Naronic (1892-1893)

Mark Baber

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Earlier today, mention was made in another thread of Naronic. Somewhat surprisingly, there seems not to have been any significant prior mention of her here, so to fill that gap, here are the highlights of her short history:

26 May 1892: Livestock carrier Naronic (yard number 251) is launched at
Harland & Wolff, Belfast. (Sources: Moss and Hume's Shipbuilders to the
World; Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway.)

15 July 1892: Naronic leaves Liverpool at 3 p.m., on her maiden voyage
to New York. Under Capt. Thompson's command, and carrying cargo but no
passengers, she will arrive in New York on 24 July. (Sources: The
New-York Times, 16 and 25 July 1892; Anderson's White Star; Bonsor's
North Atlantic Seaway.)

11 February 1893: Cattle carrier Naronic leaves Liverpool on her 7th
round-trip to New York, with 74 people aboard, including 14 cattlemen.
After putting off her pilot, William Davis, at Port Lynas, she is never
seen again. Continued 4 March. (Sources: The New-York Times, 2, 3, 4, 7,
8, 9, 10, 13, 18 19 and 21 March 1893; Oldham's The Ismay Line;
Anderson's White Star.)

4 March 1893: Two of Naronic's lifeboats, both empty, are spotted by the
British steamer Coventry, drifting in the Atlantic. These are the only
verified traces of the ship that are ever found. (Sources: The New-York
Times, 21 March 1893; Oldham's The Ismay Line; Anderson's White Star.)
 

Mark Baber

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The Times, 27 May 1892

IRELAND
---
BELFAST, MAY 26
---
***
To-day there was launched from the shipbuilding yard of Messrs. Harland
and Wolff another addition to the well-known fleet of the White Star
Line, in the large cargo steamer Naronic, specially designed for the
Trans-Atlantic freight service. Her dimensions are---length, 470ft.;
breadth, 53ft.; and depth of hold, 35ft. 6in., with a gross registered
tonnage of about 6,000, which constitutes her the largest cargo steamer
afloat. She will be fitted with two sets of triple expansion engines,
driving twin screws, thus reducing to a minimum the chances of breakdown
and consequent delays in arrival. Like her sister ship the Bovic, which
will be launched towards the end of June, she will be replete with all
the most approved equipment for the comfort and safe carriage of horses
(amidships), cattle, fresh meat, fruit, and general merchandise. The
Naronic and Bovic will, as soon as completed, take up regular sailings
in the freight service of the White Star Line between Liverpool and New
York, and a regular sailing form Liverpool every Friday and New York every
Tuesday will be arranged.

-30-
 

John Hemmert

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I've been studying Naronic for some time now. I was curious. Do you know when she made it to Boston? All in all, she made 6 full voyages to and from America. I know her maiden voyage, and at least 2 others were to New York.
 

Mark Baber

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Boston? As far as I know, none of the cattle carriers ever went to Boston and, in fact, White Star did not even have a Boston service at that time. Do you have any information that Naronic ever went there?
 

John Hemmert

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Hi Mark - Not a certainty. But the Morton Allen log only lists like 3 of her visits to New York. These weren't "passenger" ships, per se. They were mainly cargo carriers, and Naronic was built as a larger version of Nomadic-I with more passenger space for the non-New York routes. I have been collecting data and pictures of Naronic for about 17 years now. I finally managed to get one that wan't just an "artist's rendition". It's a "real picture postcard" of a WSL cattle carrier with two tug boats. I scanned it at 2400 dpi to get a better look at her. She's pre-wireless. (No wireless wires aloft.) So, it dates from pre-1909. She's just about to pass the Cunard Docks in Boston, and the old distillery is in the background. No visible name on her, but she's either Nomadic, Tauric, or Naronic. Don't think she's Bovic, as 2nd mast is stepped forward of the superstructure, rather than "flush" with it. Then, too, her bridge is not set back a bit from front of superstructure like Nomadic or Tauric - hence the guess she's Naronic. (I seem to recall Eaton and Haas stating she was more sister to Namodic, than Bovic.) She's one of their sisters, and definitely not Georgic. Need to dig "Falling Star" out of storage now. Duncan Haws' book "Merchant Fleets - White Star Line" just not helping enough.
 

Mark Baber

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Very interesting, John.

A few other things to throw into the mix: 1892-93 sounds to me to be a bit early both for the Cunard dock at Boston and a real photo post card, both of which, I think, are turn of the 20th century developments. By 1904 both Tauric and Nomadic were Dominion liners, renamed Welshman and Cornishman, respectively. The term "Naronic" apparently doesn't appear in the Boston Globe's searchable archive before her final voyage.

Please keep me posted on your conclusions. This type of detective work is fascinating.
 

John Hemmert

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Hi Mark,

OK, well that certainly puts a crimp in things.I just dug around on eBay. (They have tutorial infobits.) At [listing] they state: "Undivided back (1901-1907) Starting December 4 1901, publishers were allowed to use the word POSTCARD on the back, but still no writing was allowed on the non picture side, except for the address." The postcard says: "POST CARD The address to be written on this side." It's undivided, and unused. The ship in question is definitely a cattle carrier; ventilators all over the deck. So, I'm guessing your statement is right. It's probably from 1902, before Nomadic or Tauric transferred out of WSL, and is one of them. She's definitely not a Cunarder. There's a Cunard ship in the background. That ship's stack is obviously Cunard, and the ship in the foreground has a stack that looks like a standard WSL buff & black stack. Here's a decent jpeg, please see attached:

Nasmall.jpg