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SS Servia

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SS Servia

History
Name: SS Servia
Owner: Cunard Line
Operator: Cunard Line
Port of registry:  United Kingdom, Liverpool
Route: Liverpool – New York
Builder: J & G Thomson
Cost: £256,903
Yard number: 179
Launched: 1 March 1881
Maiden voyage: November 26, 1881
Homeport: Liverpool
Fate: Broken up in 1902
General characteristics
Type: Ocean liner
Tonnage:
Documentation
Length: 515 ft (157 m)
Beam: 52.1 ft (15.9 m)
Draft: 40.75 ft (12.42 m)
Decks: 5
Installed power: 10,300 ihp
Propulsion: Single Screw
Sail plan: Barque-rigged
Speed: 16.7 kn (best average)
Capacity: 480 1st class, 750 steerage
Crew: 298

SS Servia, also known as RMS Servia, was a successful transatlantic passenger and mail steamer of revolutionary design, built by J & G Thomson of Clydebank (later John Brown & Company) and launched in 1881. She was the first large ocean liner to be built of steel instead of iron, and the first Cunard ship to have an electric lighting installation. For these and other reasons, maritime historians often consider Servia to be the first "modern" ocean liner.

Background

RMS Servia Underway

In 1878, Cunard. This capitalisation allowed it to use shareholder money to build larger, more expensive ships. A new policy to this end was put into effect by Cunard's new chairman, John Burns, and announced in the London Times.[1]:235

Launched on 1 March 1881, Servia was the first of Cunard's new breed of ocean liners. She was the second largest ship in the world at 515 feet long and 52.1 feet wide,[2] surpassed only by Brunel's SS Great Eastern. With her design and construction guided by admirality specifications, Servia had many features that satisfied the requirements for her to be placed high on the admiralty's reserve list of the armed auxiliary cruisers,[3]:xxiv where she could be called into service in times of war.

Power Plant

Servia’s engine was similar to the one installed on the Guion Line’s crack passenger liner SS Alaska of 1881.[2]:70 It was a triple-crank compound steam engine with one 72 in high pressure cylinder, and two 100 in low pressure cylinders, and a stroke of 6.5 ft (2.0 m). The steam was supplied at 90 lbf by seven Scotch boilers, each of which were 18 ft (5.5 m) in diameter and contained six furnaces. Six of these boilers were double-ended, while the seventh was single-ended and contained three furnaces. The power developed was 10,300 ihp, driving a single four-bladed screw. Servia's maximum recorded speed during her trials was 17.85 knots, and her average speed during a crossing was around 16 knots. Although Servia did not achieve any speed records, she was a competitive liner that performed well, and in 1884 she managed to make a crossing in less than seven days, averaging at 16.7 knots.[3]:xxiv

Notable features

Servia differed from earlier Atlantic liners in a number of significant ways, but most notably, she was the first liner to specialise in passenger transportation, due to her cargo space being sacrificed for her large power-plant. This sacrifice was viable because at that time, tramp steamers had taken over much of the freight across the Atlantic, while the demand for passenger transportation had increased.[1] Because of her passenger specialisation, Servia is considered to be first liner of what became known as the Express Transatlantic Service.[4]:41 Servia also had a number of innovative technical features which are noteworthy in the history of ocean-going liners. The following list is a summary of those features:

Construction and design

Servia was the first major ocean liner to be built of steel, which gave her large hull the advantage of additional strength while at the same time making her lighter. She was also the first liner to re-introduce the cellular double-bottom design which Brunel had invented 20 years earlier for the Great Eastern.[1] The double-bottom was 4' 8" deep, and could be flooded with 800 tons of water ballast. Because Servia was built to admirality specifications, she incorporated several safety features, the most notable being the sub-division of her hull into 12 transverse water-tight compartments, fitted with water-tight doors. She could remain afloat with any two of these compartments flooded. The water-tight doors between the boiler and engine room were fail-safe and could be closed from any deck.[3]:xxiv

Electric lighting

Servia was the first Cunarder to introduce electric lighting, using Edison's recently invented incandescent lamp, which had been proven successful on ship usage by its first commercial installation on board the American passenger liner Columbia.[5] The lamps were installed in the public rooms and engineering spaces. (A small but practical electric lighting installation had been made on the smaller Inman liner SS City of Berlin a year so earlier.[4]:xxiv ) Servia was also fitted with a new type of compass and deep-sea sounding device.[3]:xxiv

Passenger accommodation

Servia had public rooms of a scale and luxury greater than previously known.[2]:70 Of the three decks, the upper deck consisted of deck-houses that included a first-class smoking room, and a luxuriously fitted ladies drawing room and a music room. The entrance and grand staircase was the largest that had ever appeared on a liner,[3]:xxiv and was panelled in polished maple and ash. It led down to the a landing on the main deck which featured a library. Twenty-four first-class state-rooms were situated aft of this landing, while the first-class dining salon was situated forward. The dining salon could sit 220 of Servia's 480 first-class passengers on five long tables, and was richly decorated with carved panels and carpets. In the centre was an open well that rose 17 ft to a skylight. Forward of the dining salon were a further 58 staterooms, followed by crew accommodation areas.

On the lower deck was a servants dining room and a further 82 first-class staterooms. The forward section of this deck was reserved for 730 steerage passengers. This section was a large area of about 150 feet long, and included a dining area. The berths were grouped into separate male and female areas.[3]:xxiv

Fate

With the appearance of the crack Cunard liners RMS Campania and RMS Lucania in 1893, Servia was relegated to intermediate service. She was later used to transport troops to South Africa[2]:70 during the Boer war. She was broken up in 1902.

