The story of this shipyard dates back to 1908 when the young George Williams Gibbs established it in Jacksonville, Florida. As a pioneer shipbuilder, the man created a type of engine that used half the fuel of other engines and started building ship hulls along the Southbank riverfront. During World War I, Gibbs Shipyard became a major employer, building 16 submarine chasers for the U.S. Navy. However, people who had a job at this shipyard were exposed to asbestos, which now places them at risk of developing a terrible disease. Some of the occupational groups that encountered the largest amounts of asbestos were boilermakers, insulators, construction workers, and pipefitters. A whopping 4.5 million people were working in shipyards during World War II.