Category Archives: 2. The Golden Age: 1900 – 1930


Ask just about anyone to name a famous ocean liners and they’ll instantly blurt out the name Titanic. This ship has come to epitomize an entire era and the tragic tale of her one and only crossing resonates still, nearly 100 years later. This ship embodied the splendor of the last peaceful era in modern history. She also underscored the fundamental flaws in our society.

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Ivernia (1900)

Ivernia was built in 1900, by C.S. Swan & Hunter Ltd. in Newcastle. She was the sister ship to Saxonia. Her tonnage was 14,058 tons gross, 11,057 under deck and 9,052 net. She was 582 feet long with a 64.9 foot beam and holds 37.8 feet deep; She had twin screws, 4 masts, 3 steel decks. The upper and main decks were partly sheathed in wood. Steel orlop deck forward, orlop beams aft, steel shelter deck were also sheathed in wood. She was fitted with electric lights and refrigerating machinery.

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Empress of Ireland

The Empress of Ireland was built by Fairfield Shipbuilding & Engineering Co. at Govan near Glasgow in Scotland. The 14,191-ton vessel was a fixed price contract of £375,000 and was to be delivered to C.P.R. eighteen months from the date the contract was signed. The keel was laid for hull number 443 at Fairfield’s berth number 4 next to her sister ship, the Empress of Britain which was also under construction on 10 April 1905. Continue reading Empress of Ireland

Duchess of Bedford

In 1928, Duchess of Bedford was built for Canadian Pacific by John Brown & Company in Clydebank, Scotland. She was built for the Liverpool – Canada service. She entered wartime service in 1939 and served as a troopship until 1947. When her military service ended, she was returned to her owners for restoration and a return to civilian seas. For a time the company considered renaming her Empress of India, but opted instead for Empress of France. She was rechristened and entered Atlantic service in 1948. In 1960 she was sold for scrap. Demolition took place in Wales. Continue reading Duchess of Bedford

Duchess of Atholl

One of four Duchess class steamers built for Canadian Pacific in 1928 was Duchess of Atholl. She was built by William Beardmore & Company in Glasgow, Scotland. She sailed the Liverpool – Canada route and in 1939 was requisitioned as a troopship. Duchess of Atholl’s war service lasted only 3 years. On October 10, 1942 she was torpedoed and sunk by a German submarine in the South Atlantic with the loss of 4 lives. Continue reading Duchess of Atholl