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RMS Laconia Ephemera Collection

All Digitized Ephemera for the RMS Laconia available at the GG Archives. Common items of ephemera in our maritime collection include passenger lists, brochures, event and entertainment programs, and other memorabilia produced for a voyage or ship.

Front of Franconia and Laconia - The Largest and Fastest Steamers in the Boston Service Flyer from 1911

1911 - Franconia and Laconia For The Boston Service

Flyer created by Cunard to announce two new steamships for the Boston service, 18,000 tons each. The ships were of the intermediate class and accommodations described in this flyer pertain primarily to the First Class.

Front of Franconia and Laconia - The Largest and Fastest Steamers in the Boston Service Flyer from 1911

1911 - Franconia and Laconia For The Boston Service

Flyer created by Cunard to announce two new steamships for the Boston service, 18,000 tons each. The ships were of the intermediate class and accommodations described in this flyer pertain primarily to the First Class.

1912-05-28 Passenger Manifest for the SS Laconia

1912-05-28 SS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 28 May 1912
  • Route: Boston to Liverpool via Queenstown (Cobh) and Fishguard
  • Commander: Captain W. R. D. Irvine
Agent's Record, Cunard Steamship Company, Outward Second Cabin Ticket, 1912

1912-06-03 Agent's Record - Cunard Steamship Company

This is the Agent's Receipt and Record of a Second Cabin Steamship Ticket for an Eastbound voyage on the new Cunard Laconia from Boston to Liverpool, England. The Agency was located in Boston, Cunard Building on 126 State Street.

Passenger Manifest, Cunard Line RMS Laconia I 1912

1912-06-11 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Saloon
  • Date of Departure: 11 June 1912
  • Route: Liverpool to Boston via Queenstown (Cobh)
  • Commander: Captain W. R. D. Irvine, R.D.; R.N.R
Passenger Manifest, Cunard Line, RMS Laconia Saloon Passengers 1912

1912-08-06 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Saloon
  • Date of Departure: 6 August 1912
  • Route: Liverpool to Boston via Queenstown (Cobh)
  • Commander: Captain W. R. D. Irvine
Agent Record of Third Class Outward Steamship Ticket, 1912, Cunard Line SS Laconia

1912-08-10 Agent's Record - Cunard SS Laconia

This is an Agent's Record of a Third Class -Steerage Ticket for one adult and one child from Liverpool, England to New York on the Cunard Steamship SS Laconia. Additional information and conversion to current dollar values is provided.

Front Cover, Cunard RMS Laconia Second Cabin Passenger List - 3 September 1912.

1912-09-03 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Second Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 3 September 1912
  • Route: Liverpool to Boston
  • Commander: Captain W. R. D. Irvine, R.D., R.N.R.
Passenger Manifest, RMS Laconia, Cunard Line, October 1912

1912-10-01 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Second Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 1 October 1912
  • Route: Liverpool to Boston
  • Commander: Captain W. H. D. Irvine
Front Cover, Cunard Passenger Log Book circa 1913

1913 - Cunard Passenger Log Book

Rare Third-Class Accommodation on Cunard Liners featuring interior and exterior photographs of the ships and accommodations for third class/steerage passengers. Undated brochure circa 1913. Its contents were meant to entice the immigrants to book passage to the New World. Ships Featured: Lusitania and Mauretania, Caronia and Carmania, Franconia and Laconia, Campania, Ivernia and Saxonia, and the Ascania.

Agents' Record, Third Class Outward Passenger Ticket, Cunard Line 1913

1913-05-13 Agents' Record - Cunard Line Third Class

Third Class Outward Passenger Ticket - Agents' Record for the Cunard RMS Laconia, May 13, 1913. Fare was $35. Ticket along with Agent's record would have been kept in a two-hole extra-long binder.

Third Class Prepaid Ticket - Agents Record, RMS Laconia 1913

1913-06-03 Prepaid Ticket Agents Record - RMS Laconia

Third Class Prepaid Ticket - Agents Record, RMS Laconia 1913 from Liverpool to Boston. Itemized transaction shows fare and commision breakdown. Fare was paid by a third party.

