News from 1906: The Launch of Adriatic II

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Mark Baber

Staff member
The Times, 21 September 1906

The new Atlantic liner Adriatic, built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff for
the White Star Line, was successfully launched at Queen's Island at a
quarter-past 11 yesterday in presence of an enormous gathering of
spectators. The Adriatic is the heaviest ship in the world. Her
displacement when launched was 16,780 tons; her total displacement when
she has received her engines and machinery and is fully completed for
service will be 41,000 tons. Until the launch of the Cunarder Mauretania
on the Tyne yesterday afternoon the Adriatic enjoyed the reputation of
being the second largest vessel afloat. A detailed description of the
vessel appeared in The Times Engineering Supplement of Wednesday.

The mammoth vessel left the ways exactly to time, the whole launching
operations occupying less than two minutes. No formal ceremony marked
the launch, which was directed by Mr. Alexander M. Carlisle, manager of
Messrs. Harland and Wolff's. Lord and Lady Pirrie with a party of
distinguished friends viewed the launch from one of the two special
stands that had been erected on either side of the vessel, and were the
recipients of hearty congratulations upon the successful issue of the
latest Queen's Island enterprise.

The Adriatic entered the water at a speed of almost 12 knots. She was
released by the patent hydraulic launching machinery now employed by
Messrs. Harland and Wolff in all their launches, and with the assistance
of the great anchors and massive coils of cables she was brought up in
considerably less than her own length. Amongst those present were the
Dowager Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava, Lord Chief Baron Palles, the
Master of the Rolls (Sir A. M. Porter), Mr. H. A. Sanderson (general
manager of the White Star Line), Captain Murray (marine
superintendent), Sir Anthony MacDonnell and Miss MacDonnell, Colonel and
Mrs. Hutcheson Poe, the Misses Poe, Mr. Commissioner Bailey, Sir William
Q. Ewart, Mr. R. G. Glendenning, M. P., Mr. R. H. H. Baird and
Mrs. Baird, Captain Fletcher, Captain Steele, District Inspector Gelston,
members of the Belfast Corporation, the Harbour, Water, and Poor Law
Boards, and prominent shipping and commercial men and representatives of
the leading industries of the city and port. Dense crowds thronged the
quays and wharves on both sides of the river and joined in the cheering
as the vessel glided down the ways. After the launch Lord and Lady
Pirrie entertained a select party of guests to luncheon.

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