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A Thingvalla Line promotional pamphlet 1887

Translation 2004 by Børge Solem - Courtesy of Ole Lyngklip

This booklet was issued by the Thingvalla Line in 1887, and gives an interesting insight in the progress of emigration. This is promotional pamphlet which was forwarded to potential travelers and emigrants. The booklet is written in Danish and Swedish, and is partly translated to English here. It gives a short introduction of the company, and it's fleet. It gives a short description of the conditions aboard the ships with details about the menu on the different classes. It has many details about the different matters an emigrant should be concerned with in connection with the purchase of tickets, the ocean travel, the arrival to Castle Garden and the inland voyage. There are also many interesting pictures.


(text page 1)

The Thingvalla Mail Steamship Company
The only direct steamship connection between Scandinavia and New York, Every 14th day with comfortable equipped for passengers, 1 classed, fast going mail steamers. Further information can be obtained from the Thingvalla Line's Passenger departments:
Copenhagen - Larsens Plads
Christiania - Prinsensgade 2
Gothenburg - Sillgatan
Malmo - Vid Hamnen No. 3
Stockholm - Brunnsgränd No. 3
New York - 21-24 State Street

(text page 2)

The Thingvalla Steamship Company's board:
C. F. Tietgen - foreman
C. D. A. Hansen -
C. Th. Koch -
F. Stange - Ship owner
J. Zøylner -

(picture page 3)

Page 3 has this engraving showing the s/s Geiser

(page 4 - 5)
Sailing shedules

(page 6)

Track chart

(text page 7)

The Steamship Company "Thingvalla" of Copenhagen was established in 1879. The intentions were to offer for Scandinavian emigrants un-expensive, comfortable, and in all ways safe voyages. The best guaranty for this is to be achieved, lies in the strictness and accuracy, with which the Department of Justice have put into the construction of the Regulations concerning the Police's control with the direct conveyance. With every ship travels an educated Scandinavian physician, which employment is approved by the Chief of Police. All supplies are inspected by governmental inspectors before the ships departure. The ships are examined by the Police physician before the departure, who also checks that the ship is carrying a sufficient supply of medicine. If needed medicine will be given to the passengers by the ship's physician without any charge. The conveyance is direct, so customs examination of luggage and lodging in foreign transit harbors, are avoided.

The Captains and officers are all Scandinavians, so the passengers can consult any of them without having to use an interpreter or be escorted by a guide, in all means.

(text page 8)

The Thingvalla Line is the only Steamship Line which gives the passengers guaranty checks for their luggage (see page 20). In the ships there are several hospitals where the passengers will receive treatment without any extra charge in the case of illness. At arrival to the landing stage in America, as in Scandinavia, the passengers are received by the company's own representatives, who are all Scandinavians. They will also assist with further conveyance of passengers who have tickets for the inland voyage. The fleet of the company, now consisting of 4 great and modern iron screw steamships, namely the Hekla, Geiser, Island and Thingvalla, whereof the first is built by Scott & Co in Greenock, and the others are built in Copenhagen by the famous shipbuilding Company of Burmeister & Wain. The ships are specially equipped for passenger transportation, and departs on a regular basis every 14th day from Copenhagen, Christiania, Christiansand and New York. The ships are constructed with several and divided watertight bulkheads to reduce the risk if colliding with other ships or in case of fire.

(page 9 - 10)

Cabin Plan and image of the 1st class on the S/S Hekla

(text page 11)

1st Cabin:
In every way comfortable and nicely equipped for the passengers
06.30-08.00 Morning: Tea or coffee with biscuits and bread
10.00 Breakfast: consisting of a rich buffet with two warm dishes
14.40 Dinner: consisting of 3 warm dishes, dessert, fruit and coffee
19.00 Supper: consisting of a buffet with one warm dish and tea.

There is a library to the benefit of the passengers, separate saloon for women, Smoking room, and bathroom. To the service of the passengers there are both male and female stewards.

2.nd cabin (Hekla & Thingvalla) and 3rd Cabin (Island & Geiser)
In consideration with the low prices they are comfortably equipped and the meals consists of:
06.00-07.00 Monrning: Tea or coffee with bread
08.00 Breakfast: Buffet with one warm dish
12.00 Dinner: 2 warm dishes
18.00 Supper: Buffet with tea

(text page 12)

The between deck (steerage)
Is divided into different departments for families, for unmarried males and for unmarried females. Order and cleanliness is provided by crew specially employed for the task. The food is fresh and rich, made of first class food supplies. It is handed out in such rich portions, so it should not be necessary for the passengers to bring any additional food supplies for the voyage to New York The food is served to the passengers by stewards, thus on other steamship lines the passengers usually have to pick up their food at the galley, which of course will be unpleasant in bad weather.

The meals consist of:
Breakfast: Coffee with sugar, bread or biscuits with butter
Dinner: Beef and soup with potatoes and bread. Fish, clipfish with souse and fruit soup, Lobescauce? and Rice soup, varying through the week days.
Evening: Tea with sugar, bread and butter

Everyone gets as much to eat as desired. To the male passengers who desires, it is served every morning one dram of liquor. There are also rich supplies of water. There are bakeries on the ships, where fresh bread is baked every day. The between deck (steerage) is high, light and spacey, and is heated in the cold part of the year. Mothers of infants will receive milk or vrilfood free of charge.

