News from 1872: Maiden Voyage of Celtic I

Mark Baber

Celtic I arrived in New York at the conclusion of her maiden
voyage from Liverpool on 5 November 1872, the "Tuesday" mentioned in the
first paragraph. This article appeared three days later.

The New-York Times, 8 November 1872

The New Steam-ship Celtic of the White Star Line---Inspection and

The steam-ship Celtic, the latest addition to the White Star Line,
arrived at this port Tuesday evening and was formally opened for
inspection to a large company of invited guests at the docks of the
White Star Line, yesterday.

The Celtic is the sixth addition to the White Star Line of this class of
steamers, and is considered inferior to none. The dimensions are:
Length over all, 475 feet; breadth of beam, 41 feet; depth of hold, 31
feet; draught of water at load line, 24 feet. There are three decks and
the registered measurement is 2,500 tons. The hull is of iron, and is
divided into seven water-tight compartments, so that in case of accident
to any of the plates the danger of shipwreck is materially lessened.
The saloon is 54 feet in length, 39 feet broad, and is magnificently
decorated and upholstered. The state-rooms are large and commodious,
possessing every known appliance, in the way of hot and cold running
water, electric bells, &c., calculated to insure the comfort of the
passengers. The hull was built by Messrs Harland & Wolff, of Belfast,
Ireland, and the machinery at the Vauxhall Works in Liverpool. The list
of officers is as follows: Captain, Digby Murray; First Officer, James
A. Williams; Second Officer, Mr. Tierney; Third Officer, Mr. Kennedy;
Fourth Officer, Mr. Duncan.

The guests, by the hospitality of the Company, were treated to a
handsome collation on board of the steamer, at the close of the

Too bad she couldn't have sailed months earlier or I could have worked her into my romance novel. Alas, I chose to use the Oceanic instead.

Mark Baber

The New York Herald, 7 November 1872
Original article digitized by the Library of Congress
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,

The Latest Addition to the White Star Line---Her Dimensions, Machinery,
Appointments and List of Officers

The new steamship Celtic, the latest addition to the large fleet of the
White Star line of Atlantic clippers, arrived at this port on Tuesday
morning, and is now lying at their docks, near Pavonia ferry, Jersey City.
This is the sixth vessel of the same class which has been built for the
company, and in beauty of model, gracefulness of proportions, great strength
of workmanship and elegance of finish the Celtic is without a superior. The
dimensions of this monstrous craft are as follows:---Length over all, 450
feet; breadth of beam, 41 feet; depth of hold, 31 feet; draught of water at
load line, 24 feet; has three decks, and of 2,500 tons, registered
measurement; but her cargo-carrying capacity is equal to 8,635 tons at the
above draught. Like all her sister vessels the Celtic is constructed of iron
in every part, and the hull is divided into seven water-tight compartments,
so as to ensure her safety in case of any mishap occurring to the lower

The machinery of this steamship is of the most powerful nature, the engines
being of the direct acting inverted compound description, having four
cylinders, 42 and 78 inches in diameter, with a stroke of piston of 5 feet.
A number of smaller engines for weighing anchors, assisting in loading and
unloading cargo, working the fire engines, &c., are in various parts of the
vessel. Steam is furnished from twelve boilers, and the space occupied by
the heavy machinery is 94 feet long. The forward part of the spar deck is
covered over to the length of 75 feet from the stem, forming a turtle deck,
which is slightly convex, and which answers the double purpose of sheltering
the seamen engaged in working the ship and of reducing the force of the seas
which may break over the bow. In the centre of the vessel, commanding a view
of the whole deck, the captain's bridge is placed, and immediately aft of
it, on the promenade deck for saloon passengers, is situated the wheel
house. The rudder is worked by steam, but in case of any emergency, such as
the derangement of the machinery, the ship can be guided by means of the
ordinary hand-wheel.

The passenger accommodations of the Celtic are of the first order. The
saloon, 54 feet in length and 39 feet wide, is elegantly furnished. The
panels are covered with a beautiful enamel-like paper, and the art of the
decorator, carver and upholsterer, has each contributed to make up a neat,
gorgeous interior. At the tables, which run parallel with the length of the
vessel, 140 passengers can be accommodated at one time. In this apartment
are pianos, writing tables and a library; and then there are mantelpieces,
open fireplaces and mirrors in profusion, the whole imparting a pleasant
appearance. The vessel is lighted with gas, and this interesting achievement
in connection with ocean steamers is such a success that it will probably be
adopted hereafter in all vessels of the principal lines. The state rooms,
which will accommodate 140 persons, are finely furnished and of large size.
These are heated with steam, and, beside the general completeness of the
appliances observed, there are electric bells, by which the passenger, by
simply pressing a button, can summon a waiter at all times. This arrangement
extends over the entire ship, and is a great convenience. In the portions of
the Celtic set apart for steerage passengers there are accommodations of a
superior character for about nine hundred persons. The ventilation
everywhere on board is as perfect as can be attained. The hull of the Celtic
was built by Messrs. Harland & Wolff, Belfast, Ireland, and her machinery
was constructed by the Vauxhall Works, Liverpool. She will leave port on her
return voyage Saturday of this week. The following is a list of her

Captain---Dlgby Murray.
First officer---James A. Williams.
Second Office---Mr. Turney.
Third Officer---Mr. Kennedy.
Fourth Officer---Mr. Duncan.
Doctor---John S. Finnegan, M. D.
Purser---Andrew McDowell.
Chief Engineer---George Harriatt.

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