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CGT French Line History and Ephemera

CGT French Line Historical Archives

The French Line (Compagnie Générale Transatlantique) had regular sailings between New York, Plymouth (England), and Le Havre. Their steamships included the SS Paris, SS France, SS Normandie, SS Lafayette, SS Rochambeau, SS Chicago, and others.

The Compagnie Générale Transatlantique - French Line offers regular passenger services between Europe and the United States. They were most noted for their Luxury Ocean Liner, the SS Normandie.

1887-02-05 SS La Bretagne

1887-02-05 SS La Bretagne Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 5 February 1887
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain De Jousselin
1887-02-05 SS La Champagne

1887-02-05 SS La Champagne Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 5 February 1887
  • Route: Havre for New York
  • Commander: Captain Traub
Front Cover, CGT French Line SS La Bourgogne Cabin Class Passenger List - 10 March 1888.

1888-03-10 SS La Bourgogne Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin Class
  • Date of Departure: 10 March 1888
  • Route: Le Havre for New York
  • Commander: Captain Frangeul
Front Cover, CGT French Line SS La Normandie Cabin Passenger List - 30 June 1888.

1888-06-30 SS La Normandie Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 30 June 1888
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain G. de Kersabiec
Front Cover, CGT French Line SS La Champagne Cabin Passenger List - 29 September 1888.

1888-09-29 SS La Champagne Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 29 September 1888
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain Boyer
Front Cover, CGT French Line SS La Bretagne Cabin Class Passenger List - 18 October 1890.

1890-10-18 SS La Bretagne Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin Class
  • Date of Departure: 18 October 1890
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain de Jousselin
1891-04-25 SS La Gascogne

1891-04-25 SS La Gascogne Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 25 April 1891
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Santelli
Front Cover, CGT French Line SS La Bourgogne Cabin Class Passenger List - 25 July 1891.

1891-07-25 SS La Bourgogne Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin Class
  • Date of Departure: 25 July 1891
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain LeBœuf
Cabin Passenger Manifest, CGT French Line Steamer La Touraine 1891 Voyage

1891-08-29 SS La Touraine Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 29 August 1891
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Frangeul
Passenger Manifest, CGT-French Line SS La Gascogne, Nov 1892

1892-11-19 SS La Gascogne Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 19 November 1892
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Santelli
Front Cover, CGT French Line SS La Lorraine Cabin Passenger List - 9 June 1904.

1904-06-09 SS La Lorraine Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 9 June 1904
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain Alix
Front Cover, Passenger Manifest, SS L'Aquitaine, CGT French Line, September 1905

1905-09-09 SS L'Aquitaine Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 9 September 1905
  • Route: Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Veblynde
1905-10-07 SS La Savoie

1905-10-07 SS La Savoie Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 7 October 1905
  • Route: Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Poirot
Front Cover, SS La Lorraine Farewell Dinner Menu - 26 April 1907

1907-04-26 SS La Lorraine Farewell Dinner Menu

Vintage Bill of Fare from 26 April 1907 featured Roast Fillet of Beef, Vol-au-vent Toulousaine, and Nougat Monté for dessert.

Front Cover, CGT French Line SS Chicago Cabin Passenger List - 3 July 1909.

1909-07-03 SS Chicago Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: CGT French Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 3 July 1909
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain M. Perdrigeon
1910 Passage Contract for Italian Immigrant

1910-10-12 Contract for Passage SS Chicago - Italian Immigrant

Third Class Passage contract for a 38 year old Italian immigrant from Aoste, Italy for a voyage to the United States in October 1910 on the SS Chicago of the CGT French Line. The contract was written by a Swiss Agency (Zwilchenbart) and is entirely in French with an English translation following each part.

Couverture, Paquebot France de la Compagnie Générale Transatlantique

1912 - Le Nouveau Paquebot SS France

Il s'agit d'une brochure pour le lancement Steamship SS France de la CGT-French Line produite en 1912 qui offre une excellente critique du livre de l'hébergement de première classe, des services, des détails de la salle des machines et des chaudières, des dispositions et beaucoup plus.

Cover, Steamship France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique.

1912 - The New SS France Liner

This is a brochure for the Steamship SS France launch of the CGT-French Line produced in 1912 which offers an excellent review of the book of first class accommodation, services, details of the engine room and boilers, provisions and much more.

Front Cover - 1917-07-23 SS Chicago

1917-07-23 SS Chicago Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 23 July 1917
  • Route: New York to Bordeaux
  • Commander: Captain Bourdeaux
1919-04-15 SS Chicago

1919-04-15 SS Chicago Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 15 April 1919
  • Route: Bordeaux to New York
  • Commander: Captain Pauvret
Passenger Manifest, CGT-French Line SS Rochambeau - June 1919

1919-06-11 SS Rochambeau Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 11 June 1919
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Juham
1921-05-07 SS La Savoie

1921-05-07 SS La Savoie Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 7 May 1921
  • Route: Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain H. Boisson
1921-10-03 SS France

1921-10-03 SS France Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 3 October 1921
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Louis Roch
Front Cover, Passenger Manifest, SS Lafayette, CGT French Line, September 1922

1922-09-16 SS Lafayette Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 16 September 1922
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain Victor Brevet
Passenger Manifest, CGT French Line SS France 1922 - Front Cover

