Category Archives: White Star Line

The Impact of Lost Time

A4 impact cover=low resA fresh look at the events leading up to the Titanic disaster

How did the many delays during construction contribute to the tragedy?

In a new book, the cascade of events prior to the disaster are carefully analysed. This is the result of years of research, including studying engineers’ reports on the construction of the Olympics, forensic metallurgy reports of wreck samples, and meetings with worldwide experts.

Lost time as it affected Titanic

With 232 pages and 350 photographs covering 11 chapters and 10 Appendices, this book collects and dissects all the events and delays that resulted in Titanic being in the same point on the north Atlantic as a massive iceberg. Construction delays, postponed maiden sailing dates, Olympic’s collision with HMS Hawke, the lost propeller blade, the late change of officers, the near-collision with SS New York, etc., as well as the need for new facilities at Southampton and New York. All events are discussed in detail, with the impact they had on Titanic’s short, tragic life.

The provision of the lifeboats, the wireless installation and its malfunction, the metallurgy of the steel plates and rivets, the effects of the coal strike and the bunker fire are all studied and covered in detail. Expert guidance is given on the formation and likely route of the iceberg.

Also covered are the construction of the gantries, slips, docks and drydock needed for the construction and operation of the Olympic Class – at the time the world’s largest vessels.

This is not another conspiracy book! It deals with the facts as far as they are currently known, from the initial designs through to the moment of impact in the icy waters of the North Atlantic. It has drawn together information and details from many sources into one central reference book.

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232 pages, A4, hardback with jacket. £28.00 plus shipping



The Company & The Ships

Cover for White Star Line bookThe origins of White Star Line can be traced back to 1846. T.H. Ismay bought the company in 1868, registering it as Oceanic Steam Navigation, trading as White Star. He forged agreements with Harland & Wolff in Belfast to build his ships, which quickly gained a reputation for speed, comfort and reliability. The company grew and prospered, building ever bigger and better ships.

After T.H. Ismay died, his son, J. Bruce Ismay, took over. In 1902 the American financier J. Pierpont Morgan bought the company as part of the IMM combine, and Ismay became President and Chairman.

American owners, economic pressures

World economics turned against the company, with slumps, depressions, the loss of Titanic, the Great War and reduced US immigration quotas. By the late 1920s White Star was on the point of collapse, and in 1934, under pressure from the UK government, it was forced to merge with Cunard, also in financial difficulties.

Development, growth and decline

This book looks at the development, growth and decline of one of the most famous shipping lines in history. It looks at the highlights, successes, mishaps and tragedies.

It covers the careers of all the ships, owned and chartered, with photographs of most, along with illustrations of advertisements, menus and other ephemera. It is a complete company history.

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250 pages with hundreds of photographs. £48.00 plus shipping



White Star’s largest liner

Cover for Majestic bookA hardback book covering the design, construction and service of White Star Line’s express liner Majestic.

Built by Blohm & Voss for Hamburg America, Bismarck was to have been the third of Albert Ballin’s planned trio of super liners, designed to dominate the North Atlantic .

Although launched, sadly the tragic outbreak of the Great War in August 1914 interrupted her completion, and throughout the war she lay at her builders, only half-built.

Reparations then to White Star Line as Majestic

Following the Armistice, the still-incomplete liner was ceded to White Star as reparations, and was completed by the builders. Once finished, she was renamed Majestic, and finally entered the prestigious trans-Atlantic service to New York, although she never competed for the Blue Riband.

Popular for a number of years, she generally enjoyed good passenger numbers. However, the quotas imposed on immigrants by the US authorities, coupled with Prohibition and the Great Depression, impacted on her success. Her grand interiors and immense size were redolent of an era that had passed.

With the merger of Cunard and White Star in 1934, the combined fleet was rapidly culled to effect the necessary economies to enable the new company to survive, and in 1936 it was announced that she was to be scrapped.

Conversion to HMS Caledonia

At the last minute she was sold to the British Admiralty and extensively converted into a training establishment for young seamen and artificers, as HMS Caledonia. Moored at Rosyth, she caught fire soon after the declaration of World War II and was gutted.

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206 pages plus three A3 throw-out deck plans. £42.00 plus shipping




Cover for Legendary Liners bookThis book represents an eclectic choice – the author’s personal favourite historic, legendary liners. The hardest part was in deciding which liners to leave out!

There have been so many famous  liners since the late Victorian era. The development of reliable, economical engines and the inclusion of a second propeller meant that liners no longer needed to be equipped with sails and associated rigging.

Interiors became ever more luxurious, menus were more inventive, safety increasingly important. Hulls became ever larger, decks more numerous. More dining rooms were added, plus cafés, gymnasiums, winter gardens, swimming pools, libraries and many other facilities designed to help passengers make the best use of their time aboard.

Final selection of Legendary Liners

Ships have been chosen from many of the companies operating around the world. The result is this fascinating page-by-page account of the most famous liners from nearly 100 years of maritime history.

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162 pages. £38.00 plus shipping