The Bremen bark SOLON was built at Burg, near Bremen, by J. H. Bosse, and launched on 12 April 1855. 229 Commerzlasten; 37,6 x 9 x 4,6 meters (length x beam x depth of hold). Her original owners were the brothers Frerk, Hinrich, and Bernhard Balleer, all of Vegesack, each of whom held a 1/3 share. Hinrich Balleer was her first captain, being succeeded in 1857 by J. Gärdes.
In 1858, the SOLON was sold to H. Bischoff & Co, Bremen for 22,750 Reichstaler, but was almost immediately sold to Oldenburg, and sent on a round-the-world voyage. On 15 December 1858, Heinrich Jürgen Rohde, from Bremen, master, she sailed from Bremerhaven for Capetown, from where she sailed in March 1859, bound for Australia. After calling at Moreton Bay, she set sail for Sydney, but was stranded on Moreton Island; she was gotten off safely, and arrived at Sydney on 11 July 1859. Taking on a load of coal, she proceeded to the Philippines, where on 24 November she was loading sugar at the rate of £1 17s. 6d. per ton for the return trip to Sydney. At Sydney she took on a cargo of coal, hay, and ships stores and sailed for Goolong, where the cargo was to be delivered to the Oldenburg ship ARNIM, but on 28 April 1860, she ran aground on Crookhaven Head, near Shoalhaven; one ships's boy was drowned.
Source: Peter-Michael Pawlik, Von der Weser in die Welt; Die Geschichte der Segelschiffe von Weser und Lesum und ihrer Bauwerften 1770 bis 1893, Schriften des Deutschen Schiffahrtsmuseums, Bd. 33 (Hamburg: Kabel, c1993), p. 392, no. 93.
[27 Jan 1998]
Photograph of the SOUTHWARK. Source: Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 3 (1979), p. 927, courtesy of the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, Historic Photographs Collection. To request a larger copy of this scan, click on the picture.
The SOUTHWARK was built for the American Line (a subsidiary of the International Navigation Co of Liverpool, which also controlled the Red Star Line) by Wm Denny & Bros, Dumbarton, and was launched on 4 July 1893. The steamship took her name from the suburb of Philadelphia, not the suburb of London. 8,607 tons; 146,30 x 17,43 meters / 480 x 57.2 feet (length x breadth); straight stem, 1 funnel, 4 masts; steel construction, twin screw propulsion, quadruple-expansion engines, service speed 14 knots. The SOUTHWARK was built with twin screw propulsion because the square sailing rig required for safety purposes on vessels with single screw propulsion was considered too expensive. The SOUTHWARK was the first North Atlantic liner to be built with quadruple-expansion engines. The SOUTHWARK was originally intended to carry 12 passengers in 1st class, 92 in 2nd class, and 929 in steerage, but this configuration was changed before her maiden voyage to 100 passengers in 2nd class and 929 in steerage. The SOUTHWARK was thus the first important newly-built passenger steamship built whose top passenger accommodation was 2nd class.
The SOUTHWARK was built for the American Line's Liverpool-Philadelphia service. 28 December 1893, maiden voyage, Liverpool-Philadelphia. 8 August 1895, first voyage chartered to the Red Star Line (which, like the National Line, was controlled by the International Navigation Co), Philadelphia-New York-Antwerp. 31 August 1895, first voyage, Antwerp-New York. 1899 (or earlier), 2nd class passenger accommodation increased to 250. 21 March 1903, last voyage, Antwerp-New York. 13 May 1903, first voyage chartered to the Dominion Line, Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal. May 1910, first of 2 roundtrip voyages chartered to the Allan Line, Glasgow - Quebec - Montreal. May 1911, last voyage for the Dominion Line, Liverpool - Quebec - Montreal (arrived 31 May). 1911, scrapped.
Source: Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 2 (1978), pp. 811, 854; vol. 3 (1979), pp. 926-927 (photograph), 943. The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, also holds the records of Wm Denny & Bros, which include the original plans for the SOUTHWARK.
[26 Oct 1999]