Author Topic: RMS Cambria  (Read 5893 times)

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Renee

  • Guest
RMS Cambria
« on: Apr 09, 2009, 06:46 PM »
Hello Everyone:

I am writing a novel in which a character travels on the RMS Cambria from Liverpool to Boston in 1847. I am looking for information on the Cambria and there is very little to be found. I am especially interested in the Second Class cabins, ship menus, interiors of the ship, etc. The particular voyage I am putting my character on also had Tom Thumb and PT Barnum as First Class passengers, which will be fun to write. I sure hope someone out there can help me! Thank you.

KEV

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #1 on: Apr 09, 2009, 11:38 PM »
What a great idea Renee

You got me looking and you've probably got this info already but it seemed fascinating to me so Ive posted the link to share the passenger list of a trip in 1850 I found :--

http://www.immigrantships.net/v3/1800v3/cambria18500502.html     

You could try the National Maritime museum Greenwich London and Mersey Maritime Museum Liverpool - they might have info on the ship/interiors etc and of course Cunard themselves might have an archive still or even the National Archives at Kew near London

http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/

http://www.nmm.ac.uk/           http://www.nmmimages.com/?service=page&action=show_page&name=contact-page&language=(for images not online)

http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/   nb they hold some passenger lists I believe

Hope this is of some use

Cheers and good luck
Kev




Renee

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #2 on: Apr 10, 2009, 01:41 AM »
Thank you, Kevin.

I will check out the sites you mentioned. I have also communicated with Chris at Cunard, who recommended this forum. I have also checked several books about the Cunard Line, but they don't have much about the Cambria. They have some information in their archives online but again, it doesn't include the Cambria, which I think was eclipsed by the faster ships that were built shortly after, using the screw propeller instead of the paddle. Thanks for your help.

Renee

KEV

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #3 on: Apr 10, 2009, 09:21 PM »
You're welcome Renee!
Keep us posted on your developments!

Offline Chris Frame

Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #4 on: Apr 11, 2009, 03:37 AM »
Glad to see you here Renee and glad it seems to have been useful so far :) Let us know when the novel comes out!

Renee

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #5 on: Apr 11, 2009, 01:49 PM »
Kev:

I checked out your suggestions but no luck so far. I did find info about a sailing barge named Cambria in several places but of course, it's not the same ship. I do have an email request into Cunard. Their online archives didn't have any info on Cambria. I will keep looking. Someone must know something about it! I may be able to find out some information by reading a biography of Tom Thumb. Something might be mentioned about the ships he traveled on.

Renee

KEV

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #6 on: Apr 11, 2009, 10:11 PM »
Hi Renee

It might be worth a phone call to Greenwich Maritime Museum Library/photo archive (or maybe you've already phoned?) They were very helpful once ( a few years ago mind you) in tracing details of a ship that wasn't on their web photo search. I guess the alternative is to go in personally as much depends on the individual archivist etc assigned to the query.
Good luck!

Offline Chris Frame

Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #7 on: Apr 13, 2009, 01:30 PM »
Hi Renee,

This doesn't offer any imagery but the Cunard USA website has this here http://www.cunard.com/AboutCunard/default.asp?Active=Heritage&Sub=GetShip

--

Cambria
1845 - 1875

    * Gross Tonnage - 1,423
    * Dimensions - 66.74 x 10.67m
    * Number of funnels - 1
    * Number of masts - 3
    * Construction - Wood
    * Propulsion - Paddle
    * Engines - Side lever, two
    * Service speed - 9 knots
    * Builder - Robert Steele & Son, Greenock ( engines Robert Napier, Glasgow )
    * Passenger accommdation - 120 1st Class


The four early steamers ( Britannia, Acadia, Caledonia and Columbia ) were soon reinforced by two others when it was found that increasing traffic demanded extension of the mail service. The Hibernia and Cambria were ships of increased dimensions, power and more extensive passenger and cargo capacity than their predecessors. When they were originally commissioned they were barque-rigged, but like the rest of the paddle-wheel steamers so built the third mast was soon done away with.

