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Lawrence York Spear was born 23 October 1870 in Warren, Ohio. Navy Lt. L. Y. Spear was a naval construction superintendent and inspector who worked for the U. S. Navy and graduated second in his class at The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland 1890. Spear went on to Scotland to attend the University of Glasgow. After returning from Scotland, he was asked to inspect and oversee the projects that were taking place at several shipyards across America while working for the United States Navy. One of those shipyards was known as the Crescent Shipyard of Elizabeth, New Jersey. This is the yard where the United States Navy's first submarines were built for John P. Holland's company... The Holland Torpedo Boat Company. Later on, this company changed their name to Electric Boat when Isaac L. Rice merged his other holdings (Electric Storage and Electo-Dynamic) with Mr. Holland's to create The Electric Boat Company. Spear was hired by Isaac Leopold Rice by the end of 1902 as a naval constructor and vice-President of the newly renamed Electric Boat Company, essentially taking Holland's position at Electric Boat as Holland resigned in protest in April 1904. Also, Arthur Leopold Busch was no longer of any interest to this new organization (now) under the helm of lawyer and financier, Isaac Rice. It is (also) fairly well known that Mr. Spear had little to no training in this new field of building underwater craft for the United States Navy at the time... circa 1902.

Lawrence Y. Spear worked at Electric for many years and went on to become President and Chairman of the Electric Boat Company until his death in 1950. It is safe to assume that Spear spent more time working for Electric Boat than any other individual in the companies 100 plus year existence. That would also include the time Frank Taylor Cable spent there. The Electric Boat Company changed their name to General Dynamics in 1952 under the company's new Chairman and CEO, John Jay Hopkins, who preceded Mr. Spear at the helm of Electric Boat, taking over control of the company by 1950.

L. Y. Spear has a ship [class] name after him - and the ship named after him served the [in] United States Navy until its recent decommissioning on September 6, 1996 (USS L. Y. Spear AS-36). This ship just so happened to be built by the General Dynamics Shipbuilding Division in Quincy, Massachusetts in 1966.

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