52 Ancestors: Work


My grandfather Captain William Gordon McCallum served in the Merchant Marines prior to, during, and after World War I, and when he was discharged, he could not find a job in Seattle.

William Gordon McCallum

He ended up moving to Portland sometime between 1950 and 1951 and living in a boarding house when he finally got a job working for the Portland branch of the Marine Underwriters of San Francisco (according to my mom). However, a blurb about him later, published by Brady-Hamilton, said he came from the American Hawaiian Steamship Company.


He left the job after a few years (my mom thinks around 1955, but definitely by 1957) to work for Brady-Hamilton Stevedore.


He told them how to load things on the ships, overseeing the loading of ships at various ports, including Portland, Astoria, and Longview. Towards the end of his career championed moving towards container shipping.


He worked seven days a week in the beginning, and would often go back to work after dinner. My mom recalls many nights where her and my grandma would go and sit in the dark in the car, waiting for my grandpa to finish up work.


He retired in 1973, as Brady-Hamilton celebrated their 50th anniversary. The photographs in this post are from a booklet produced by the company, celebrating their 50 years in business.

Thanks for reading, as always you can find all my 52ancestors posts by clicking the tag!

Until next time,




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