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Cunard and the North Atlantic 1840–1973: A History of by Francis E. Hyde

By Francis E. Hyde

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Albion has sho w n, th e duties on C unard car goes collected at N ew York amounted to some $ 10,500 in 1848 as against $ 29,500 at Boston. " By this latter date, however , the Cunarders w ere beginning to ex perience some of the most persistent competition eve r recorded in maritime hi story . By 1845 public op inion in America w as becoming insistent in th e determination to w in back th e prestige which the ir sailing Men, ShipsandMails 1840-80 :'7 ships had held before the advent of steam. The fIrst att empt was made by two ships, Washington and Hermann, by providing a service to Bremen in 1847.

This was the introduction of twin screws. Since the inauguration of screw propellers, the fracturing of shafts and blades had occurred with damaging regularity. Although most passenger ships continued to be fitted with auxiliary sails until well into the 1880s, these were of little use on large steamships of the post-1870 period, serving only to keep the ship's bow into the wind in the event of an engine failure. The fmancial losses involved in breakdowns from broken shafts and propellers were extremely heavy.

MacIver and Burns and MacIver were appointed as managing agents in Liverpool, that ofW. and W . S. Cunard in London and the firm of G. and J. Burns in Glasgow. l2S In these various ways the former functions and control of the three families were transformed and incorporated into a new organisation . They had relinquished a fair degree of sovereignty in the process of change. In particular they had agreed not to engage in any shipping business in competition with that of The Cunard Steam Ship Co.

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