My recent post on the Spanish cotton steamer Aldecoa made use of several new (to me) online resources that are worth exploring in their own right. Two are free, and one nearly so. All three have been added to list of links at right, under the heading “History.”
Aldecoa in the 1937-38 Lloyd’s Register.
PlimsollShipData.org is a subproject of PortCitiesSouthampton, a website that provides extensive information (both current and historical) on that city and its long connection to the sea. PlimsollShipData.org specifically provides a name-searchable index for Lloyd’s registers for the period 1930-45. Links take the user to a high-resolution scan of the actual printed pages of the book, which typically contains all manner of esoteric technical detail. (The before-mentioned Aldecoa, for example, had a triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine, for example, with cylinders of 27, 44 and 73 inch diameters, on a 48-inch stroke. Rivet-counters love this stuff.) The site also provides a helpful guide to deciphering the register entries.
Charente Steamship Co.’s Traveller, launched in 1921, by Tony Westmore.
Old Ship Picture Galleries is a site housing an extensive collection of images of merchant and naval vessels. Some modern vessels are included, but most date from the 1960s and before. Images are listed by vessel name, and can either be browsed with or without thumbnail images. Shipping companies, when known, are indexed as well. There is also a gallery of watercolors by Tony Westmore, many of which are for sale, either as originals or as prints.
Finally, from New Zealand, comes the Miramar Ship Index. This project, begun in 1992 by retired N.Z. Army Major Rodger Barrington Haworth, currently includes entries on 235,943 (!) single ship names, with basic data on construction, ownership and final disposition of each. While the information in most cases is limited to a handful of names, dates and locations, these provide the critical outline essential when starting out to track down a vessel. While the Miramar Index is a subscription-only site, prospective new users can register for a free 7-day trial, and a full year’s subscription is only US$20 — a genuine bargain. For those without regular Internet access, the index is also available (for a somewhat higher fee) on CD-ROM.
I hope that Maritime Texas readers will find these sites as useful as I do.