The SS Robert E. Peary was a Liberty Ship built during World War II by Permanente Metals Corporation at their No. 2 Yard in Richmond, California, and named after the American explorer Robert E. Peary, the first person to reach the North Pole. The ship is famous for having the shortest construction time out of any other US ship – 4 days, 15 hours, and 29 minutes, as a result of a competition between shipyards, and it was delivered only 3 days later, setting another record. The goal of this effort was to show the world that the United States had the ability to produce ships faster than they could be sunk. After the war, the ship was transferred to the Wilmington Reserve Fleet and scrapped in June 1963. For much of the 20th century, asbestos was used in numerous products across many industries, including shipbuilding, because of its many benefits, including its high tensile strength and resistance to heat and electrical damage. When asbestos is disturbed by installation, maintenance, or removal, it can easily break apart into smaller pieces and get into the air, where people can easily breathe it in. Once these fibers are inhaled, they can get stuck deep in the lungs causing long-term inflammation and scarring.