1922-10-05 SS France Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 5 October 1922
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain Louis Roch
1922-11-07 SS Rochambeau

1922-11-07 SS Rochambeau Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 7 November 1922
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain Léon Rollin
1923-10-06 SS La Savoie

1923-10-06 SS La Savoie Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 6 October 1923
  • Route: Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Aubert
1924-09-27 SS France

1924-09-27 SS France Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 27 September 1924
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain Louis Roch
Passenger Manifest, CGT-French Line SS Paris - 1924 - Front Cover

1924-10-11 SS Paris Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 11 October 1924
  • Route: Le Havre to New York Via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain G. Maurras
1926-03-31 SS Paris

1926-03-31 SS Paris Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 31 March 1926
  • Route: Le Havre to New York Via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain G. Maurras
Passenger Manifest, CGT French Line, SS De Grasse, 1927 Westbound Voyage

1927-09-26 SS De Grasse Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Not Stated
  • Date of Departure: 26 September 1927
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Aubert
Passenger Manifest, CGT French Line, SS De Grasse, 1928 Westbound Voyage

1928-02-08 SS De Grasse Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 8 February 1928
  • Route: Le Havre to New York
  • Commander: Captain Jean C. E. Simon
1929-06-06 SS De Grasse

1929-06-06 SS De Grasse Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 6 June 1929
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain E. Robert
1929-07-04 SS De Grasse

1929-07-04 SS De Grasse Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 4 July 1929
  • Route: New York to Le Havre
  • Commander: Captain E. Robert
Front Cover and Invitation from the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (French Line) to a Piano Recital 1931

1931-01-22 Piano Recital by Jacqueline NOURRIT -- SS France

Beautiful, elegant cover for a piano recital by Jacqueline NOURRIT on board the SS France of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique French Line on 22 January 1931. Featured compositions from Schubert, Chopin, Schumann, Liszt, Ravel, Debussy, and others.

Front Cover, CGT French Line SS Ile de Frence Charity Gala Concert, 22 February 1931.

1931-02-22 Charity Gala Program - CGT French Line

Program of the Charity Fete to be held on board the SS Ile de France for the benefit of the Several Benevolent Institutions of which the CGT French Line is a patron.

1931-05-29 SS France

1931-05-29 SS France Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 29 May 1931
  • Route: New York to Le Havre via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain G. Burgosse
Front Cover, SS Lafayette Passenger List - 10 September 1931

1931-09-10 SS Lafayette Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 10 September 1931
  • Route: New York to Le Havre via Plymouth
  • Commander: Captain Luc de Malglaive
Front Cover, Dinner Menu, on the SS De Grasse of the CGT French Line, Friday, 17 June 1932.

1932-06-17 SS De Grasse Dinner Menu

Vintage Dinner Menu from 17 June 1932 on board the SS De Grasse of the CGT French Line featured Red Snapper Nantua Sauce, Poached Eggs Cardinal, and Gabrielle Ice Cream for dessert.

Front Cover, SS Ile de France Luncheon Menu - 22 August 1935

1935-08-22 SS Ile de France Luncheon Menu

Vintage Bill of Fare from 22 August 1935 featured Stewed Chicken Chasseur, Broiled Mutton Chop, and Chocolate, Lemon Ice Cream for dessert. Featured wine was Vin Rouge et Vin Blanc des Caves de la Compagnie Générale Transatlantique.

Front Cover, SS Normandie Luncheon Menu - 8 June 1936

1936-06-08 SS Normandie Luncheon Menu

Vintage Bill of Fare from 8 June 1936 featured Lamb from Pauillac with fresh vegitables, Brill with Normande sauce, and Strawberry souffle for dessert.

1936-06-17 SS Lafayette

1936-06-17 SS Lafayette Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Tourist
  • Date of Departure: 17 June 1936
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain William Vogel
Couverture du livret "Normandie" de 1937 de la Compagnie Générale Transatlantique - French Line.

1937 - CGT French Line Paquebot Normandie

Le livret de 72 pages détaille l'incroyable luxe à bord du paquebot Normandie - la fierté et la joie de vivre de la Compagnie Générale Transatlantique - French Line. Imprimé en France en 1937, il est devenu un article très recherché par les collectionneurs.

Front Cover of 1937 Booklet "Normandie" from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique - French Line.

1937 - CGT French Line - The Ocean Liner Normandie

The 72-page booklet details the incredible luxury aboard the Normandie liner - the pride and joy of life of Compagnie Générale Transatlantique - French Line. Printed in France in 1937, it has become an item much sought after by collectors. (Translated from the French)

Passenger Manifest, SS Ile de France, CGT French Line, April 1937, Le Havre to New York

1937-04-15 SS Ile De France Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Good Will Tour
  • Date of Departure: 15 April 1937
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain Jules Chabot
1938-10-05 SS Normandie

1937-11-03 SS Normandie Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 3 November 1937
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain Paul AUGARDE
Front Cover, Third Class on the French Line Featuring the Ile de France, Champlain, Lafayette, Paris, and Normanide.

1938 - Third Class on the French Line

The Normandie, Ile de France, Paris, Champlain and Lafayette combine economy and efficiency in fulfilling the most discriminating requirements. Their Third Class accommodations cannot help but bring you all satisfaction.