The Cambria was launched on 1 August 1844 and made its maiden voyage from Liverpool to Halifax and Boston on 4 January 1845. From 1848 onwards it began to alternate its destination between New York and Boston. In March 1854 it was requisitioned by the government to serve as a troop transport in the Crimean War. After this it resumed the Liverpool to Boston service.

In January 1860 it was sold to Garibaldi to be used as a troopship and in November that year it was taken over by the Sardinian Navy. It served the Italian Navy from March 1861 until it was scrapped in 1875.

Renee

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #8 on: Apr 14, 2009, 03:07 AM »
Thank you very much, Chris, for the information, and the website address.

So there were 120 First Class cabins. Any ideas about Second Class? I did discover somewhere that the First Class cabins were 12 by 8 feet and had two oil lamps. I wonder if I bought one of the picture books about the Cunard Line, and looked at the first 4 steamers that you mention, if that might give me an idea about the Cambria.

I will also write to Cunard and see if they can give me more information about the Cambria.

Kev, your suggestion about the Greenwich Museum is a good one. I am in the US right now but I plan to call and see what other information I can get. I want it to be as accurate as possible.

Am I right to think that the sound of the engines would have been fairly loud throughout the ship? The First Class cabins would have been the most quiet? Where on the ship would the First and Second class cabins been located?

Thanks for the help.

Renee

Renee

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #9 on: Apr 14, 2009, 03:29 AM »
I thought of another question for the experts here - is it the RMS Cambria or the SS Cambria? I seem to be running into both names in my research. Do both names refer to the same ship?

Renee

Offline Mauretania1907

Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #10 on: Apr 14, 2009, 09:12 AM »
I think she would have been RMS when new, as the paddle-steamers were the first Cunarders. After faster screw-propelled ships were built, she would have been downgraded to SS (Steamship) as the new faster ships would have carried the mails
The Cunard Story by Howard Johnson, pub 1987 by Whittet Books, London
ISBN 0-905483-57-X has some mention of Cambria and the other early ships (With a pix of Dicken's cabin in Britannia) might help you. Merchant Ships in Profile (Cunard) by Duncan Haws gives details, but no drawing, but also says that Cambria is similar to Hibernia, and Picture History of the Cunard Line by Frank Braynard also gives some early details. with drawing of Hibernia, so I suggest you include this ship in your searching, as she seems to be the better known of the two.

KEV

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #11 on: Apr 14, 2009, 04:12 PM »
Renee

If you get the chance and haven't  done so already visit Brunel's restored SS Great Britain in Dry Dock at Bristol. Not identical to Cambria obviously as she was the first Screw Propellor rather than a paddle but she is of almost identical age and to stand on board would saviour some of the atmosphere of the period

http://www.ssgreatbritain.org/BriefHistory.aspx

Online Isabelle Prondzynski

Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #12 on: Apr 16, 2009, 02:26 PM »
Perhaps I could also recommend John Langley as a contact. Here is his book about Samuel Cunard :

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Steam-Lion-Biography-Samuel-Cunard/dp/1883283507/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239888139&sr=8-1

He was a lecturer on QE2 in September 2009 and was introduced as "the Cunard Historian". Not only did he talk about Samuel Cunard himself, but also about the Carinthia and the Lusitania, as well as of course QE2.

Most appropriately, he lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia  :)

Renee

  • Guest
Re: RMS Cambria
« Reply #13 on: Apr 16, 2009, 07:33 PM »
Thank you, Kev and Isabelle for the additional suggestions. I have purchased the Frank Baynard book on the Cunard Line from Amazon and should receive it shortly. I will see what I can do to contact John Langley. I read the review of his book on Amazon and it sounds very interesting.

I have searched online for the photos of Dickens' cabin on Brittania but have been unable to find it. However, I have a description of it in the author's own words. Apparently it was quite small. Any thoughts on how much larger (if at all) the cabins on Cambria and Hibernia might have been? I also have found a great source for Cunard ship menus but the earliest is about 1910. I may have to use those if I can't find anything earlier. I have also read some diary entries of early travelers which have given me some tantalizing hints.

Thank you all very much for your help. Please keep the ideas coming!

 

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