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Ocean Travel - Daily Life Aboard A Steamship

Articles on Steamships, Ocean Liners - Life on Board a Steamer

Discover what life was like on board the steamship through historical articles richly illustrated with photographs and illustrations from the 1870s through the 1950s.

Photo 01: Last Farewells To The Ocean Voyager At The New York Pier

Transatlantic Ships and Voyages

Covers the development of the steamship from early steamships, propulsion, food service, oceanic travel, rooms, provisions, meals, the immigrant trade and processing of immigrants on board the ocean liners, passenger comforts, evolution of the steamship and much more.

1887-02-05 SS La Bretagne

Steamship Lines - History and Ephemera

Transatlantic, Trans-Pacific and Coastal steamship lines, an index to the collections available at the Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives. The maritime companies listed offered passenger service to immigrants, tourists, socialites, and others who crossed the vast oceans from the 1800s through the 1950s.

Immigrant Ship Ephemera

Immigrant Ship Ephemera

Some of the most prized collectibles are ephemeral memorabilia produced on or for each voyage or ship. They include passenger lists, brochures, tickets and voyage contracts, luggage tags, postcards, sports and entertainment programs, track charts, deck plans, menus, onboard newspapers, magazines, books, voyage log extracts, passenger letters, ship letterhead, cap tallies, photographs, illustrations, logos, and more.

Poster for the RMS Titanic: The World's Largest Liner. Southampton ~ New York via Cherbourg & Queenstown

RMS Titanic Collections

The White Star liner Titanic, the largest ship ever built, bound from Liverpool for New York, collided with an iceberg, four hundred miles off the shore of Newfoundland, on the night of April 14th, and about four hours later sank in water two miles deep.

Port of Antwerp, Belgium

Port of Calls

Ports of Calls in the United States, Canada and Europe utilized by steamships during the peak immigration era of 1880-1954 including Boston, New York, Antwerp, Fishguard, Hamburg, Liverpool, London, Rotterdam, Southampton, and others.

SS France of CGT Frech Line

Ship Tonnage, Weights, and Measures

Determining the tonnage of a ship is somewhat complicated, but likely more straightforward than you might expect. We break down this subject into cargo and carrying capacity, gross tonnage, net tonnage, along with a great explanation of deadweight, cargo, gross, net, and displacement tonnage.

The Captain of a Transatlantic Steamship

Sea Captains

Biographies of many transatlantic sea captains and commanders from the 1880s through the early 1900s. You’ll find steamship captains from Cunard, White Star, Inman, Guion, Anchor, American, Red Star, CGT French Line, and many others.

Baggage Steward Assisting Passengers

Ship Crew

The crew of a ship are the heart and soul of the ocean liner. Topics covered include employment, organization, stewards, stewardesses, nurses, physicians, and life on board an ocean liner as a member of the crew.

Vintage Menus

Vintage Menus

Grand collection of vintage ocean liner and other menus covering breakfast, lunch, dinner, farewell dinner, special occasions, and specialty menus that provide an insight into the variety of foods served on the transatlantic steamships and ocean liners and restaurants from the 1800s through the 1950s.

Passengers Browse the Brochure Kiosk on Board the SS Victoria. Glass Plate Image Circa 1900.

Vintage Ocean Liner and Travel Brochures

Fabulous Collection of Ocean Liner and Travel Brochures from the latter 1800s through the 1950s. Many are not only rare but offer a unique glimpse of passenger accommodations for ocean travel, often profusely illustrated with photographs and other illustrations.

The Captain's Dinner

Onboard Entertainment & Events

Steamship Lines printed a wide variety of programs for onboard events including sporting, entertainment/variety shows, movies, social events, music concerts, charity concerts and fundraisers, and many more.

Printing a Daily Newspaper on Board a Steamship circa 1910.

Onboard Publications - Newspapers and Magazines

Our collection of newspapers and other onboard publications encompasses a number of steamship lines including Cunard, CGT French Line, Hamburg America Line, and Norddeutscher Lloyd.

Provisioning a Transatlantic Liner - Equivalent in Live Stock and General Stores.

Provisioning the Steamships and Ocean Liners

Provisioning a transatlantic ocean liner with enough food, supplies, and other stock items for all meals and drinks for thousands of passengers. We’ll take a closer look at provisions the SS Deutschland of the Hamburg America Line, the SS Kronprinz Wilhelm of Norddeutscher Lloyd, and the RMS Olympic of the White Star Line.

View of Private Bathroom - SS Minnesota

Sanitation at Sea

Everything you ever wanted to know about sanitation, bathing, and facilities on the steamships and ocean liners of the past. You’ll learn about freshwater supplies, Turkish baths, electric baths, plumbing, swimming pools, sinks, toilets, and more.

Rose Host, Stowaway on a Steamship

Stowaways on Steamships & Ocean Liners

If you’ve ever wondered about stowaways found on the transatlantic ships, answers to many of your questions can be found amongst several articles. A special reporter’s exposé is a fascinating read on the subject.

Bureau of Information on a Ship

Interest Facts About Steamships, Etc.

All the fun and exciting facts and factoids about steamships and ocean liners. Topics covered include night signals, safety, time, ship barbers and barber shops, submarine signaling, aerial mail, classes of ships, guarding gold at sea, and much more.

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