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RMS Adriatic - History, Accommodations, & Ephemera Collection

Adriatic (1906) White Star Line

Built by Harland & Wolff, Ltd., Belfast, Ireland. Tonnage: 24,563. Dimensions: 709' x 75'. Twin-screw. 18 knots. Four masts and two funnels. Note: Laid up at Liverpool on August 31, 1933 and in December. 1934 was sold to Japanese shipbreakers, who dismantled her in 1935. Sister ship: Baltic.

All Digitized Ephemera For the RMS Adriatic Available at the GG Archives. Common items of ephemera in our maritime collection include passenger lists, brochures, event and entertainment programs, and other memorabilia produced for a voyage or ship.

The Adriatic Sailed Between the Ports of New York, Liverpool, Southampton, Cherbourg, Queenstown (Cobh), Belfast, Glasgow, Syracuse, Naples, Monaco, and Gibraltar.

Front Cover, White Star Line Famous Big 4 - RMS Adriatic, RMS Baltic, RMS Cedric, and RMS Celtic dated 16 April 1909.

1909-04-16 The Famous Big 4 - New York-Liverpool Service

This 8-Page White Star Line brochure on the Famous Big 4 of the New York Liverpool Service - The Adriatic, Baltic, Cedric, and Celtic, is packed with incredible photographs (Interior and exterior) some with actual passengers. Includes information on the ships and their accommodations.

SS Adriatic Passenger List - 16 June 1919

1919-06-19 SS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 16 June 1919
  • Route: New York to Liverpool
  • Commander: Captain J. B. Ranson, O.B.E., Lt-Cmdr R.N.R. (Retd.).
Passenger Manifest, RMS Adriatic, White Star Line, November 1919, Southampton to New York

1919-11-14 RMS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: First Class
  • Date of Departure: 14 November 1919
  • Route: Southampton to New York via Cherbourg
  • Commander: Captain J. B. Ranson
Passenger Manifest, RMS Adriatic, White Star Line, April 1920, Southampton to New York

1920-04-07 RMS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 7 April 1920
  • Route: Southampton to New York via Cherbourg
  • Commander: Captain J. B. Ranson, O.B.E., Lt. Cmdr. R.N.R. (Retd.).
Front Cover, Passenger Manifest, SS Adriatic, White Star Line, Eastbound, April 1920

1920-04-24 SS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: First and Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 24 April 1920
  • Route: New York to Cherbourg and Southampton
  • Commander: Captain J. B. Ranson, O.B.E., Lt. Cmdr. R.N.R. (Retired)
Passenger Manifest, White Star Line RMS Adriatic - 1923

1923-08-18 RMS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: Second Class
  • Date of Departure: 18 August 1923
  • Route: Liverpool to New York via Cobh
  • Commander: Captain F. F. Beadnell
1929-02-08 SS Adriatic

1929-02-08 SS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: First Class and Tourist Third Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 8 February 1929
  • Route: Alexandria to New York via Syracuse, Naples, Monaco, and Gibraltar
  • Commander: Captain V. W. Hickson (Lt. Cmdr., R.N.R., Retd.)
Front Cover, White Star Line RMS Adriatic Cabin Passenger List - 1 June 1929.

1929-06-01 RMS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 1 June 1929
  • Route: Liverpool to New York via Queenstown (Cobh)
  • Commander: Captain V. W. Hickson (Lt. Cmdr., R.N.R., Retd.)
Front Cover of 1930 Dutch Brochure from the White Star Line: Boston and New York in the Third Class.

1930 - White Star Line To Boston and New York in Third Class

Translated from a 1930 Dutch brochure on third-class accommodations on the "Big Four" - the Britannic, Baltic, Cedric, and Adriatic, with many interior photographs to document this class of travel in 1930.

1931-08-22 RMS Adriatic

1931-08-22 RMS Adriatic Passenger List

  • Steamship Line: White Star Line
  • Class of Passengers: Cabin
  • Date of Departure: 22 August 1931
  • Route: Liverpool to New York via Belfast and Glasgow
  • Commander: Captain J. W. Binks, R.D. (Lt. Cmdr, R.N.R., Retd.)


Ephemera contained in the GG Archives collection represent the souvenirs provided to the passengers of each voyage. Many of these souvenir ephemeral items have disappeared over the years.

Our selection varies considerably by ship, and likely contains only a sampling of what was originally produced and printed by the steamship lines.

Bookmark pages you're researching and check back periodically for additions as we continue to digitize our extensive ephemera materials.

