Saturday, January 31, 2009

Munson Steamship Line

William Berry Munson left his family in New York and the Munson Steam Ship Line was based out of New York, but we have NO PROOF that there was a connection between Willaim and the owners of the steam ship line.

If you have any proof, please let us know.


Munson Steamship Company (Munson Line), New York (1899-39) by Joe McMillan
Walter D. Munson opened a sugar and molasses business in Havana after the American Civil War and first began chartering ships to carry his products to the United States in 1873. In 1882, he relocated his headquarters to New York and bought his first three steamships in 1893 to connect New York with ports in Cuba, the American Gulf coast, and Mexico. He incorporated the Munson Steamship Company, or Munson Line, in 1899. Although he expanded somewhat into the South American market, his main business remained hauling the Cuban sugar harvest to the United States. When the profitability of the sugar trade began to wane, Munson got into financial trouble. Munson attempted to recover by establishing cruise voyages to the Bahamas and Bermuda, but without success. The company was hit hard by the Great Depression. It went into bankruptcy in 1934, had its vessels repossessed in 1938, and was dissolved by its shareholders in 1939. The flag of the Munson Line was a blue burgee with a white M.
Sources: Lloyds 1912, National Geographic (1934), Talbot-Booth (1937)

We do know that the Munson Steam Ship Line had its own china with a distinct pattern consists of swags and alternating large and small ornaments in monochrome blue. Each swag measures 2" across, and the pattern is broken once to allow for the line's logo.

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