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Author Topic: Persia  (Read 3592 times)

Douglas Anderson

  • Guest
« on: June 13, 2005, 02:29:03 AM »
I am looking for information on the Cunard Liner
Persia. Being in South Africa, this makes attempt at
research rather difficult. Coulld any-one aid me here
by telling me titles of books, net addresses,
addresses etc.



  • Guest
« Reply #1 on: June 13, 2005, 02:31:31 AM »
Hi Douglas..Welcome to Paddleducks

First of all "Persia" was a very famous Cunarder, one of the last great
TransAtlantic Side paddlers ever built before screw props became prevalent.

In order to help you with your research, tell us a little more about your
project. Is this for a model? (in which case you'll need plans!!) or is it
for simply personal interest?

My own database shows the following information for "Persia" which has no
doubt been culled from the Net somewhere! If you need further help and are not familiar with the MOST effective Internet search engines, we can help you. Which search engine do you use/which research archives and links do you have? Maybe you have some that I DON'T!!

Anyway HERE's a START!!!

Name: "The Persia"
Length: 360 feet (110 m)
Beam: 45 feet (13.7 m)
Tonnage: 3,414 gross tons
Engines: Side lever engines geared to two paddle wheels.
Service speed: 13.5 knots (Hey NOT BAD!!! pj)
Passengers: 250 people

The famous British engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel had proved with his Great Britain of 1845 that ships made of iron would float. When ocean going vessels now reached lengths of 300 feet or more, a stronger material than wood was needed to keep a ship’s hull together in one piece. Brunel had set the standard with the Great Britain of 1843. When Cunard needed a ship to compete with the Collins Line, they commissioned one made of iron from the Scottish shipbuilders Robert Napiers & Sons Ltd.

Taking the step from wood to iron must have been a gigantic step for the
ultraconservative Cunard Line. Otherwise the ship would be very traditional – three sailing masts, a clipper bow and, of course, paddle wheels instead of the proven better screw, or propeller. As history would have it, this would be the Cunard Line’s second to last paddle wheeler. The last one was her close to identical sister ship that emerged shortly after her. By 1855, the new liner was nearing completion.
She was launched and christened Persia a few months before she set out on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to New York on January 26, 1856. Three months later she had captured the Blue Riband of the Atlantic for Cunard. As Persia was the largest vessel in the world at the time, Cunard had now totally surpassed the Collins Line.

If it was not for two very unfortunate events during the 1850s, the Collins
Line might have continued its trans-Atlantic service for a much longer time. In 1854, their Arctic collided with a small French vessel who mortally
wounded the larger ship. She sank with a heavy loss of life, including the company’s founder Edward Knight Collins' wife and two of his children. In January 1857, another Collins liner – Pacific – disappeared without a trace never to be seen again until 1986 when a fisherman’s nets got tangled up in the wreck. Probably, the Pacific had encountered ice.

When the Persia smashed into an iceberg that very same month and got away close to undamaged, the public’s faith in the Collins Line shrunk as the popularity of Cunard rose to heights never expected. The Collins Line was dead.

As late as 1863, the Persia lost the Blue Riband in both directions to her
sister – the last paddle steamer Scotia. It would take more than twenty
years before Cunard had the award in their hands again. In 1867 the Persia made her last trans-Atlantic crossing.

Cunard thought her old-fashioned and aimed at newer and more modern liners. The following year she was sold, and had her engines removed. Then she spent the four coming years laid up, until she was sold for scrap at the age of 16. The handsome Persia was broken up on the River Thames in London in 1872.


Douglas, this is probably well known info to you..but, ass I said, it's just
a beginning and all I have!

Should just say that I have no idea who owns the copyright on this material, so please don't attmept to publish it in any way without EDITING DRASTICALLY

Paddleducks Moderator

Douglas Anderson

  • Guest
« Reply #2 on: June 13, 2005, 02:32:09 AM »
Thanks for the info. on the Persia, I gleaned all of
that from the internet. Actallu, one of my hobbie is
building boats in bottles, and this started out as a
future project. However, I have recently discovered an
interest for model engineering, and so the thinking is
to produce a radio control steam model.

Are there plans for her out there, and if so, would
any-one happen to know where?


  • Guest
« Reply #3 on: June 13, 2005, 02:32:55 AM »
Yep "Persia" would make a fine project for a RC model...but it will be quite
a big vessel . You probably want to choose 1/87 scale (equivalent to HO
railroad scale) because even 1/64 scales out at 5' 6" unless you have a
van.....get my drift? But if you are used to building ships in bottles,
somehow I don't think you'd have trouble working in smaller scales!!!!

As we all realize, first thing is getting the plans...and this is where the
fun begins.

Identify what you need

1) Model plans
2) Builders Plans/General arrangements/ Engineering drawings
3) Photos/Paintings/prints/lithographs/etchings/diagrams/
4) Existing models (photos, locations and reference)
5) Newspaper/Magazine articles, Promotoional material,Movie/TV footage
And anything else.

You may consider dividing your research into model Boat Magazines, Model
Manufacturers, Plans suppliers, Museums/Archives, Historical /Preservation
Societies, Shipbuilders/suppliers, Media, Internet Newsgroups, Internet
websites (content specific and link sites), news and email groups, Clubs.
But it's ESSENTIAL to keep a log and checklist of every resource and
contact until you track down the you will because SOMEHERE they

Since almost all research prospects can be contacted through the web, a
generic RFI email is not a difficult thing to copy/paste to the WORLD and
for some STRANGE reason, people answer emails far more readily than Regular
mail!!..well at least quicker anyway.

In the event nobody has produced a set of MODEL plans ( and it won't take
you more than a couple of weeks to put that one to bed!), you stand far more
success of obtaining copies of original General Arrangement drawings and/or
builders plans and blueprint copies...and at worst, with a good set of
photos, some dimensinal data and a bit of modelers license (AND A LARGE
SHEET OF PAPER), you can produce your own. After all, most people won't
know if a few minor details are wrong and if they do...they probably have
the plans themselves!!!

I don't know what Internet search engines you use. My favourite is won the Webby for best Internet technology last
year. Does anyone else have a favourite search engine? ..and please don't
say YAHOO!!!

This one showed up in Google along with lots of others on a search string
"Cunard Historical Society" and I'll bet "Cunard Persia Paddle Steamer
Blue+Riband" will keep you busy for a few evenings!!

Here's my partial list of people who supply model plans

Can anybody else add to this? or has further thoughts on researching?

Stay in touch..will be fascinated to see how "Persia" develops.

Paul J


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