The World War I shipbuilding program led to a large increase in the number of vessels in the United States. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920 provided for the sale of these government owned ships to the private sector. A problem arose as how to best use them.
In addition, the United States Shipping Board was task to determine and establish world trade routes "for the promotion, development, expansion, and maintenance of foreign and coast wide trade of the United States."
The Propeller Club idea was conceived in New York in 1922, when a small group of men engaged in the maritime industry gathered frequently to discuss mutual problems and the future of American shipping arising from these and other events. Today, Port of Old Dominion University is a student
branch of the nationwide Propeller Club of the United States.
The Propeller Club of the United States
The Propeller Club of the United States is a grassroots, non-profit
organization, dedicated to the enhancement and well-being of all
interests of the maritime community on a national and international
basis. Membership is organized into local clubs called "Ports." There
are 52 port chapters in the United States, 33 Clubs overseas, 16 Student
Port Clubs in the U.S., and 5 Student Ports overseas. The Propeller
Club aggressively promotes the maritime industry through many of its
programs and by partnering with other similar organizations. Our goal is
to educate legislators and the public as to the importance and
necessity of all waterborne commerce.
The Propeller Club Port of Norfolk has over 260 members from all
facets of the maritime transportation and logistics fields. The Club
sponsors several monthly luncheon meeting throughout the winter season.
Its primary fund raising events are the well known Propeller Club Oyster
Roasts held in October and April each year. The Club also organizes
south Hampton Road's annual Maritime Day celebration.
The Port of Norfolk has several charitable missions. The most notable
are the recently established annual scholarship of $2500 to be awarded
to a member of the Old Dominion University Student Propeller Club and an
annual gift of $2000 awarded to the Seaman’s Mission of Norfolk.
Please explore their Web site: http://www.propellerclubnorfolk.com/dotnetnuke/default.aspx to learn more about the Propeller Club of
the United States and the Propeller Club Port of Norfolk.