Savannah Shipyard was founded in 1914 as a marine repair business by Forest City Machine and Foundry Company. Over the years, it was reorganized and renamed Savannah Machine and Foundry. In 1941 the company contracted with the Navy to build minesweepers and salvage ships. They located their new shipyard on the Savannah River and constructed facilities for shipbuilding and shops for repair and maintenance. In 1944 the company received another Navy contract to design and build submarine rescue ships. After World War II, the shipyard deactivated and preserved Navy ships. Asbestos exposure was inevitable for the employees, inhalation or ingestion of asbestos being typical due to the construction and repair activities.