Construction of the gantry crane was completed in 1947. At 8,400 tons, it was the largest gantry crane in the world. Even then, its size was lost from a distance, as it stood astride the nation’s largest dry dock.

Nearly as long as the Titanic, it was billed as "The mightiest crane in the world." Two massive lifts moved along rails atop a 730 foot long runway. Over a 200 foot drop to the water, the crane's runway sat level with the roadway of the Golden Gate Bridge. 

Originally developed to swap gun turrets on battleships, the crane’s record breaking 630 ton lifting capability and enormous size found a variety of applications.