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Are all amongst the largest, fastest, and most comfortable Ocean Passenger Steamers in the world. They are built with especial regard to strength, and fitted with watertight and fireproof compartments. They have long been admired for their beautiful model, great power, and excellent sea-going qualities; and have the highest reputation for speed, comfort, and regularity, their passages being amongst the shortest on record. The CABIN accommodation is of the highest order, every consideration being paid to the care and comfort of Passengers. The Saloons are large, fitted with revolving arm chairs, luxuriously furnished, especially well lighted and ventilated, and take up the whole width of the vessel amidships. The principal Staterooms are amidships, where least noise and motion is felt, and all are particularly light and airy, are fitted with electric bells, have water laid on, and every requisite to add to the comfort of an ocean passage. Ladies' sitting and retiring rooms, gentlemen's smoking room, pianos, libraries, bathrooms, barber's shop, &c., provided. Special attention has been paid to the sanitary arrangements. The cuisine has always been a speciality of this Line. STEERAGE PASSENGERS will find their comfort and convenience carefully studied in every respect. They are carried upon the same deck as the cabin passengers, the sleeping rooms being enclosed, containing a limited number in each, are well lighted, warmed, and thoroughly ventilated throughout. Ample space is provided for partaking of meals and promenading. The bill of fare includes all abundant supply of cooked provisions, served out by the Company's stewards

(This is the text on the reverse of the advertising card seen upper left)
The Inman Line commenced their transatlantic operations in 1850. The company was founded as the "Liverpool & Philadelphia Steamship Company" by the Richardson Brothers & Co, with William Inman as a partial owner. After a few years, in 1854, William Inman took the sole ownership of the line. The first opening of the line took place between Liverpool and Philadelphia, carrying in the beginning none but first-class cabin passengers, but the vessels were soon after changed in their interior arrangements to permit the accommodation of emigrant passengers. After a few years of service, in 1857, the port of New-York was decided upon as the Western terminus of the route. In the winter of 1856-7 the Delaware River was frozen over, and a vessel of the line seeking a harbor put into New-York. This accident, it is said, led to the establishment of the office in New York. The official name of the line was then changed to the "Liverpool, New-York and Philadelphia Steam-ship Company", however, it was commonly known as the "Inman Line". It was not before in 1875, the official name of company was changed to "Inman Steamship Company Ltd". The representative in New York was John G. Dale, who was born in Lancashire, England, in 1830. He represented the line till his death in 1883. He was followed by a Mr. Smith.

The Inman Line was the first to perceive the important fact that there existed among the great multitudes of emigrants from the European countries a certain class, known in Europe as "the middle classes", and that a new field could be at once gained by providing a better style of cheap passage for that class. Acting upon this obvious view of the actual wants of the better classes of emigrants. Inman had a great and special attention to the successful carrying of emigrant passengers, affording at the same time a quick passage at low rates. The Inman Line also seams to have been the first steamship line to introduce the feature of letting people in the U.S. forward pre paid tickets to friends and family in Europe. In 1865 the rates of passage bought in America was for first-class cabin, $105; second, $85, and third, $75, Steerage, $30. The first transatlantic liner owned by the line was the S/S City of Glasgow, and she was soon followed by the S/S City of Manchester, launched in 1851. The ships were equipped to carry 400 steerage passengers, and entered on the route between Liverpool and New York. They were among the first screw steamers to cross the Atlantic, and the first steamships fitted specially to carry emigrant passengers

The owner of the company, William Inman was born in England 1825 and died in his home in Cheshire in July 1881, just after the launching of the S/S City of Rome. Inman was thus spared the disappointment regarding the low performance of the ship, which was returned to her builders after only 6 round voyages for the company. In 1883 there were rumors that the company was about to be sold, after having suffered a number of losses, the company's pier having burned, the City of Brussels having just been run down, and the City of Berlin having a serious accident to her machinery. In 1886 the company ran into financial difficulties, and was acquired by the International Navigation Co. Ltd, owners of the Red Star Line and the American Line. The name was then changed to "the Inman and International Steamship Co".

When the mass emigration started after the end of the American Civil War, the Inman Line along with the other great transatlantic steamship companies competed in the lucrative trade of conveying large number of emigrants. They soon established extensive networks of agents in several European countries. In 1867 the Inman Line was represented by general agent H. Heitmann in Christiania (now Oslo). In 1869 the agency changed between 1869 Blickfeldt, Knoph & Co, Kristiania, Stolt, Swang & Co, Kristiania, and H. Heitmann, Kristiania. Between 1870 and 1881 the general agent was A. Conolly in Kristiania, and in Trondheim a head agent by the name of Carl Johnsen operated between 1872 and in to the beginning of the 1880s. In 1881 the general agency went to Halfdan Andersen on Kristiania, who represented the line only for two years. In 1883 Ferdinand J. Elster represented the line, and from 1884 and to the line was discontinued in 1894 the Kristiania representative was Harald Helgesen. In Trondhjem the head agent from 1886 to 1893 was Christoffer Franck. They were all very active in announcing the services of the line in the newspapers and by posters. In all the surrounding small places sub agents worked under the permission of the head agents.

