Lusitania Sinking - THE LUSITANIA

THE LUSITANIA (Illustration) Famous Historical Events World History Disasters World War I

On the 13th of September, 1907, the Lusitania arrives in New York City on her maiden voyage.  In this image, we see her sailing past Battery Park.  Online, courtesy Library of Congress.  Click on the image for a full-page view.


When the Lusitania was built in 1907, owners of the Cunard Steamship Company hoped they had purchased a fast liner.

In competition for wealthy passengers who desired both speed and comfort as they crossed the Atlantic, Cunard's ships had not held the Blue Ribbon speed record for many years. Lusitania and her slightly longer sister ship, Mauretania, would change that.

A turbine steamship, Lusitania was 787 feet long. She was 87 feet 6 inches  wide and drew a bit more than 60 feet. With twenty-five boilers generating steam to drive her 68,000 horsepower engines, the ship was fast. She could make 24½ to 25 knots.

Like the Titanic, launched four years after Lusitania was built, she was certified to carry emigrants. Her capacity was 3,000 souls on board, including crew.

When she was first built, Lusitania was equipped with limited lifeboats (as the Titanic was when she struck the iceberg on April 14, 1912). Regulations from the British Board of Trade had not kept pace with the new super liners.

After Titanic sank, however, more lifeboats were added to ships. When Lusitania sailed from New York City on the 1st of May, 1915, she had 48 lifeboats aboard.

On her second transatlantic crossing (from Queenstown, Ireland - now called Cobh), the crew set a new speed record. With trimmers shoveling the coal, stokers and firemen minding the huge boilers and engineers working around the clock to coax the best performance out of the ship, she arrived in New York harbor within 4 days, 19 hours and 52 minutes.

She was everything Cunard's owners hoped she would be.

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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Apr 01, 2004

Updated Last Revision: May 04, 2019

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"THE LUSITANIA" AwesomeStories.com. Apr 01, 2004. Jan 19, 2020.
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