastern Standard engine, and one auxiliary Campbel engine developing sixty-horse power. In the after part of the boat are three spacious staterooms, and lavatories, divided by a hallway. The boat below decks is trimmed with mahogany. Mr. Hancock expects to do quite a good deal of cruising with the new boat and the big trip that he is bending his energies on at the present time is that to the Panama-Pacific Exposition at San Francisco in 1915.”