1938-08-24 SS Normandie

1938-08-24 SS Normandie Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Tourist
  • Date of Departure: 24 August 1938
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain Paul AUGARDE
Passenger Manifest, CGT French Line, SS Champlain, 1938 Westbound Voyage

1938-09-17 SS Champlain Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 17 September 1938
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain William Vogel
1938-10-05 SS Normandie

1938-10-05 SS Normandie Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Tourist
  • Date of Departure: 5 October 1938
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain Pierre THOREUX
Front Page of the L'Atlantique - Daily Newspaper of the French Line for Friday, 14 July 1939

1939-07-14 L'Atlantique - Daily Newspaper of the French Line

The 14 July 1939 Issue of L'Atlantique offers 16 pages of general interest news for the passengers of the SS Normandie, commanded by Captain E. Payen de la Garanderie. Featured articles include Britain Orders Navy to Near War Strength, 75 Années de Relations Transatlantiques, Monsieur Jean Marie, Président de la Compagnie Génerale Transatlantique, Joan of Arc Castle Being Excavated, Le Faubourg St Honoré Shopping and Tour Guide, Deauville - La Plage Fleurie.

1939-07-15 SS Ile De France

1939-07-15 SS Ile De France Passenger List

  • Class of Passengers: Tourist
  • Date of Departure: 15 July 1939
  • Route: Le Havre to New York via Southampton
  • Commander: Captain Albert Fontaine
Front Page of the L'Atlantique - Daily Newspaper of the French Line for Sunday, 16 July 1939.

1939-07-16 L'Atlantique - Daily Newspaper of the French Line

The 16 July 1939 Issue of L'Atlantique offers 16 pages of general interest news for the passengers of the SS Normandie, commanded by Captain E. Payen de la Garanderie. Featured articles include WPA Strike Crisis Continues, Principal Events for August in France, Ships News, and French Poets of the Mediterranean. In English and French.

Third Class Passage Contract Ticket - SS Normandie - 1939-09-06

1939-09-06 Third Class Passage Contract Ticket - SS Normandie

Passage Ticket for the Compagnie Général Transatlantique, Ltd., - The French Line, Southampton to New York, departing 6 September 1939, issued to Mrs. Agnes de Linia (or de Lina). World War 2 began on 1 September 1939.

Menu Cover, Christmas Eve Reveillon Dinner Menu, SS De Grasse, CGT French Line (1950)

1950-12-24 SS De Grasse Christmas Eve Reveillon Menu

A Caribbean Cruise Bill of Fare from 24 December 1950 with an all French Menu Selection that included such dishes as La Cote de Bœuf au Currant Jelly and Le Jambon Fume de Parme.

Brochure Cover, Ilde de France Cabin Class Deck Plan. Published by the CGT French Line February 1951.

1951 - French Line SS Ile de France Cabin Class Deck Plan

Illustrated brochure from 1951 provides colorful deck plans for areas occupied by cabin-class passengers and numerous interior and exterior photographs of the SS Ile de France of the CGT French Line.

Le Havre - New York: French Line (1997)

1997 - Le Havre - New York: French Lines

This volume about the French Line and its route from Le Havre to New York is a witness to crossing the Atlantic, from before WWI to the present day. A fascinating visual record of travel.

The French Line and Its Fleet (1921)

The Compagnie Generate Transatlantique is one of the world’s great ship-owners
By CHARLES H. HALL

The SS Paris of the CGT French Line

The Paris in the finest ship of the fleet. She is 768 feet long, 86 feet beam and 60 feet deep. Her four turbines develop 46.000-shaft horsepower. She has accommodations for 3,240 passengers and a complement of 664.

FOUNDED IN 185S, as the Compagnie Generate Maritime, the French Line began business with sailing craft to the Newfoundland fisheries and In the guano trade to the Pacific and with steamers from France to Algiers and other ports to the southward.

Six years later the company assumed its present name of Compagnie Generate Transatlantique and made a contract with the French Government to put in operation a line of mail steamers between France and the West Indies, Mexico and the United States.

The first sailing of the new service was by the steamer Louisiane, which left St. Nazaire on April 14, 1862, for Vera Crux. The Havre-New York service was begun with Iron side-wheelers of 3.200 tons. They were 343 feet long. 43 feet beam and 30 feet deep.

Their engines developed from 2.800 to 3,300 horsepower and their speed about 13 knots. For their day, they were fast vessels. The new line was inaugurated with the Bulling of the Washington on June 15. 1861.

She was commanded by Captain Duchesne and arrived in New York on the night of June 28-29. On her first voyage East bound, she left New York on July 6 and arrived at Havre on July 17th, an eleven day trip.

The Lafayette followed her on the line later in the year, leaving Havre on August 24 and reaching New York on September 5, a trip of a little over eleven days and a fast passage for that time.

These two pioneers were followed by the Iron side-wheelers Imperatrice Eugenie, Europe and Napoleon III. This ship was longer and finer lined than her predecessors, being 375 feet long. 46 feet beam, 33 feet deep, and of 3,500 tons. Her engines were rated at 1,860 horsepower and developed 3.570 giving a speed of 13.12 knots.

She was the last puddle steamer built for transatlantic service. She continued on the line until 1872, when she was lengthened, changed from a paddle ship to a screw vessel, and renamed Ville du Havre.

