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White Star Line History and Ephemera

White Star Line Historical Archives

While half a century has elapsed since the White Star Line commenced running a regular steamer service between New York and Liverpool, the Line has actually been in existence since the middle of last century. Its original fleet consisted of some half dozen American-built clipper ships plying between England and Australia. 

The Line was born during the gold fever. It is said that within the space of seven years the White Star clippers carried half a million prospectors to the Antipodes in search of the yellow metal. They returned home via China carrying cargoes of tea.

Documents and Other Ephemera of the White Star Line

Sorted in Date Order by Topic, Our White Star Line Archival Collections include Passenger Lists, Vintage Brochures, Vintage Menus, Books, Immigrant Passage Tickets, and Other Ephemera.

 

 

White Star Line Steamship Contract - Swedish Immigrant - 1902

 

1880-05-29 Memorandum of a Draft - White Star Line

A Memorandum of a Draft was often used as a receipt for for funds sent to immigrants still in the Old Country waiting to come to America.

1880-05-29 Prepaid Steerage Agent's Record - White Star Line

Agent's Record for a Prepaid passage on a White Star Line Steamship for passage from Cardiff, Whales, UK to Scranton PA via Steerage class in 1880. This was detached from the steamship ticket provided to the traveler and steamship line.

1902-11-14 Passenger Contract - Gothenburg to New York

Original Steamship Contract from Gothenburg, Sweden to New York, 3rd Class Steerage Immigrant Ester Hilma Maria Magnuson of Stockholm on the White Star Line. Included the detachable receipt located on the right hand side (panel).

1910-12-20 Contract Ticket - 3rd Class - White Star Line

Extraordinarily rare Third Class Passenger's Contract Ticket for a voyage on the SS Persic of the White Star Line from Sydney to Melbourne, Australia.

 

Passenger's Contract Ticket, Colonial Service, White Star Line, Australia to London 1910

 

 

Front Cover of a Saloon Passenger List from the SS Germanic of the White Star Line, Departing 26 June 1889 from New York to Liverpool

 

 

Front Cover, Second Class Passenger List from the RMS Olympic of the Cunard Line Sailing 23 August 1922.

 

 

 

Inspection Card - White Star Line Germanic - 1902 Hans Johansen Rosholt

 

1902-04-02 Immigrant Inspection Card - White Star Line RMS Germanic

Inspection Card issued to an immigrant traveling in Steerage by the White Star Line RMS Germanic in April 1902 that provided information about the immigrant including Name, Last Residence, evidence of Immunization, Port of Departure and Steamship name.

1921-09-29 Transmigrant Certificate, Third Class Passenger

Transmigrant Certificate, issued in 1921 to a third class passenger on the White Star Line RMS Olympic. It is intended as a health certificate notifying anyone that the carrier had been inspected, vaccinated, examined and vermin-free.

 

 

Front Cover, 1907 White Star Line Brochure Covering Their Fleet, History, Accommodations, and Services.

 

1907 - White Star Line Fleet, History, and Services

Excellent brochure from the White Star Line covering all three classes of services at the height of the transatlantic immigrant trade. Profusely illustrated with many photographs of the ships and accommodations.

1909 - 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.

1922 - RMS Majestic - The World's Largest Ship

One of the most exceptional brochures issued by the New York Office of the White Star Line. It covers the first-class accommodations with a visual record of the grand luxury of the public areas, dining saloon, lounges with a few photographs of the elegant second class accommodations.

1928 - Tourist Third Cabin & Third Class - WSL Canadian Service

Tourist Third Cabin and Third Class Views, Plans, and General Information for the SS Laurentic, SS Albertic, SS Calgaric, SS Megantic, SS Doric, and SS Regina. 25 Photographs, mainly interior views and Deck Plans for the Albertic, Megantic, Laurentic, Calgaric, Doric, and Regina.