Trivia

Writers Jane Addams and Henry James both sailed on a crossing aboard Servia in August 1883, though it does not appear they met.[6]

References


-- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -- Module:Hatnote -- -- -- -- This module produces hatnote links and links to related articles. It -- -- implements the and meta-templates and includes -- -- helper functions for other Lua hatnote modules. --


local libraryUtil = require('libraryUtil') local checkType = libraryUtil.checkType local mArguments -- lazily initialise Module:Arguments local yesno -- lazily initialise Module:Yesno

local p = {}


-- Helper functions


local function getArgs(frame) -- Fetches the arguments from the parent frame. Whitespace is trimmed and -- blanks are removed. mArguments = require('Module:Arguments') return mArguments.getArgs(frame, {parentOnly = true}) end

local function removeInitialColon(s) -- Removes the initial colon from a string, if present. return s:match('^:?(.*)') end

function p.findNamespaceId(link, removeColon) -- Finds the namespace id (namespace number) of a link or a pagename. This -- function will not work if the link is enclosed in double brackets. Colons -- are trimmed from the start of the link by default. To skip colon -- trimming, set the removeColon parameter to true. checkType('findNamespaceId', 1, link, 'string') checkType('findNamespaceId', 2, removeColon, 'boolean', true) if removeColon ~= false then link = removeInitialColon(link) end local namespace = link:match('^(.-):') if namespace then local nsTable = mw.site.namespaces[namespace] if nsTable then return nsTable.id end end return 0 end

function p.formatPages(...) -- Formats a list of pages using formatLink and returns it as an array. Nil -- values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local ret = {} for i, page in ipairs(pages) do ret[i] = p._formatLink(page) end return ret end

function p.formatPageTables(...) -- Takes a list of page/display tables and returns it as a list of -- formatted links. Nil values are not allowed. local pages = {...} local links = {} for i, t in ipairs(pages) do checkType('formatPageTables', i, t, 'table') local link = t[1] local display = t[2] links[i] = p._formatLink(link, display) end return links end

function p.makeWikitextError(msg, helpLink, addTrackingCategory) -- Formats an error message to be returned to wikitext. If -- addTrackingCategory is not false after being returned from -- Module:Yesno, and if we are not on a talk page, a tracking category -- is added. checkType('makeWikitextError', 1, msg, 'string') checkType('makeWikitextError', 2, helpLink, 'string', true) yesno = require('Module:Yesno') local title = mw.title.getCurrentTitle() -- Make the help link text. local helpText if helpLink then helpText = ' (help)' else helpText = end -- Make the category text. local category if not title.isTalkPage and yesno(addTrackingCategory) ~= false then category = 'Hatnote templates with errors' category = string.format( '%s:%s', mw.site.namespaces[14].name, category ) else category = end return string.format( '%s', msg, helpText, category ) end


-- Format link -- -- Makes a wikilink from the given link and display values. Links are escaped -- with colons if necessary, and links to sections are detected and displayed -- with " § " as a separator rather than the standard MediaWiki "#". Used in -- the template.


function p.formatLink(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local link = args[1] local display = args[2] if not link then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no link specified', 'Template:Format hatnote link#Errors', args.category ) end return p._formatLink(link, display) end

function p._formatLink(link, display) -- Find whether we need to use the colon trick or not. We need to use the -- colon trick for categories and files, as otherwise category links -- categorise the page and file links display the file. checkType('_formatLink', 1, link, 'string') checkType('_formatLink', 2, display, 'string', true) link = removeInitialColon(link) local namespace = p.findNamespaceId(link, false) local colon if namespace == 6 or namespace == 14 then colon = ':' else colon = end -- Find whether a faux display value has been added with the | magic -- word. if not display then local prePipe, postPipe = link:match('^(.-)|(.*)$') link = prePipe or link display = postPipe end -- Find the display value. if not display then local page, section = link:match('^(.-)#(.*)$') if page then display = page .. ' § ' .. section end end -- Assemble the link. if display then return string.format('%s', colon, link, display) else return string.format('%s%s', colon, link) end end


-- Hatnote -- -- Produces standard hatnote text. Implements the template.


function p.hatnote(frame) local args = getArgs(frame) local s = args[1] local options = {} if not s then return p.makeWikitextError( 'no text specified', 'Template:Hatnote#Errors', args.category ) end options.extraclasses = args.extraclasses options.selfref = args.selfref return p._hatnote(s, options) end

function p._hatnote(s, options) checkType('_hatnote', 1, s, 'string') checkType('_hatnote', 2, options, 'table', true) local classes = {'hatnote'} local extraclasses = options.extraclasses local selfref = options.selfref if type(extraclasses) == 'string' then classes[#classes + 1] = extraclasses end if selfref then classes[#classes + 1] = 'selfref' end return string.format( '
%s
', table.concat(classes, ' '), s )

end

return p
  1. ^ a b c
  2. ^ a b c d
  3. ^ a b c d e f
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^ Jehl, Francis Menlo Park reminiscences : written in Edison's restored Menlo Park laboratory, Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, Whitefish, Mass, Kessinger Publishing, 1 July 2002, page 564
  6. ^

External links

  • , Cunard LineServiaNorway Heritage: SS
  • Servia on Chris' Cunard Page http://www.chriscunard.com/servia.php
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