ss SAALE

ss SAALE
built by Fairfield Govan,
Yard No 312

Last Name: MADISON (1923)
Previous Names: PRINCESS (1921) - J.L.LUCKENBACH
Propulsion: Single screw - 17 knots
Launched: Wednesday, 21/04/1886
Built: 1886
Ship Type: Passenger Cargo Vessel
Ship's Role: Transatlantic liner
Tonnage: 4967 grt
Length: 439.6 feet
Breadth: 48.1 feet
Owner History:
Norddeutscher Lloyd Bremen
1901 Luckenbach Transportation & Wrecking Co, New York
1919 luckenbach SS Co. Inc., NY
1922 Archibald M.Ostrom, NY
Status: Scrapped - 1924

Remarks: Maiden voyage from Bremen to Southampton and New York 18th August 1886

One of five of the company's ships damaged by the tragic New York fire of 1900

Following from Dictionary of Disasters at Sea
On the afternoon of Saturday, June 30th, 1900, five liners belonging to Norddeutscher Lloyd were lying alongside the company's wharf at Hoboken, New York, when there was an outbreak of fire which involved all five ships. They were the Saale, Bremen, Main, Phoenicia and Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, and the fire started with a bale of cotton which at the time was being handled by some German stevedores. A high wind was blowing and within a short time a stack of whisky barrels was on fire, setting fire to the nearby warehouses, which were light wooden structures.

Every effort was made to tow the liners into mid
stream, but the heat was so great that many men on the upper decks died from the effect of that alone. The Saale was cut adrift and grounded on Communipaw Flats. The Main, with about 150 men on board, was burned as she lay alongside the wharf. The Bremen was, at the time, entertaining a party of about 100 visitors, chiefly women and children. Sheets of flame fastened on the liner and within a short time she was in the same plight as her sister ships. In her case an explosion added to the terrors of the fire. She was eventually towed upstream, together with the Main, where after some hours the fires were extinguished. The Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse managed to get free without the help of tugs.

So rapid was the conflagration that within nine minutes the whole frontage of the wharf, a quarter of a mile in length, was on fire. To prevent it spreading, the officials of the Hamburg
America company at the next wharf blew up their pier.

Many scores of people were trapped between decks and suffered an agonising death. On three ships, the Saale, Main and Bremen, there were 189 dead, while those on the other ships, and upon the wharf, added a considerable number to this total. The decks, piers and warehouses were burned out and damage estimated at over 2,000,000 was caused.
Broken up in Italy Q3/1924


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Previous update by Bruce Biddulph

Last updated: by George Robinson from the original records by Stuart Cameron




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