In 1935 William L. Crothers started employment in the Design Division of the Philadelphia Navy Yard (later named the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard). In the same year he joined the Philadelphia Ship Model Society. These two maritime organizations formed his life for the next 37 years until he retired from the shipyard in 1972. His membership in the Philadelphia Ship Model Society, however continued. Over the years he and his wife visited many museums along the east coast ferreting out the far-flung information that was tucked away in each facility. There was much to be found and, as is usually the case, the subject kept growing as new information was found and collected.