News from 1922 Homeric enters service


Mark Baber

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The Times, 21 January 1922

HOMERIC AT SOUTHAMPTON
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SEA TRIALS SATISFACTORY

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The new White Star liner Homeric, of 35,000 tons, the largest twin-screw
steamer in the world, has arrived at Southampton after completing, it is
stated, very satisfactory sea trials. The vessel is to sail on her first
voyage from Southampton to New York on Wednesday, February 15.

The Homeric was built as the Columbus for the Norddeutscher Lloyd, was
surrendered by Germany under the terms of the Peace Treaty, and was
bought by the White Star Line from the Reparations Commission. She has
accommodation for 530 passengers in the first class, 500 in the second
class, and 1,750 in the third class. The Homeric is to be associated
with the Olympic, and later also with the Majestic, of 56,000 tons, the
largest steamer in the world, in the White Star service between
Southampton, Cherbourg, and New York. The service is to be a weekly one
from Southampton and Cherbourg.

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The New York Times, 21 January 1922

HOMERIC AT SOUTHAMPTON
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Big Ship Taken Over From Germans Has Successful Trials

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Copyright, 1922, by The New York Times Company
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Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
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London, Jan. 20---Part of the price Germany is paying for her lost war---the
giant liner Homeric---reached Southampton tonight after very successful sea
trials. She now belongs to the White Star Line, which acquired her from
the Reparation Commission.

The Homeric, which was named the Columbus when launched at Danzig, is the
largest twin-screw steamer in the world, her tonnage being 35,000. She
starts on her maiden voyage to New York on Feb. 15.

Toward the end of July, 1914, this ship lay under steam at Danzig ready for
her maiden voyage. It was to be a sort of a trial run before the ship was
placed in the Atlantic service. Many notables had been invited by the North
German Lloyd to be its guests on the voyage. They were on board, as were
the passengers; the cargo had been shipped and good-byes had been said.
Then a telegram came for the captain. There was half an hour of
consternation. The guests and passengers disembarked and the great ship
turned and entered the dock again. Her cargo was put ashore and the fires
dampened down. It was the eve of the great war.

The ship lay in the dock bound fast with great steel ropes till a few weeks
ago.

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The Times, 9 February 1922

News in Brief
***
Up to 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon over 3,000 persons had visited the new
White Star liner Homeric, which was open for public inspection at
Southampton.
***

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The Times, 13 February 1922

HOMERIC'S MAIDEN VOYAGE
---
MORE BIG LINERS FOR SOUTHAMPTON

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(FROM OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT)
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SOUTHAMPTON, FEB. 11
---
The White Star Line may indeed be proud of its new steamer the Homeric,
which leaves here on Wednesday on its maiden voyage to New York, and which
was inspected this afternoon by a large party of visitors at the invitation
of the directors of the company. The Homeric is not the largest vessel in
the service by any means---indeed she is 20,000 tons smaller than the
Majestic will be when she is completed, but then the Majestic will be the
largest ship in the world. The Homeric, however, is certainly one of the
most comfortable, and the arrangements that have been made for the
entertainment of the traveller are astonishing. Everything seems to have
been thought of, from beautiful suites to a photographic dark room; from a
gymnasium where the passenger can cycle, ride, or row as the fancy takes
him, to the kennels there it is promised the dogs shall be looked after with
as much attention as their masters and mistresses.

The Homeric was built at Danzig and was originally intended for the Nord
Deutscher Lloyd, but she was acquired by the White Star Line and is to be
used on the Southampton-Cherbourg-New York service. There are still a few
traces of the German origin of the vessel, including two golden eagles,
which are conspicuous in the dining saloon, and the palatial suite
which---if things had turned out otherwise---might have been frequently
occupied by the ex-Kaiser. There is no doubt that the German builders have
turned out a vessel which does them credit, and the White Star officials
assured their guests that the German authorities had handed over the vessel
(which had been acquired by negotiation and not by compulsion) with every
courtesy and good wish to its new owners.

The Homeric has accommodation for 529 first-class, 487 second-class, and
1,750 third-class passengers. Special care has been taken to ensure their
safety. A particularly interesting feature is the method of protection
against fire, which includes an automatic fire alarm in all parts of the
ship that warns the chart-room if the temperature should happen to rise
above a certain point.

