What We Saved: Old-Time Ephemera from the Seaport Museum Archives - Independence Seaport Museum

The Golden Age of Ocean Liners

During the end of the nineteenth century, a steady flow of emmigrants from Europe to America and Canada drove the demand for bigger and faster ocean liners. Shipping companies responded to intense competition by not only building larger ships, but by making them more elegant and extravagant than any ships ever before. This new class of ocean liner featured mahogany-paneled saloons and crystal ballrooms, stained glass windows and haute cuisine, even Turkish baths, at least for the first class passengers.

Red Star Line promotional brochure

Promotional Brochure

"Vacations in Europe, American Line, 1910 Philadelphia Queenstown Liverpool Service, Red Star Line"

The Red Star line was founded in 1871 as the Belgian branch of the American Line shipping company. Red Star Line ships steamed from Antwerp, Belgium to Philadelphia, with ships from their sister line, the American Line, making the trip from Philadelphia to Antwerp.

Antwerp Guide Book

Guide Book

Antwerp, Belgium
Published in English
Distributed by Hotel St. Antoine, Antwerp


American and Red Star Lines promotional brochure

Promotional Brochure

American and Red Star Lines


Passenger list pamphlet, United States Mail Steamer "St. Paul"

Passenger List Pamphlet

'List of Second Cabin Passengers. United States Mail Steamer "St. Paul," From Southampton for New York, Saturday, May 30th, 1896.'
American Line

Founded in 1871 in Philadelphia, the American Line generally operated between the United States ports of Philadelphia and New York City, and the British ports of Southampton and Liverpool. Her sister line, the Red Star Line, ran between Antwerp, Belgium and Philadelphia. Philadelphia shipyard William Cramp and Sons built most ships of the American Line.

Passenger list pamphlet, Steamship "Indiana"

Passenger List Pamphlet

'List of Cabin Passengers per Steamship "Indiana," From Philadelphia, June 20th, 1878.'
American Line

Menu, Mail Steamer "Pretoria"

Menu Card

Mail Steamer "Pretoria"
Hamburg-American Line
March 29, 1903


Menu, French Steamer "Laos"

Menu Card

French Steamer "Laos"
Messageries Maritimes Line


Passenger list pamphlet, Steamship "Friesland"

Passenger List Pamphlet

'American Line, Passengers by the Steamship "Friesland" Sailing from Philadelphia, August 29, 1903, at 2:00 p.m.'


The Golden Age of Ocean Liners

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