The SS Zachary Taylor was a Liberty Ship built by the United States to be used during World War II. Built by Permanente Metals Corporation in one of their shipyards in Richmond, California and named after the 12th President of the United States, the ship was launched in February 1942 and, eventually, like most other surviving Liberty Ships, it was scrapped in 1961. Shortly after the war, the vessel was used to transport European immigrants (mostly Jews and other Holocaust survivors) to New York City. Between World War II and the late-1970s, asbestos extensively because appeared to be an incredibly useful product. By nature, asbestos is an excellent fire retardant and temperature insulator, which is essential in military construction for preserving human lives from weapon fire. Asbestos is also a natural insulator, making it the perfect construction material in Navy ships.