Carrying Concealed Weapons on the RMS Adriatic

A CABIN psssenger on the Adriatic, White Star Line, with the historical name of Smith, was arrested at Queenstown last month for having a revolver concealed on his person. This little imprudence cost him and mention is here made as a hint to " those about to sail for Europe."

Source: Ocean: Magazine of Travel, Vol. III, No. 2, September 1889, Page 42

Adriatic Successfully Launched

A Magnificent Cargo and Passenger Steamer

GGA Image ID # 1415035703

Front Cover of the White Star Line SS Adriatic Launch Brochure, 1906. GGA Image ID # 1415035703

THE new White Star Line leviathan Adriatic, built by Harland and Wolff, Belfast, Ireland, was successfully launched September 20, 1906 and in the presence of over 20,000 spectators.

To the people of Belfast a launching ceremony has doubtless, long ere now, lost its charm of novelty, but on this occasion an exceptional degree of local patriotism and essentially human craving for a sensation combined to focus public attention to a remarkable extent upon the launch, it is said.

It was generally recognized that Harland and Wolff were responsible for another "big thing," and that history was once more being made for the company.

Under these circumstances, small wonder that the people, not only of Belfast, but of surrounding districts, and not a few from Liverpool, assembled to view the spectacle.

The importance of the event was further emphasized by the fact that the Queen's Island workmen were given a whole day's holiday. This is a concession without precedent, at all events in the recent history of Harland and Wolff.

About 10,000 invitations had been issued and even more than that number of people congregated in the yard, including a multitude of ladies, many of whom, in their anxiety to gain a good view of the launch, had the temerity to scale the dizzy heights of several large vessels in course of construction in the vicinity.

In fact, the forenoon was observed as a half-holiday by the majority of Belfast citizens, who thronged to the quays and wharves on either side of the river, manifesting the deepest possible interest in the auspicious event.

The huge gantry which played a prominent part in the construction of the liner was gaily decorated with bunting, conspicuous being the national flags of America and England, whilst from a lofty mast amidships the house flag of the White Star Line was floating.

The scene at the ways immediately prior to the launching was the usual one of much animation, hundreds of men being busily engaged in driving away with hugh sledges the great blocks and other supports upon which the vessel rested.

The launch was fixed for a quarter past eleven—the hour of high water— and almost on the stroke of time the signal was given "All clear!" At a word from the manager of the works (A. M. Carlisle), the handle controlling the hydraulic launching machine was pulled by one of the foremen.

Instantly the ponderous vessel started into motion. Syrens shrieked and whistles sounded, there was a noise of creaking timbers and falling tackle, and amid the enthusiastic plaudits of thousands of sightseers, the stately Adriatic, with consummate grace and ease, glided down the slip into the waters beyond.

The gigantic hull, weighing 16,780 tons—said to be the heaviest deadweight ever launched—entered the river at a speed of almost twelve knots, and was checked by means of cables and anchors attached to the bows in about half its own length. The whole operation occupying less than two minutes.

The Queen's Island firm have a reputation of never having experienced a hitch or accident of any kind at a launch and at this function the firm's tradition in this respect were worthily sustained.

Three powerful tugs were in waiting and conveyed the new liner to her fitting-up berth at Alexandra wharf, where she will receive her engines, boilers and machinery, and undergo the final stage of preparation for sea.

The interior work on the Adriatic is so well advanced that it is expected that in the course of about four months she will be ready for her trials, and will take up her sailings between Liverpool and New York early next year.

Beyond the fact that the builders had invited a considerable number of guests to witness the launch, no formality whatever attended the event. This was quite in accordance with the custom of the White Star Line, in regard to whose boats the ceremony of christening, so frequent with other steamship companies, is always dispensed with.

Lord Pirrie, head of Harland and Wolff's, traveled from Dublin for the purpose of attending the launch and entertained numerous guests.

Among the number were the Under Secretary for Ireland (Sir Antony MacDonnell), Lord Chief Baron Palles (Master of the Rolls for Ireland), Sir A. M. Porter, H. A. Sanderson, general' manager of the White Star Line, Liverpool, Captain Murray, marine superintendent, White Star Line, and others.

After lunch Lord and Lady Pirrie entertained the distinguished visitors at a private luncheon at Ormiston. A general description of the Adriatic was given in our last month's issue, to which may be added the fact that she will be the largest vessel afloat propelled by reciprocating engines.

Some idea of the vastness of the Harland and Wolff establishment may be gained in considering that last year their output, exclusive of admiralty contracts for engineering, amounted to an aggregate gross tonnage of 85,287.

