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"Resolute” and “Reliance”: Two Recent Additions to the United American Lines Fleet (1922)

By the time the spring rush of travel to Europe begins, two fine new liners will be flying the American flag in the North Atlantic, viz., the steamers Resolute and Reliance, recently added to the fleet of the United American Lines, to be operated by them in fort-nightly service between New York and Hamburg, with calls at English and French Channel ports.

The Resolute and Reliance are 20.000 ton, oil-burning, triple screw steamers, built in 1920 after the very latest ideas in naval architecture. In the judgment of A. W. Harriman, chairman of the United American Lines, who consummated the purchase of the ships, there is nothing now afloat to surpass the new boats in the facilities which they offer for comfortable and pleasant ocean travel.

View of the SS Reliance of the United American Lines

View of the SS Reliance of the United American Lines

Named After Famous Yachts

Mr. Harriman was personally responsible for the selection of the names Resolute and Reliance for the new boats, these having been the names of two famous yachts, which successfully defended the American cup against the British challengers. It seemed very appropriate to him that the achievements of two ships, which so valiantly carried the American flag in the competition of sport, should be commemorated in two of the finest ships to fly the flag in the competition of commerce.

The entry into the North Atlantic service of the two new large and luxuriously appointed passenger steamships marks a notable event in the history of the American Merchant Marine. These magnificent liners, the largest privately owned passenger ships flying the American flag, are of the most modern type of construction and arrangement: the appointments and equipment are designed to conform to the highest standards of excellence in passenger travel and offer splendid facilities to the discriminating American traveling public.

The Resolute and Reliance are each 620 feet long, 72 feet broad and have a speed of 16.5 knots. The time of passage to England and France will he about eight days and to Hamburg about nine days. They carry in comfort 400 first class, 300-second class and 450 third class passengers.

The Resolute and Reliance display unusually beautiful lines. The passenger accommodations extend over six decks, of which three are in the superstructure above the main deck. The bridge, which is ten feet wide, extends three feet over each side of the ship on the boat deck and contains the chart room, wheel house, engine room telegraphs, compasses and other instruments of navigation. To the aft of the ship is another bridge, used when docking the steamer.

The steamships are propelled by three screw s. driven by two sets of reciprocating engines and a turbine, making a superior combination of propelling machinery. The turbine drive is indirect, obviating the necessity of a separate turbine for reversing. Steam is furnished by fourteen water tube boilers. Oil is the fuel used.

Up-to-date Safety Devices

The safety devices are of the latest approved designs and include cross and longitudinal watertight bulkheads, wireless, submarine signaling system, steam and water tire extinguishing system. Anti-rolling tanks and bilge keels reduce rolling to a minimum even in heavy seas. Telephones connect the captain’s bridge with every part of the ship.

The lifeboats, which include two motor boats, are sufficient in number to accommodate all passengers and the crew. They are operated by special electric winches on each side of the ship and swing from improved Welin davits. The steam steering gear is lodged in a deckhouse on the aft deck and is controlled by means of two independent engines, which are capable of swinging the 40 ton rudder through its full are in thirty seconds with the steamer fully loaded and proceeding at full speed.

The bow anchors are ponderous, weighing about 42.500 pounds. There are two other anchors of 2,600 and 1,300 pounds respectively. The anchor chains in all have a length of 1.200 feet.

The three huge funnels, rising to a height of 105 feet above the water line, give the big ships a majestic appearance. Above these funnels rise two steel masts, 190 feet in length, upon which are strung the Antenna of the powerful wireless apparatus. The water tanks hold 800 cubic meters of water for use in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. The water distilling machinery has a capacity of thirty tons of pure water daily.

View of the First Cabin Dining Saloon

View of the First Cabin Dining Saloon

Kitchen Contains Most Modern Appliances

The kitchens are situated close to the dining rooms and contain the most modem machinery and utensils for cooking, including a great bakery with dough mixing apparatus and the latest approved ovens. To the sides are pantries and service rooms equipped for quick service of meals. Fish, meat, fruit and vegetables are kept separately in cold storage chambers. Refrigeration is supplied by two machines, which also provide the large quantities of ice required throughout the voyage.

The cuisine aboard these steamships will appeal to the most fastidious. The best that the season affords will be found on the tables of the Resolute and Reliance. With the meals cooked under the direction of expert chefs and served by experienced stewards, passengers will find the service unexcelled in ocean travel.

Public Rooms

The main dining room of each vessel extends the full width of the ship, thus being open to the air and light on both sides. In the center, it rises through two decks to a height of 16 feet. The balcony on the upper deck, at the forward end of which the orchestra is placed, looks down into the large dining room. The color scheme is pearl-grey. The furniture is richly upholstered and_ blends with the warm-toned carpet. A pleasing feature is the lighting system, hundreds of concealed incandescent bulbs diffuse a softened light agreeable to the eye.

The social hall or lounge, finished in blue-grey, is a specially handsome room. It is located at the head of the ma n stairway, at an elevator stop, and is easily accessible from all sections of the first-class accommodation. It is richly ornamented and hung with a number of splendid paintings.

The smoking room is paneled in mahogany and furnished with club chairs. Men could not ask for a more delightful spot. Not only may they enjoy smoking, conversing or playing cards, but attentive stewards are always ready to supply anything desired to add to their comfort.

