News from 1907 Lusitania's Maiden Voyage


Mark Baber

Staff member
The New York Times, 27 September 1907

Is at Queenstown After 5 Days 4 Hours 19 Minutes
QUEENSTOWN, Friday, Sept 27---The Lusitania arrived here at 3 A. M.
to-day, having made the run from New York in 5 days 4 hours and 19

Her average speed was 22 5/8 knots.
By Wireless Telegraph and Cable from THE TIMES's Correspondent
ABOARD THE LUSITANIA, Thursday, Sept. 26---Capt. Watt authorizes me to
publish the following statement:

"The Lusitania, according to our calculation, made this evening, will
arrive at the Daunt Rock light vessel at Queenstown at 3 o'clock Friday
morning, after a passage of five days three hours and twenty-three
minutes from Sandy Hook, at an average hourly speed of 22.75 knots over
a total distance of 2,807 miles.

"The best previous record for the course is that of the Lucania, in
1894, of five days, seven hours and twenty-three minutes.

"Our maiden homeward passage has been satisfactory in every respect. The
machinery has behaved magnificently throughout, and has performed its
full duty without a single flaw.

"We know from our trial trip that the Lusitania has it in her to do
26.75 knots, and we confidently expect her to execute a similar
performance across the Atlantic when the right time comes.

"We attempted no record on our maiden voyages except the record of
landing our passengers safe and happy."
CROOKHAVEN, Sept 26---In a wireless message received here to-night from
the steamer Lusitania she was going 23 knots an hour and Bull Rock was
in sight. The night was clear, the sea smooth, and the wind light fro
the east.
BROWHEAD, Friday, Sept. 27---The steamer Lusitania passed here at 1:20
this morning. She has still seventy miles to go to Queenstown.


Mark Baber

Staff member
MAB Note: With Lusitania's maiden voyage at an end, so is this series of

The New York Times, 28 September 1907

Does 228 Knots from Queenstown to Liverpool in a Little Over Nine Hours
They Were Refractory and Inefficient---Fog and Heavy Sea Further Held
Big Boat Back
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
LONDON, Sept. 27---Evidence as to what the Lusitania can do, writes THE
NEW YORK TIMES's correspondent, who was a passenger aboard the Cunarder
which reached Liverpool at 4 this afternoon, was reserved until the very
end of the voyage.

From Queenstown to Liverpool, a distance of 228 knots, she traveled at a
speed of 25 knots, covering the distance in a little over nine hours.
The new record which she established between Sandy Hook and Daunt's
Lightship of 5 days 4 hours and 19 minutes she made despite sixteen
hours of fog, two days of very heavy sea, and a refractory crew of

The Lusitania underwent a baptism of rough sea in the mid-Atlantic from
Tuesday night to Thursday afternoon and weathered it magnificently. She
careened gently to an observed maximum angle of 20 degrees, but went
forward with the rhythmic ease of a cruising yacht.

Throughout the trip the work of the stokers continued to be loose,
half-hearted, and at times approaching absolute inefficiency. It was
impossible to get more than 150 to 160 revolutions out of the turbines,
which were built to do 180 to 200.

The Lusitania's passengers arrived at London shortly after 9 to-night,
but there was no distribution of her mails to-night.
QUEENSTOWN, Sept. 27---Sandy Hook Lightship was passed by the Lusitania
at 6:37 P. M. Saturday, Sept. 21, and the ship had covered 369 miles up
to noon Sunday, Sept. 22. On Monday at noon the steamer had added 524
miles. At noon Tuesday she had covered 525 miles more; at noon Wednesday
she had made an additional 530 miles; at noon Thursday she had 523 miles
more to her credit, and at 3:56 A. M. to-day she had run 336 miles from
noon yesterday to Daunt's Rock, making the total distance 2,807 nautical
miles, at an average speed of 22.58 knots per hour.

The American coal was said by the engineers not to have been so
satisfactory as the coal used during the westward trip. The confidence
of the engineers in the Lusitania's ability to beat all competitors when
things are running more smoothly is not diminished.


Eric Longo

Hi All,

well, 101 years ago today for this maiden arrival. Time is flying!


Jim Kalafus

Indeed, time does fly. Grace, my assisant housekeeper, often gets teary eyed when she speaks of arriving in New York, as a 17 year old who had never been out of Italy before, aboard the Lusitania, on this very day in 1907.

Jim Kalafus

Seriously, 'though. On this day in 1915, the Lusitania was one day out, on her first crossing since the attempted sabotage of one of her turbines in the first week of August. This crossing was laden with wealthy Americans, hastily returning to the U.S. as the war continued to escalate.


The Lusitania Commandeered as Transport.
She is to go to Halifax.
And There, the Report Declares, Take on Canadian Troops for Europe.

September 18: The Cunard Liner Lusitania, from Liverpool, reached her pier here early today under wireless orders received last night as she was nearing port, according to passengers, ordering her to make all possible speed, unload her passengers, and be ready to sail for Halifax to act as a transport for Canadian troops. The officers would not verify this report, but offered no explanation for rushing the big liner to her pier at one o’clock in the morning.

Prominent among the 1502 passengers, the majority of whom were returning Americans, were Sir James Barrie, author and playwright; A.E. Mason the English novelist; Mrs. George Vanderbilt and Miss Cornelia Vanderbilt; George deForest Lord; Marshall Field III; Chauncey Depew, Jr. and William Dudley Foulkes, president of the Municipal League of the United States.