The Perefre. Ville de Paris and St. Laurent were single screw vessels and were fast craft for their day. Their success led the company to abandon side-wheelers and build screw steamers so a fleet of fine single screw ships came into being.

They were named France, Amerique, Labrador and Canada. La Normandie was added to the line In 1883 and marked a distinct advance in size, speed and comfort.

In those days, the greater part of the world's mercantile tonnage was built in the shipyards of Great Britain, French yards being mainly devoted to the construction of men-of-war.

The Compagnie Generate Transatlantique, however, with characteristic progressiveness, decided to establish its own shipyard and build its own liners laid down 188 to only two.

La Gascogne and La Bourgogne were built In the United Kingdom, the others. La Champagne and La Bretagne, being constructed at the company's own works at St. Nazaire.

The SS Lafayette (1915)

The Lafayette came out in 1915 and is a handsome vessel and modern in every respect. She is in service between Havre and New York.

These ships were large craft for their day, being 495 feet long. 52 feet beam, 33 feet 6 inches deep and 6,900 tons. Their engines were three-crank six-cylinder compound, each high pressure cylinder being over Its low pressure cylinder, so that there were really three tandem compound engines on the same three throw crank shaft.

For many years, these five ships were favorites with the travelling public. They made some fast passages, too, as the record shows.

Consider these figures.

Westbound, from Havre to New York: in 18S6.

  • La Normandie: 8 days 3 hours, and three trips In 8 days 5 hours;
  • La Bourgogne: 8 days. 7 days 20 hours. 7 days 12 hours;
  • La Champagne: S days, two trips in 7 days 21 hours;
  • La. Gascogne: 5 days ;
  • La Bretagne: 8 days 7 hours. 8 days 2 hours. S days. 7 days 22 hours. 7 days 23 hours.

East bound, from New York to Havre:

  • La Champagne: 7 days 23 hours. 7 days 16 hours. 7 days 12 hours. 7 days 19 hours, (twice) 7 days 14 hours. 7 days 18 hours;
  • La Bourgogne: 7 days 14 hours (twice), 7 days 17 hours (twice) 7 days 13 hours;
  • La Champagne: 7 days 16 hours, 7 days 12 hours, 7 days 19 hours (twice). 7 days 14 hours. 7 days 18 hours:
  • La Bretagne: 7 days IS hours. 8 days 2 hours, 7 days 19 hours. 7 days 15 hours;
  • La Normandie: 8 days 5 hours (twice); La Gascogne. 7 days 17 hours. 8 days.

Taken from March to December, inclusive, this shows consistent running of a fleet of fine, fast vessels.

But naval architecture progresses constantly, and last year's cracks drop astern as new ships come out. In a few years, these favorite vessels were being out built.

The Company thereupon brought out their first twin-screw ship, La Touraine. She was built at St. Nazaire In 1891 and is still in service. She is 520 feet long. 56 feet beam, 34 feet 6 Inches deep. She is a fine vessel and for years, she has maintained an average sea speed of 19 knots—quite an accomplishment!

She was the first ship with pole masts, previous vessels having been rigged with yards and sails. She was also the first ship to make long cruises, making a tour of the Mediterranean with a full passenger list.

In 1899, the Normannia, built for the Hamburg America Line, was bought from the Spanish Government, which had purchased her Just before the war for use as a transport and auxiliary cruiser. She was renamed L'Aqultaine and put on the New York run.

Two new ships, La Lorraine and La Savoie, followed her. They were 582 feet long. 60 feet beam, 45 feet deep, 15.410 tons displacement and 12,000 tons register. Their engines indicated 22.000 horsepower. La Lorraine began her first trip on August 31. 1901 and La Savoie on September 6. 1902.

The Napoleon III (1865)

The Napoleon III, built in 1865, was one of the early ships on the Havre-New York run. She was 375 feet long and of 3,500 tons. She was lengthened in 1872, converted to a screw ship and named Ville du Havre.

View of the SS France near port, guided by Tugboats.

The France is one of the finest vessels ever built in a French shipyard, being surpassed only by the Paris. She is 732 feet long and 21 839 tons. Her four turbines develop 27.192 horsepower and give her a sustained sea speed of over 23 knots.

Increasing traffic required newer and larger vessels, and the French Line, keeping pace with the demands of travelers. In 1906 added another fine ship, La Provence. She was a twin-screw ship of 18,000 tons and her engines developed 22.000 horsepower.

She went into service in the spring of 1906, leaving Havre the morning of April 21. She arrived In New York on the morning of April 27, making the voyage, allowing for the five hours difference of longitude, In 6 days, 3 hours 24 minutes.

First Cabin Dining Saloon of the Paris

The First Cabin Dining Saloon of the Paris is a lofty room, three decks high, seating 500. The decorations are handsome and the color scheme pleasing

Continuing its building program, the company constructed the Rochambeau in 1911. She is 569 feet long, 64 feet beam, 43 feet deep, 13.391 tons register and 17,417 tons displacement on 26 feet 10 Inches draught.

Her engines Indicate 13.000 horsepower and are a combination of reciprocating engines and low-pressure turbines. She is a one-class cabin steamer and is one of the best of that type afloat.

Other one-class cabin steamers are the Chicago, built In 1908, the Niagara, built In the same year and originally used for long cruises, and the older La Touraine.

