Here are descriptions of some vessels on which our ancestors sailed.

SS Dresden

The SS Dresden was built in 1889 by Bremer Vulkan Shipbuilders, in Vegesack, Germany, for Norddeutscher Lloyd (North German Lloyd). It weighed 4,580 gross tons. It was 390 feet long and 46 feet wide. It had a steam triple expansion engine, with a single screw. Its service speed was 13 knots. It could hold 1,818 passengers, which included 38 first class passengers, 20 second class, and 1,760 third class, also known as steerage. On Albert Pohl's voyage, there were 264 souls bound for New York and 654 for Baltimore, for a total of 918. The Dresden made frequent trips between Bremen, New York and Baltimore. The ship was eventually sold to the Turkish government in 1906 and renamed Tirimujghian. It was sunk in the Black Sea in 1914.

-- Ellis Island

Silvie de Grasse

The U.S. ship Sylvie (or Silvie) de Grasse, was built at Hartford, Connecticut, by D. & H. Burgess in 1833, for the Old Line (later called the Union Line) of sailing packets between New York and Le Havre. 641 tons; 140 ft 6 in x 31 ft 8 in x 15 ft 10 in (length x beam x depth of hold). She was named after Sylvie de Grasse, daughter of the French admiral who had made possible the American victory at Yorktown, and wife of Francis Depau, a native of Bayonne, France, who had emigrated to the United States by way of Haiti, and was the co-founder and principal owner of the Old Line. The vessel was sold for California in 1848, and in September 1849 struck a rock ledge and sank at the mouth of the Columbia River with nearly a half million feet of lumber aboard.

-- Robert Greenhalgh Albion, Square-Riggers on Schedule: The New York Sailing Packets to England, France, and the Cotton Ports (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1938), pp. 104, 284.

SS Scandia

The SS Scandia was built in 1889 by A. G. Vulcan of Stettin, Germany for the Hamburg Amerikanische Packetfahrt Actien Gesellschaft (HAPAG), or Hamburg-American Parcel Joint-Stock Company. The company was known as the Hamburg America Line after 1893. The Scandia was 371 feet long by 44 feet wide and weighed 4,243 gross tons. She had one funnel and two masts, a single screw engine and a speed of about 14 knots. There was room for 30 first class passengers and 1,400 third class passengers. Designed as the Scandinavia, she was launched on August 24, 1889 as the Scandia. Her maiden voyage was from Hamburg to New York and Philadelphia on November 5, 1889. Her last Hamburg to New York voyage was on September 27, 1896. In 1898 she became the US Army transport Warren. She was destroyed by fire while at dock in 1924 and was scrapped.

-- North Atlantic Seaway by N.R.P. Bonsor, vol.1, p.396

Contact: Mike Voisin

Revised: November 03, 2012
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