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Speed, Safety, Comfort and Luxury - Commissariat of a Great Ocean Liner

The Story of the Cunard Line

Next to safety, the considerations which have chiefly weighed with the Cunard Company are those of speed and of the comfort, not to say the luxury and enjoyment, of the passengers. Sufficient has, perhaps, already been said to emphasize the success which has followed the enterprise and efforts of the Company in these particulars.

Under such auspices, ocean travel has been robbed of the hardships, indeed terrors, with which it was formerly associated. In this connection the stewards' department has all-important functions to serve, for the commissariat of a great ocean liner is a serious business. The chief steward may have to cater for 500, 1,000 or 1,500 persons, for five, six, or seven days if the weather be fine, or for a longer period if it be stormy.

The Cunard Steamship Campania, Shown at Sea.

The Cunard Steamship Campania, Shown at Sea.

Here is the sort of provisioning which has been made for an average summer voyage of the Etruria, reckoning on 547 cabin passengers and a crew of 287 persons, and, if the figures be increased proportionately, the catering requirements for a voyage on the Campania can be approximated :

  • 12,550 lbs. of fresh beef,
  • 760 lbs. corned beef,
  • 5,320 lbs. mutton,
  • 850 lbs. lamb,
  • 350 lbs. veal,
  • 350 lbs. pork,
  • 2,000 lbs. fresh fish,
  • 600 fowls,
  • 300 chickens,
  • 100 ducks,
  • 50 geese,
  • 80 turkeys,
  • 200 brace grouse,
  • 15 tons potatoes,
  • 30 hampers vegetables,
  • 220 quarts ice-cream,
  • 1,000 quarts milk, and
  • 11,500 eggs.

The quantities of wines, spirits, beer, etc., put on board for the round voyage. comprise : 1,100 bottles of champagne, 850 bottles claret, 6,000 bottles ale, 2,500' bottles porter, 4,500 bottles mineral waters, and 650 bottles of various spirits.

The Marconi System of Wireless Telegraphy: Instrument Room on Board a Cunarder.

The Marconi System of Wireless Telegraphy: Instrument Room on Board a Cunarder.

A new feature of ocean travel is the introduction of the Marconi system of aerial, or wireless telegraphy (Illistrated Above), which was first used in the Atlantic service on board the Lucania, and is now used on the other principal Cunarders as well.

The Marconi signaling station at Nantucket enables steamers to be reported in New York 13 hours earlier than was formerly the case, and 11 hours before the old signaling station on Fire Island is sighted.

Records are still being made in ocean telegraphy, but one worth noting was made when, on one occasion, the Lucania passed the Campania in mid-ocean . at 11 o'clock at night. The vessels remained in wireless communication until 5 o'clock next morning, when they were separated by more than 180 miles ! In this connection the illustration of the instrument room on board the Campania, on page 32, will be interesting.

The Grand Dining Saloon of the Steamers Ivernia and the Saxonia Showing Interior of the Dome.

The Grand Dining Saloon of the Steamers Ivernia and the Saxonia Showing Interior of the Dome.

Although this article has been chiefly limited to the Cunard Line as a factor in the Atlantic trade, it should be remembered that the Company have a large steam fleet trading between Liverpool and Mediterranean ports. They own at present 17 vessels, having an aggregate tonnage of 122,164 tons, and about 145,358 horse power. Irrespective of the vast employment which the building of their new vessels afford in different parts of the country, the Cunard Company find occupation for some 6,000 men afloat and ashore.

The administration of the Cunard Company is controlled by a Board of Directors, of which Lord Inverclyde is Chairman, and Mr. William Watson, Deputy-Chairman, its other members being Sir William B. Forwood and Messrs. Wilfrid A. Bevan, Alfred A. Booth, Ernest H. Cunard (a grandson of the founder), M. H. Maxwell, Jr., and John Williamson. The general management is in the hands of Mr. A. P. Moorhouse, while the responsible offices of Secretary and General Superintendent are held by Mr. A. D. Mearns and Mr. James Bain, R.N.R., respectively.

It should be mentioned that the headquarters of the Company are at Liverpool, the chief offices being at 8, Water Street, and 1, Rumford Street, in that City. There are also branch offices at London, Manchester, Glasgow, Leith, Queenstown, Belfast, Paris, Havre, Chicago, New York and Boston, while there are agencies in many of the principal cities and commercial centers of the United Kingdom and the Continent of Europe, and sub-agencies almost everywhere.

And now, in taking leave of the Cunard Line, whose interesting story has been told in brief epitome, it need only be added that the Company owning it proceeds upon its course, under .the new auspices mentioned at the outset of this article, with vigor unimpaired and resources undiminished.

What the future has in store for the Cunard Line time alone can show, but its prospects may, at least, be regarded as encouraging. Certain it is that its policy will be still progressive, and that its traditions will be fully maintained— traditions which add glory to the stirring tale of ocean travel, and the interest of romance to the story of THE GREAT ATLANTIC FERRY.

The Story of the Cunard Line : Steamship Line History (1902)

 

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