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Guide to the Brooklyn Navy Yard oral history collection ARC.003

Brooklyn Historical Society
128 Pierrepont Street
Brooklyn 11201

Brooklyn Historical Society

Collection processed by Amy Lau, Mary Mann, Aliki Caloyeras, and Margaret Fraser

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on  , September 3, 2020
Finding aid written in English using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Container List

Oral History Interview with Milton Wurtzel, February 12, 2009

Biographical / Historical

Milton Wurtzel (1919- ) was born in Manhattan and grew up in the Bronx and in Stuyvesant Heights, Brooklyn on Kosciusko Street. Wurtzel worked at Lieberman Shoe Factory as a foreman and at a slipper factory before he started working at the Brooklyn Navy Yard as a welder. Wurtzel left the Brooklyn Navy Yard when he was inducted into the Navy, in which he worked on the USS Humboldt. At the time of the interview, Wurtzel was living in Long Island.

Scope and Contents

In his interview, Milton Wurtzel (1919- ) gives many details and stories about his experience at the Brooklyn Navy Yard and in the US Navy. He describes the process of welding, the tools he used, his training and supervisors, the sickbay, the cafeteria and lunchtime, driving to work and theft at the yard. In one story, he explains how he made jewelry using the Hammerhead Crane. In another, he discusses the unhygienic conditions on French ships. He also discusses his Jewish background, growing up in Brooklyn and the Bronx, meeting his wife and Navy life aboard the USS Humboldt. Wurtzel's grandson Jason Wurtzel was also present at the time of the interview. Interview conducted by Sady Sullivan.

Conditions Governing Access

This interview can be accessed onsite at Brooklyn Historical Society's Othmer Library and online at the Oral History Portal.

Subject Organizations

  • New York Naval Shipyard
  • Missouri (Battleship : BB 63)

Subject Topics

  • Cranes, derricks, etc
  • Dating (Social customs)
  • Ethnicity
  • Fishing
  • Friendship
  • Judaism
  • Labor unions -- New York (State) -- New York
  • Local transit
  • Sailors
  • Security systems
  • Sex role
  • Shipfitting
  • Shipbuilding -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Shipyards -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Transportation
  • Wages -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • Work environment -- New York (State) -- Kings County
  • World War, 1939-1945

Subject Places

  • Stuyvesant Heights (New York, N.Y.)
  • Brooklyn (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bedford-Stuyvesant (New York, N.Y.)
  • Bronx (New York, N.Y.)