(text page 13)

As it has often occurred that other transatlantic steamship lines through their announcements have tried to draw Scandinavian's attention towards their direct tickets to and from Scandinavia, we would like to announce that for the time being, there is only one direct connection between Scandinavia and New York, namely that of the Thingvalla Steamship Company, so anyone who intends to go by this line must make sure that their ticket states that it is by the Thingvalla Line ships they will be conveyed.

When someone thinks they have reason to make a complaint, such must be communicated to the Captain or the Senior Officer on duty. If the complaint is of such a nature that it should be forwarded to the direction of the line, it can be registered in the protocol of complaints carried aboard the ships, which will be provided by the Captain upon request.

(text page 14 and 15)

Aboard the S. S. "Hekla", New-York, 5. Febr. 1886
We undersigned passengers on the S. S. "Hekla" which departed from Copenhagen January 20, 1886, feel after the voyage is ended the need to express our satisfaction with the treatment, crew and accommodation on board. The officers and crew did by their kindness and helpfulness reduce and ease the difficultness of a voyage, while most of us, the undersigned at earlier occasions have travelled on English and German steamship lines, we see it as our obligation towards our fellow countrymen to recommend the direct Thingvalla Line, on where all transfer of luggage and passengers is avoided and human treatment is provided. Finally we dear bring our recognition and thanks to Captain Thomsen for his friendliness and care, and for his intensive management as the master of the ship.
O. C. Petersen - Racine Wisc.
Kristian Nissen - Washington D. C.
Anna Oridi Iversen - Chicago
Elin G. Nilsson - New-York
Anna Cecilia Nilsson - New-York
Emil Toborg - Little Falls, N. Y. S.
Ole Christiansen - Trondhjem
F. R. Strøm - Utah
Caroline Hansen - Denver Col.
Rosalia Meyer - New-York
Peter Hansen - Black Hawk, Colorado
Jacob Eriksen - Drager

(page 16)

(text page 17 - 18)
Guide for the arrival to New York
At arrival the ships embed at the companies dock in Hoboken, where the passengers disembarks and the luggage is brought ashore. After disembarkation there will be customs inspection, to make this quick it is required that every passenger goes to get the luggage immediately after coming ashore, and when receiving the luggage must deliver the brass checker received for the luggage when boarded to the ship's official, then open the luggage and stay by it tills it has been inspected.

After the luggage has been inspected the passengers must see to it that they get one brass checker back for every piece of luggage delivered to the Castle Garden clerks which are on the dock.

Without the brass checker it will be very difficult to find the luggage in Caste Garden. (Castle Garden is the governmental bureau where all the passengers are registered)

The luggage will then be brought aboard on a steamboat which will bring the luggage to Castle Garden. Those of the passengers who intend to stay in New York can leave Castle Garden at any time after being registered, and come back for the luggage any time later with the brass checker. Passengers which have tickets also valid for the inland voyage by train, must get their travelling orders converted into railway tickets valid for the specific railway Company on which they are going to travel, before leaving Castle Garden, then go to the Castle Garden's luggage room to switch the brass checkers received on the ship to new checkers valid to the final destination, and then deliver the checkers when they get there to get the luggage. In Castle Garden the passengers can bunker food supplies sufficient for the railway voyage, which usually will take place in the evening on the day of arrival. If the contrary, those who wants to can stay the night in Castle Garden. The passengers are guided from Castle Garden to the railway station by the Thingvalla Line's Scandinavian clerks, who will assist the passengers in getting on the right train.

This tag was dredged from New York Harbor along with alot of civil war relics. The sand that was dredged was used to fill in some beaches around New York, the image was provided by Steve Feldman

(page 19)

Cabin plan, 1st class - S/S Geiser and S/S Island

(text page 20)

Guaranty for the luggage
The Thingvalla Steamship Company is the only steamship line in Scandinavia as in America, which gives the passengers a guaranty for their luggage. When checking in the luggage at the company storehouse the passenger is given a guaranty mark (Checker) which is actually a brass tag with a number and the name of the ship, a similar tag is attached to every piece of luggage, on arrival the passengers receives their luggage according to the numbers on his guaranty checkers.

It is therefore important to notice that the passengers must not give away their guaranty tags without receiving their luggage at the same time. The company does not give any guaranty for any luggage the passenger keeps with him during the voyage (that is luggage not kept in the holds), hereunder personal bags, bedding (used for the voyage) small suitcases or the like, which is possessions which the passengers must take responsibility for, and loss off such possessions the company be not responsible for under any circumstances. If some luggage is missing at arrival, and the passenger has a guaranty tag for it, he must immediately report to the company's office the content of the lost luggage and it's value - and give the accurate address of where he will be staying to the company, and will thence receive a receipt in return for the guaranty tag. The company will then make investigations to find the lost luggage, and if it is not

(text page 21)

found within 3 moths, the company will compensate for the value of the luggage, though limited up to the value of 200 Korner for each collie. Complaints concerning lost luggage must be forwarded on one of the company's offices within 8 days after the ship arrival, if not they will not be considered valid. Loss or damage caused by collision with another ship, or by other accidents, is not covered by the guaranty. Luggage must be received in the company stores at the latest 12 hours before the ship departs, it must be secured (preferable winded with rope) and marked with the passengers name and destination. Adult passengers can bring 20 cubic ft. of luggage free of charge. On the railway in America adults can bring 100 £ of luggage free of charge.

