Onboard The S.S. Alameda

Onboard the S.S. Alameda p1Onboard the S.S. Alameda p2

Old photo, circa 1920

Price:  $12.00           Size:  About 5 and 1/4 x 3 and 1/4″

This is the first of two related photos:  one regarding the S.S. Alameda and the other regarding the S.S. Tacoma. Both very likely came out of the same unknown family photo album. Too bad about the missing part of this photo on the back. I peeled off a little more of the black photo album paper to see if this might have been a Real Photo Postcard but there were no postcard markings underneath, so this (and likely the other) were not made into postcards. You can see some writing at the bottom here, of the type that is processed at the same time as the photo, so maybe this one was a photo that was offered to passengers. I’m not sure if the gentleman posing here next to lifeboat number 12 is the captain or a crew member. The insignia on the hat is hard to read. If anyone can lend clarification, please let me know.

The S.S. Alameda was a commercial steamship built in 1883 in Philadelphia by the William Cramp & Sons Shipbuilding Co. She weighed 5,000 tons, was 332 feet, 5 inches in length, held a crew of 52, and ran at a speed of 15 knots (wikipedia.) There are numerous photos online for her, the one below is from the Library of Congress, and shows her docked (assuming she is docked here in this photo) at Anchorage, Alaska. Just per some quick searches of other online sources, we find that her voyages included many along the Pacific Coast to Alaska, and that she also made trips to San Francisco from ports of Auckland, New Zealand, Sidney, Australia and Honolulu, (at that time Territory of) Hawaii. The third source listed below shows several transcriptions of ship passenger lists from these three embarkation points. (It’s always fascinating to look at passenger lists, and this one from 1893 shows interesting occupations of the travelers such as Actor, Marble Maker and Gold Miner.)

S.S. Alameda photo

The S.S. Alameda operated up until November 28, 1931, when she unfortunately burned in a pier fire in Seattle, Washington. She was registered with the U.S. Navy during WWI but was never commissioned into navy service.

Sources:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Alameda_%28ID-1432%29



4 thoughts on “Onboard The S.S. Alameda

  1. My Grandfather whom I never met was a coal pusher on the Alameda in the 1890’s
    I would like to trace his movements if possible. I know he sailed between San Francisco and New Zealand. He ended up eventually in New Zealand, and is buried in Auckland.
    His name was Patrick Kavanagh, he gave up my mother for adoption soon after his wife died not long after giving birth,

    • Hi John, I replied to you by email, but here’s to hoping that your comment can spark some interest for the SS Alameda and any possible more info for you on your grandfather! Anne

  2. I found an original ship’s manifest dated June 5, 1909 with 45 passenger names on it. Fascinating the people I have been able to look up via Ancestry. I’m trying to piece together the relationships between the members, as someone wrote notes on the page assigning names (not passenger names) to various members. Perhaps a maitre’d?

    • Hi Kevin, sounds interesting. I wonder if it could have been who the person was going to stay with after they disembarked or who paid for the passage? Definitely agree, though, fascinating looking at ships lists and tracing passengers. I did a quick Google search on who filled out ship manifests (you probably did, too) and it says the captain or master of the ship usually signs the manifest, though that doesn’t explain if they were the only ones that would have written notes on it. Let us know if you find out anything, and thanks for the comment!

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