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Mark Baber

MAB Note: The ships described here are rather clearly NOT Carmania and Caronia, but rather Lusitania and Mauretania.

The New York Times, 22 May 1904

Caronia and Carmania the Names---Speed 25 Knots
Power Greater Than Manhattan Elevated Power Station's---To be the Giants of the Seas
The contracts for the construction of the two mammoth turbine transatlantic liners that the Cunard Company is going to operate between Liverpool and New York have been signed. These great ships, which the Cunard insists must be the fastest vessels that ever plied the Atlantic, will be built by John Brown & Co. and Swan, Hunter & Wigham, Richardson.

As in the case of all other vessels that fly the Cunard emblem, the new liners have been named with words ending in "ia," one of the ships being called the Caronia and the other the Carmania. The Caronia is named in honor of the Sicilian port that is located about midway between Palermo and Messina, while the name Carmania, it is stated, is derived from Kermion, or Kermania, one of the provinces of Persia.

The exact displacement of these great vessels has not been given out by the Cunard Company as yet, but as they are to be 760 feet long by 88 feet beam, it is estimated that the displacement figures will be about 32,000 tons. To supply the steam that will run the turbines cylindrical boilers are to be used, they being collected in three distinct groups, each with an independent funnel, making the new vessels the first of the Cunarders to be triple funneled. The Howden forced-draught system will be used in working the boilers, and it is stated that they will consume about 1,000 tons of coal a day.

The turbines, however, are to be the most remarkable feature of these most remarkable of transatlantic liners. They will be when completed the largest portable engines ever constructed, and they will have a horse power greater than any single set of engines in the world. An idea of their tremendous power may be gleaned from the fact that the power station of the Manhattan Elevated Railway has an output of 64,000 horse power, but the new Cunard engines will be able to develop more than this.

The speed that the Cunard Company insists upon in the new vessels is 25 knots. To get 24 ½ knots in smooth water a horse power of about 62,000 would be required, and as they are expected to make this speed in rough water and 25 knots in smooth water the engines will necessarily have to be of from 68,000 to 70,000 horse power. The work on the new vessels, it is expected, will begin very soon.

An idea of the great power and the size of these new giants of the sea may be had by comparing them with the fastest and most powerful of the vessels now in the European-American trade---the Cedric, Oceanic, and Celtic of the White Star Line; the Hamburg-American liner Deutschland, the North German Lloyd's fliers, Kronprinz Wilhelm and Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, and the fast La Lorraine and La Savoie of the French Line. This is a table of comparison:

Vessel/Length Feet/Breadth Feet/Depth Feet/Speed Knots
Carmania, Caronia/760/88/../25
Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse/626/66/39/22
Kronprinz Wilhelm/640/66/43/23
La Lorraine/533.1/60/35.9/21
La Savoie/563.1/60/35.9/21

It will be seen that the new Cunarders will be 79.3 [sic] feet longer than the Cedric, at present the greatest vessel in point of size afloat, while she [sic] will exceed the famous Deutschland by 97.5 [sic] feet, the beautiful Kronprinz Wilhelm by exactly 120 feet, and the fleet Savoie by 196.9 feet, while as for speed, she [sic] will be two knots faster than the present racers of the sea, the Deutschland and the Kronprinz Wilhelm.

Will there wonderful ships be the successes that their owners anticipate they will be? That is a question on which great marine authorities differ. Rear Admiral Melville of the United States Navy and one of the greatest of American experts, frankly says that he has grave doubts on the subject, and he says that there are in England and Europe a lot of other authorities who agree with him. On the other hand, the Cunard commission that designed and ordered the vessels are just as sure that they are right.


rob scott

yes that's a real interesting look at how PR releases in media coverage had the same problems as we have now, with the two C ships currently being built while the co. announced the two new bigger ships, and since there are four unseen ships by the Times, they speak of the 'new-new' pair while using the 'old-new' pair names! ha ha

guess that writer missed the releasings and specs of the two C ships which were at the time being completed while the L and M were just being begun.
ah the rough life of newspapermen (not actually going over to visit the yards and See, or not at least camping out in the Cunard NY office to write the thing) ....
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