White Star Line

British shipping company

The White Star Line was a British shipping line founded in 1845 in the Liverpool-Australia service, in 1868 it would be renamed the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company (OSNC) now operating via North America, throughout its history it would be one of the most important shipping companies in the British Empire until its merger with the rival Cunard Line in 1934.

The White Star Line
Company typePartnership
IndustryShipping, transportation
Founded1845; 179 years ago (1845) in Liverpool, England
Defunct1934; 90 years ago (1934)
FateForced merger with Cunard Line by the British Government
SuccessorCunard White Star Line
Area served
ParentIsmay, Imrie and Co.

This shipping company is best known for being the owner of the famous ocean liner RMS Titanic, famous for having sunk in the Atlantic Ocean after colliding with an iceberg, also for having owned the HMHS Britannic, which sank in the Aegean Sea in Greece during WWI, and the RMS Olympic. the only Olympic-class ocean liner to have survived until her scrapping at Rosyth, Scotland along with the Mauretania in 1935.




White Star Line flag
The Tayleur

The Company was founded in 1845 for transport between uuithe British Isles and Australia[1][2] by John Pilkington and Henry Wilson,[3] due to the start of the Australian Gold Rush in 1851,[4] they would operate only three Clippers ships, the Red Jacket, Blue Jacket and Tayleur which would serve on the Liverpool-Australia service, the Tayleur would sink off the coast of Ireland during her maiden voyage in 1854, the company would go bankrupt in 1868 with an incredible debt of £527,000 (£57,000,000 in 2019 prices).

Thomas Ismay

The company would be bought by the investor and founder of the National Line, Thomas Henry Ismay, who would buy it for just £1,000 (£102,900, at 2019 prices) and which would rename the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, even though the trade name would be would keep White Star Line.[5] To this day, only one white star line ship, the Cherbourg French passenger tender Nomadic, has not been scrapped.


  • Anderson, Roy Claude (1964). White Star. Prescot: T. Stephenson & Sons Ltd. OCLC 3134809.
  • Chirnside, Mark (2004). The Olympic-class ships: Olympic, Titanic, Britannic. Tempus. ISBN 0-7524-2868-3.
  • de Kerbrech, Richard P. (2009). Ships of the White Star Line. Hersham: Ian Allan Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7110-3366-5. OCLC 298597975.
  • Eaton, John P.; Haas, Charles A. (1989). Falling Star: Misadventures of White Star Line Ships. Wellingborough: Patrick Stephens Ltd. ISBN 1-85260-084-5. OCLC 20935102.
  • Ferruli, Corrado (2004). Au cœur des Bateaux de légende (in French). Hachette Collection. ISBN 978-2-84634-350-3.
  • Haws, Duncan (1990). White Star Line. Merchant Fleets. Vol. 17. Hereford: TCL Publications. ISBN 0-946378-16-9. OCLC 50214776.
  • Le Goff, Olivier (1998). Les Plus Beaux Paquebots du Monde (in French). Paris: Solar. ISBN 2-263-02799-8.
  • Masson, Philippe (1998). Le Drame du Titanic (in French). Paris: Tallendier. ISBN 2-235-02176-X.


  1. Corrado Ferruli 2004, p. 65.
  2. Roy Anderson 1964, p. 2
  3. Roy Anderson 1964, p. 3.
  4. Roy Anderson 1964, pp. 8–9
  5. John Eaton et Charles Haas 1989, p. 12

Further readings


Other websites


  Media related to White Star Line at Wikimedia Commons