1893 - 1909
two new Cunarders launched in 1892 and 1893, Campania and Lucania,
brought the evolution of steamships another bit further. The Blue Riband-holders
at the time, Inman & International Line's City of New York and
City of Paris, had clipper-like bows and sailing masts ready should
they ever be needed. Although those two ships were just five years of age
when the Campania arrived, her innovative design must have made
them seem somewhat old-fashioned.
The Campania and Lucania were built by the Glasgow firm of Fairfield Co. Ltd. The Campania was launched on September 8th 1892, by Lady Burns, wife of the Cunard chairman. Five months later, on February 2nd 1893, Sir William Pearce MP, the chairman of the shipyard, launched the second of the class - Lucania.
The Campania made her maiden voyage on April 22nd, 1893, some two months
The Lucania at sea,
sporting her massive funnels.
On September 2nd 1893, the Lucania was ready to enter service on the Liverpool-New York run. Proving to be slightly faster than her older sister, she set a new westbound record on her first trip. Soon, she would also possess the eastbound record.
But besides being somewhat swifter than her sister, the Lucania was very much alike the Campania. Both ships had a very modern appearance, with a knife-like bow and two giant funnels, naturally painted in Cunard's red and black livery. The two ships also had the feature that would characterise the Mauretania 14 years later, namely the forest of cowl ventilators on the upper decks. These were necessary to provide the lower compartments of the ship with fresh air, something the stokers needed quite a ration of.
The Lucania kept the Blue Riband for four years, but during that time Germany was gathering its strength on the high seas. The Kaiser was determined to create merchant and naval fleets equal to those of Great Britain, and he wanted his ships to be the best. In 1897, the Norddeutscher Lloyd introduced their new Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse. That ship was the largest built so far (not counting the mighty Great Eastern), and it was not long before she wrestled the Blue Riband out of Lucania's grasp.
Having lost the fabled award, the Lucania and her sister Campania remained on their Liverpool to New York route, and managed to retain a reputation of reliability. It would take another 10 years before the Cunard Line was to take the Blue Riband back from their German rivals.
In 1907, Cunard put the new giants Lusitania and Mauretania into service. They soon proved their worth and returned the Blue
|An artist's rendition of the Lucania's First Class Dining Saloon.|
|The Lucania - Specifications:|
|Length:||622 feet (190 m)|
|Beam:||65 feet (19.9 m)|
|Tonnage:||12,950 gross tons|
|Service speed:||22 knots|
|Engines:||Ten-cylindred triple-expansion reciprocating engines turning two propellers.|