View of the Library and Writing Room

View of the Library and Writing Room

The library and writing room is spacious and with its arched and beautifully decorated ceiling, has an atmosphere of unusual luxury and distinction. In the great bookcases are many volumes of good fiction as well as standard books of history and biography. Writing tables are supplied by the company with stationery for the use of passengers.

View of the Winter Garden

View of the Winter Garden

The winter garden is an apartment of rare beauty. Occupying a large space on the promenade deck and arched by a lofty dome of colored glass, it is the assembly room for the evening’s pleasures. Regular concerts are given and dances are held on its smooth inlaid floor. Palms and blooming plants add to its charm.

The terrace café is the rendez-vous of passengers between meals. Situated in the open, with protection against windy or rainy weather, it is a sort of promenade deck lounge. Coffee, tea. or any of the beverages generally found on board ship at sea, are served.

The promenade deck is exceptionally wide and extends around the ship. The forward part is protected against stormy weather by sliding windows. There is plenty of deck space in all classes. At sea one walks as much or more than one does when ashore. There is a strong desire to exercise in the open air. Five times around the ship is about equivalent to a mile.

View of a First Cabin Stateroom

View of a First Cabin Stateroom

The ventilation of the public rooms and first-class staterooms is provided through perforated panels in the ceilings by pressure and vacuum systems and by wall and ceiling fans. Similar methods of providing pure air are used throughout the ship, so that the most remote berth in the third-class gets its quota of fresh air. Ventilating and heating in staterooms is under the control of the passengers.

The passageways and corridors are broad and enameled in white. It is pleasing to note that they are entirely free from heating pipes, ventilation shafts, switchboxes, and other unsightly apparatus. The three companion ways in the first-class open on airy vestibules.

Special Features

The swimming pool on each ship measures about 30 x 12 1/2 feet. It is supplied with running seawater and is surrounded by a broad platform, back of which are the dressing rooms, shower baths and other equipment essential to the comfort of passengers. An electric light bath is also provided.

The gymnasium is fully equipped under the Zander system. In addition, there are rowing devices, horseback riding machines and other athletic apparatus. The man or woman who wishes to keep physically fit has every opportunity to do so on these big ships.

The children’s room, set aside exclusively for the youngsters, is decorated with paintings of characters familiar to readers of fairy tales. Specially constructed low tables and chairs add to the comfort of the children. Here they may indulge in games of their own selection under the care of a sympathetic stewardess.

The botanical garden is the name given to the hot house. The hundreds of plants, including tropical and semi-tropical, which add to the charm of public room or private suite are grown and nursed here. There is nothing at sea so conducive to contentment as the charm of flowers and palms greeting one at every turn.

Passenger elevators connect with every deck, quickly transporting the diner to the promenade deck, or the promenade to the dining saloon. There is also a baggage elevator, enabling passengers to have ready access to trunks in the baggage room.

The photographers’ dark room is a great convenience for amateur picture makers. Taking photographs is little short of a craze at sea. There is always some notable whom you want to “snap" or some ship acquaintance with whom you wish to pose. The steward of the dark room gladly aids those who do not care to develop their own negatives or make their own prints.


The staterooms are large and abundantly supplied with fresh air. In the first cabin, bedsteads take the place of berths. A porcelain basin, with running water and hacked by a large mirror, takes the place of the old wash stand. Many rooms contain dressing tables, desks and chairs, in addition to the usual wardrobes and sofas. Electric lights and push buttons to call stewards add to the conveniences. A large number of rooms are arranged for one passenger. These luxurious quarters are more like rooms in a high-class hotel.

Bedroom of Suite

Bedroom of Suite

The private suites are provided with sitting room, baths and trunk rooms. When so desired meals are served in the suites, thus bringing to the traveler at sea all the comforts of home. These suites are much like cozy apartments and represent the utmost in deluxe traveling accommodations.

Second-Class Accommodation

Traveling second-class on the new triple-screw steamships Resolute and Reliance means occupying accommodations of every comfort and convenience. The second-class quarters are high-class quarters on these splendid ships. The staterooms differ from the first-class mainly in that they have berths instead of bedsteads, but the fittings are up to date in every particular. Many of the rooms accommodate two passengers only.

There are fine public rooms in the second-class, which, with the promenade decks give great freedom to passengers. The rooms include a large and elegantly appointed dining room, handsomely furnished social hall or lounge and a most inviting smoking room. These rooms are so comfortably and attractively furnished in every respect that they leave little to lie desired. The second-class provides a perfect mode of travel at moderate rates.

The cuisine in the second-class provides excellent food and service. The menus are carefully selected and offer a large variety of tempting courses. Experienced and efficient stewards add to the pleasure of mealtime.

Traveling in Thrid Calss

Third-class quarters have been transformed from open berths to rooms for two and four persons. Dining rooms, ladies’ parlors and smoking rooms are provided.

The United American Lines opened a new era in third-class travel when they introduced their so-called “ships of democracy." Mount Clay, Mount Carroll and Mount Clinton, devoted exclusively to third-class passengers, and providing hitherto unheard-of facilities for their comfort. On the Resolute and Reliance this same idea of improved accommodations will be carried into effect, even though it means a great sacrifice to the company because it reduces the third-class capacity by half.

Source: Shipping: Marine Transportation, Construction, Equipment and Supplies, New York: Shipping Publishing Co, Volume 15, No. 6, March 25, 1922 P.13-17

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