Encyclopedia Titanica


The Times

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It is now officially announced that Mr. J. Bruce Ismay will retire from the presidency of the International Mercantile Marine Company as from June 30 next, and that he will be succeeded by Mr. Harold Sanderson, who has been associated with the undertaking since its formation. The International Mercantile Company, sometimes known as the "American Shipping Trust," is the combination which was incorporated in 1902 to acquire the capital of various British shipping companies, a scheme of
which Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan was the moving spirit. It now controls the White Star, Red Star, Atlantic Transport, and the Dominion and American lines.

The announcement of the impending resignation of Mr. Ismay follows various rumours on the subject which have been current during the past few months. The facts, it is stated, are that Mr. Ismay intimated in February last his desire to retire from the position in favor of Mr. Sanderson.

Arrangements were then made for the change to take effect as from June 30 next and for Mr. Sanderson to take six months' leave of absence from January 1 before assuming office.

The change will necessarily include Mr. Ismay's resignation of other positions, such as the chairmanship of the White Star Line, but he has consented, on his resignation taking effect, to continue a member of the board of directors of the International Mercantile Marine Company and of the British Committee, of which the chairman is Mr. E. C. Grenfell, and the other members are Lord Pirrie and Mr. Harold Sanderson. Mr. Ismay will continue to act as chairman of the Asiatic Steamship Company and of the Liverpool and London Steamship Protection Association, and as director of the London and North-Western Railway, the Liverpool and London and Globe Insurance Company, the Sea Insurance Company, and the Pacific Loan and Investment Company.


Mr. J. Bruce Ismay is the eldest son of the late Thomas Henry Ismay, J.P., D.L., founder of the White Star Line, and was born at Liverpool in 1862. He was educated at Elstree, Harrow, and Dinard, and upon leaving school entered the office of his father's firm (Ismay, Imrie, and Co., managers of the White Star Line), where he served five years' apprenticeship, shortly after completing which he went to New York as the agent of the White Star Line. It has often been said that both Mr. Ismay and his father could get cargoes and make profits when their competitors were losing money. Whilst resident in New York he married, in 1888, Julia Florence, daughter of George R. Schieffelin. Returning to Liverpool early in the nineties, he was admitted a partner in the firm of Ismay, Imrie, and Co., and on the death of his father, in November, 1899, became chairman of the White Star Line, being elected
president of the International Mercantile Marine Company in 1904. Mr. Ismay fostered, with the advent of the White Star cadet ship Mersey in 1908, a scheme for a high-class training of officers for the mercantile marine, and he has taken a close interest in the auxiliary forces; in order to encourage service in these forces, he has granted to members of the staffs of the White Star and other lines under his control an extra week's holiday annually for camp training, being the first shipowner to
show his sympathy with the movement in this manner. He is also interested in Mr. Alfred Mosely's educational scheme, to which he has given practical support by arranging liberal rates of passage for
British and American school teachers, enabling them to exchange visits with the object of fostering the development of education.

Belonging to a family who have been shipbrokers for generations, Mr. Ismay has both hereditary and developed skill in the planning of large vessels, and an extraordinary memory enables him to retain a grip of detail. He has the reputation of being an austere man, but his colleagues and subordinates have discovered in him a capacity for helping them in a quiet way, while his unostentatious generosity is also well known.


At the time that the Titanic was lost Mr. Ismay was subjected to some criticism for not waiting on board until the vessel foundered, but with this criticism Lord Mersey, in the course of his report on the loss of the vessel, expressed his complete disagreement.


Mr. Harold Arthur Sanderson was born at Birkenhead 53 years ago, and spent the earlier part of his commercial career in New York, eventually becoming senior partner in the shipping firm of Sanderson and Son there.
In 1895 he came to Liverpool as general manager of the White Star Line, and was made partner in the firm of Ismay, Imrie, and Co. some few years later. In addition to his connexion with the White Star Line and the International Mercantile Marine Company, Mr. Sanderson is also Chairman of the following companies: Shaw, Saviil and Albion Company (Limited), George Thompson and Co. (Limited), the British and North Atlantic Steam Navigation Company (Limited), and the Mississippi and Dominion Steamship Company (Limited). He is also a director of the International Navigation Company (Limited), the National Steamship Company (Limited), and the Liverpool and London Steamship Protection Association (Limited).


Mark Baber, USA


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Encyclopedia Titanica (2008) MR. ISMAY AND THE WHITE STAR LINE (The Times, Wednesday 1st January 1913, ref: #6181, published 29 May 2008, generated 7th June 2023 01:03:02 AM); URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/ismay-white-star-line.html