There were two companies known as the "Guion Line"; both were directed by the American Stephen Barker Guion (1820-1885).
The first company existed only between 1862 and 1863. It had the steamships, Carolina , Georgia (stranded off Sable Island in 1863 ), Louisiana and Virginia , which were taken over by the National Line in 1863 .
In 1866 he founded the Liverpool & Great Western Steamship Company . Although it was registered in Great Britain, it had mostly US shareholders - like Guion himself. Guion had come to Liverpool in the early 1860s to better organize the emigration business for a US shipping company. Guion also worked for the Cunard Line and the National Line . In 1866, Guion decided to enter the emigration business with its own steamers. The shipping company's ships were all named after US states.
The shipping company ordered eight ships of 3,000–4,000 GRT within a short period of time. With a capacity of 800 between deck passengers and only 72 1st class passengers, they were intended exclusively for the transport of emigrants. In 1870 Guion planned to improve its market position with two blue ribbon racers. But the sister ships Montana and Dakota had significant technical deficiencies and never reached the required speed, they became a total disaster for Guion and the "greatest Atlantic failure" in the history of the Blue Ribbon.
But Guion didn't give up, and in 1879 the brand new Arizona won the Blue Ribbon at over 16 knots. However, the ship only had a capacity of 1000 between deck passengers, which, given the enormous daily coal consumption of 135 tons, did not promise much profit. In 1881 the Alaska was the next record ship, with the same problem as its predecessor; coal consumption grew to 250 tons per day.
In 1883 the Oregon began service. She immediately won the Blue Ribbon , but the shipping company was now in a deep financial crisis. The Oregon had to be returned to the shipyard because Guion could no longer pay the installments. Cunard then bought the Oregon and after 20 years had another blue ribbon hit. Guion died in 1885. The board had no choice but to convert the shipping company into a stock corporation . But the decline could not be stopped. In 1894 the Guion Line ceased to exist.
Ships of the Guion Line 1866–1894
|year||Surname||tonnage||shipyard||Status / fate|
|1866||Chicago||2869 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Stranded near Queenstown, Ireland in 1868 and abandoned|
|1866||Manhattan||2869 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Sold in 1875|
|1867||Nebraska||3008 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Sold in 1876|
|1867||Minnesota||3008 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Sold in 1875|
|1868||Colorado||3008 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Sunk after collision on the River Mersey in 1872|
|1869||Idaho||3238 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Sunk on the Irish coast in 1878|
|1869||Nevada||3238 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||1894 Dominion Line sold in Hamilton renamed|
|1870||Wisconsin||3238 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||1874: 3700 BRT / 1893 out of service and demolished|
|1870||Wyoming||3238 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||1874: 3729 BRT / 1893 out of service and demolished|
|1874||Montana||4,332 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Stranded near Anglesey, North Wales in 1880|
|1875||Dakota||4,332 GRT||Palmers Bros. & Co. Ltd., Yarrow||Stranded near Anglesey, North Wales in 1877|
|1879||Arizona||5147 GRT||John Elder & Co. Ltd., Glasgow||Launched in 1894 / sold in 1898|
|1881||Alaska||6932 GRT||John Elder & Co. Ltd., Glasgow||Launched in 1894 / sold in 1898|
|1883||Oregon||7,375 GRT||John Elder & Co. Ltd., Glasgow||Returned to the shipyard in 1884 due to lack of funds|
- theshipslist.com , The Ships List: Guion Line.