Headline: The Atlantic Transort Line 

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An image for sisters Haverford and Merion from a contemporary American Line brochure

S.S. Merion

Built by John Brown & Co Ltd, Glasgow
Launched November 26, 1901; Maiden Voyage March 8, 1902; Torpedoed, 1915
Length 530.5'; Beam 59.2'; 11,621 tons; 14 knots,
One funnel; Four masts; Ttwin screws
AKA Tiger; Sister Haverford

 

In a rather puzzling short notice about the International Mercantile Marine Company's purchase of the Dominion Line the New York Times commented that as part of the new arrangements for the Dominion Line "the Boston service is to have the two steamers from the Atlantic Transport Line, Haverford and Merion." This is probably simply an error.

These sister ships were built in 1901 for the American Line. Clement Griscom, Director of the International Navigation Company, had obtained the capital he needed for modernizing his fleet through the successful floatation of five percent mortgage bonds in 1899. The new funds enabled him to order two principal units for the Red Star Line, Vaterland and her sister Zeeland, and two slower ships for the American Line, Haverford and Merion. These two ships were, "following the usual practice of the Philadelphia service," fitted to carry one class of passenger only, in accommodation considered equal to first class on other ships.

Although ordered by the American Line, Merion sailed on her maiden voyage in the service of the Dominion Line and is known to have sailed for the Red Star Line later on. She was damaged in a collision with Clan Grant off Tuskar Rock on March 30, 1903, and repaired. In 1914 she was sold to the British Admiralty and disguised as the Battlecruiser Tiger. In this decoy role she was torpedoed and sunk by the German Submarine UB 8 in the Aegean Sea on May 30, 1915.

Sources: The Atlantic Transport Line, 1881-1931; The Ships List; The New York Times, March 1, 1902; The American Line (1871-1902), Flayhart William Henry III, New York, 2000

An image for sisters Haverford and Merion from a contemporary American Line brochure
An image for sisters Haverford and Merion from a contemporary American Line brochure (Kinghorn)

Image for Haverford and Merion from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Image for Haverford and Merion from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

Promenade deck image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Promenade deck image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

Library image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Library image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

Smoking Room image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)
Smoking Room image, Haverford and Merion, from the International Mercantile Marine Company's Facts for Travelers, 1908 (Digitized by Google Books)

 

For more information ...

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

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