The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard was first esablished on June 12, 1800. During the War of 1812, Commodore Isaac Hull was the first naval officer to command the Portsmouth Harbour Naval Shipyard. In 1848 the steamer Saranac was built which was the first steam powered vessel constructed at the Shipyard. In 1857, the USS Constitution (Old Ironsides) was overhauld.
So ends the history of the 19th Century in dealing with PNS. During World War I, the PNS work force expanded to nearly 5,000 people. At this time, PNS took on a new and important role--the construction of submarines--in addition to the overhaul and repair of surface vessels. World War II saw the civilian employment rolls swell to over 25,000 men and women. Over the course of World War II over 70 submarines were constructed at PNS, with a record four submarines launched on one day. Following World War II, PNS was the Navy’s center for submarine design and development. The research submarine, USS ALBACORE, with its revolutionary "tear drop" shaped hull and round cross section, set the standard for all subsequent submarine hull design world-wide. PNS continued to build submarines until 1969, when the last submarine built in a public shipyard, the nuclear powered USS SAND LANCE, was launched.
Taken from the US Navy Website under Portsmouth Naval Shipyard