THROUGH THE ARCHIVES: New steamship is launched at Harland and Wolff

From the News Letter, March 3, 1884
Sunset over the Harland and Wolff cranes in BelfastSunset over the Harland and Wolff cranes in Belfast
Sunset over the Harland and Wolff cranes in Belfast

At high water the new steamship Horn Head was successfully launched from the shipbuilding yards of Messrs Harland and Wolff, this week in 1884 reported the News Letter.

The steamship had been built, noted the paper, for the Ulster Steamship Company, who were then under the management of Messrs G Heyn and Sons.

The other ships owned by the company included the Teelin Head, the Fair Head, the Black Head and the Bickley.

The paper reported: “This vessel, which forms an important addition to the Head Line, is of the following dimensions: length, 320 feet; breadth, 37 feet; depth, 25 feet; gross tonnage, 2,600. She has been built to a class 100 at Lloyd’s but is strengthened generally far in excess of their requirement.”

It was hoped that the ship would carry up to 3,600 tonnes on the eastern and American trade routes, and was to be commanded by Captain M R Thompson “formerly of SS White Head” of Ulster Steamship Company.

The Horn Head, continued the paper’s report, had two iron decks and very heavy shear strokes and other plating.

The upper deck was fitted with “very substantial” iron rails and stanchions with a short forecastle forward and bridge-house some 80 feet long amidships.

The engines of the Horn Head had also been built by Harland and Wolff and, noted the paper, “are of the most powerful and substantial kind”.

It continued: “The cylinders are 34 and 68 inches diameter with 45 inches stroke and 900lbs of working steam pressure, and about 250 nominal horsepower.”