(page 22)

Palace Dining Car

(text page 23)

Railway tickets
Passengers going to America, as well as Scandinavians living in America, who is buying tickets for relatives, are advised to buy the railway ticket all the way to the final destination along with the steamship ticket, as they will then in general be conveyed inland on the same day as they arrive to New York, and in that way will avoid loosing time and spending money during a stay in New York. Also passengers will in general be able to proceed their voyage together with their acquaintances from the ship, which for women and children often will be of great convenience.

(text page 24)

Prepaid tickets
Prepaid tickets can be purchased in America by (immigrated) Scandinavians and may be sent back home to relatives, friends or acquaintances for their voyage to America, with the Thingvalla Line ships. Such tickets can be issued in the name of the buyer, or in the name of the specific traveller, and in the latter case only the named person will be able to use the ticket. Passengers who receives such a ticket must immediately upon receival, in person or in writing, make contact with one of the passenger offices in Scandinavia (see page 1) which will then without charging the passenger let him know on which ship he is booked. If the passenger wishes to travel at a certain time, this must be specified, and it will be arranges as long as there is still space available on the ship. Holders of prepaid tickets are strongly requested, if they intend to travel during springtime, to book their place on the ship as long time in advance as possible, and not leave their homes before they have received notice from the company regarding what ship and date they are to travel on.

(text page 25)

Tickets from America to Scandinavia
(Outward tickets)
Passengers travelling from the Western States to New York with the intention to proceed on the Thingvalla Line's ships to Europe, are advised not to swap their luggage checks on the train with the so called Express People to let them convey the luggage to the docks, but are advised to keep on to them and let the office in New York give information about how the luggage best can be brought to the ship, as in many cases the luggage has not made it to the dock before the ship has already departed.

Those who intends to go home to Europe in the summer months, May, June or July, or in the autumn months of October, November and first part of December, must secure their spaces in good time by sending the passenger fee to the office in New York, Chicago or St. Paul, where after the tickets will be mailed, if not, all the space might already be occupied at their arrival to New York.

Tour and return tickets are sold to considerably reduced prices. We will draw the Scandinavian Public's attention to the desirable "Excursions" whereto there are special arrangements with the railway companies in America.

(page 26)

(text page 27)

Bills of exchange
Will be issued by the Scandinavian passenger offices and on the company's office in New York, which issues bills of exchange on most of Scandinavian banks.

We specially draw to the extension

The Money Order system
These orders are issued in all places of Scandinavia, and are the most convenient way to send small amounts of money, as the money are brought to the home of the recipient by the mail without any cost. The buyer of a money order pays to the office in New York the amount, and gives the exact address of the recipient, where after he receives a receipt on the amount, a so called "Money Order Receipt" which the buyer keeps until the amount is delivered to the recipient in Europe. It should be obvious to everyone, that when buying a bill of exchange or a money order, the most important thing is to buy from a reliable firm. By addressing the company's head office in New York (21-24 State Street) this will be achieved. When you want to send money back home to relatives or friends, you should therefore send them to the Thingvalla Company Office in New York on the above address. Send the money by Express Mail, or as registered mail. Write clearly the name and address of the recipient of the money, and state if you want it sent as a bill of exchange or money order, you will then have the company's guaranty that the money will be correctly processed. The rates are always as low as in any first class bank.

(text page 29 - 30)

Cabin plan, 1st class, S/S Thingvalla and promotion for sending packages

(text page 31)

Package Expedition
The company conveys packages between Scandinavia and America in connection with Wells Fargo & Co. Express Company in New York to low price rates For further information address:

Thingvalla Steamship Company
Or to our freight agents:
Jens Meinich & Co - Christiania
F. Reinhardt & Co - Christiansand
Hans Friis - Malmö
And in America to our passenger offices.

More pages and pictures from this booklet in the gallery

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A selection of articles dedicated to help you in your genealogy search for your Norwegian ancestors. Transcripts and pictures of historic documents in connection with the ships and emigration. Also including articles about Pioneers & Norwegian Settlements Around the World
Articles about selected ships ships and special events in their history. Descriptions of some of the great maritime disasters involving emigrant ships, like the wrecking of the steamer Atlantic of the White Star Line, sinking of the ocean liner Empress of Ireland and the Thingvalla line steamer Norge disaster. Check this section if you have an interest in shipwrecks.
This section contains articles describing the transatlantic voyage, the condition of the steerage accommodations and the experience of an ocean travel on an emigrant ship. You will find in-depth studies concerning the emigration process, statistics and facts, and information about the immigration processing centers line Castle Garden and Ellis Island.
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