Immigrant Steerage Contract for Passage to New York - Cunard Line - 1913

1913-06-05 Contract for Passage - Norwegian Immigrant

Ludvig Gjønvik was a Norwegian Immigrant to the United States in June 1913 arriving in Boston on board the RMS Laconia (I) as a passenger in Steerage - Third Class. This is the contract of passage that Ludvig purchased from Olaf H. Solem.

Image not Available for this Passenger List.

1913-06-10 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: All Classes
  • Date of Departure: 10 June 1913
  • Route: Liverpool to Portland, ME and Boston via Queenstown (Cobh)
  • Commander: Captain W. R. D. Irvine
Inspection Card for Immigrants and Steerage Passengers - 1913

1913-06-10 Immigrant Inspection Card - Cunard RMS Laconia

Immigrant Inspection Card issued in 1913 by the Cunard Line on board the RMS Laconia to a Norwegian Immigrant traveling in Steerage. The card provided important information including port and date of departure, name of ship, immigrant name, last residence, medical inspection stamps and evidence of immunization.

Special Menu - E. D. Jordon and Party aboard the Laconia 1913

1913-10-06 RMS Laconia Private Dinner Party Menu

This is a very rare personalized special embossed menu for E. D. Jordon and Dinner guests aboard the Cunard Line Laconia (I) in October of 1913.

Front Cover - Cunard Line 1914 Brochure Entitled "Historic Boston" about Boston and the Cunard Line Services to Boston.

1914 - Cunard Service to Historic Boston

42-Page Brochure focused primarily on Boston, Massachusetts, with a brief summary of Cunard Line Fleet and Services to Boston. Some photographs of Cunard ships, offices, docks/piers, Boston Landmarks, and a Railroad advertisement. Ships Featured: Britania, Franconia, and Laconia.

Front Cover, Cunard RMS Laconia Second Cabin Passenger List - 1 September 1914.

1914-09-01 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Second Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 1 September 1914
  • Route: Liverpool to Boston
  • Commander: W. R. D. Irvine, R.D., R.N.R.
RMS Laconia Breakfast Bill of Fare Card 8 September 1914

1914-09-08 RMS Laconia Breakfast Menu Card

Breakfast Bill of Fare card from the RMS Laconia on a Westbound voyage from Liverpool to Boston, arriving in Boston on 9 September 1914 featuring Grilled Cod Steaks and Yarmouth Bloaters

Menu Card - Dinner Bill of Fare RMS Laconia 8 September 1914

1914-09-08 RMS Laconia Dinner Menu Card

This is a dinner Bill of Fare card from the steamship Laconia on a Westbound voyage from Liverpool to Boston, arriving in Boston on 8 September 1914. Although not specifically stated, this would have been the Farewell Dinner.

Front Cover, Cunard to Liverpool via Cobh (Queenstown) - 1920s Brochure from the Cunard Line.

1920s Cunard to Liverpool via Cobh (Queenstown)

Superb interior photographs of the Cunard steamships Carinthia, Franconia, Laconia, Samaria, and Scythia makes this an excellent brochure from the 1920s. The uniqueness of this booklet is greatly improved by the inclusions of context with photo captions.

Front Cover, Cunard Tourist Third Cabin Accommodations Brochure. Undated, Circa Late 1920s

1920s - Cunard Tourist Third Cabin Accommodations

Tourist Third Cabin replaced the old Third Class on the Cunard Steamships, the refinished accommodations attracted students, professors, young business people, and bargain-hunters filling the cabins left mostly empty from the decline of the immigrant trade. This is a photo journal of the accommodations found in the new Tourist Third Cabin class. Ships Featured: Andania, Antonia, Aquitania, Ascania, Aurania, Ausonia, Berengaria, Caronia and Carmania, Laconia, Samaria, Scythia, Tuscania, and Lancastria.

