Provisioning The Kronprinz Wilhelm - 1905/1914

Testing temperature of sea water - Kronprinz Wilhelm

Testing Temperature of Sea Water on the Kronprinz Wilhelm.

The Book of Genesis does not record the tonnage of the huge vessel which finally stranded on Mount Ararat, after finishing the most wonderful voyage ever described in the annals of mankind. But it is quite safe to assume that the dimensions of the Ark, that old-time floating storehouse, are exceeded in size by the largest of steamships now crossing the Atlantic.

Not the least striking evidence of the size of these modern monsters of the deep is afforded by the vast quantities of food which must be taken aboard for a single six-day trip across the Atlantic. For the 1,500 passengers and the several hundred men constituting the crew, carloads of food and whole tanks of liquids are necessary.

Graphical Comparison of Provisions for Transatlantic Voyage.

Graphical Comparison of Provisions for Transatlantic Voyage. Scientific American Reference Book, 1905. GGA Image ID # 1dab44de49

To enumerate in cold type the exact quantities of bread, meat, and vegetables consumed in a weekly trip would give a vague idea of the storage capacity of a modern liner. We have, therefore, prepared a picture that graphically shows by comparison with the average man the equivalent of the meat, poultry, and breadstuffs, as well as the liquors used.

Each kind of food has been concentrated into a giant unit, compared with which the figure of the average man seems puny.

The Kronprinz Wilhelm of the North German Lloyd Line.

The Kronprinz Wilhelm of the North German Lloyd Line (Norddeutscher Lloyd) Built at Stettin in 1901: Length 663 Feet 4 Inches; Breadth 66 Feet; Depth 43 Feet. Photo by West & Sonm, Southsea. The Windsor Magazine, May 1902. GGA Image ID # 1daba24100

On the "Kronprinz Wilhelm," of the North German Lloyd Line, which steamship we have taken for the purpose of instituting our comparisons. some 19,800 pounds of fresh meat and 14,300 pounds of salt beef and mutton, in all 34,100 pounds of meat, are eaten during a single trip from New York to Bremen.

This enormous quantity of meat has been pictured in the form of a single joint of beef, which, If it actually existed, would be somewhat less than 10 feet high, 10 feet long, and 5 feet wide. If placed on one end of a scale, it would require about 227 average men in the other end to tip the beam.

For a single voyage the "Kronprinz Wilhelm" uses 2,640 pounds of ham. 1,320 pounds of bacon, and 506 pounds of sausage—in all, 4.466 pounds. Since most of this is pork, it may well be pictured in the form of a ham. That single ham is equivalent in weight to 374 average hams. It is 7 1/2 feet high, 3 feet in diameter and 2 feet thick.

The poultry eaten by the passengers of the steamer during a trip to Bremen or New York weighs 4,830 pounds. Suppose that we show these 4.840 pounds of poultry in the form of a turkey, dressed and ready for the oven. The bird would lie a giant 10 feet long, 8 feet broad, and 5 feet high.

Sauerkraut, beans, peas, rice, and fresh vegetables are consumed to the amount of 25,320 pounds. Packed for market, these preserved and fresh vegetables would be contained in 200 baskets of the usual form, which piled up make a formidable truncated pyramid.

The quantity of eggs required is no less startling than the number of vegetables, for some 25,000 are needed to satisfy the wants of passengers and crew. Eggs are usually packed in cases holding 30 dozen each.

The "Kronprinz Wilhelm, " when she leaves New York or Bremen, must take on board 69 of these cases, which have been shown in a great pile of 23 cases high and 3 cases wide. The bakers of the ship find it necessary to use 33,000 pounds of flour during the trip. In other words, 169 barrels are stowed away somewhere in the hold of the big ship.

Besides the foods already enumerated, 1,980 pounds of fresh fish and 330 pounds of salted fish are eaten during the six-day voyage. The total amount of 2,310 pounds would be equivalent to a single bluefish 20 feet long, 5 feet in greatest diameter, and 112 feet broad. Such a fish compares favorably in length, at least, with a good-sized whale.

The potatoes required far outweigh any other single article of food in the storerooms; their entire weight is 61,600 pounds. If it were possible to grow a single tuber of that weight, it would have a height of 14 feet and a diameter of 7 feet.

The butter would also assume large dimensions if packed into a single tub. This single tub would contain 6,600 pounds and would be 6 feet high.

Of dried fruit, 2,640 pounds are eaten, and of fresh fruit, 11,000 pounds, in all 13,640 pounds. If this fruit were all concentrated into a single pear, its height would be 7 feet, and the width at the thickest part 5 feet.

The thirsty passengers and crew drink up whole lakes of liquids. At least 425 tons of fresh water are required, which occupy 14,175 cubic feet and would fill a tank 25 feet in diameter and 30 feet high.

The 1,716 gallons of milk used for drinking and cooking would be contained in a can 6 feet 1 inch in diameter and 1112 feet tall. The gallons and gallons of wines, liquors, and beer consumed should dishearten the most optimistic temperance advocate.

Under the joyous title of "beverages," the following items are found in the purser's account book:

  • Champagne: 850 bottles.
  • Claret: 980 bottles.
  • Madeira, sherry, etc.: 135 bottles.
  • Rhine and Moselle wines: 1,700 bottles.
  • Rum and cordials: 760 bottles.
  • Mineral water: 5,250 bottles.
  • Beer in kegs: 2,960 gallons.
  • Beer in bottles: 600 bottles.


Suppose these things to drink were contained in one claret bottle. Some idea of the hugeness of this bottle may be gained when it is considered that its height would be over 24 feet and its diameter over 6 feet.

"Provisioning The 'Kronprinz Wilhelm' For A Single Transatlantic Trip" in Scientific American Reference Book, Edition of 1914, Munn & Co., Inc., New York, 1914, p. 227


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