Founded in 1907, Western Pipe and Steel Company was headquartered in San Francisco, California. It was active until 1945. The shipyard is best remembered for its relentless construction of ships for the Maritime Commission in World War II. Furthermore, Western Pipe and Steel Company also built ships for the U.S. Shipping Board during World War I and participated in the construction of the giant Grand Coulee Dam project in the 1930s. Sadly, all the employees of this shipyard were exposed to asbestos, a naturally occurring carcinogenic mineral. Perhaps the most common, as well as the most dangerous product with asbestos they had to handle without protective gear was insulation - from pipe and duct insulation to block insulation.