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S/S Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania, 1873
first steamer if the line
St Louis
St. Louis, 1894
St Paul
St Paul, 1895
American Line
The first general agents in Norway was A. Sharpe - Kybring in Kristinia, authorized in 1873. The authorization was to convey emigrants by steamship via Hull and Liverpool to Philadelphia and from there to the final destinations in America. In Trondheim the line was represented by agent Christoffer Franck, (an artillery staff sergeant) from 1875.
The American Line was formed as the American Steamship Company in 1872. The main interests behind the company was Clement A. Griscom and the Pennsylvania Railroad Company. The 4 first iron screw steamers built for the company were the Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Pennsylvania, all alike, built and engined by Cramp Shipbuilding Company. Each ship being 343 feet long, 43 feet broad, 34 feet deep, brig rigged, with vertical two-crank compound engines having cylinders 57 and 90 inches in diameter, 4 feet stroke, boiler pressure 60 pounds to the square inch. Their first route was opened in 1873 between Liverpool - Queenstown - Philadelphia. The service was inaugurated by the Pennsylvania in May, 1873. The Liverpool service was discontinued in 1884

In 1884 the American Line was bought by the International Navigation Company of Philadelphia, owners of the Red Star Line. The American line was in some respect merged with the Red Star Line, but was still continued under the American Line name and the old American Line steamers still remained under US flag. As the International Navigation Company gradually expanded the fleet, the new ships were built in England and flew either the English or Belgian flag, as being cheaper to operate. The Red Star line service was running between Antwerp, New York and Philadelphia, In 1886 the International Company also bought the Inman Line, running between New York and Liverpool. Ships originally owned and operated by the different lines appears to have been shifted around to operate where they were needed.

American Line Docks

In 1893 a new American Line service was begun to Southampton. The same year the management acquired Pier 14, the largest Steamship Pier in New York for the American Line service. The new pier was fitted with a second story so that passengers and their baggage were kept entirely separated from the handling of freight and movement of trucks and carriages when embarking or landing in New York. This pier was situated at the foot of Vesey and Fulton street, adjoining the Cortlandt street Ferry of the Pennsylvania Railroad, and was close to the ferry terminus of the Baltimore & Ohio ; New Jersey Central ; Philadelphia & Reading; Erie ; Delaware, Lackawana & Western; New York, Ontario & Western ; and West Shore Railroads ; also, the Fall River & Stonington Lines, to New England points.

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Fleet list:
 TypeName of ship  SortYear Built   SortConstruction Shipyard   SortTonnage (burthen)   Sort
  S/SAbbotsford1873 Gourlay & Co. 2554 gross 
  S/SBelgenland1878 Barrow Shipbuilding Co. 3692 gross 
  S/SBerlin1874 Caird & Co. 5526 gross 
  S/SBlack Arrow1909 Bremer Vulcan 6600 gross 
  S/SBritish Crown1879 Harland & Wolff 3563 gross 
  S/SBritish Empire1878 Harland & Wolff 3361 gross 
  S/SBritish King1881 Harland & Wolff 3559 gross 
  S/SBritish Prince1882 Harland & Wolff 3871 gross 
  S/SBritish Princess1882 Harland & Wolff 3864 gross 
  S/SBritish Queen1880 Harland & Wolff 3558 gross 
  S/SCeltic1907 Harland & Wolff 21035 gross 
  S/SChartered ships1877    
  S/SChester1893 Caird & Co. 4791 gross 
  S/SCity of Bristol1854 Caird & Co. 2655 gross 
  S/SCity of Limerick1855 Smith & Rodger 2595 gross 
  S/SCity of New York1865 Tod & McGregor 3523 gross 
  S/SFinland1902 W. Cramp & Sons 12760 gross 
  S/SFriesland1889 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 7116 gross 
  S/SGermanic1874 Harland & Wolff 5071 gross 
  S/SHaverford1901 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11635 gross 
  S/SIllinois1873 W. Cramp & Sons 3104 gross 
  S/SIndiana1873 W. Cramp & Sons 3386 gross 
  S/SItalia1889 Armstrong, Mitchell & Co. 3564 gross 
  S/SKenilworth1872 Gourlay & Co. 2595 gross 
  S/SKensington1893 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 8669 gross 
  S/SLord Clive1871 R. & J. Evans & Co 3386 gross 
  S/SLord Gough1878 Laird Bros 3656 gross 
  S/SManchuria1904 New York Shipbuilding Corp. 13600 gross 
  S/SMerion1901 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11621 gross 
  S/SNew York1888 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 10499 gross 
  S/SNoordland1883 Laird Bros 5212 gross 
  S/SOhio1872 W. Cramp & Sons 3104 gross 
  S/SParis1888 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 10499 gross 
  S/SPennland1870 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 3428 gross 
  S/SPennsylvania1872 W. Cramp & Sons 3104 gross 
  S/SPhiladelphia1888 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 10786 gross 
  S/SRhynland1879 Barrow Shipbuilding Co. 3689 gross 
  S/SRussia1889 Laird Bros 3908 gross 
  S/SSarmatian1877 Robert Steele & Co. 3647 gross 
  S/SSicily1876 Laird Bros 1675 gross 
  S/SSouthwark1893 William Denny & Co. 8607 gross 
  S/SSt Louis1894 W. Cramp & Sons 11629 gross 
  S/SSt Paul1895 W. Cramp & Sons 11629 gross 
  S/SVaderland1900 John Brown & Co. Ltd. 11899 gross 
  S/SWaesland1867 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 4752 gross 
  S/SWesternland1883 Laird Bros 5736 gross 

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Some companies may have had additional ships in their fleets to those mentioned above. They might not have been included if the ships were not engaged in the conveyance of emigrants. Some ships mentioned in the fleet lists may have been chartered from other companies, see the ship's description and history for more details.

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Trond Austheim's database of emigrant ship arrivals around the world, 1870-1894.

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100 Years of Emigrant Ships from Norway - indexed by year 1825-1925
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Norwegian Emigrants 1825-1875 Pre 1875 Norwegian emigrants, passenger lists
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You can add images of ships and other related motives by using the "Upload Image" link within the appropriate category.
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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