The Inman Line had no direct service from Norway, so the Norwegian emigrants who chose to travel on the Inman Line ships had to go via England. This was also the case for emigrants from other contries like Sweden and Denmark. The commonly used route for norwegians and Swedes was by the Wilson Line ships from ports in Norway and Sweden to Hull on the east coast of England. From Hull they had to cross over to Liverpool on the vest coast by train to board the transatlantic steamer.

newspaper announcement by the Inman LineNewspaper announcement by the Inman Line general agent in Norway H. Heitmann, printed in Hamar Stiftstidende, April 9th 1869. "To America in 14 days, Inman's Royal Mail steamers from Liverpool". The announcement gives dates of departure from Kristiania, arrival to Hull, departure from Liverpool and arrival to New York. It also lists the the names of the feeder ships to England. They all were owned by the Wilson Line of Hull.
Departure from ChristianiaArrival HullDeparture LiverpoolArrival New-York
SteamshipDateTimeDateSteamship & DateDate
Oder19th March3pmMon. 22nd Mar.City of London, 24th MarchSat. 3rd April
Argo26th March3pmMon. 29th Mar.City of Brooklyn, 31st MarchSat. 10th April
Oder2nd April5pmMon. 5th AprilCity of Baltimore, 7th AprilSat. 17th April
Argo9th April5pmMon. 12th AprilCity of Paris, 14th AprilSat. 24th April
Oder16th April5pmMon. 19th AprilCity of Antwerp, 21st AprilSat. 1st May
Argo23rd April5pmMon. 26th AprilCity of London, 28th AprilSat. 8th May
Oder30th April5pmMon. 3rd. MayCity of Brooklyn, 5th MaySat. 15th May
Argo7th May5pmMon. 10th MayCity of Baltimore, 12th MaySat. 22nd May
"and so on from Kristiania (now Oslo) every Friday the rest of the year. The prices are the same as at any other respectable company right now. To New-York 33 Spesidaler and 90 Skilling. Norwegian service and free food the whole way to New-York. The arrival fee is not included. No extra fee for luggage."

Inman Line picture gallery

S/S City of Washington - Norwegian emigrants shipwrecked in 1873


Fleet list:
 TypeName of ship  SortYear Built   SortConstruction Shipyard   SortTonnage (burthen)   Sort
  S/SBaltic (1)1870 Harland & Wolff 3 707 gross 
  S/SBritish Queen1880 Harland & Wolff 3 558 gross 
  S/SCity of Antwerp1866 Tod & McGregor 2 391 gross 
  S/SCity of Baltimore1855 Tod & McGregor 2 368 gross 
  S/SCity of Berlin1874 Caird & Co. 5 491 gross 
  S/SCity of Boston1864 Tod & McGregor 2 278 gross 
  S/SCity of Bristol1854 Caird & Co. 2 655 gross 
  S/SCity of Brooklyn1868 Tod & McGregor 2 911 gross 
  S/SCity of Brussels1869 Tod & McGregor 3 081 gross 
  S/SCity of Chester1873 Caird & Co. 4 566 gross 
  S/SCity of Chicago1883 Charles Connell & Co. 5 202 gross 
  S/SCity of Cork1862 William Denny & Co. 1 547 gross 
  S/SCity of Dublin1864 Smith & Rodger 2 138 gross 
  S/SCity of Durham1865 James Laing & Co. 697 gross 
  S/SCity of Glasgow1850 Tod & McGregor 1 610 gross 
  S/SCity of Halifax1868 Watson & Co 681 gross 
  S/SCity of Limerick1855 Smith & Rodger 2 536 gross 
  S/SCity of London1863 Tod & McGregor 2 560 gross 
  S/SCity of Manchester1851 Tod & McGregor 2 109 gross 
  S/SCity of Montreal1871 Tod & McGregor 4 451 gross 
  S/SCity of New York (1)1861 Tod & McGregor 2 360 gross 
  S/SCity of New York (2)1865 Tod & McGregor 2 642 gross 
  S/SCity of New York (3)1888 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 10 499 gross 
  S/SCity of Paris (1)1865 Tod & McGregor 2 556 gross 
  S/SCity of Paris (2)1888 J. & G. Thomson & Co. 10 499 gross 
  S/SCity of Philadelphia1854 Tod & McGregor 2 168 gross 
  S/SCity of Pittsburg1851  1 875 gross 
  S/SCity of Richmond1873 Tod & McGregor 4 607 gross 
  S/SCity of Rome1881 Barrow Shipbuilding Co. 8 415 gross 
  S/SCity of Washington1855 Tod & McGregor 2 380 gross 
  S/SEdinburgh1855 Tod & McGregor 2 197 gross 
  S/SEtna1854 Caird & Co. 2 215 gross 
  S/SGlasgow1851 Tod & McGregor 1 962 gross 
  S/SIllinois1873 W. Cramp & Sons 3 104 gross 
  S/SKangaroo1853 Hill & Co 1 874 gross 
  S/SNemesis1857 Tod & McGregor 2 717 gross 
  S/SOhio1872 W. Cramp & Sons 3 392 gross 
  S/SVigo1855 John Laird 1 953 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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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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