Rhode Island Paquebot, Packet Boat and Sea Post Mail
Paquebot Mail - SS Campania - Cunard Steamship Line

Scroll Down for History of SS Campania & SS Ivernia)

Face of Card shows SS Ivernia off New Brighton.
Card was actually mailed from the SS Campania

This postcard, although showing a picture of the Ivernia was actually sent from the Campania.  The New York Paid CDS on the reverse of the card is dated April 15, 1904, which is the date that Campania arrived in New York. The stamp is the one penny scarlet King Edward VII issue of 1902. This issue was produced by De La Rue and is listed in the Scott Catalog as #128. This is a Paquebot cover, although there is no Paquebot stamp in evidence. The card was stored rather roughly and looks as if it was pasted in a photo type album at one time. The paper from the album has adhered to the back of the card. The card does have a Queenstown (Cobh) Ireland April 6, 1904 CDS indicating that it was sent from the ship after it left Liverpool. There is also a faint Westerly, Rhode Island received cancel on the face of the card.

This postcard and the Lucania Postcard (See Below) were both addressed to Mrs. Robert B. Meikle. Judging from the dates on the two cards, it is most likely that this card was sent on the trip abroad and the Lucania card was sent on the return trip home. Robert B. Meikle and his wife Jeannie are listed as living in Westerly, Rhode Island in the census of 1910. Both Robert and Jeannie are listed as having been born in Scotland in 1854. The census lists Robert's occupation as cotton mill in 1910.

SEE: 1904 Lucania Postcard for a better example of the Paquebot marking


SS Campania was constructed  in 1892 by the Fairfield shipbuilding & Engine Company at Glasgow, Scotland for the Cunard Line. She was 601 feet in length overall with a beam of 65.2 feet and a draft of 37.8 feet. Her gross tonnage was 12, 950 tons and she had two masts and two funnels. She was the sister ship of the SS Lucania.

Campania made her maiden voyage on April 22, 1893 and on August 17, 1894, she set the record for a westbound crossing making the journey in 5 days, 9 hours and 29 minutes with an average speed of 21.44 knots. She held the record for the westbound crossing until her sister ship, Lucania set a new record in August. She made her last Liverpool to New York crossing on August 15, 1914 and was then converted to an aircraft carrier by the Royal Navy. She was sunk in a collision with HMS Revenge in the Firth of Forth in 1918. Campania also held the Eastward crossing record from 1893-1994.

NOTE: The Blue Riband (Ribbon) was awarded to the steamship that held the record for the fastest transatlantic crossing. It was divided into two parts and awarded separately for the fastest eastbound and fastest westbound crossing. 


The ship pictured in the Post card is the SS Ivernia. She was built for the Cunard line in 1899 by C. S. Swan & Hunter at Wallsend-on-Tyne, England. She was 582 feet long with a beam of 64.9 feet and a draft of 37.8 feet. Her gross tonnage was 14,058 tons. She was the sister ship of SS Saxonia

Ivernia made her maiden voyage on April 16, 1900 and was in service on the Liverpool to Boston run through 1905. In 1914 she was converted to a troopship and torpedoed by the German submarine u-47 with the loss of 121 lives.

New Brighton is located on the Wirral Peninsula at the entrance to the Mersey River and across the river from the port of Liverpool. It would have been the first sight of land when approaching Liverpool.

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