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The British passenger liners SS City of Paris and her sister SS City of New York were the first Trans-Atlantic liners fitted with two propellers.
This greatly increased the reliability of the steam propulsion plant, allowing to abandon the utilization of auxiliary sails in subsequent passenger
liners. The innovative ships of the City class had a reduced rigging whose main purpose was to support the cargo cranes, and a powerful machinery
which exhausted through three funnels; they were already quite similar to the new designs that the 20th century would bring. They were built for
the Inman Line, a rival of the White Star Line, and never disappointed. The SS City of Paris held the Blue Riband as the fastest ship on the North
Atlantic route from 1889 to 1891, and again from 1892 to 1893. During her first lustrum of life she was the fastest twin-propeller express liner.
The problems with engine vibrations suffered by other contemporary passenger liners were addressed by using a length to beam ratio of
8.8 to 1 instead of the then common ratio of 10 to 1 (as in the RMS Oceanic, for example). The hull was built of steel and more extensively subdivided
than previous designs, having a full double bottom and fifteen transverse doorless bulkheads that reached the saloon deck. This one and the superstructures
were integrally painted in white, as it would be common from that moment. Another modern detail was the roofed promenade deck. Capacity for
passengers was 540 in first class, 200 in second class and 1000 in third class. Luxuries included hot water, electric lighting and forced ventilation.
The luxurious dining salon had a large dome providing natural light.
In 1893 the SS City of Paris was renamed SS Paris and transferred to United States registry when the Inman Line was merged into the American Line. She
had to serve with the US Navy as the auxiliary cruiser USS Yale during the Spanish-American War of 1898. Having returned to commercial service, she
resulted seriously damaged in 1899 when grounding on The Manacles, treacherous rocks located next to the English coast. Rebuilt as SS Philadelphia,
she sailed for the American Line until being requisitioned again during the First World War, to serve as the troop transport USS Harrisburg. After the war,
she continued operating with the American Line until 1920, being finally scrapped in 1923.
Class: 2 units (City of New York, City of Paris)
Type: Oceanic passenger liner
Length: 170.7 meters
Beam: 19.25 meters
Draught: 12.73 meters
Displacement: 14500 tonnes
Tonnage (gross register): 10500 tonnes
Propulsion: 2 x shaft, 2 x triple-expansion reciprocating steam engine, 9 x boiler, 18000 horsepower
Speed: 20 knots (37 kilometers/hour)