Steamship Lines - History and Ephemera
Transatlantic Ocean Liners and Other Worldwide Services
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.
Largest Collections of Steamship History and Ephemera
American Line - American Steamship Company (International Navigation Co.)
The American Line operated transatlantic steamships that offered weekly express service between Southampton and New York with additional services between the ports of Antwerp, Philadelphia, Queenstown and Liverpool and Philadelphia and Antwerp.
The Canadian Pacific Ocean Services Steamship Line offers First Class (via their Empress Ocean Liners) and Cabin Service between Montreal and Quebec Canada and Southampton - Liverpool; Glasgow - Belfast; Cherbourg - Antwerp; and, Queenstown - Hamburg. During the winter, departures are from Saint John NB.
CGT French Line - Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
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.
Cunard Line - Cunard Steam Ship Company, Ltd.
The Gjenvick-Gjønvik Archives has extensive holdings in Cunard Line Ephemera from the 1880s through 1954. The Collections are organized by Passenger Lists, Steamship Tickets, Brochures, Menus, Periodicals, Books, Photographs and Miscellaneous.
The Cunard White Star Line (1934-1949) was formed as a merger of the two once giant steamship lines - The Cunard Steam Ship Company and the White Star Line. The depression years had taken their toll on a number of transatlantic steamship lines. After World War II, traffic, especially tourist traffic had recovered and the Cunard line purchased the remaining assets of White Star Line in 1949.
Hamburg-American Line (HAPAG) Hamburg-Amerika Linie
Hamburg-American Line was one of the major steamship companies to handle the immigrant trade. Their primary routes of Hamburg, Germany to New York via Southampton were supplemented by other vessels that called on the ports of Portland ME, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Galveston and New Orleans, in addition to Canadian ports.
Holland America Line (N.A.S.M. / HAL) Holland Amerika Lijn
The Historical Documents from the Holland America Line at the Archives is one of the most popular collections. The passenger lists and menus often have some of the most intricate, beautiful artwork - very elaborate and ornate covers that are treasured the world over. Our collection of passenger lists of the Holland America Line covers the first half of the twentieth century.
North German Lloyd - Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen - The North German Line
When an historian of the future undertakes to write the history of Germany's transoceanic trade, an important chapter in his work will doubtless be filled by the annals of the North German Lloyd S. S, Co. of Bremen. Their beautiful artwork during the late 1800s and early 1900s is absolutely amazing.
Red Star Line / Red Star Linie
The Red Star Line began transatlantic passenger service in 1873 and 1935 between European ports and New York. The Belgenland was their most famous ship and most of the names of their steamships ended with the suffix "land."
United States Lines operated cargo services from 1921 to 1989, and ocean liners until 1969—most famously, the SS United States and the Leviathan.
While half a century has elapsed since the White Star Line commenced running a regular steamer service between New York and Liverpool, the Line has actually been in existence since the middle of last century. Its original fleet consisted of some half dozen American-built clipper ships plying between England and Australia. And, who could forget their most infamous ship, Titanic.
Aberdeen Line (Aberdeen & Commonwealth Lines)
The Aberdeen Line operated steamships covering the route between London, South Africa and Austraila. The steamships in this line travel via South Africa; the passengers are never subjected to extremes of temperature; and the time of journey if forty-six to fifty days.
Allan Line (Montreal Ocean Steamship Company)
The Allan Line operated steamships that covered Transatlantic routes between ports in the United Kingdom (Glasgow, Londonderry, Belfast, Liverpool, and London) to North American Ports of Call. Canadian Ports served included Quebec, Montreal, St. Johns, and Halifax. US Ports included: Portland, Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Baltimore.
The American Export Lines operated in various corporate formations from 1919 to 1977. They offered both Cargo and Passenger services between New York and the Mediterranean, principally Gibraltar, Cannes, Genoa and Naples.
The American Mail Line was a steamship line that ran between Seattle, Washington, and the Far East. It was created in 1920, the then rival Dollar's holdings included five vessels operated under the name of the Admiral Line, along with a half-million-dollar investment in the American Mail Line, the fifth largest company on the West Coast.
In the fall of 1923 the Shipping Board disposed of several United States Lines vessels, including some sold to the Dollar Line. To replace these the Shipping Board acquired five transports from the Army Transport Service. These were reconditioned and run as the American Merchant Lines under the management of J. H. Winchester and Company.
Anchor Line (Henderson Brothers)
The Anchor Line operated transatlantic steamship passenger service between the ports in the United States including: New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Baltimore; Canadian Ports of Montreal, Quebec, Halifax; to UK Ports of call including: Southampton, Plymouth, Liverpool, London, Londonderry, Glasgow, Queenstown, Bristol; and, the European Ports of Cherbourg and Hamburg.