Passenger Manifest, August 1922, RMS Laconia, Cunard Line, Liverpool to New York

1922-08-24 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Saloon and Second Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 24 August 1922
  • Route: Liverpool to New York via Queenstown (Cobh)
  • Commander: Captain W. H. Hossack, R.D., R.N.R
Front Cover, Second Class to Europe fromn Boston to Queenstown and Liverpool.

1927 - Cunard Line Second Class to Europe

12-Page brochure covers the Boston to Europe route of the Cunard Line in 1927. Interior photographs help to illustrate the second class accommodations available on the Samaria, Scythia, and Laconia.

Passenger Manifest, RMS Laconia, Cunard Line, August 1928

1928-08-18 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 18 August 1928
  • Route: Liverpool to Halifax, Boston and New York via Queenstown
  • Commander: Captain M. Doyle
Front Cover, Horse Racing Program on Board the RMS Laconia, Undated but Circa 1930s.

1930s - Horse Racing Program - RMS Laconia

Hilarious Horse Racing Program dating from the 1930s performed on the deck of the RMS Laconia of the Cunard White Star Line. Entries included Eve by Rib out of Adam, Jealousy by Nose out of Joint, Stampede by Sale out of Basement, etc.

1931-05-02 Passenger Manifest for the SS Laconia II

1931-05-02 SS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 2 May 1931
  • Route: New York and Boston to Liverpool via Queenstown (Cobh)
  • Commander: Captain M. Doyle
Front Cover, Cunard Line RMS Laconia Cabin and Tourist Class Passenger List - 16 March 1935.

1935-03-16 RMS Laconia Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: Cunard Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin and Tourist Class
  • Date of Departure: 16 March 1935
  • Route: Liverpool to Boston and New York via Cobh
  • Commander: Captain B. B. Oram, R.D., R.N.R.

 

Ephemera contained in the GG Archives collection represent the souvenirs provided to the passengers of each voyage. Many of these souvenir ephemeral items have disappeared over the years.

Our selection varies considerably by ship, and likely contains only a sampling of what was originally produced and printed by the steamship lines.

Bookmark pages you're researching and check back periodically for additions as we continue to digitize our extensive ephemera materials.

RMS Laconia I (1912) Ship History and Information

The RMS Laconia I

RMS Laconia (1912) Cunard Steam Ship Company 1912 - 1917

The LACONIA was the first of two vessels of this name owned by the Cunard Line. The Laconia was launched from the Wallsend Shipyard on 27 July 1911 and after completion of all testing, was turned over to the Cunard Lines on 12 December 1911 and commencing service on 20 January 1912.

  • Gross Tonnage - 18,099 tons
  • Dimensions - 182.96m x 21.73m (600.3ft x 71.3ft)
  • Number of funnels - 2
  • Number of masts - 2
  • Construction - Steel
  • Propulsion - Twin screw
  • Engines - Eight-cylinder quadruple-expansion engines by Wallsend Slipway Co Ltd
  • Service speed - 17 Knots
  • Builder -Swann, Hunter & Wigham Richardson, Wallsend-on-Tyne
  • Passenger accommodation - 300 1st class; 350 2nd Class; 2,200 3rd Class

The Laconia and her sister-ship the Franconia were built to replace the Ivernia and Saxonia on the Liverpool to Boston service and to cover for the Lusitania and Mauretania if these were being refitted. They were also intended to ship emigrants from the Mediterranean to New York.

The Cunard Laconia in open seas

RMS Laconia (1912)

The Franconia was the first of the pair to be built, the Laconia taking her place on the stocks and being launched on 27 June 1911. Her maiden voyage was on 20 January 1912 between Liverpool, Boston and New York, on 3 February she made her first voyage between New York, Naples and Fiume.

For the most part, pre-World War I Cunarders almost all boasted twin stacks. Those that were lost at sea (and both Franconia and her sister Laconia were torpedoed) would be replaced post-war by single-funneled simulacra.