The Homeric has a length of 775ft. and a breadth of 83ft. She is a
two-funnelled, two-masted steamer, propelled by triple-expansion engines,
and is the largest twin-screw vessel afloat. Up to the time of her launch
15,000 tons of steel had been used and more than three million rivets, while
some idea of the elaboration of the fittings may be gained from the
statement that altogether there are 15,000 electric lights in the vessel.
There are 12 watertight compartments. The scheme of ventilation is based
largely on the thermo tank system, and the Homeric is fitted with submarine
signalling, gear bilge keels, and an elaborate telephone system.

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The New York Times, 12 February 1922

HOMERIC DUE FEB 22
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New White Star Liner the World's Largest Twin Screw Ship

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The new White Star liner Homeric has arrived at Southampton, England, and is
due in New York on Washington's Birthday, according to cable advices
received yesterday by the International Mercantile Marine Company. The
Homeric will be commanded by Captain F. B. Howarth, R. N. R. She is 33,526
gross tonnage, 777 feet long, 100 feet beam and 100 feet deep from the
bridge to the keel. She was built at Danzig, and has nine decks and
accommodation for 2,700 passengers. She is the largest twin screw liner in
the world.

One of the features in the first class is that upper berths have been done
away with. The color scheme in the decorations of the main salons is red
and gold with silken tapestries.

The Homeric will be operated on the White Star express service between New
York, Cherbourg and Southampton with the new 56,000-ton liner Majestic,
which comes out in May, and the Olympic. Her first departure from New York
will be on March 1.

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The Times, 20 February 1922

LIFE IN THE HOMERIC
---
Sir Raymond Beck, for some years Chairman of Lloyd's, has sent us the
following message by wireless, dated Saturday afternoon, from the White Star
liner Homeric, of 35,000 tons, which sailed from Southampton on Wednesday on
her maiden voyage to New York:--

Homeric proves splendid sea boat against head wind and heavy seas. Day
begins with gymnasium at 8 a.m., deck games in Atlantic sunshine. Dancing
every evening in the beautiful palm lounge to string band. Passengers
enthusiastic over luxurious accommodation and perfect service.

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The New York Times, 25 February 1922

BIG HOMERIC MAKES STORMY FIRST TRIP
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White Star Liner, Built by Germany, Delayed Two Days by Gales
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LARGEST TWIN-SCREW SHIP
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600 Steamship Men Visit New Arrival and Admire Luxurious Equipment

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The new White Star liner Homeric, which her skipper, Captain F. B. Howarth,
R. N. R., calls an ode in ship construction, arrived yesterday from
Southampton and Cherbourg, two days late, after a battle with a series of
westerly gales and high seas. The Homeric is the sixth largest merchant
vessel afloat, the largest twin screw vessel and the latest embodiment of
safety, luxury and comfort in the exacting Atlantic passenger trade. She is
35,000 gross tonnage, 750 feet long, 83 feet beam, 48 feet 9 inches depth
and is equipped with reciprocating engines which can drive her at twenty
knots under normal conditions. There is accommodation for 529 first, 450
second and 1,750 third-class passengers on the Homeric and quarters for a
crew of 750 officers and men, of whom 230 are employed in the engine room
and stokehole.

The 600 steamship agents who visited the liner yesterday agreed that she had
the handsomest dining saloon and public rooms they had ever see on a ship in
this port. The woodwork is highly polished walnut and mahogany. All the
paint work in the public rooms and cabins has eggshell cream finish. The
first class dining saloon, which seats 480 persons, extends the full width
of the ship and has a depth of thirty-five feet to the crystal dome in the
centre, and has two small rooms to seat thirty-five guests each for private
parties. There is a band gallery at one end and a gallery on either side.

The public rooms are on the sun deck and are en suite, commencing with the
drawing room under the navigating bridge enclosed with plate glass
observation windows. Then come the reading and writing room and the lounge,
which is larger than the one on the Olympic. The ceilings and the domes of
these rooms are 20 feet high and from the smoking room with sun veranda to
the observation windows forward presents an unbroken vista of 340 feet. In
each of the rooms there is a large open grate which burns coal. The centre
of the lounge has a ballroom floor, inlaid in two kinds of walnut, which has
a capacity for 300 dancers.

