Thursday, November 27, 2014

Allan Line Steamship Company, Ltd.

The Allan Shipping line was started in 1819 by Capt. Alexander Allan and traded between Scotland and Montreal. By the 1830s the company had offices in Glasgow, Liverpool, and Montreal. Capt. Allan's son, Sir Hugh Allan, had taken over the business by 1854. He was able to take control of the Royal Mail contract between Britain and America from Cunard. By the 1880s, the Allan Line was the largest privately owned shipping concern in the world.

S/S Lake Erie in the Clyde river; courtesy of the Clyde-built Ships Database

In 1897 the company became the Allan Line Steamship Company, Ltd., of Glasgow and opened offices in Boston and London. In 1918 the company was purchased by Canadian Pacific Steamships and by 1919 the Allan name had disappeared from the ocean waves.

Early 1900s postcard of the S/S Grampian; image courtesy of Gjenvick-
Gjonvik Archives

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