Allan Line Royal Mail c.1910;To and From Canada;James S. Mann;40”x25”;A-,P
Before aviation hit its stride, but after sailing ships were retired, steamships (designed with great care) were the main link between Europe and North America. In this blog we’ll narrow the subject even further: ships carrying passengers to Canada from Britain, in the decades just before World War II–considered in view of the drama of their history and designs.
The Allan Line had been transporting passengers and products (prominently including mail) from Britain to Montreal since about 1820; but here we have a coal powered behemoth (18,000 tons) leaving Liverpool in the years directly before the company was taken over by Canadian Pacific Steamships in 1917. The design, especially as shown in the profile at the top of the poster, was eager to portray a sleek configuration with cosmopolitan black and red color statements. The design also juxtaposes the ship with lesser vehicles to imply that Allan was the smart line to deal with. The jaunty lettering for the letter C in the word Canada would evoke a going concern. (The data at the bottom indicates that the company was about emigration as much as shipping and round trips.) Continue reading