Anchor-Donaldson Line (Robert Reford Co., Ltd)
Anchor-Donaldson Line offered transatlantic steamship passenger services between the ports of Glasgow, Moville and Liverpool in the UK and the Canadian ports of Quebec and Montreal, Toronto, Halifax, St. John and the US Port of Portland, Maine. Their Sister Ships of Letitia and Athenia offered both Cabin and Third Class accommodations of intermediate class.
The Atlantic Transport Line operated transatlantic passenger service primarily between New York and London from 1881 to 1936. It was an American owned company that was operated by the British and sailed under the British flag.
The Baltic American Line offered passenger steamship service between the ports of New York, Hamburg, Danzig, Libau and Halifax with a fleet of four ocean liners. The fleet consisted of the steamers Latvia, Polonia, Lituania and Estonia.
The Baltimore Mail Line (Baltimore Mail Steamship Company) was primarily a mail service that also carried a limited number of passengers (passenger capacity was about 80 Tourist Class). They operated regular weekly service between the US Ports of Baltimore and Norfolk to the European Ports of Le Havre, France and Hamburg, Germany.
The Black Ball Line operated one of the first Sail / Steam powered packet ships that offered regular passenger service between the ports of Liverpool, England and New York beginning in 1818. The service later expanded to include Boston and Philadelphia twice each month. Their reputation was for fast ships, excellent seamanship and often brutal treatment of low ranking seaman.
The Blue Funnel Line offered regular First-Class Passenger and Cargo Services From the UK to South Africa, Malaya, China, Japan, Australia, Java and America. They also offered regular service of fast cargo vessels, with limited accommodation for first-class passengers at greatly reduced rates between a number of ports served including Glasgow, Hamburg, Bremen, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Antwerp, and New York.
Cosulich Line - Trieste or Cosulich Societa Triestina di Navigazione was owned by the Cosulich brothers and operated as Cosulich Line after World War I until it was merged with the Italian Line in 1937. Ports of call included New York, Boston, Azores, Lisbon, Gibraltar, Marseilles, Cannes, Naples, Patras and Trieste.
The Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) began operating transatlantic steamships in 1903 between Halifax and the United Kingdom until 1915 when it spun off the steamship portion of its business (which included the Allan Line) into the Canadian Pacific Steamships Ocean Services Ltd.
The Dollar Steamship Company (commonly known as "Dollar Line") was established on August 12, 1900. The Dollar Steamship President Liners offers a distinctively higher standard of luxury, comfort and convenience a standard designed to meet the requirements of ocean voyagers.
The Dominion Line Royal Mail Steamers was involved in the transatlantic immigrant passenger service between Liverpool, Queenstown (Cobh) and Boston; Liverpool to Quebec and Montreal and Naples to Boston. They were in operation under Dominion Line from the late 1800s to 1908.
Created in the mid 1930s, Donaldson Atlantic Line from the combination of Anchor Line and Donaldson Line. This line was only in service during the 1930s. After World War II, the steamship line resumed operations under the name Donaldson Line.
The First Cabin Service maintained by the Fabre Line between New York and Providence and the Azores and Lisbon and the Mediterranean ports, Algiers, Naples, Villefranche (port of Nice, Riviera) and Marseilles is without doubt the most unique and attractive afforded by any regular Mediterranean Line.
Furness - Bermuda Line (Furness, Withy & Company, Ltd.)
The Furness-Burmuda Line operated a fleet of steamships that operated primarily between New York and the Bermuda Islands.
The Grace Line (Started by W. R. Grace & Company) operated as a steamship line from 1882 until 1969. Beginning in the 1930s, Grace Line established passenger service between New York and Seattle via the Panama Canal. By the late 1930s, they concentrated on the route between New York and Haiti.
The Inman Line Steamship Company was established in 1850 and operated until 1885 when the assets were purchased by the American Line and Red Star Line. At the time it was liqidated, The Inman Line was reported to have made little or no money for a long time.
The International Mercantile Marine Company, commonly known as “The Shipping Trust,” was incorporated in October, 1902, as the result of a plan which was formulated several months before by Messrs. J. P. Morgan & Company to consolidate the various steamship lines running between the United States and Europe.
Italia - Lloyd Sabaudo - Navigazione Generale
Formed in 1932, The Italia line was the result of a controlled syndicate of the major Italian steamship lines then in operation. Italia was one of the four surviving companies that served between Italian ports and North and South America. The full name is Italia Flotte Riunite Cosulich - Lloyd Sabaudo - Navigazione Generale and Soc. per Azioni di Navigazione Genova and Sabaudo.
