White Star Line
White Star Line was the name of two British shipping companies based in Liverpool . The second company, founded in 1869, which operated liner services to New York City , Australia and New Zealand , became particularly well known . Several of their ships were the largest of their time, such as the RMS Olympic and the RMS Titanic and also the HMHS Britannic .
The first White Star Line
The first White Star Line was founded by John Pilkington and Henry Threlfall Wilson in Liverpool (England) and initially chartered sailing ships ( Tayleur , Blue Jacket (later White Star ), Red Jacket , Ellen and Iowa ) for trade between Great Britain and Australia. The outer symbol of the shipping company was a white star on a red background. The sinking of the Tayleur on her maiden voyage in 1854 in a storm on the Irish coast cost the lives of over 300 people and was a severe blow to the shipping company.
In 1863 the White Star Line bought the Royal Standard, their first steamship . After the failure of fusion attempts to develop new routes, the shipping company focused on the connection between Liverpool and New York. Massive investments in new ships led to the bankruptcy of the first White Star Line after the bankruptcy of the Royal Bank of Liverpool in October 1867.
In 1869, Thomas Ismay , former director of the National Line , founded the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company to run a regular service from Liverpool to New York . He had previously bought the shipping symbol and trade name of the bankrupt White Star Line for £ 1,000 . Further trademarks of the new White Star Line were the ending "ic" in the ship names and an ocher-colored chimney with a black cap. The shipping company's headquarters were initially in Liverpool, and later moved to London . While the ships sailed under the name White Star Line, the actual owner was always the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company.
The new shipping company ordered a series of four similar ships from Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast (Northern Ireland), which were later followed by two more. According to the official name of the company, the first ship was called the Oceanic .
Although there was never a written agreement, the White Star ordered all future ships from Harland & Wolff, which in return did not supply any direct competitor. In principle, both partners were never disappointed.
Of the first ships, the Baltic and the Adriatic also won the Blue Ribbon for the White Star Line. In 1873 the young shipping company suffered a serious loss: the Atlantic sank near Halifax (Canada) with a high loss of life. To compensate for the damage to its image, two new, larger, safer and faster ships were ordered from the Harland & Wolff shipyard. In 1874 the first, the Germanic , went into service and won the Blue Ribbon. A year later she lost it to the City of Berlin of the Inman Line , but the sister ship of the Germanic , the Britannic (I), was able to get the trophy back for the White Star in the same year.
In 1879, the conquered Arizona the Guion Line the Blue Riband. The White Star Line did not counter immediately, but instead concentrated from 1884 on establishing a liner service from Liverpool via Cape Town to Australia and New Zealand . During this time the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company entered into a partnership with the British shipping company Shaw, Savill & Albion Steamship Co. one. This partnership was to last until 1933.
In 1887 Harland & Wolff Ltd. two new liners that were expressly planned as record ships. In 1889 the first of these ships, the Teutonic, went into service. They were the first transatlantic liner to run out of sails. Already on her maiden voyage she got the Blue Ribbon from the ship of the Inman Line City of Paris . Less than a year later, the Teutonic was outbid by her sister ship the Majestic . They were to remain the last two ships on the White Star Line to set new records on the route. In 1892 the award was lost to the Inman-Liner City of New York .
In 1896 the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company commissioned a new record breaker, which went into service as the second Oceanic in 1899 . The Oceanic was with 17,272 GRT that time the largest ship in the world, a new speed record but could not place it, with 19.5 knots she was too slow. At the end of November 1899, the company founder Thomas Ismay died and his son Bruce Ismay took over the reins of the White Star Line. Under Bruce Ismay, the company policy changed drastically: From now on, size and comfort should be more important than speed. The "big four", Celtic (20,904 GRT), Cedric (21,035 GRT), Baltic (II) (23,884 GRT) and Adriatic (II) (24,541 GRT), which went into service from 1901, were the first visible signs of this policy.
In 1901, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company was bought up by the US banker John Pierpont Morgan and the most important part of Morgan's IMMC trust. Bruce Ismay not only retained the chairmanship of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, but also got the board position in the IMMC, after Morgan of course. After the Cunard Line ruled the North Atlantic in 1907 with the two sister ships Lusitania and Mauretania , the White Star Line countered with even more size, much more luxury and the endeavor to operate as economically as possible. The world's first 40,000-tonne trucks were ordered from Harland & Wolff. They were the Olympic-class ships, Olympic , Titanic and Britannic (II). None of these ships were designed to conquer the Blue Ribbon . At 22 knots, the ships in this series were unable to keep up with the former owner of the award, the Mauretania .
