News from 1899 White Star's Australian Service

Mark Baber

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The New York Times, 22 June 1899

WHITE STAR'S NEW DEPARTURE
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It Will Run an Increased Service Between Liverpool and Australia
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The White Star Line is about to put in operation a steamship service
between Liverpool and Australia which will rank with the most ambitious
efforts put forth by transoceanic steamship companies in recent years
and is destined to divert a good share of the colonial trade from London
to Liverpool.

Until 1868, when Mr. Ismay purchased the White Star flag from the
retiring owners, wooden ships had chiefly been employed, but the firm
signalized its advent in the trade by loading iron ships. Since then in
all general cargo trades sail has been rapidly displaced by steam, and
Messrs. Ismay, Imrie & Co. have sold all their sailing ships, and have
arranged with Harland & Wolf, [sic] ship builders, for the construction
of five large twin screw steamers aggregating about 60,000 tons for the
Australian trade. These steamers will carry no saloon or second cabin
passengers, but will have very exceptional accommodation for third-class
passengers. The ships will be fitted with extensive refrigerating
chambers for the carriage of dairy products, fruits and meats.

The first of these steamers, the Afric, 11,815 tons, was launched Nov.
16, 1898, and is now being fitted with refrigerating machinery. The
Medic, of similar dimensions, followed Dec. 15 of the same year, and
will shortly be followed by the Persic, Runic, and Suevic, making
together a fleet capable of maintaining a monthly service between
Liverpool and Australia. It is intended that the Medic shall sail from
Liverpool on her first voyage on Aug. 3, and the other vessels named
will follow at regular intervals.

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