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RMS Franconia and Laconia (1912)

Front Cover, RMS Franconia and Laconia (1912) Cunard Line Vintage Brochure

Extremely rare brochure provides a remarkable record of these two short-lived steamships that brought thousands of immigrants from Liverpool to Boston from 1912 to 1916. The Laconia was torpedoed and sunk by the German Submarine U-50 on 25 February 1917; and, the Franconia was torpedoed and sunk by German Submarine UB-47 on 4 October 1916.


  1. Franconia and Laconia Ship Information and Launch
    The Franconia and Laconia, constructed at Wallsend-on-Tyne by the well-known firm of Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson Ltd , have been built for the Liverpool and Boston service during the summer and for the New York and Mediterranean service in the winter and early spring season.
  2. First Class Accommodations (Part 1)
    In the internal arrangements as well as in graceful design the Laconia is similar in all respects to the Franconia. She has equally spacious accommodation, broad promenades, well ventilated and heated cabins, in fact all those qualities that ensure her being classed with the Franconia as one of the most successful and popular of the great ships of the sea.
  3. First Class Accommodations (Part 2)
    The arrangement on the Laconia of the first class public rooms on Deck "A" or upper promenade deck, included the Verandah Café, smoking room, gymnasium, lounge and writing room.
  4. Second Class Accommodations
    Particular attention has been given to the second class accommodation, which is to be in all respects, equal to what was provided only a few years ago for first class passengers.
  5. Third Class / Steerage Accommodations
    The accommodations for third class passengers are spacious and airy and fitted with all those conveniences essential to the comfort and enjoyment of travelers and immigrants.
  6. Crew, Other Rooms, Cunard Agencies
    The Laconia is fitted with Marconi wireless telegraphy and the submarine signaling appartus, while and extensive system of watertight compartments, extending the entire length of the ship, has also been installed. Below are scenes from the Laconia depicting crewmen and areas of the ship not available to passengers in general.

Brochure Information

  • Date: Undated, but believed to be 1912 - the year the ships were placed in service.
  • Title: Cunard Line: RMS Franconia & Laconia
  • Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.4 cm
  • Pages: Unpaginated 36 Pages
  • Photographs: 34

The New Cunard Laconia

The new Cunard liner Laconia went into commission on December 9, 1911. The Cunard Steamship Company now owns nine ships built by Messrs. Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Ltd, of Wallsend-on-Tyne. Of course, the best known of these is the famous Mauretania, and the other vessels are the Franconia, Laconia, Ivernia, Ascania, Aitsnnia, Carpathia, Ultonia and Albania.

Next to the Mauretania, the Laconia and her sister ship, the Franconia, are the two largest ships that have ever been constructed on the river Tyne. The leading dimensions of the Laconia are 625 ft. in length. 72 ft. broad. Her gross tonnage is about 19.000 and her displacement 25,000 tons.

The main engines have been built by the Wallsend Slipway & Engineering Co. They consist of two sets of four-crank (quadruple-expansion engines, dynamically balanced on the Yarrow-Schlick & Tweedy system, steam being supplied by six large double-ended boilers.

The Laconia will eventually run in the Liverpool-Boston service, though in the winter she will be employed in the Cunard cruises from New York to various Mediterranean ports. To add to the comfort of passengers by increasing the steadiness of the ship, Frahm’s anti-rolling tanks have been installed. The Laconia is the first British ship and the first North Atlantic liner to be fitted with these tanks.

"Cunard Liner Laconia," in The Marine Review, Volume 42, No. 1, Cleveland/New York, January 1912, P. 8

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