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Collision between the Thingvalla and the Geiser - newspaper excerpts

- NEW YORK TIMES. August 17, 1888

Excerpts from an article from the NEW YORK TIMES. It is dated Friday, August 17, 1888, page 2, column 3. [Transcribed and contributed by Jeanne Nelson who had family traveling on the ships from Denmark]

"The Geiser made her maiden trip to this port in February, 1883. She was built of iron in Burmeister and Wain's shipyard at Copenhagen, and cost in the neighborhood of $300,000. Her net register was 1,000 tons. Her dimensions were: length, 313 feet; breadth of beam, 40 feet, and depth of hold, 30 feet. Her compound engines were of 2,000 indicated horse power. She was provided with steam winches and about 20 other of the most modern appliances. Her hull was constructed of the best iron and was divided into five water-tight compartments. The accommodations in the cabin were limited, yet between decks there was room for fully 700 persons. There were three hospitals aboard, with bunks for forty patients. On deck she carried eight large lifeboats. The main deck was broad and particularly fitted for promenading, being guarded by high railings. The officer's quarters were on the lower deck amidships, and the forecastle was forward on the main deck. The steamer was barkentine rigged and was said to be easily able to make 12 knots an hour. She carried a crew of 59 men and was commanded by Capt. Carl W. Mller. She left this port Aug. 11 for Copenhagen, carrying 107 passengers."

"The Thingvalla is a sister ship to the Geiser and is run by the Thingvalla Line, which plies between New-York and Christiania, Copenhagen and Stettin. The Thingvalla resisters 1,745 tons and was built in Copenhagen in 1874. Her dimensions are: Length, 299 feet; breadth of beam, 37 feet, and depth of hold, 27 feet. She has two compound direct acting cylinder engines. She has three decks, and is built of iron. She is commanded by Capt. S. Lamb, and left Stettin July 26 and Copenhagen Aug. 1 for New York."

"The Geiser carried as cargo for Christiania 751 tubs of lard, 225 barrels of beef, 1,429 sacks of flour, and 76 tubs of butter. For Copenhagen she had 650 tierces of lard, 125 barrels of beef, 177 tubs of butter, 47 hogsheads of tobacco, and 42,068 bushels of corn. For Stettin she carried 300 tierces of lard, 300 half barrels of lard, 50 tierces of grease, 500 boxes of timothy seed, and 81 barrels of bungs."

"The personal loss of the passengers on board the Geiser was in many cases very severe, all of them losing everything that they had with them. When the personal loss is added to the total loss of vessel and cargo, the accident at once appears to be one of the most costly ones. The vessel and machinery were worth at least 15,000 or about $220,000; the cargo was worth about 25,000, about $120,000; the personal baggage and effects of the officers, crew, and passengers, lost and surviving, 136 adults and 21 children, may be estimated to have been about $10,000. This is purely an estimate, and in reality there was probably a higher average per capita than this would make. The total loss thus figured would amount to $380,000. In the case of the passenger and crew who were saved this was in many cases a loss of every dollar's worth of worldly goods."

Other Related Articles :

• S/S Geiser
Ship history
• The Thingvalla Line
Company history

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