1928 - Popular Tours to Europe - Beale Tours - WSL Canadian Service

White Star Line Canadian Service. Informational brochure details several different European tours with Itineraries and Costs. Steamship Interior Photos included: Dining Room, Smoking Room, Ladies' Lounge, Dance Hall, Two-Berth Cabin with Settee, and Lounge, all from Tourist Third Class (Ship's Not Identified). An illustration of SS Laurentic (1927) and an advertisement with a photo of a European Standard Suitcase (27.5 x 14.5 x 8 inches).

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.

 

Front Cover of 1930 Dutch Brochure from the White Star Line: Boston and New York in the Third Class.

 

 

Menu Card - Luncheon Menu, RMS Titanic, 14 April 1912

 

1912-04-14 RMS Titanic Luncheon Menu

Privately published reproduction of the famous Luncheon Bill of Fare from the RMS Titanic feature such specialities as Cockie Leekie, Roast Beef, Veal & Ham Pie, and Virginia & Cumberland Ham.

1919-07-06 RMS Celtic Dinner Menu Card

Vintage Dinner Bill of Fare Card from Date on board the RMS Celtic of the White Star Line featured a limited Bill of Fare including Potage Brunoise, Boiled Salmon-Cucumber Hollandaise, and Brandy & Hard Sauce for dessert. The reverse side contained handwritten notaions from the passenger.

1919-07-05 RMS Celtic Breakfast Menu Card

Post World War I Breakfast Bill of Fare Card from the RMS Celtic of the White Star Line offers typical breakfast fare of Eggs, Saratoga Potatoes, Broiled Wiltshire Bacon and Broiled Palethorpe Sausage with Savoury Rice.

1927-06-13 SS Regina Dinner Menu Card

Vintage Third Cabin Tourist Dinner Bill of Fare Card from 13 June 1927 on board the SS Regina of the White Star Line featured Sea Bass à la Commodore, Ribs and Sirloin of Beef Horseradish, and Pouding Baronne for dessert.

1928-01-27 SS Laurentic Gala Dinner Menu

Vintage Gala Dinner Bill of Fare from Friday, 27 January 1928 on board the White Star Line SS Laurentic features gala selections for that era including Salmon `'rout, Bercy, Prawns a l'Indienne and Vermont Turkey.

1928-06-15 RMS Albertic Dinner Menu Card

Vintage Dinner Bill of Fare Card from 15 June 1928 on board the RMS Albertic of the White Star Line features passenger annotated Bill of Fare selections offering Chicken Okra, Poached Kingfish, Homard, and Delaware Pudding. The reverse side has the Delaware Pudding recipe ingredients written out by the ship's chef.

1928-06-17 SS Albertic Dinner Menu

Vintage Dinner Bill of Fare Postcard from 17 June 1928 on board the SS Albertic of the White Star Line features Broiled Salmon with Hollandaise Sauce and Consommé Cloiseul with Chancellor Pudding for Desert. The reverse side contained the Bill of Fare and Postcard (postally unused).

1928-06-18 RMS Albertic Dinner Menu

Vintage Dinner Bill of Fare Card from Monday, 18 June 1928 on board the RMS Albertic of the White Star Line featured Poached Halibut, Trouvillaise, Fore and Hind Quarters of Lamb, Mint Sauce, and Ice Cream and Wafers for dessert.

1928-06-19 RMS Albertic Dinner Menu

Vintage Dinner Bill of Fare Card from 19 June 1928 on board the RMS Albertic featured an image of a French Frigate of the Olden Times. Bill of Fare selections included Cream Argenteuil, Poached Brill, Shrimp Sauce, and Chocolate Pudding for dessert.

1928-06-20 RMS Albertic Dinner Menu

Vintage Dinner Bill of Fare Card from Wednesday, 20 June 1928 on board the RMS Albertic of the White Star Line. The Bill of Fare featured Cream Valencienne, Poached Turbot, Sauce Homard, and Bermuda Pudding for dessert.

 

Menu Cover for a Gala Dinner Menu, White Star Line SS Laurentic, 1928

 

 

Front Cover, Second Class Grand Concert Program Held on Board the RMS Olympic on Monday, 1 November 1920.