The vessels launched during the year included the Hamburg - American Company's magnificent liner Amerika, 22,723 tons; the Herefordshire, 7,183 tons; the Mahronda, Malakand and Manipur, eachover 7,600 tons, and the Holland-Amerika Company's Nieuw Amsterdam, 17,250 tons.

Adriatic Successfully Launched: A Magnificent Cargo and Passenger Steamer, in The American Marine Engineer, Chicago-New York, Vol. 1, No. 10, October 1906, p. 1-2.

The Ship of the Year: The White Star Liner Adriatic

The RMS Adriatic Makes Its First and Last Trip from Liverpool.

The RMS Adriatic Makes Its First and Last Trip from Liverpool. The White Star Liner "Adriatic" sialed on her maiden voyage from Prince's Landing Stage, Liverpool, at 5 pm on Wednesday, 15 May 1907 for New York. She is the largest twin-screw steamer affloat, and returns to Southampton to inaugurate the new White Star service commencing on 5 June 1907. GGA Image ID # 141b11cd88

THE Adriatic is one of those gigantic vessels which the British Mercantile Marine owe to the unceasing enterprise of the White Star Line. The new vessel may be claimed to represent the highest attainment of the shipbuilder's art, and her great size has been turned to the utmost advantage in providing both for the safety and comfort of the passengers.

She has been designed and constructed on absolutely safe lines, guided by previous experience and the highest technical knowledge, whilst at the same time the latest improvements the ingenuity of man can devise have been introduced to make her a perfect instrument in the development of international intercourse and commerce between the two great hemispheres.

The First Class Reading Room.

The First Class Reading Room. GGA Image ID # 14192aa5ba

While making the voyage across the Atlantic at a good speed it is confidently anticipated that the Adriatic will be, in nautical parlance, “as steady as a rock” under all conditions, and, thanks to her good sea-going qualities and the extremely comfortable character of her appointments, the pleasures of ocean travel will be greatly enhanced.

The other leviathans of the White Star Line, such as the Oceanic, Celtic, Cedric and Baltic, have become so popular that it is almost impossible to imagine the Adriatic could excel them; but the managers of the line, in their constant endeavor to add to the attractiveness of their vessels and minister to the comfort of ocean travelers, have introduced a number of new features, including a gymnasium, with the usual mechanical apparatus; an electric lift, running from the first-class entrance on the boat deck to the dining saloon on the upper deck, the lift thus serving four decks—viz., upper deck, promenade deck, upper promenade deck, and boat deck.

Then, the seating arrangements in the first-class dining saloon are in the popular restaurant style, with small tables studded over the room instead of the usual long fore and aft tables.

As this dining saloon will be one of the most magnificent on the Atlantic, it is very appropriate that the owners should also have arranged to carry an orchestra on the new vessel, a feature in English steamers that is sure to be greatly appreciated.

The First Class Dining Saloon.

The First Class Dining Saloon. GGA Image ID # 14198677b0

The most notable innovation, however, is the provision in this ship of Turkish baths. Since the revival of the bath of antiquity and its introduction into this country under the name of the Turkish bath, probably nothing more interesting or significant has occurred than its application for the first time to the needs of ocean travelers, a fact that in itself is sufficient to make the Adriatic the most popular vessel on the Atlantic.

The Turkish baths on this ship consist of the usual hot, temperate and cooling rooms, shampooing rooms, plunge bath and massage couch. There are also electric baths provided. The Adriatic is 725 ft. 9 in. long, 75 ft. 6 in. beam and about 50 ft. deep, gross tonnage nearly 25,000 and displacement over 40,000 tons.

The double bottom extending the entire length of the ship is a special element of safety. The Adriatic has nine steel decks and is divided into twelve water-tight compartments.

The total number of steel plates used in the construction of the hull is close on 20,000, and the rivets are estimated at nearly 2,500,000. The cables are 3 3/8 in. diameter and weigh about 90 tons; the anchors weigh about 8 tons each.

The general arrangements of the ship are similar to the Baltic and other vessels of this type, a continuous shade deck running fore and aft, with three tiers of deckhouses and three promenade decks above them. On the boat deck are situated the first- class lounge, the first-class reading and writing room, and the first-class smoke-room.

The First Class Lounge.

The First Class Lounge. GGA Image ID # 1419bae97c

On the upper promenade deck and the promenade deck are arranged the large deck state-rooms, which form such an important feature, and are so much admired in the first-class accommodation of the Celtic, Cedric and Baltic; and a further attraction is a large number of single berth rooms, which will be much appreciated by the travelling public.

