On This Day

13 June

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1896 P&O liner China


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The 7,899-ton passenger ship China (Yard No. 299) was launched this afternoon from the northern end of the yard for the Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co. Ltd., London.

The owners were represented at the lauch by Mr Taylor and Mr Petticrew. China was the fifth steamer built on Queen's Island for P&O and was 500 feet in length by 64 feet in beam. She was fitted with two pole masts and schooner rigged. Her single screw was driven by a triple-expansion engine developing 7,500 indicated horse-power and also constructed by the builders at their engine works next to the Abercorn Basin.

The captain's and officers' cabins, the chartroom and wheelhouse were on the boat deck and the accommodation for 308 1st and 156  2nd Class passengers were accommodated on the hurricane, spar, poop, main and lower decks.

The vessel was fitted up as a s first-class mail and passenger steamer and also had a full installation of electric light, refrigerating chambers for cargo and stores and the latest hydraulic deck machinery.

A fire at Harland & Wolff resulted in the destruction of a large quantity of her furniture and internal fitting resulting in a serious delay in the completion of the vessel.

(See: Titanic Stories - A Link with Liners Past: Part Two - The Alexandra Graving Dock)