 

1920-11-01 Grand Concert Program - RMS Olympic

Sister Ship of the RMS Titanic, The Olympic presented a Grand Concert to passengers in the Second Class to aid various seaman’s charities. It was held in the Second Class Saloon at 8:15 pm on Monday, 1 November 1920.

1928-05-28 Grand Concert Program - SS Celtic

Grand Concert held on 28 May 1928 on board the SS Celtic of the White Star Line featured mostly music. Songs appear to have been performed by talented passengers. Following the concert, prizes were awarded for best costumes at the Fancy Dress Ball in addition to prizes for sports events.

1928-06-14 Sports Events Program - SS Albertic

Sports Events Held on Board S.S. “Albertic” on a voyage from Montreal To London, 14 June 1928. Featured events included Shuffleboard, Deck Tennis, Potato Race, Skipping Competition, Dancing, Tug of War, Bridge, Whist, and Coat Race. A Fancy Dress Ball and Children’s Tea Party are also planned.

1928-06-21 Grand Concert Program - RMS Albertic

Program of a grand concert held in the tourist dining saloon on board RMS Albertic of the White Star Line on Thursday, June 21st, 1928 at 8 30 p.m. Variety show included musical numbers, readings, recitation, step dance, and the presentation of sports prizes.

 

 

Front Cover, White Star Line - Merchant Fleets #19

 

1990 - White Star Line - Merchant Fleets #19

Despite the misfortunes of the White Star Line it is still regarded with esteem and affection. For those born after the end of White Star this vol. is, therefore, deliberately comprehensive and definitive. There is the usual chronological company history. Each of the 98 ships is illustrated by 74 scale profile drawings. The career history of each ship is given.

 

 

Stationery Letterhead for the White Star Line SS Albertic Containing a McCorquodale Fine Watermark, 1923.

Stationery Letterhead for the White Star Line SS Albertic Containing a McCorquodale Fine Watermark, 1923. GGA Image ID # 1d640f7b18

 

 

Front Cover, Landing Arrangements for New York on the RMS Homeric of the White Star Line, 1924.

Front Cover, Landing Arrangements for New York on the RMS Homeric of the White Star Line, 1924. GGA Image ID # 1d6422acff

Landing Instuctions in English and French for the RMS Homeric, 1924.

Landing Instuctions in English and French for the RMS Homeric, 1924. GGA Image ID # 1d643b401c

 

Abstract of Log Cards

  • 1928-09-14 Laurentic
  • 1931-08-22 Adriatic

Other Documents

 

Burial at Sea on the RMS Britanic. Captain Brown Reading the Scripture, 1933.

Burial at Sea Unidentified British Subject (Crewman), M.V. Britannic. Captain Brown Presiding, 1933.GGA Image ID # 1d61838173

White Star Line Route Map, 1914.

White Star Line Route Map, 1914. GGA Image ID # 1d61c1a1ac

White Star Line Fleet, Services, Principal Offices (Global), 1914.

White Star Line Fleet, Services, Principal Offices (Global), 1914. GGA Image ID # 1d61d09b68

The White Star Line Majestic Enters the King George V Graving Dock at Southampton on 19 January 1934.

The White Star Line Majestic Enters the King George V Graving Dock at Southampton on 19 January 1934. GGA Image ID # 1d63e8a933

 

 

1930 Flyer: White Star Line Special Winter Cruises 1930: To the Mediterranean, Holy Land & Egypt.

 

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The Folks Behind the GG Archives

The GG Archives is the work and passion of two people, Paul Gjenvick, a professional archivist, and Evelyne Gjenvick, a curator. Paul earned a Masters of Archival Studies terminal degree from Clayton State University in Georgia, where he studied under renowned archivist Richard Pearce-Moses. Our research into the RMS Laconia and SS Bergensfjord, the ships that brought two members of the Gjønvik family from Norway to the United States in the early 20th century, has helped us design our site for other genealogists. The extent of original materials at the GG Archives can be very beneficial when researching your family's migration from Europe.