Italian Line - Italia Societa Anonima di Navigazione, Sede in Genova
Italia - Società di Navigazione (also known as Italia Società Anonima di Navigazione, Italia SpAN, Italia di Navigazione SpA but popularly known even more simply as the Italian Company, or only as Italy ). In the context of international navigation, it was known under the unmistakable nomenclature of Italian Line. It was the Italian flag shipping company leader in the transport of passengers.
Royal Netherlands Steamship Co. (KNSM) - Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maatschappij, Amsterdam
This long established Dutch shipping company was one of the really great Caribbean, Central American and South American traders with a very big fleet. Koninklijke Nederlandsche Stoomboot Maats (KNSM) was founded on 1st October 1856 by a group of Dutch entrepreneurs. KSNM provided cargo and passenger services from Northern Europe to the West Indies, Central and South America.
The Lamport and Holt Line was founded in 1845 by W.L. Lamport from Workington and George Holt. At the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Lamport owned thirty-six ships of 200,000 tons, eleven of which were sunk. In 1929, Lamport collapsed along with the rest of Kylsant's Royal Mail group, was reconstituted in 1934, and then eventually sold to the Vesty Group (Blue Star Line) in 1944.
The Leyland Line regular service between Boston and Liverpool direct is maintained at the present time by five splendid steamers—the popular steamships Devonian, Winifredian, Canadian, Bohemian and Cestrian, comprising the fleet, passenger and freight.
The Lloyd Sabaudo Line was organized in Turin, Italy, on June 21, 1906, with head offices at Genoa. On April 7, 1907, the company celebrated the inauguration of its services by despatching from Genoa the Re D'Italia on her maiden trip to New York. By 1932 the world shipping depression caused the fusion of Lloyd Sabaudo, Cosulich and Navigazione Generale Italiana with the formation of the "Italia" Line.
N.G.I. Italian Line / Società di navigazione Italia / Navigazione Generale Italiana
Under this title were united the lines which formerly belonged to Florio, of Palermo, and Rubattino, of Genoa, having the head office at Rome. There are lines from Italy to India, China, New York, Brazil, and River Plate, in connection with the company’s Mediterranean, Adriatic, and Levant services.
Norwegian America Line (NAL) Den Norske Amerikalinie
The Norwegian America Line (NAL) Den Norske Amerikalinje was started in 1910 to take advantage of the Immigrant trade between Norway and the United States. The transatlantic voyages between Oslo and New York were made with the following Ocean Liners: Kristianiafjord, Bergensfjord, Oslofjord and Stavangerfjord during the period covered by the GG Archives.
R.M.S.P. - The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company
The Royal Mail Steam Packet Company was a British shipping company founded in London in 1839 by a Scot, James MacQueen. The line's motto was Per Mare Ubique (everywhere by sea). They provided transatlantic passenger services to and from Hamburg, Cherbourg, Southampton and New York and on occasion Quebec.
Royal Mail Lines Ltd (RML) was created in 1932 and took over the ships of Royal Mail Steam Packet Company and other companies of the former group. The new company's operations were concentrated on the west coast of South America, the West Indies and Caribbean, and the Pacific coast of North America.
Scandinavian American Line - Skandinavien Amerika Linen
In the early years, many immigrants from Scandinavia and the Baltic States crossed the ocean to the New World in ships from the Scandinavian American Line. Favored in the early 20th century, alike by those who crossed the Atlantic for pleasure and for business, the Scandinavian-American Line -- the descriptive name under which the company operated its passenger service between the United States and the Scandinavian countries -- typifies everything that made ocean travel a delight.
Swedish American Line (SAL) Svenska Amerika Linien
Passenger, freight and mail service direct between New York and Gothenburg, Sweden. Gothenburg is conveniently situated and offers a direct route, with daily connections to all points in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Russia, the Baltic states, Germany, etc.
The Union-Castle Line offered a number of passenger and freight services including Royal Mail Service; Intermediate Steamship Class Service, East African Coast Service, Mauritius Service and Service to Lobito. For the UK, They served the ports of London and Southampton.
United American Lines (Harriman Line)
The United American Lines, aka American Shipping and Commercial Corporation, was founded by W. Averell Harriman in 1920. Harriman entered into agreements with the Hamburg-America Line (HAPAG) to handle transatlantic passenger traffic between Hamburg - Southampton - Cherbourg - New York. The Steamship line was sold to HAPAG in 1926.
White Star - Dominion Line formed as a joint service between White Star Line the the Domain Line in 1909 to handle passenger and freight traffic between Quebec and Montreal and Liverpool via Queenstown (Cobh). Their passenger fleet included the SS Laurentic, Megantic, Canada, Dominion, and Teutonic. In 1926 the service was rebranded as the White Star Line Canadian Service.
White Star Line History including Passenger List, historical documents, brochures, menus, passenger contracts for passage, and more. A collection of the Gjenvick-Gjonvik Archives.