The first- class dining saloon is on the upper deck, and all the first- class accommodation is arranged amidships. Immediately abaft the first-class is the second-class accommodation, included in which are a comfortable dining saloon with nearly 300 seats, smoke- room, and also a ladies’ room for this class of passenger.

The second - class saloon is an exceptionally fine room, extending the full width of the ship. The third - class passengers are provided for abaft the second class, and to a limited extent at the fore end of the vessel.

A great feature in this accommodation is the large number of two, three and four-berth cabins, and the commodious and comfortable dining-rooms fitted with tables and revolving chairs. A visitor to the Adriatic cannot fail to be impressed with the strength, luxury and roominess that are everywhere apparent.

The amount of “head room” is, perhaps, the most striking: The strength and luxury may be taken for granted in a White Star liner, but the size of the entrances, apartments, etc., as well as the spaciousness of the promenades, must be seen to be appreciated.

First Class Smoking Room.

First Class Smoking Room. GGA Image ID # 1419e52863

The staterooms are lofty, well-lighted, well-ventilated apartments, while the bed furniture, lounges, wardrobes and toilet equipment are all excellent. The enormous beam of the vessel and the height between the various decks or floors have made it possible to provide rooms of exceptional size, and the decoration of the various state-rooms is well in keeping with the traditions of the White Star Line.

The most luxurious style is, of course, to be seen in the accommodation for the first-class passengers, for whom a large number of separate and distinct suites of apartments are provided, consisting of stateroom, sitting-room, bathroom, etc.

These rooms have extra wide beds, also writing tables and wardrobes, and are upholstered in blue moquette, the decoration consisting of small white paneling, the ceiling incrusts —all white. The other first - class rooms are similarly decorated and upholstered.

The first-class entrances are paneled in oak, with ceilings of special design flat white — and the first-class passages have polished oak dado, with white paneling above. The principal feature in the decorations, however, is the treatment of the chief public rooms in the vessel, viz., the grand first-class dining saloon, the reading and writing-room, the lounge and the smoking-room.

First Class Passengers Taking Advantage of the Gymnasium.

First Class Passengers Taking Advantage of the Gymnasium. GGA Image ID # 1419fe6a1a

The accompanying illustrations give some idea of the style of decoration and furnishing of these rooms, and it will be seen that “ over- elaboration,” so frequent in ship decoration, has been carefully avoided, whilst at the same time each apartment has a quiet but rich and symmetrical beauty that is very restful and pleasing to the eye.

The first- class dining saloon is a very handsome apartment. Situated, as already mentioned, on the upper deck, it extends the full width of the ship. It is exceptionally lofty and airy, and contains seating accommodation for about 370 people.

It is paneled in the stately fashion of the time of Charles II., and is painted chastely and simply with a delicate and ivorylike white ; the gold, which is a time-honored adornment of other saloons, being here strictly confined to the metal fittings.

Over the middle of the room is a dome filled with leaded glass, white and the palest yellow in color, and under it are paintings of scenes in Switzerland and Italy, the Yellowstone and the Rhine, to remind the diners of happy hours spent in these playgrounds of the world.

First Class Passengers Relaxing in the Turkish Bath.

First Class Passengers Relaxing in the Turkish Bath. GGA Image ID # 141a3c2c1e

An opportunity for music is afforded by a fine piano, whose case is beautified with charming and graceful figures inlaid in light woods on the oak of which it is composed. An important feature in the saloon is the arrangement of the tables, as already referred to, in the popular restaurant style instead of the old-fashioned long straight rows.

This new arrangement, in conjunction with the artistic and effective decoration and the lovely domed skylight, together with the addition of the orchestra provided for in this steamer, will make this a perfectly ideal saloon.

The comfort of the passengers will also be enhanced by a special arrangement of the portholes by which they will be able to enjoy the advantages of the fresh sea air without being subjected to draughts. On the boat deck is the reading and writing room.

As Kipling has told us in his familiar verses, “The liner, she’s a lady." In this room this picturesque fact is made very clearly apparent. Here we have a charming apartment, which might have been provided by the Adams Brothers for the comfort and delight of a lady on land.

We are nowhere forced to remember the fact that the sea is outside and all around us. The windows, as spacious as in an ordinary house, are filled with leaded glass, and we almost expect, on glancing round them, to see a cheerful expanse of park; but we may comfort ourselves for that disappointment by stretching our limbs on luxurious chairs or settees around a very homelike fireside.

