Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant Crane

Two (2) Browning Gantry Cranes (20 ton capacity) were originally purchased for use at the Long Beach Assembly Plant (Long Beach Assembly Plant, Specifications In Offer to Sell, 1959, LBP). In a photograph taken by Lawrence Inman, April 13, 1990, both cranes were depicted alongside the eastern side of the Warehouse.

Two Browning Gantry Cranes, situated at the northeast and southeast ends of the Warehouse were originally in place at the Long Beach Assembly Plant. Each crane was seated atop a platform constructed of riveted steel I-beams. The outside leg of each crane's platform was attached to two railroad-type wheels that ran in a track recessed in concrete, at the edge of the dock that ran from the eastern side of the Warehouse out to the waters of Cerritos Channel. This track ran from the northeast to the southeast corners of the Warehouse. The other portion of the crane's platform was attached to a "runway" that was mounted on the eastern, exterior side of the Warehouse. The "runway" was situated immediately below the mid-level horizontai fenestration, that was immediately below a cantelevered iron deck or platform that adjoined the second floor of the Warehouse.

A single set of railroad tracks entered into the Ford Motor Company Long Beach Assembly Plant from the northeast comer of the property (Plot Plan LB74, 1947, LBP). These tracks were split into one set that ran into the Pressed Steel Building, while the other two tracks ran southward alongside the exterior of the Pressed Steel Building and Warehouse portions of the Assembly Plant, terminating at the southeast corner of the Oil house. In the Inman 1930 photograph (6th image below) and the 1990 De Vries photographs (first and second images below) these railroad tracks were located directly below the Browning Gantry Cranes. Apparently, the cranes were used to unload load materials onto incoming and outgoing railroad cars. Another Inman photograph taken in 1930 shows the Ford Ship "Onondaga" having a load of spoked wheels unloaded by one of the gantry cranes. Thus, these cranes were instrumental in unloading raw materials that were sent to the plant for use in the assembly of automobiles. Historic research does not indicate If the cranes were used in loading crated, pressed steel fenders and other parts made at the Long Beach Plant, onto railroad cars or ships.

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant FRONT OF CRANE, DIKE, AND SECOND FLOOR DECK FROM RAIL SPUR. VIEW TO SOUTH.
FRONT OF CRANE, DIKE, AND SECOND FLOOR DECK FROM RAIL SPUR. VIEW TO SOUTH.

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant REAR OF CRANE, DIKE, AND SECOND FLOOR DECK FROM RAIL SPUR. VIEW TO NORTH.
REAR OF CRANE, DIKE, AND SECOND FLOOR DECK FROM RAIL SPUR. VIEW TO NORTH.

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant CRANE FROM SECOND FLOOR DECK, LOOKING SOUTH.
CRANE FROM SECOND FLOOR DECK, LOOKING SOUTH.

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant CRANE DETAIL FROM SECOND FLOOR DECK. VIEW TO SOUTH-SOUTHEAST.
CRANE DETAIL FROM SECOND FLOOR DECK. VIEW TO SOUTH-SOUTHEAST.

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant REAR OF CRANE FROM SECOND FLOOR DECK. VIEW TO NORTH.
REAR OF CRANE FROM SECOND FLOOR DECK. VIEW TO NORTH.

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant Apr 13, 1930, EAST SIDE OF WAREHOUSE AND LOADING DOCK, SHOWING CRANE, LOOKING NORTH
Apr 13, 1930, EAST SIDE OF WAREHOUSE AND LOADING DOCK, SHOWING CRANE, LOOKING NORTH

Ford Long Beach Assembly Plant WAREHOUSE, WHEEL SLING ON THE LOADING DOCK AND FORD SHIP
WAREHOUSE, WHEEL SLING ON THE LOADING DOCK AND FORD SHIP