Also on board was Ralph Moodie of Gainesville Texas, who would die on May 7, 1915. This particular celebrity-laden crossing would later feature in just about the only positive publicity the liner garnered during her final nine months:


February 1915: The Sensible Romance of Marshall Field III “The Richest Boy in the World”

How the Future Heir of $200,000,000.00 American Dollars Turned His Back on Every Proud and Titled Foreign Beautyand Picked Out for His Bride A Simple, Charming American Girl.

From all accounts his engagement to Miss Marshall was the result of a brief but pretty romance aboard the ocean liner Lusitania, aboard which they were recently fellow passengers from Europe. There are stories of smooth walks on the promenade deck lasting until the early hours of the next day. It was remarked by passengers that the young man seemed deeply smitten.

Those interested passengers had their reward a day or two before the Lusitania reached the port of New York. For some time the young man had not been in evidence. Suddenly he appeared on deck- alone, but looking very happy, quite the expression of a sighing lover who had staked his future happiness on a certain answer to a certain question and had not been disappointed.

Marshall Field III, with his retinue of servants, put up at the Ritz-Carlton. Miss Marshall went directly to her home at 6 East 77th street, where young Field was observed as a frequent caller. And presently came the announcement of their engagement.


Other articles spoke of the smitten couple keeping constant company in the lounge, dining room, verandah café, and on the boat deck. Journalists, and friends of the couple, enjoyed playing up the cute meeting aboard the Lusitania angle, when they married in February 1915. This was the last touch of romance to attach itself to the liner. Marshall Field III and Evelyn Field remained married for about fifteen years; upon their divorce she was awarded S1, 000,000.00 per year in alimony and their New York residence.

The liner's next Westbound voyage was equally star-studded:

Lusitania Sails

October 3: The Lusitania sailed today with a large compliment of notables including Assistant Secretary of War Breckinridge, and the army officers who came over on the U.S.S. Tennessee.

Everyone is glad to be on the way to the land of the free, where daily baseball scores promise much more exciting reading than the dribbles of censored war news printed here.

Miss Sarah Cooper Hewitt and her sister, Miss Eleanor Cooper Hewitt, were aboard the Lusitania; returned recently from Italy.

Jerome K. Jerome, the novelist, lingered in a corner of his room and refused to talk about a new play which he is going to launch.

Bishop Rhinelander, of Pennsylvania is also hurrying home. Other notables on board the Lusitania include Miss Elizabeth Frick; Mrs. S.R. Guggenheim and family; Mrs. P.H. Mellon and daughters; Mrs. Frederick Orr-Lewis; Mrs. V. Henry Rothschild and Mrs. Gertrude Cornwallis West, better known as Mrs. Patrick Campbell, the actress.

Aboard this voyage were at least five passengers who would be on the May 1, 1915 passenger list. Thomas Slidell and Frederich Schwarte would survive, while Walter McLean; Lee Schwabacher, and Henry B. Sonneborn would not.

Her final October westbound was the first voyage to which "war terrors" were affixed since she was chased by the German cruiser in August. She sailed under wireless blackout, and when she did not arrive in New York on schedule, it was strongly suspected that she had met with some sort of war-disaster. She arrived a day late, held up by a big storm. Aboard her were Josephine Burnside, whose family owned Eaton's Department Store in Montreal, and her daughter, Iris, and maid, Mattie Waites. Iris and Mattie died on May 7th, 1915, (Iris' formal portait is currently in Eaton's archive) but Josephine survived.

After that the story was relentlessly grim, straight thru the end.

Jim Kalafus

>Seriously, 'though. On this day in 1915,

1914. Nothing you write before 7AM is EVER worth shi... the price of a cold cup of coffee.
Samuel Halpern

Samuel Halpern


How could you be doing anything before having a cup of coffee in the morning? I consider myself lucky just to be able to find the coffee pot to make a fresh cup.

Jim Kalafus

>How could you be doing anything before having a cup of coffee in the morning?

I'm up at 4:45. First, I shake off the residual disturbing images from the previous night's nightmares:

Then deal with issues of eroded self-worth amongst my household staff who, between them, cannot brew a decent pot of coffee... and on those occasions that something halfway decent comes to the table, I invariably find a cigarette b***, used Band-aid or corn plaster, or cat hairball at the bottom of the pot as I finish it off, and no one ever confesses up.

THEN, I go online, or work on my article.

If I eliminate the earlier parts of the ritual, I end up making cretinous mistakes, such as "1915" for "1914."
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

When in doubt, make your own coffee. I don't let my cats anywhere near the pot!

Jim Kalafus

>I don't let my cats anywhere near the pot!

I don't HAVE a cat. That's what makes the hairball at the bottom of the coffeepot even more disturbing.

>When in doubt, make your own coffee.

I'm NOT paying three people close to $4 an hour, each, in order to make my OWN coffee. I like to believe that the occasional used Band-aid or/and Q-Tip that comes to light as I finish the pot is an accident, but sometimes I wonder....

If the original Lusitania article Mike and I did for ET is still online (eventually, it wont be... we've disavowed it, and it will be replaced) there is a letter written by one of the officers, at the end of the maiden voyage, to a Mr. Smith, of Yonkers, who lost his brother, sister in law, niece, and two nephews on May 7th, 1915. His sister, and one niece, survived.
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

>>I don't HAVE a cat.<<


>>but sometimes I wonder....<<

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean "They" aren't out to get you!