Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

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An image for sisters Haverford and Merion from a contemporary American Line brochure

S.S. Haverford

Built by John Brown & Co Ltd, Glasgow
Launched April 5, 1901; Scrapped, 1925
Length 531'; Beam 59.2; 11,635 tons; 14 knots
One funnel; Four masts; Twin screws
Sister Merion

 

A rather puzzling short notice about the International Mercantile Marine Company's purchase of the Dominion Line the New York Times commented that as part of the new arrangements for the Dominion Line "the Boston service is to have the two steamers from the Atlantic Transport Line, Haverford and Merion." This seems to be simply an error.

These sister ships were built in 1901 for the American Line. Clement Griscom, Director of the International Navigation Company, had obtained the capital he needed for modernizing his fleet through the successful floatation of five percent mortgage bonds in 1899. The new funds enabled him to order two principal units for the Red Star Line, Vaterland and her sister Zeeland, and two slower ships for the American Line, Haverford and Merion. These two ships were, "following the usual practice of the Philadelphia service," fitted to carry one class of passenger only, in accommodation considered equal to first class on other ships. Haverford was presumably named for the town in Pennsylvania in which Griscom resided.

The Haverford is known to have sailed for the Red Star and Dominion lines in her first two years of service, and to have been briefly chartered to the British & North Atlantic Steam Navigation Company. In 1915 and 1916 she served as a military transport and on June 26, 1917, she was torpedoed by a German submarine off the West coast of Scotland. Eight lives were lost in the attack but the ship was beached, repaired, and returned to service. On April 17, 1918, she survived another submarine attack in the North Atlantic and was able to resume her Liverpool - Philadelphia service in January 1919. Her last voyage, to Liverpool, Belfast, Glasgow, and Philadelphia was in White Star Line service in 1925. She was scrapped in Italy in 1925.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; The New York Times; The American Line (1871-1902), Flayhart William Henry III, New York, 2000; The Ships List

An image for sisters Haverford and Merion from a contemporary American Line brochure
An image for sisters Haverford and Merion from a contemporary American Line brochure (Kinghorn)

Image for Haverford and Merion from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Image for Haverford and Merion from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

Promenade deck image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Promenade deck image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

Library image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Library image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

Smoking Room image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Smoking Room image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

A contemporary postcard depicting Haverford in American Line colors (Kinghorn)
A Japanese postcard depicting Haverford in American Line colors (Kinghorn)

 

For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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