The suites with bedroom and sitting room have three large ports looking out
on the ocean. The sleeping cabin is inside, divided off by a glass
partition. The baths are fitted with hot and cold showers. International
Mercantile officials estimated yesterday that $800,000 had been expended on
the Homeric since she had been taken over by the White Star line from the
Allied Reparations Commission last December in Danzig, where she was
constructed prior to the war.

One of the passengers on the Homeric was Sir Raymond Beck, who was chairman
of Lloyds, London, from 1910 to 1915, who is on his first visit since 1902.
Other passengers were Sir Charles Ross, inventor of the Canadian Service
rifle, who has an estate of 300,000 acres in Scotland. H. C. Blackiston,
head of the Furness-Withy Line in the United States, Lady Coddington and Mr.
and Mrs. George Weiderman of Brooklyn, who have been up the Nile. The
Homeric brought 5,000 sacks of mail and 200 passengers.

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The New York Times, 26 February 1922

1,600 VISIT THE HOMERIC
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Five-Room Suites With Private Decks Centre of Interest

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Sixteen hundred guests invited by the International Mercantile Marine
Company visited the new White Star liner Homeric yesterday and had luncheon
after inspecting the ship. Among the visitors were several American
shipbuilders, who said that the hand-carved ceilings in the public rooms on
the top deck were the finest specimens of the cabinetmaker's art they ever
had seen. The two five-room suites with private decks named after the
Kaiser and the Kaiserin, with marble baths and inlaid marble floors, were
much admired. One of them, it was said, had been booked for the next return
voyage to Southampton and a deposit of $7,000 paid.

After the luncheon the band played in the lounge and the visitors danced.

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The New York Times, 2 March 1922

NEW LINER HOMERIC STARTS FOR EUROPE
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Ocean Giant Begins First Trip Eastward With Crew in High Spirits
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HARBOR CRAFT SALUTE HER
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President of White Star Line at Pier to Bid Big Ship Farewell

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The new 35,000-ton White Star liner Homeric started at noon yesterday from
Pier 59, North River, on her maiden eastbound voyage to Cherbourg and
Southampton.

Among the passengers was Dr. V. K. Wellington Koo, Chinese Minister to
Great Britain, who attended the Washington conference. He was accompanied
by Mme. Koo and their baby girl, Kai Yuen. In a talk with the reporters in
his suite the Minister spoke optimistically of the results that would follow
the recent meeting on armament limitation.

"America is to be heartily congratulated for the great success of the
conference," he said. "As a result of it there is a clear outlook in the Far
East. the cause of world peace has gained another victory and China feels
gratified. Of course, some questions which were discussed remain still
outstanding, but these do not detract from the success of the conference. We
could not expect that a situation which has arisen over a period of eighty
years could be readjusted in a single conference.

Chuan Chao, Secretary of the Chinese delegation to the conference and
Secretary to the legation In London, also sailed with Mrs. Chao and other
members of the staff.

Albert oates [sic] conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra and guest
conductor of the New York Symphony Orchestra, also was a passenger on the
Homeric with Mr. [sic] Coates, and expressed his gratitude for the happy
time he had spent in New York. He spoke with special gratefulness of Dr.
Walter Damrosch and Harry Harkness Flagler for inviting him to this country.
Easthope Martin, an English composer, who has just recovered from an attack
of influenza, also sailed.

Sir Wilfred Barrow, the young war-worn English baronet who arrived here two
weeks ago on the White Star liner Cedric and was sent to the hospital on
Ellis Island after suffering a collapse, returned home on the big steamer.
He said he felt much better for his rest on the Island.

Captain F. B. Howarth, the master of the Homeric, said there was great
interest among the crew of 750 officers and men in getting the new ship over
in good time. When her engines get into the awing, Captain Howarth said, he
felt confident the Homeric would dock on Wednesdays at each end.

Philip E. Curry, general manager and Director of the International
Mercantile Marine Company in London and Southampton was a passenger on the
ship with his wife and daughter, and spoke in high terms of the way the
Homeric behaved on the outward voyage in the four days tempest.

P. A. S. Franklin, the President of the company was at the pier to see the
liner leave. As the Homeric steamed down the harbor she was saluted by
whistles from passing craft.

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