News from 1902: Launch of the Cedric


Mark Baber

Staff member
The Times, 22 August 1902

The White Star liner Cedric, the largest vessel in the world, was
launched yesterday morning from Harland and Wolff's yard, Belfast, in
the presence of a large gathering. The White Star Line has now the
distinction of owning three of the largest vessels in the world, the
Cedric and Celtic exceeding in size anything afloat, British or foreign.
The length of the Cedric is 700ft., her beam is 75ft. (7ft. wider than
the Oceanic), and her depth. 49 1-3ft. She is about 21,000 tons gross.
The displacement at her load draught will be 37,870 tons The Cedric has
no fewer than nine decks, and is built on the cellular double-bottom
principle, being divided into numerous watertight compartments. The
engines are of the Harland and Wolff quadruple expansion balance type.
The Cedric has accommodation for about 3,000 passengers, besides
quarters for a crew of about 350. In addition to the ordinary
state-rooms there are suites consisting of bed, sitting, and bath rooms
for families. There are also single berth state-rooms, practically a new
feature in ocean liners. The first-class accommodation is all arranged
amidships on the upper decks, and the number of such passengers provided
for is 365. The grand dining saloon is on the upper deck, and extends
the full width of the ship---75ft. It contains seating accommodation for
over 300 persons. Aft, on the upper and bridge decks, there is
accommodation for 160 second-class passengers, excellent not only in
regard to bedrooms, baths, and lavatories, but in saloon, smoking-room,
and library. An unusually large number of third-class passengers are
provided for on the upper, middle, and lower decks, some in separate
cabins and others in open berths forward. There are separate galleys or
kitchens for all three classes of passengers, also separate pantries
equipped in the most approved and modern style.

Although there was to be no actual ceremony, and the launch was more or
less of a private nature, there was a large gathering of spectators in
the yard itself, to which. tickets of admission had been issued. Among
those who witnessed the launch were Mr. and Mrs. Pirrie, Mr. G. [sic]
Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line, Mr. H. S. Sanderson, also
of the same company, Lord Charlemont, Major-General Warrand, and Mrs.
Petrie, London.

In the afternoon Mr. Pirrie received the following telegram from Mr.
Wyndham, the Chief Secretary for Ireland:---"Accept my warm
congratulations to yourself and Belfast on the successful launching of
the largest ship ever built."

The Cedric is intended for the company's passenger service between
Liverpool and New York, and is expected to take her place on the berth
in November next, running in conjunction with the Cymric and Celtic.