The National Achievement Award is the highest honor presented by the National Rivers Hall of Fame to those people who are making significant contributions to America’s waterways. The National Rivers Hall of Fame with members in 36 states is the only national museum telling the stories of the people of America’s rivers.
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Honored in 1987
Herman Theodore Pott was born on June 14, 1895, in Sheyboygan, Wisconsin, and graduated in 1916 as a Civil Engineer at the University of Wisconsin. After working a short time as a surveyor, he took a job with the Dravo Corporation in Pittsburgh. He transferred to the Dravo Shipyard as chief estimator and soon advanced to assistant General Manager.
In the heart of the depression, 1933, Mr. Pott purchased the Phillip A. Rohan Boiler & Tank Co., changing its name to the St. Louis Shipbuilding and Steel Co. This was the beginning of Pott Industries, Inc.
During World War II, Mr. Pott was approached by the U.S. Navy to construct 40 tank carriers for the government. To handle the $40 million job, a separate company called Missouri Shipbuilding Corp. was organized as a St. Louis Ship subsidiary. In 1947, St. Louis Ship saved the last authentic Mississippi River showboat, the Goldenrod, by replacing its wooden hull with a steel hull. In 1953, Mr. Pott took over the Federal Barge Lines from the U.S. government. This company acquired Gulf-Canal Lines in 1959 and continued its record of engineering “firsts” as the number of boats and barges it built tallied in the hundreds. In 1960, St. Louis Ship launched the world’s most powerful towboat, the America.
Mr. Pott was a Director for the American Bureau of Shipbuilding and served on the Executive Committee of the Mississippi Valley Association. He was an organizer and the first President of the St. Louis Propeller Club and also a member of the Society of Navel Architects and Marine Engineers. On April 15, 1973, Pott Industries, Inc., saluted its Founder and Chairman with the launching of the M.V. Herman Pott.