Two Ships Described

As I wrote in the last post, Elias and Kari Borresen boarded two successive ships for their trip to America: the Scandinavia to Scotland, then the Britannia for the Atlantic crossing.

The ship Scandinavia is described on the Norway Heritage site (featured on a company poster in my January 3 post). It was built by C. & W. Earle in Hull, England, in 1865, just four years before our relatives boarded. Its burden was 615 gross, its dimensions 203.5 feet x 26.1 feet x 16 feet. It was built with two masts, bark rigged, clipper stem, iron construction, single screw, and a service speed of nine knots.

The ship Britannia is much larger, its burden being 1,392 gross, with dimensions of 261.5 feet length and a beam of 33.1 feet. It was iron construction with a clipper stem, one funnel, three masts, a single screw and service speed of 10 knots.  There was accommodation for 40 first class, 90 second class, and 300 third class passengers. This ship was built in 1863 in Glasgow, Scotland, by Tod and McGregor for the Anchor line of Glasgow. Her maiden voyage took place in June 1863 and on January 29, 1873, she was wrecked on Scotland’s Isle of Arran with no loss of life. Here’s a drawing of her.

The ship Britannia

Let me add just this from the Norway Heritage site. When the transatlantic trip had to be made by sail, 53 days was the average time. By the time Elias and Kari made the trip, 12 days was more typical. What an improvement! Big changes in technology were happening then as well as today. As I noted previously, Elias and Kari’s trip from Christiania to New York took a few days less than a month. Without knowing more about these ships, it would appear they could travel under sail or steam power, an advantage on days without wind.

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