The next year, 1912, the company placed in service the large quadruple screw steamer France. Though eclipsed by the Paris, the latest addition to the fleet, site was then the finest steamship ever built In a French shipyard. She Is 732 feet long, 7.6 feet beam, 24,839 tons register.

Her four turbines develop 27,192 horsepower. On her maiden voyage, she left Havre April 20, 1912, at 2 p. m. and arrived in New York at 8 a. m. on April 26, making the voyage in 5 days, 20 hours and 2 minutes. Her great size permitted the Incorporation of features not possible on earlier and smaller ships, and spaciousness is a feature of the ship.

But the finest ship of the fleet Is the latest addition, the Paris. She is 768 feet long, 86 feet beam and 60 feet deep. On 31 feet draught, she displaces 36,700 metric tons. Construction was begun before the war, but suspended in 1916 and not resumed until after the armistice. She was built by the Chantier de Penhoet of the Societe des Cbautiers et Ateliers of Saint Nazaire.

Great attention has been paid to the safety of the ship, and she Is divided Into 15 watertight compartments. Forward and aft, the bulkheads extend up to D deck and amid-ships to E deck. Her 15 oil-burning boilers are in five compartments with longitudinal bulkheads outboard and these bulkheads extend aft through the engine room.

Powerful pumps are provided to take care of any incoming water and, should the vessel take a list from damage to a side compartment, water ballast can quickly be pumped to the high side to put her again on an even keel.

Designed originally to burn coal, it was decided in 1920 to make her an oil burner, and she carriers 6,161 metric tons of fuel oil In double bottom and special tanks.

She has 15 double ended 8 furnace Scotch boilers, 17 feet 8 Inches diameter and 27 feet 5 Inches long, designed for a working pressure of 215 pounds and with a total heating surface of 37.620 square feet. They bum oil on the Howden system. All oil piping is in duplicate and any section may be Isolated.

Arthur T. Henderson

Arthur T. Henderson. Passenger and Traffic Manager, has been associated with the French line since 1892. (Copyright by Underwood and Underwood)

The four Parsons turbines develop 46,000 shaft horsepower and drive four propellers. The high pressure and intermediate pressure turbines are outboard, one on each side in separate compartments, and the two low-pressure elements are side by side In the large engine room amidships.

These two are used for maneuvering and the arrangement of valves and gear is ingenious. This plan was used first in the France and later In the Aquitania, Berengaria (ex-Imperator) and Leviathan (ex-Vaderland).

Abaft the engine room is a compartment containing the electric plant, three turbo generators of 450 KW each and a group of reserve sets of 60 KW each driven by oil engines.

(There is also a set of this type on the boat deck, just abaft the chart house, for emergency use with the radio). The compartment also contains feed water heaters, evaporators, filters, pumps and other auxiliaries. Further aft Is the refrigerating machinery, in a compartment of its own.

The Paris has accommodations for 3,240 passengers divided as follows:

  • In the staterooms and suites deluxe. 104:
  • In the first cabin. 418;
  • in the so-called "mixed" class. 50.
  • in the second cabin, 464;
  • in the third class. 2.200. of whom 1,092 are in staterooms and the rest in bunks.

The ship's complement Is 664, so that there Is a total of 3,904 persons aboard when she is full. Forty-nine 30-foot boats of two different types are Installed, as well as a powerful 30-foot motor launch equipped with radio. In addition, there are 8 rafts of special type and a whaleboat and a dinghy. Wellin quadrant davits permit the rapid launching of all boats.

A powerful radio system keeps the Paris in constant communication with the shore and with other ships, while her submarine signal apparatus makes navigation in fog and easy matter.

The passenger quarters are of great Interest, the public rooms being unusually large and well arranged, and the decorations harmony of color are remarkably beautiful. The joinerwork is fine, rare and handsome woods being used with excellent taste and put together with skilled craftsmanship.

Some of the polished panels of matched veneer resemble in design and beauty rare old bookbinding of tree calf. The general coloring is light and cheerful and the harmony of carpets, bulkheads, hangings, upholstery and furniture Is superb. Wrought Iron Is skillfully used in stair rails, and fabric, of exactly the right shade, softens the light of the dome skylights.

First Cabin Dining Saloon of La Savoie

The First Cabin Dining Saloon of La Savoie. Compare this room—luxurious for the period—with the dining saloon of the Paris and see the advance made in less than twenty years.

The lighting fixtures are all of special design and are very handsome. Here and there are paintings, notably one typifying the city of Paris which covers one bulkhead of the dining saloon. There are no bunks in the first cabin quarters, but handsome beds.

Some of the beds in the deluxe staterooms are fit for exhibition in any museum. In these rooms, too, is displayed the skill of the French artists responsible for the decorations, for there is no stereotyped repetition but each room is given its own treatment and has its own color scheme. The headroom is ample and the passages are wide, giving a feeling of spaciousness everywhere.

The first cabin public rooms are notable, being large und lofty and beautifully decorated. The main saloon or. as the owners call it, the "Grand Salon de Conversation." is a huge room. It is 75 feet long. 45 feet wide and 21 feet headroom, and even with this great width, there are wide decks out-board. By a clever arrangement of plan and furniture, this great room has many nooks and corners giving privacy to those who desire it.

