Steamship Designations / Prefixes (Merchant Vessels)
Ships during the late 1800s through 1950s all had a prefix. The most common prefixes appear below.
- SS for Steamship (Steam Ship) This is the default designation
- R.M.S. for Royal Mail Ship / Royal Mail Steamer
- M.S. for Motor Ship or Mail Steamer
- M.V. for Motor Vessel
- R.M.M.V. for Royal Mail Motor Vessel
- TSS for Twin-Screw / Triple Screw Propulsion Ship
You will often see documents from the same voyage using different designations such as SS "Steamship" and RMS "Steamship."