Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

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The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) i03284

S.S. Massachusetts (II)

Other name: Kansan
Sister: Maine (II)
Builder: New York Shipbuilding Corporation of Camden, New Jersey, yard number 7
Keel laid October 28, 1901; launched October 14, 1902; delivered February 5, 1903; sunk 1917
Hull: length 505'; beam 58' 3"; 7,913 tons; depth of hold 31' 8"
Power: twin screws; triple expansion engines with cylinders of 25", 42 ½", and 72" diameter, stroke 48"; 997 n.h.p.


This ship was one of four freighters (and two Minne class ships) built in the United States for the Atlantic Transport Line using money loaned by J. P. Morgan & Company early in the chain of events that led to the creation of the International Mercantile Marine Company in 1902. The other freighters were the Missouri (II), Mississippi (II), and Maine (II) of which Mississippi (II) and the two Minne class ships were built in the same yard. That the district of Atco in New Jersey (about 15 miles South East of Camden where this ship and her sister where built) was named after the Atlantic Transport Company at about this time may have something to do with this major contract.

The keel of the Massachusetts (II) was laid on October 28, 1901, and she was delivered on February 5, 1903. Slow and outmoded, she was sold in 1911 to the American Hawaiian Steamship Company and renamed Kansan. She was presumably chartered by the Atlantic Transport Line during World War One because according to a story published in the New York Times in February 1915 Kansan was one of the five ships then maintaining it's freight service. She was eventually sunk by a German submarine in the Bay of Biscay in 1917.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; Merchant Fleets in Profile 2; the Ships of the Cunard, American, Red Star, Inman, Leyland, Dominion, Atlantic Transport and White Star Lines, Duncan Haws, 1979; The New York Times, February 25, 1915; www.coltoncompany.com

The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) i03284
The sister ship Maine II in later years as the Virginian (Naval Historical Center) Click image for larger view.


For more information ...

Kinghorn "The Atlantic Transport Line 1881 - 1931" McFarland, 2011

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