The library and reading room adjoins the main saloon.

With Its panels of sycamore. It Is a handsome apartment. The main saloon opens 011 the main stairway, which is double and three decks high, with an attractive hall at the lower level. Further aft is another saloon, as large as the main saloon, decorated in the Directo Ire style.

Buffet, Café and smoking room adjoin each other on two decks and are large, bright and cheerful rooms, paneled with polished oak and rare woods, with a dome skylight over-head. The Café Is of the popular "veranda” type, with lattice work outboard.

The first cabin dining saloon Is three decks high in the center, with tables on an Intermediate deck each side. The room accommodates 500. The paneling is of Ceylon lemon wood with colored inlaid work. The lighting scheme gives a warm, golden tint that is delightful.

Forward there is a children’s playroom and a children's dining room and elsewhere are the gymnasium, (lower stand, tourists' bureau, bank, information desk and other features for the comfort of passengers. The first cabin accommodations are all on the upper decks B and C and D, A being the boat deck.

La Touraine of the French Line

La Touraine was the French Line’s first twin-screw vessel and the first to be fitted with pole masts. Earlier vessels were rigged with yards and often carried sail all the way across the Atlantic

The second cabin quarters are located amidships and aft on five decks. B, C, D. E and F. connected by a large central stairway. The decorations are simpler and plainer than those of the first cabin quarters, but are in good taste and remarkably pleasing.

The dining saloon located on Deck E, seats 272, and has an area of 1,330 square feet. It runs the full width of the ship and is a good-looking room. The second cabin saloon and the smoking rooms are good sized and neatly paneled and the decorations are In excellent taste.

The second cabin state rooms are fitted with one, two and four berths to a room. Ample deck space is assigned to the second cabin passengers.

The third cabin accommodations of the ship have been planned in the modern style, nearly half of the berths being in staterooms for two or four passengers. There are three dining rooms, and ample covered deck space Is allotted to those who travel third class.

Altogether, the Paris is a notable ship and a credit to her designers, owners and builders.

Few realize that the Compagnie Generate Transatlantique owns a fleet of vessels, which, excluding tugs and ships under construction, numbers 93. The names of these ships and the year in which each was built are as follows on the New York line:

  • Paris, 1921;
  • France. 1912;
  • La Savoie, 1901,
  • La Lorraine. 1900;
  • Suffren. (building);
  • Lafayette. 1915:
  • Rochumbeau. 1911;
  • Lu Touraine, 1S91;
  • Chicago. 1908;
  • Niagara. 1908;
  • Roussillon. 1906;
  • Labourdonnais. 1904.

On the Dantzic passenger service (a “feeder” line); Pologne, 1911.

Passenger liners to Mexico and the West Indies;

  • Espagne. 1910;
  • Colombie. (building);
  • La Navarre. 1893;
  • Flandre. 1914;
  • Perou. 1908;
  • Puerto Rico. 1914:
  • Haiti. 1914;
  • Macoris, 1902;
  • Martinique. 1883.

Combination passenger and freight steamers to New York. Mexico and the West Indies;

  • De la Salle, (building);
  • Caroline. 1908;
  • Missouri. 1920;
  • Kentucky. 1921;
  • Hudson. 1905;
  • Callfornte. 1905;
  • Virginia, 1903;
  • Mexico. 1905;
  • Caravelle. 1904.

Freighters to New York. Mexico and the West Indies:

  • JacquesCartier, 1918;
  • Alaska, (building);
  • Alabama, (building);
  • Arizona, (building);
  • Montana. 1903;
  • Ontario. 1919;
  • Maryland. 1919;
  • Texas. 1908;
  • Mississippi. 1913;
  • Georgie. 1913;
  • Michigan. 1920;
  • Lamentin, 1895;
  • Carbet. 1920;
  • Vauclin, 1903;
  • Mont-Vontoux. 1904;
  • La Drome. 1900;
  • Caralbe, 1906;
  • Guyane. 1908;
  • Basse-Terre. 1909;
  • Cantal. 1916.

Freighters to the Pacific:

  • Honduras, 1909;
  • Salnt-Andre. 1912;
  • Salnt-Joseph. 1912;
  • Salnt-Louls. 1913;
  • Salnt-John, 1915.

Passenger ships of the Bordeaux-Casablanca Line:

  • Volubllis. 1902;
  • Figuig, 1903.

Havre-Cardiff service:   

  • Saint-Adresse,  1908;
  • Gravllle. 1919.

Passenger ships in the West Indies:

  • Antilles, 1913;
  • Saint-Haphael. 1908.

Freighters In the West Indies (feeder lines):

  • Taza. 1904;
  • Matoaba. 1908;
  • Marie Galante, 1906;
  • Batata. 1892;
  • Esperanto. 1906.

Freight and passenger steamers In the Mediterranean:

  • Timgad. 1911;
  • Charles-Roux. 1909;
  • Lamoriciere. 1921;
  • Due d'Aumale, 1913;
  • VIlle-d’Alger. 1890;
  • Marechal-Bugeaud, 1890;
  • Duc-de-Bragance. 1889;
  • Eugene-Perelre, 18S8;
  • Ville-de-Tunis. 1881;
  • Abd-el-Kader. 1880;
  • Oudjda. 1881;
  • Ville-de-Madrid. 1880;
  • Vllle-d’Oran. 1880;
  • VIlle-do-Bone. 1880;
  • Moise, 1880;
  • La NIevre. 1881;
  • Biskra, 1915;
  • Jeanne-d’Arc. 1883.

