Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,390 pages of information and 211,458 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Ismay Imrie and Co

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1869 T. H. Ismay, in partnership with an old friend and fellow-apprentice, William Imrie, formed Ismay Imrie and Co to bring together their two companies. It became a subsidiary of Ismay's Oceanic Steam Navigation Co which had been backed by Gustavus Schwabe, a Liverpool merchant, on condition that all their ships would be ordered from Harland and Wolff (Schwabe's nephew, Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, had recently joined with Edward James Harland in the shipbuilding business in Belfast).

1871 Ismay had previously acquired the White Star Line. They began running their steamers regularly between Liverpool and New York on the north Atlantic passenger trade.

The White Star liners were highly innovative in design, rivalling that of Cunard Line for safety, comfort, and speed

1873 The Atlantic was lost off the Nova Scotia coast.

1878 Ismay placed his firm's steamers at the disposal of the Admiralty as transports or cruisers in the light of threats from the Russian fleet.

1888 He proposed building merchant vessels with government subsidy to be available to the Admiralty. This resulted in the building of two magnificent liners, one of which, the Teutonic, was sent to take part in the diamond jubilee naval review at Spithead.

By 1891 Ismay, Lurie and Co were managing the White Star Line

1892 Ismay retired from Ismay, Imrie & Co. but retained the chairmanship of the White Star Company, whose fleet then consisted of eighteen steamers, of an aggregate of 99,000 tons, which by 1899 was increased to 164,000.


See Also

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Sources of Information

  • Biography of T H Ismay [1]