In 1912 the Titanic collided with an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sank; 1504 people died in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. It was only under the impression of this catastrophe that it was decided that passenger ships must have sufficient life-saving equipment on board for all passengers . The third ship of the Olympic class, the Britannic , went down as a hospital ship in the Aegean Sea after being hit by mines in 1916 . The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company never recovered from these losses.
In 1915 the IMMC Trust went bankrupt and was reorganized as United States Lines in the early 1920s . The foreign shipping companies, including the White Star, were sold off. The British Royal Mail Group, which included such respected shipping companies as the Royal Mail Line and the Pacific Steam Navigation Company , became the new owner .
As a replacement for the sunken Britannic , the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company took over the Hapag liner Bismarck , which was confiscated as spoils of war and which went into service as the Majestic - at 56,551 GRT, the largest passenger ship in the world. In 1928 the shipping company at Harland & Wolff Ltd. commissioned their last newbuildings, which were commissioned as Britannic in 1930 and Georgic in 1931 . 1931 impression of the Royal Mail Group had worldwide economic crisis for bankruptcy and became as Royal Mail Lines Ltd. reorganized. The Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, for its part, also went bankrupt in 1933. The Australia service was to long-time partner Shaw, Savill & Albion Steamship Co. sold.
In 1934, the White Star Line merged with the Cunard Line for Cunard-White Star Ltd . Most of the former White Star ships fell victim to the merger of the two fleets. The decommissioned Oceanic Steam Navigation Company was liquidated in 1939 . In 1947, Cunard bought all of the Cunard White Star shares and renamed the shipping company Cunard Steamship Co. Ltd. again in 1950. around. The last former White Star ships Britannic (III) and Georgic (II) retained the color scheme of the White Star Line as the final recognition until they were decommissioned, even under Cunard's direction.
In addition to the red house flag with the white star, the ships of the White Star Line were primarily recognizable by their colors. The hull was painted black, while the superstructure was kept in white. Until the 1920s there was a yellow stripe between the black hull and the white superstructure, the so-called "sheer stripe". This was 10.25 inches (approx. 26 cm) wide . In later years, the stripe was moved further down on all ships, so that it was no longer between the hull and deck superstructure of the ship, but only on the black hull. Another important feature was the chimney color of the White Star ships, which is now known as the "White Star Buff". The exact shade is no longer known as there is no known record of the colors used and the mixing process. On the basis of contemporary drawings, eyewitness reports and evaluation of the existing black and white photos, one has a rough idea.
|Year (?)||Surname||tonnage||shipyard||Status / fate|
|1871||Oceanic (I)||3707 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd. , Belfast||1895 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1871||Atlantic||3707 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sunk off Nova Scotia (Canada) in 1873 (545 dead)|
|1871||Baltic (I)||3707 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to Holland-Amerika Lijn in 1888 and renamed Veendam , sunk in 1898 after colliding with a drifting wreck|
|1872||Republic (I)||3984 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to Holland-America Line in 1889 and renamed Maasdam (II)|
|1872||Celtic (I)||3867 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1893 DFDS sold in America renamed|
|1872||Adriatic (I)||3867 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1899 out of service and sold for demolition|
|1874||Britannic (I)||5008 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1903 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1874||Germanic||5008 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1905 Dominion Line sold in Ottawa renamed|
|1881||Arabic (I)||4,367 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1890 sold to Holland America Line and in Spaarndam renamed|
|1881||Coptic||4,367 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1906 PSNCo sold in Persia renamed|
|1883||Doric (I)||4784 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1906 sold to PSNCo and in Asia renamed|
|1883||Ionic (I)||4784 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1900 Aberdeen Line sold in Sophocles renamed|
|1885||Gaelic||4212 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1905 sold to PSNCo and Callao renamed|
|1885||Belgic (I)||4212 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1899 Atlantic Transport Line sold in Mohawk renamed|
|1888||Cufic||4639 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1901 Dominion Line sold in Manxman renamed|
|1889||Runic (I)||4833 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1895 to West India & Pacific Ltd. sold in Tampican renamed|
|1889||Teutonic||9984 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1921 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1890||Majestic (I)||9984 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1914 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1891||Tauric||5741 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1903 sold to Dominion Line and Welshman renamed|
|1891||Nomadic (I)||5741 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1903 sold to Dominion Line and Cornishman renamed|
|1891||Magnetic||619 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold in 1933|
|1892||Naronic||6594 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Lost at sea in 1893 (74 dead)|