Freighters in coastwise service:

  • Somme. 1897;
  • Ardeche. 1890;
  • La Garonne. 1906;
  • Lozere, 1910;
  • Gatinais. 1907;
  • Olse. 1919;
  • Orne, 1919;
  • Aube. 1896;
  • Vllle-de-Nantes. 1884;
  • Saint-Servan, 1906;
  • Vaucluse. 1906;
  • Le Morbihan. 1887;
  • Capitaine-Coullon. 1917;
  • La Rochelle. 1906.

Tugs;

  • Athlete. 1890;
  • Titan. 1889.

The company maintains services between France and New York, Baltimore, Philadelphia. Cuba. Mexico, New Orleans. Panama. Guiana, Haiti. Porto Rico and other West Indian ports; Hamburg. Antwerp. Cardiff, London and Liverpool; Casa Blanca. Algiers, Tunis, Oran. Bone. Phlllippeville, Blzerte, Mazagan, Saffl; Mogador. Tangier. Sfax. Cette, Bougie, Montaganem, Christohal, Guayaquil, Callao, Mollendo, Arica Iquique, Antofagasta, Valparaiso and Talcahuano.

Source: Shipping Magazine: Marine Transportation, Construction, Equipment and Supplies, New York: Shipping Publishing Co. Inc, Vol. 14, No. 1, July 10, 1921, p. 11-17

