Friday, 13 July 2012

Jefferson - Seattle

Lowry refers to a US ship in his first novel Ultramarine when Dana Hilliot is walking around the wharves of Dairen; "A second receding stern loomed up before us. Jefferson - Seattle."  An obscene monster, with ashes pouring out of her side." (Pg. 84) and "They were American. Passengers? Yes, obviously - off the Jefferson.(Pg. 110).

Lowry is possibly referring to the Jefferson Myers. A cargo steamer built 1920 7582 grt. Built by Bethlehem Shipbuilding Corp. Ltd. (Bethlehem Steel.Named SS Hannawa owned by US Government 1920-1928. According to Wreck Ships site sold to States Steamship Co. (States Line), San Francisco. Jordan has ship owned by Pacific Atlantic Ship Company in 1939 based in Portland Oregon. Foundered 22/11/1957. By coincidence there was a Jefferson built for Alaska Steamship Company in 1904 by E. W. Heath, Tacoma. Scrapped in Seattle in 1925.

However, Lowry may have noted the name of an Eastern Steamship Company ship while on his 1928 trip to America as the ship is mentioned in the company's brochure for that year and fits the description of having passengers on page 110:

Eleven Coastwise Services - Boston-New York Boston-Bangor Boston-Portland Boston-St. John,N.B. New York-Yarmouth New York-Portland New York-Richmond New York-Norfolk, From July 1928; includes rates and deck plans of Boston/New York, Belfast/Camden, Governor Dingley, Prince Arthur, Evangeline, North Land, George Washington, Hamilton/Jefferson, Yarmouth and Prince George

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