Here we may read our books and write our letters. If our eyes wander round the room we see the walls decorated in Adams fashion, with delicate ornaments in low relief, enclosing oval panels filled with paintings of the airy and graceful kind which Bartolozzi and Cipriani made familiar to our great grandmothers.

Shaded lamps on the walls and ceiling afford a light which is efficient yet not glaring, and the elegant furniture in inlaid birch comforts the eye of the refined observer. The lounge, also on the boat deck, is dedicated to the cult of the idler, who will here find himself in clover.

The oak paneling of the apartment is restful to his eye, and the ceiling paneling is well worthy of notice. A large and well- selected library invites him to recreation or study. Elegant writing tables afford him an opportunity of finishing his correspondence, and by their convenience assuage the agonies of composition.

That done, he may turn with a sigh of relief to the comfortable sofas with which the room is amply furnished, and may observe the work-tables which are provided for the industrious, the cozy corners for intimate conversation, and the card tables for those to whom bridge appeals with irresistible allurement.

From the windows these pursuits are blessed for our lounger by the presence in stained glass effigies of poets, painters, dramatists and philosophers—great men who have in the past done so much for him. And when we say “him,” we mean “her” too.

In the smoke room (also on this deck) cozy comfort is the keynote of the decoration and furnishing. The walls are hung with stamped leather and adorned with pictures which recall some stirring episodes in English naval history.

The seats are deep and luxuriously upholstered, of a kind to invite the smoker to the lazy enjoyment of his pipe, his glass and his game. The rich and mellow tone of the stained glass windows affords a light in which the mahogany seats, with their carving and their brown leather coverings, fairly glow with a somber magnificence of coloring.

There is, of course, a barber’s shop in the first-class accommodation, fitted up in the usual luxurious style, and the inquiry office is an attractive and useful apartment in the main entrance on the promenade deck.

The second-class staterooms are decorated in white paneling, and it may be mentioned that both the first and second-class rooms have Brussels carpets. The second-class smoke-room is done in oak framing with panels of oak, drapery design. It is upholstered in leather; furniture and dado, walnut.

The second-class ladies’ room is in satinwood with panels inlaid; furniture and dado, mahogany. Both this room and the second-class smoke-room have stained glass shutters and ceiling incrusts; parquetry floor. The second-class saloon is in white and gold, mahogany furniture, and incrusted ceiling. Both the ladies’ room and saloon are upholstered in moquette.

The second-class lounge is paneled in oak, with furniture of oak, easy tub chairs, etc. The second-class entrances are in oak and white. All first and second-class staircases are in oak. The third-class dining and smoking-rooms are comfortable apartments, with white framing and teak dado, a feature in these rooms being the revolving chairs.

It will thus be seen that the accommodation for the 3,000 odd souls who will make up the full list of human beings on board the Adriatic will be everything that could be desired. Having such large cargo carrying capacity, the Adriatic is fitted with winches and other loading and discharging arrangements of the latest and most efficient type.

There are large refrigerating chambers for the carriage of chilled beef, the machines for working same being on the CO_> principle. There is also an electric winch provided specially for the rapid and noiseless handling of baggage and stores.

A Marconi house with apparatus is fitted on the boat deck aft, and in addition the ship is fitted with a submarine signaling apparatus, by which means the navigators of the ship can become aware in foggy weather of their proximity to similarly fitted lightships in narrow waters, thus ensuring a correct course being kept.

The engines of this magnificent vessel are not the least interesting item. They consist of two sets of the quadruple- expansion type arranged on the “balanced” principle, which has been so successful in eliminating vibration.

The engine spaces, however, and those who work in them are isolated from the passenger quarters, so that to the ordinary passenger the only evidence of the mighty power which drives the vessel will be the smoke issuing from the funnels.

Of course, on such a vessel as this, in addition to the propelling machinery, there is an enormous amount of auxiliary machinery— the steering engines, the electric light machinery, the refrigerating machinery, and the deck machinery, are all items necessary to the efficient working of the vessel, and all are of the latest and most approved type.

“The Ship of the Year: The White Star Liner Adriatic,” in The Syren and Shipping Illustrated, Vol. XLII, No. 540, London, 2 January 1907, p. 47-52

Notable Steamers of 1907 - The White Star Liner "Adriatic."

Notable Steamers of 1907 - The White Star Liner "Adriatic." (Left to Right, Top to Bottom): First Class Restaurant; First Class Lounge; First Class Stateroom; Third Class Dining Room; First lass Reading and Writing Room; and Second Class Dining Saloon. GGA Image ID # 141b4e2ab5

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