Awards Goblet Collins Line Atlantic, Dated 1850

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SILVER PRESENTATION GOBLET

MAIDEN VOYAGE OF THE COLLINS LINE SIDEWHEEL
STEAMER “ATLANTIC”

New York & Liverpool United States’ Mail Steamship
Company –
American, Dated 1850

 

by BALL, TOMPKINS & BLACK, NEW YORK

 
                                                                                             
Presented is an important silver goblet that was awarded in recognition of the sidewheel steamship’s
crossing from New York to Liverpool, England. It is engraved to “L.S. BARTHOLOMEW, 1st. Assistant Eng. of the Steam
Ship Atlantic from the President & Directors of the U.S. Mail line of Steamers between New York
& Liverpool, As a token of their appreciation of his services on board the Atlantic at sea, May 1850,”
 
 
HISTORIC IMPORTANCE: The “Atlantic” made her first voyage
from New York on April 27, 1850. In July of that year, “Atlantic” broke the trans-Atlantic record by crossing to Liverpool
in 10 days, 5 hours, and in September, she transported the Swedish singer Jenny Lind to New York for her American concert
tour.

 
The design is of a foliate cartouche with scrolling flowers, die-cast
floral rims, and it is marked inside the tubular base “B.T. & B/N” over “New YORK” over
“E”
 
SPECIFICATIONS:
 
Diameter of mouth 4 1/4″        Diameter
of base 3 1/8″
Height 8 inches                      
Weight 9 oz.
 
BRIEF HISTORY: The New York & Liverpool United States’ Mail Steamship Company, commonly known as the Collins
Line, was founded in New York in 1818 by Israel Collins. His son Edward joined him in 1824, and followed was a period of rapid
growth using sailing ships. After Israel’s death in 1831, Edward took over management of a New York-New Orleans
packet line. He made a great success of this venture as well other accomplishments.
 
In 1849 the US Postmaster General Office invited companies to submit bids for
a 10-year state-subsidized mail service contract between New York and Liverpool, in direct competition with Cunard who had
opened a similar service in 1848. Collins’ plan to operate a weekly service on the route with five ships was approved and the
contract was awarded to his New York & Liverpool United States’ Mail Steamship Company, commonly known as Collins Line.
 
Due to the financial constraints the service was scaled down to a
bi-weekly operation using four ships. Collins hired the young George Steers, who later designed the famous yacht America,
to design his new ships. Named SS Atlantic, SS Arctic, SS Baltic and SS Pacific.
 
The new ships were superior to those of Cunard Line in many ways. At nearly
3000 tons, they were twice as large as Cunard’s largest ships, at maximum speed of 12 knots faster, and included many new
innovations such as steam-heating, running water and a ventilation system in all accommodations.
 
The Atlantic was the first ship in service, beginning her maiden voyage on
27 April 1850. With the crossing from New York to Liverpool taking 10 days and 16 hours, the ship clipped 12 hours off the
existing Cunard record. Atlantic and her sister ships consistently bettered the crossing times of the Cunard ships, and the
Baltic became the first mail ship to cross in less than ten days. However, due to their high speeds the Collins steamers were
also extremely uneconomic, with fuel consumption at 87 tons of coal per day (compared to mere 37 tons of Cunard ships). Additionally
the ships required constant expensive repairs due to structural damage caused to their wooden hulls by their excessively powerful
engines.
 
The company never fully recovered from the losses
of the ARCTIC in 1854 and PACIFIC in 1856. Disruptions to services due to breakdowns and protracted repairs, late delivery
of the new ship ADRIATIC, etc caused the failure of the line and operations were suspended in Feb.1858. Their remaining ships
were sold to the principal creditors at a sheriff’s sale.
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