As it was, the pretty sisters' profiles, apart from their unseen technological specifications below decks, inaugurated the era of the high-sided steamer, a substantial advance over the comparable look of the company's doughty greyhounds of the 1890's, Campania and Lucania.

The third-class passengers are extremely well catered for, and have provided for them enclosed cabins with berths of modern type for two or four persons, while there are also a number of six-berth rooms for the use of families. 

The main ding saloon is situated on F deck amidships and extends the full width of the ship.  It is a spacious and will lighted apartment, and is fitted with revolving chairs. 

Two small dining rooms adjoin the main saloon.  The remaining third-class public rooms include a social hall on D deck and a smoking room and ladies' room on E deck, all comfortably furnished and well lighted.¹

The Laconia was turned into an armed merchant cruiser in 1914. She was based at Simonstown in the South Atlantic which she patrolled until April 1915.

Laconia was then used as a headquarters ship for the operations to capture Tanga and the colony of German East Africa (Tanzania). Four months later she returned to the patrolling of the South Atlantic. The Laconia was handed back to Cunard in July 1916.

The Laconia I Near New York Harbor

On the outbreak of World War I the Laconia was transformed into an armed merchant cruiser, serving in the South Atlantic and Indian Ocean. In July 1916 she was returned to Cunard and on 9 September resumed the Liverpool to New York service.

On 25 February 1917 she was torpedoed by the German U-50 six miles northwest by west of Fastnet. Capt. Irvine of the Laconia, was returning from the United States to England. 

The first torpedo struck the liner on the starboard side just abaft the engine room, but did not sink her.  Twenty minutes later a second torpedo exploded in the engine room, again on the starboard side, and the vessel sank at 22:20. 

There was a crew of 217 and she was carrying 75 passengers, of whom 34 were first class and 41 second class passengers. 12 people were killed, 6 crew and 6 passengers., including three American citizens, which added to anti-isolationist feeling there.

Structure, Dimensions and Other Information on the Laconia I

  • Name: Laconia
  • Class: Lloyds 100 A1
  • Certificates: B of J Passenger Lloyds Classification No. 877 Berth 1
  • Owners: Cunard Steam Ship Company, Ltd. Liverpool
  • Trade: Atlantic Passenger Steamer, Intermediate Class
  • Keel Laid: 25 July 1910
  • Framed: 1 February 1911
  • Plated: 1 June 1911
  • Launched: 27 July 1911
  • Trial Trip: 8 December 1911

Dimensions

  • Length Overall: 621'3"
  • Length P.P.: 600'0"
  • Breadth Mld. 71'0"
  • Breadth Ext. 71' 3.5"

Crew and Passenger Compliment (Capacity)

Crew

  • Captain (1)
  • Officers (6)
  • Engineers and Staff (17)
  • Physician and Staff (7)
  • Petty Officers (20)
  • Purser Staff (252)
  • Seaman (32)
  • Firemen, Trimmers and Others (80)

Total Crew (415)

Passengers (Capacity)

  • First Class (184)
  • Second Class (482)
  • Third Class
    • Cabin (1186)
    • Portable Cabins (758)
    • Total Third Class (1,944)

Total Passengers (2,610)

Lifeboats: 16 - Capacity: 972 Persons

Treasure Quest - The Silver Queen (SS Laconia I - 1911)

Treasure Quest - The Silver Queen

“Treasure Quest – The Silver Queen” a production of the Discovery Channel produced a program in 2009 about the SS Laconia (1911) that was torpedoed in the North Atlantic off the coast of Ireland at the start of WWI.

They used still images from the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives to illustrate the program about the salvage operations to recover her cargo. Secrets of the Silver Queen refered to the silver (worth over $100 million) the Laconia was carrying at the time she was sunk.

Photographic Stills Provided by the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives:

Photographic Still provided by the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives

  1. Library and Writing Room - First Class
  2. Fireplace in the Writing Room
  3. The Gymnasium
  4. The Verandah Café
  5. Dining Saloon - Fist Class
  6. Covered Promenade - First Class
  7. Dining Saloon - Second Class
  8. Dining Room - Third Class

In addition to the stills, the Archives provided the transatlantic route maps of the Laconia I as supplemental information.

