Oceanic (I) Fact File
Owner: Oceanic Steam Navigation Co. Ltd. (White Star Line)
Vessel Type: Passenger ship
Official No: 63332
Builder: Harland & Wolff Ltd, Queen's Island, Belfast
Yard No: 73
Laid down: n/r
Launched: 27 August 1870
Handed over: 24 February 1871
Port & Date of Registry: Liverpool, 9 February 1871
Managing Owner & Address: n/r 10 Water Street, Liverpool
Number of Decks: 3
Number of Masts: 4
Framework & Description of Vessel: Iron
Number of Bulkheads: 7
Number of water ballast tanks: n/r
Length: 420.0 ft
Breadth: 40.9 ft
Depth: 31.0 ft
Gross Registered Tonnage: 3,707.10
Engine Builder: Maudslay, Sons & Field, Westminster Road, Lambeth, London
Engine Type: Compound high and low pressure
Cylinders: 2 X 41; 2 X 78 inches
Stroke: 60 inches
Nominal Horse Power: 600
Iron or Steel: Iron
Pressure when loaded: 64½lbs
Speed: 14 knots
Signal Letters: J. W. P. F.
Yard No. 73 was the first steamship ordered by Thomas H. Ismay for his new company, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Co.
Designed by Edward J. Harland, Oceanic and the rest of her sisters belonging to the ‘Oceanic’ class revolutionized ocean travel. By placing the Cabin (1st class) accommodation amidships, where the movement of the vessel was less, rather than over the stern as tradition dictated, Oceanic marked a turning point in the evolution of the iron steamship.
She was originally designed to operate on the Australian service, but at the last moment Ismay decided to enter the fiercely competitive North Atlantic trade and consequently her design was not really suited for this service.
Improvements to the design followed and in later years she was placed on the Pacific and proved herself to be one of the most reliable and fastest vessels in the trade between San Francisco and Japan. It is no exaggeration to state that of all the ships that followed her and the modern cruise ships of today, each contain a piece of Oceanic’s DNA - the pioneer of ocean liners.