|1892||Bovic||6583 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold in 1922|
|1893||Gothic||7755 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1907 Red Star Line sold in Gothland renamed|
|1894||Cevic||8301 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to the Royal Navy in 1914|
|1894||Pontic||395 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold in 1919|
|1895||Georgic (I)||10,077 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1916 captured and sunk by the German auxiliary cruiser SMS Möve|
|1897||Delphic (II)||8273 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Torpedoed and sunk in 1917|
|1898||Cymric||13,370 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1916 torpedoed and sunk (5 dead)|
|1899||Afric||11948 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sunk by UC66 on February 12, 1917, 12 nautical miles south-southwest of the Cornish coast|
|1898||Medic||11985 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to Norway in 1928 and converted into a whaler|
|1899||Persic||11973 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1927 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1899||Oceanic (II)||17,272 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Stranded in the Shetland Islands in 1914 and abandoned. Scrapped up to the waterline in 1924, the underwater section scrapped from 1973–1979.|
|1900||Runic (II)||12531 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to Norway in 1930 and converted to a whaler|
|1900||Suevic||12531 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to Norway in 1928 and converted to a whaler|
|1901||Celtic (II)||21035 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Stranded near Queenstown, Ireland in 1928 and abandoned|
|1902||Cedric||21035 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1932 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1905||Baltic (II)||23,876 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1933 out of service and sold for demolition|
|1907||Adriatic (II)||24541 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1935 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1902||Athenic||12367 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sold to Norway in 1928 and converted to a whaler, demolished in 1962|
|1902||Corinthic||12367 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1931 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1903||Ionic (II)||12367 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion Steamship Co. in 1934|
|1903||Arabic (II)||15801 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Torpedoed and sunk near Ireland in 1915|
|1903||Republic (II)||15 378 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sank off Nantucket (USA) after a collision in 1909|
|1903 (1902)||Cretic||13 507 GRT||Hawthorn, Leslie & Co. Ltd., Hebburn||1902 to Leyland / 1903 to WSL / 1926 to Leyland Line , Devonian|
|1903 (1900)||Canopic||12,268 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1900 for Dominion / 1903 to WSL / 1925 out of service and demolition|
|1903 (1898)||Romanic||11,394 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1898 for Dominion / WSL 1903/1912 at Allan Line sells Scandinavian|
|1909||Laurentic (I)||14 892 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Torpedoed and sunk near Ireland in 1917|
|1908||Megantic||14 892 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1933 out of service and sold for demolition|
|1911||Olympic||45,324 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1935 decommissioned and sold for demolition|
|1912||Titanic||46,329 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1912 on maiden voyage with iceberg collided and sunk (1504 dead)|
|1915||Britannic (II)||48 158 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Sunk in the Aegean Sea in 1916 after being hit by a mine|
|1913||Ceramic||18,495 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||Transferred to Shaw, Savill & Albion Steamship Co. in 1934 . Sunk by U 515 west of the Azores in December 1942 (655 dead).|
|1914||Belgic||24547 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1923 Red Star Line transfer and Belgenland renamed|
|1918||Vedic||9332 GRT||Harland & Wolff, Govan||1934 demolished|
|1921 (1901)||Haverford||11635 GRT||John Brown & Co., Clydebank||1901 for American Line / 1921 at WSL / 1924 out of service / 1925 demolition|
|1921 (1908)||Arabic (II)||16,786 GRT||AG "Weser", Bremen||1909 ex Berlin (II) for NDL / 1921 to WSL / 1931 out of service and demolition|
|1922 (1920)||Majestic (II)||56,551 GRT||Blohm & Voss AG, Hamburg||1920 ex Bismarck for Hapag / 1922 to WSL / 1936 to the Royal Navy|
|1922 (1914)||RMS Homeric||34351 GRT||F. Schichau-Werft AG, Danzig||1914 ex Columbus for NDL / 1922 to WSL / 1936 out of service|
|1923||Doric (II)||16,484 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1935 severely damaged after a collision and demolished|
|1926 (1920)||Albertic||18940 GRT||AG "Weser", Bremen||1914 ex Munich for NDL / 1923 to WSL / 1934 demolition|
|1927||Laurentic (II)||18,724 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1940 torpedoed and sunk|
|1927 (1920)||Calgaric||16 063 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1920 ex Orca for PSNCo / 1927 to WSL / 1935 demolition|
|1930||Britannic (III)||27,759 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1960 out of service and demolished|
|1931||Georgic (II)||27,759 GRT||Harland & Wolff Ltd., Belfast||1956 out of service and demolished|
- Haws, Duncan: White Star Line . In: Merchant Fleets . No. 19 . Starling Press, 1990, ISBN 0-946378-16-9 .
- Janette McCutcheon: White Star Line . Amberley Publishing Local, 2009, ISBN 978-1-84868-054-8 .
- The White Star Line at The Ships List (English)
- Early documents and newspaper articles on the White Star Line in the 20th Century press kit of the ZBW - Leibniz Information Center for Economics .