S. S. Laconia - The Silver Queen

Treasure Quest is a one-hour weekly American documentary reality television series that premiered on January 15, 2009 on the Discovery Channel. The program follows the employees of Odyssey Marine Exploration as they search the English Channel for various lost ships. The team is led by company CEO Gregory Stemm and Tom Dettweiler (operations director of Robert Ballard's team that discovered the RMS Titanic[1]).

RMS Laconia - An ocean liner transformed into an armed merchant cruiser during World War I, sunk by a German U-boat. Also known as the Silver Queen due to the precious metals on board when sunk.

TREASURE QUEST was broadcast on Thursdays @ 10pm Only on THE DISCOVERY CHANNEL!

Reference: Discover Channel Treasure Quest: The Silver Queen, Season 1, Episode 11 : First Televised: 26 March 2009. Directed by Chris Sondreal, Narrated by Rob Naughton. Approximate Run Time: 43 Minutes.

Laconia Transports Refugees from the War

The Laconia (I) had a short service life, torpedoed by the Germans in 1917. Below is a harrowing story of escape from the war in August 1914.

The extraordinary conditions under which foreign trade is now carried on is shown in the fact that when the steamship Laconia of the Cunard Line entered New York Harbor on Monday of this week, with American refugees from abroad, she was disguised in the Scandinavian Line cold so as to escape capture by German war vessels. The time across was a most exciting one, and “The Evening Sun gives the following account of the voyage:

"The Laconia of the Cunard line, which left Liverpool on August 8 [1914] with 1,668 passengers, reached port this morning, and officers of the United States revenue service, who have boarded the vessel many times at Quarantine, were startled at her appearance.

Twenty-four hours at sea out of Liverpool sufficed to change the Laconia from a Cunarder into the appearance of Norwegian line ships, tier funnels, formerly red, gleamed In the black with brood bands of red about their middle. The upper rigging were all changed from white to black, the bridge was painted a buff color, and the name was painted out everywhere on the ship. Capt. Irvine was ready at any minute to fly the Norwegian flag.

On Aug. 10 Capt. Irvine said his ship was approached by a cruiser. This proved to be the transformed Cunard liner Aquitania on her patrol as a scout service for the royal navy, her curiosity having been aroused by the Laconia’s appearance. Capt. Irvine bad no trouble in convincing the cruiser's commander that his was an English ship.

The Aquitania Is doing duty on the trans-Atlantic route, watching to pick up information concerning German and French vessels.

Stories of hardships were common among the passengers on the Laconia. The crossing passage through the ship was crowded. Mattresses, beds were placed on the floors of the saloons to do for bunk quarters.

The 1,668 passengers, the number being composed almost entirely of those who usually travel in the first and second cabins, were crowded into the Laconia in helter-skelter fashion before the ship sailed, many being in the steerage. Early on the passage, the Americans, refugees from the war zones, were put in the first and second cabins, only sixty remaining in the steerage.

Many were short of funds. Some told of lost and commandeered automobiles, and one man said his automobile, worth $7,000 had been taken from him on German soil. A vivid description was given of the situation met by Americans and foreigners in Germany Just after the declaration of war by a man who said he was at Wiesbaden when he was overtaken by a overwhelming desire to go to the frontier between Germany and Belgium.

The way was crowded with foot fares, more than 2.000 Belgians and Americans, some transporting their baggage on wheelbarrows. Most of this baggage left behind in passing through Liege just before the fighting began there.

When the ship sailed from Liverpool, it was found that many women passengers In the first and second cabins did not have staterooms. When the number of women who did not have berths was made out a like number of men, who had cabin tickets gave up their rooms and took berths in the steerage.

This was the first trip of the Laconia to New York, her usual run being to Boston.

As reported in The Commercial and Financial Chronicle, Volume 99, No. 2565, Saturday, 22 August 1914, P. 522-523

 

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