The steamship Baltic
A portrait of the four-masted steamship 'Baltic' by Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobson (1850-1921). It is signed on the bottom right by the artist ‘A. Jacobsen. 1879.'
'Baltic' was built at Belfast by Harland and Wolff and launched in 1871 as 'Pacific'. That same year she made her maiden voyage for the White Star Line and was renamed 'Baltic'. This voyage was from Liverpool to Queenstown and New York. The White Star Line was founded in September 1869 as the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company. From the earliest days it was known as the White Star Line, owing to the flag of a red swallow-tailed flag with a white star. The company entered in the North Atlantic passenger trade soon after, and established a network of ticket agencies in many European countries and in America. When the White Star Line entered the highly competitive North Atlantic market around 1871, they as newcomers in the emigration trade had to compete with other well established companies. In 1873 'Baltic' gained the Blue Ribbon after setting a new record between New York and Queenstown. Later in 1883 she was chartered from the White Star Line to the Inman Line, established in 1850 as the Liverpool and Philadelphia Steamship Company. The company soon became more commonly known as the Inman Line, after one of the founders, William Inman. However this was not the official name before in 1875, when the name of the company was changed to Inman Steamship Company Ltd. The ships were equipped to carry 400 steerage passengers, and entered on the route between Liverpool and New York.
An advertisement for 1871 described steamships like 'Baltic' as ‘designed to afford the very best accommodation to all classes of passengers and are expected to accomplish quick and regular passages between this country and America. The state-rooms, with saloon and smoking-rooms, are placed amidships, and cabin passengers are thus removed from the noise and motion experienced at the after part of the vessel. Passengers are booked to all parts of the States, Canada, and Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, India, etc., at moderate through rates. A surgeon and stewardess is carried on each ship’. In 1886 the Inman Line was purchased by the International Navigation Co. Red Star Line, and the name was changed to the Inman and International Steamship Co. Two years later, 'Baltic' was sold to Holland America Line and renamed Veendam. In February 1898 she foundered in the North Atlantic after a collision with a wreck, with no loss of life.
The painting shows the ship flying the flag of the White Star Company from her mainmast and the American flag from her foremast.
Object number: BHC3219
Dimensions: 545 mm x 915 mm x 22 mm
- Image reference: BHC3219
- National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London, Macpherson Collection
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