White Star Line Mini-Facts

Image from the International Mercantile Marine Company stock certificates. (webmaster's private collection)

- The White Star Line's lifespan was from 1845 to 1934. By 1950, all traces of the White Star Line were gone forever from the shipping industry. The company was bought and sold 5 times in that 89 year span.

- Captain Edward James Smith (at the time he was master of Titanic) earned about $72,500 per year (in today's standards) while a steward earned as little as $2,400 per year.

- If you wanted to send a wireless message aboard Titanic, it would have cost $3.12. If you wanted to play a game of squash, $.50. and use of the Turkish bath was $1.00. (but was limited to certain hours for 2nd class passengers and not at all available to 3rd class passengers)

- A First Class (parlor) suite aboard Titanic would cost you $4,350. That equates to about $18,000 in today's monetary standards.

- A First Class berth aboard Titanic would cost you $150. That equates to $1724 in today's monetary standards.

- A Second Class cabin aboard Titanic would cost you $60. That equates to $690 in today's monetary standards-

- Third Class accommodations aboard Titanic would cost you anywhere from $40 - $92. That equates to $172 to $460 in today's monetary standards. (If you chose to share a cabin, it cost up to 40% less for fare.)

- After being released from prison, Lord Kylsant (Owen Phillips, 4th owner of the White Star Line) disappeared from the public eye and retied to his home in Wales. He died in 1937.

- Shortly after the Titanic disaster, Joseph Bruce Ismay, CEO of IMM and President of the White Star Line, retired to his home in Ireland with his wife after the White Star line board of directors told him that it was in the company's best interest for him to resign his position as chairman. Twenty-one years later, he was asked (at the age of 72) to come back to White Star and bail the company out of it's financial predicament. Unfortunately, it was too late and Cunard and White Star were forced into a merger. He died in 1937 at the age of 74 from complications of diabetes.


- The last ship built by Harland and Wolff for the White Star Line was the Georgic. She was built in 1931 and completed her service under the Cunard House flag in 1960. She was scrapped in 1961 at Inverkeithing.


- Shaw Savill & Albion Lines outlived the White Star Line and in later years "took" the names of the old White Star Line vessels with the introduction of their Corinthic Class Liners in the 1940's - Ceramic, Athenic, Corinthic, Gothic, etc

- The White Star Line passenger tender, Nomadic still exists today, has returned to her builders in Belfast, (after 95 years) and is awaiting refurbishing.

- The last original White Star Line ship in service was the 3rd Britannic which was scrapped in 1962.

- White Star Line had a vessel that set a record for the second longest in maritime history that a vessel has been engaged in active sea duty. The Germanic served from 1874 to 1950, 76 years of active duty at sea.

- The White Star Line owned two ships named Laurentic. Ironically, both Laurentic's were torpedoed and sunk by German U-boats. One in WWI, the other in WWII.

- After the the 1873 wreck of the White Star Ship SS Atlantic, as the bodies were recovered and prepared for burial, it was discovered that one of the crew members was actually a woman, between 20 and 25 years old. According to a newspaper account at the time, she "had served as a common sailor for three voyages, and her gender was never known until the body was washed ashore and prepared for burial. She is described as having been a great favorite with all her shipmates, and one of the crew, speaking of her, remarked: 'I didn't know Bill was a woman. He used to take his grog as regular as any of us, and was always begging or stealing tobacco. He was a good fellow, though, and I am sorry he was a woman.' It is said that the poor thing was an American, and, among the crew, perhaps the only one of that nationality."

- In 2006, the Queen Mary II lost her size record to Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas, In 2009, Freedom and her sister ships are expected to be surpassed as the world's largest passenger ships by her owner's new Genesis class of ships  They will be 1,180 ft in length, close to 220 feet longer than Titanic with a gross tonnage of 220,000 (164,000 gross tons more than Titanic and 4 times larger) These ships will carry 5,400 passengers, more than any vessel in existence. Estimated building cost: S1.6 billion a piece.



Return to Previous Page