Other Documents on CGT-French Lines in the Archives

  • 1922-10-05 First and Second Class, SS France, Havre to New York via Plymouth
  • 1923-03-10 Brochure: Third Class Outward and Prepaid Fares. Includes Eastbound Regulations: U.S. War Revune Tax; Passports; Transit Cards; Income Tax Receipts; Baggage. Third Class Fares: New York to European Points and European Points to New York. Fares for Children. Prepaid Regulations, Landing Money. Third Class Eastbound Continental Railroad Fares and Listing of CGT - French Line Offices and Agencies. Designated as Rate Sheet No. 327.
  • 1923-10-06 Cabin, SS La Savoie, Havre to New York, Captain Aubert.
  • 1924-09-06 First and Second Class, SS France, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain L. Roch
  • 1924-09-27 First and Second Class, SS France, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain L. Roch. Récapitulation: Première Classe 423; Deuxième Classe 242; Troisième Classe 73; Total 738 Passengers. In English and French.
  • 1924-10-11 First and Second Class Passengers, SS Paris, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain G. Maurras. In English.
  • 1927 Ribbon - Ile De France - (Hat Tally) Yellow on Off-White with CGT Flag - Red on White
  • 1927 Ribbon - Ile De France - (Hat Tally) Gold Lettering on Light Blue Ribbon With French Flag on Left Side and CGT Flag on Right.
  • 1927-10-15 List of Passengers (Class not Stated), SS Suffren, Havre to New York, Captain Alfred Hervé. Included Program of the Charity Fete for the benefit of Several Benevolent Institutions. Article on The Central Lifeboat Society and The Marine Welfare Society, Newfoundland, Iceland, and North Sea Hospital Ship Society; Article on The Society for Aid to Families of French Shipwrecked Mariners and an Article on The Transatlantique Maternity Fund. In English and French.
  • 1927-10-26 Connaissement Direct via New York pour Colis Meubles (Direct Bill of Lading via New York for Parcels of Furniture) Export Contract. In French
  • 1927-10-26 Compte de Fret et Frais ( Account fees and freight for the above shipment of Furniture) In French
  • 1929-07-04 Cabin, SS De Grasse, New York to Havre, Captain E. Robert.
  • 1930-08-09 Cabin and Tourist Class, M.S. Lafayette, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain Jules Chabot. Récapitulation: Caines: 542: Touristes: 386; Total: 928.
  • 1931-05-29 First and Second Class, SS France, New York to Le Havre via Plymouth, Captain G. Burosse. Récapitulation: Première Classe: 198; Deuxième Classe: 91; Troisième Classe: 197; Total: 486.
  • 1931-09-08 Tourist Passenger List, SS De Grasse, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain Etienne Robert, O. Récapitulation: Cabin Passengers: 513; Tourist Passengers: 289; Total 802.
  • 1931-10-07 Passenger List (Class not Stated), M.S. Lafayette, New York to Havre via Plymouth, Captain Jules Chabot. Récapitulation: Cabins 265; Touristes 77; Troisièmes 93; Total 435.
  • 1932-08-20 List of Cabin and Tourist Class Passengers, M.S. Lafayette, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain Jules Chabot. Récapitulation: Cabines: 525, Touristes: 259; Troisièmes: 32; Total: 816.
  • 1933-07-31 List of First, Tourist and Third Class Passengers, SS Paris, Havre to New York via Plymouth, Captain L. de Malglaive. Récapitulation: First Class: 132; Tourist Class: 347; Third Class: 129; Total: 608.
  • 1934-03-25 to 1934-04-09 First and Tourist Class, SS Mexique, Easter Cruise from Casablanca to Las Palmas, Madère, and Saint-Nazaire, Captain M. William Vogel. Récapitulation: Passager pour Las Palmas: 1; pour Madère: 4; pour St-Nazaire: 3; Passagers Croisière: 49; Total Passager: 57.
  • 1934-07-21 List of Passengers (Class not Stated), M.S. Lafayette, Cruise to Spitzbergen, Du Samedi 21 Juillet au Samedi 11 Août 1934. Total 701 Passagers. In French.
  • 1935 Large Format Booklet: Normandie: Compagnie Générale Transatlantique - Superb book on a premier ocean liner with Introduction, Conception, Hall, Dining Saloons, Grand Hall, Galerie Salon, Promenade, Staterooms - Many photographs including some in color.
  • 1935-03-20 First and Tourist Class, SS Paris, Le Havre to New York via Southampton, Captain L. de Malglaive. Récapitulation: Première Classe: 43; Classe Touriste: 61; Troisième Classe: 43; Total: 151.
  • 1935-08-21 First and Tourist Class, Ile de France, Le Havre to New York via Southampton, Captain Jules Chabot, In French. Récapitulation: Première Classe: 335; Classe Touriste: 555; Troisième Classe: 366; Total: 1,256; Commandant, Officiers et Equipage: 833; Total à bord: 2,095.
  • 1935-08-22 Luncheon Menu, SS Ile de France, In French and English. Front and Back engravings: Le "Soleil Royal" Vaisseau de premier rang, construit en 1690. Il érait armé de 104 pièces de canon. Il prit part à la bataille de la Hogue sous le commondement de Tourville. (D'après une aquarelle - Bibliothèque Nationale). / The "Royal Sun" Vaisseau senior, built in 1690. He was armed with 104 pieces of cannon. He took part in the Battle of the Hogue under commondement of Tourville. (According to a watercolor - National Library).
  • 1936-06-08 Déjeuner Menu, Lundi (Luncheon Menu for Monday) with handwritten notation: Déjeuner Corps Diplomatique. SS Normandie.
  • 1936-06-17 Tourist Passenger List, M.S. Lafayette, Le Havre to New York via Southampton, Captain William Vogel. Récapitulation: Cabines: 31; Touristes: 35; Troisièmes: 11; Total Passagers: 77.
  • 1937-11-03 Cabin, SS Normandie, Le Havre and Southampton to New York, Captain Pierre Thoreux. Récapitulation: Classe Cabine: 473; Classe Touriste: 469; Troisième Classe: 366; Total: 1,308. In French.
  • 1938-04 Third Class on the French Line: Ile de France, Paris, Champlain, Lafayette and Normandie. 16 Pages, un paginated. Photographs include: SS Ile de France: Two-berth cabin; Library and Writing Room; Dining Room. SS Champlain: Third Class Dining Room; Four-Berth Cabin; Smoking Room. SS Paris: Two-Berth Cabin; Library and Writing Room; Dining Room. SS Lafayette: Dining Room; Two-Bert Cabin; Third Class Lounge. SS Normandie: Four-Berth Cabin; Salon (Lounge); Dining Room; Third Class Deck; Bar. Steamship Photos of the five ships mentioned previously and a sample third class menu.
  • 1938-07-02 Cabin, Tourist and Third Class, SS De Grasse, Le Havre to New York, Captain Louis Blanquie. Récapitulation: Cabines: 25; Touristes: 57; Troisièmes: 27; Total Passagers: 109. In French.
  • 1938-08-24 List of Passengers (Class not Stated), SS Normandie, Le Havre and Southampton to New York, Captain Pierre Thoreux, Récapitulation: Classe Cabine: 445; Classe Touriste: 735; Troisième Classe: 342; Total: 1,522. In French.
  • 1938-09-17 Cabin, SS Champlain, Le Havre to New York via Southampton, Captain William Vogel. Récapitulation: Classe Cabine: 374; Classe Touriste: 178; Troisième Classe: 167; Total: 719. In French and English.
  • 1938-10-05 List of Passengers (Class not Stated), SS Normandie, Le Havre and Southampton to New York, Captain Pierre Thoreux, Récapitulation: Classe Cabine: 420; Classe Touriste: 606; Troisième Classe: 450; Total: 1,476. In French.
  • 1938-10-22 Cabin, SS Champlain, New York to Le Havre via Plymouth, Captain Jules Duchesne. Récapitulation: Classe Cabine: 126; Classe Touriste: 82; Troisième Classe: 85; Total: 293. In French.
  • 1939-07-15 List of Passengers (Class not Stated), SS Ile-de-France, Le Havre to New York via Southampton, Captain Albert Fontaine. Récapitulation: Classe Cabine: 97; Classe Touriste: 535; Troisième Classe: 324; Total des Passagers: 956; Commandant, Officiers et Equipage: 798; Total à bord: 1,754. In French.
  • 1939-09-08 On Board Newspaper: Nouvelles Reçues par T.S.F. A Board du SS Ile-de-France. Daily Newspaper of the French Line L'Antlantique. Major Stories included French Germans In Ninety Mile Battle; German Forces Only 21 Miles from Warsaw.
  • 1950-10-06 Cabin and Tourist Class, Ile-De- France, Le Havre and Southampton to New York, Captain Joseph Cailloce.

 

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