THE BURNING OF THE 'VOLTURNO' - PAGE 81
THE S. S. LA TOURAINE - PAGE 2

May I suggest that you navigate the site via the index on page 01. PRIOR PAGE / NEXT PAGE

The first page devoted to La Touraine, is numbered 80. And the others are numbered 82, 83 & 84.

To search for specific text on this page, just press 'CTRL + F' & then enter your search term. Test.

La Touraine was launched in 1890 & her maiden run was in 1891. At left below is a quite modern (I understand) but fine looking postcard of the vessel.

La Touraine was featured in an 1891 edition of 'La Nature', a journal of the sciences, published in Paris, France, more specifically in issue No. 943, dated Jun. 27, 1891 on pages 55 through 58. Having purchased that issue, I was intending to transcribe the French text for these pages & scan the four images that illustrated the article. But I have decided only to scan images. Why? Because a wonderful French resource (CNUM) has every page scanned & available for you to read, should you have an ability in French which I do not possess. The first such page (#55) is here & you can see & read the following pages by clicking the button at top right on that page. An amazing resource indeed! Now, thanks to Hans R. Wüthrich, of Elsau, Switzerland, translated into English, as you can read below.

And the images? I show you here scans of three of the four images, in the sequence in which they appeared in 'La Nature' in 1891. Slightly stained, though they look far more stained in my scans than they do in reality. Each was approx. 5 5/8" by almost 4" in the original. And not scanned completely (but essentially so) so they could best be seen on this page. All are said to be after photographs specially taken for 'La Nature'.

The first is taken at the Penhoët shipyard at Sainte-Nazaire in France & is of the La Touraine bridge. The second is of a propeller shaft. And last but not least, is the boiler room. My have things ever changed! Working in the stoke-hold of such a ship was described in 1907 as being 'the fiercest and most exacting labour to which mortal can be set.' It would seem, if my limited French is correct, that the vessel consumed 254 tons of coal in a day. The images are wonderful. My ability in French is limited, so you can read the French text at the links just indicated - but not perfectly punctuated; had I done so I could not show it here at all due to javascript limitations. If my understanding of the image content is incorrect, do please let me know.

The fourth image? While its subject matter is of interest, it is not of the same quality as the others, and so does not merit inclusion on the page per se. But it is available here, if you wish to see it. It is of the stairs from the dining room to the lounge. Could it be of the 'grand staircase' mentioned on the first La Touraine page & destroyed in the fire of 1903?

I often show images of the covers of the source magazines or books. But do not do so in this case because the 'La Nature' cover is of little visual interest.

And, if you go here there is the first of three pages about the Universal Exposition of 1889, as published in Issue #837 of 'La Nature' on Jun. 15, 1889. That page has two images of La Touraine which must have been under construction at that early date - since the vessel was only launched in Mar. 1890.

The text of the 'La Nature' pages? Thanks to Hans R. Wüthrich of Elsau, Switzerland, (thank you Hans!) I can now provide one. Hans does not profess to be a translator; nor does he profess great knowledge of either French or English. He none-the-less, has provided a fine translation into English of the French text. Which translation I have modified somewhat. Site visitors may, however, read below the initial text in French as it was published in 1891 & read beside it the result of our combined efforts at a translation into English.

I should add that I have added space between the paragraphs that was not in the original, to make the texts easier to both read & understand. I have also excluded the original French footnotes. Enjoy!


 

LE NOUVEAU PAQUEBOT TRANSATLANTIQUE

 

THE NEW OCEAN LINER
 
 

((  LA TOURAINE  ))

  ((  LA TOURAINE  )) 
 

  Le paquebot la Touraine est le plus grand navire à passagers qui ait été construit jusqu'à ce jour dans un chantier français. Ses proportions sont comparables à celles des paquebots anglais les plus récents.

  Nous avons décrit précédemment les paquebots construits par la Compagnie transatlantique en 1886 qui mit successivement en ligne la Champagne et la Bretagne (longueur, 155 mètres ; largeur 15m,75 ; deplacement en charge, 10 000 tonneaux ; puissance, 8000 chevaux), puis la Bourgogne et la Gascogne (longueur, 155 mètres ; largeur 15m,95 ; déplacement en charge, 10 000 tonneaux ; puissance, 8000 chevaux) Ces quatre splendides navires qui n'avaient pas coûté moins de 32 millions, sortaient, les deux premiers, des chantiers de Penhoët, les deux derniers, des chantiers de la Seyne, près de Toulon. Marchant sans surmenage sous l'impulsion de 6500 chevaux de force, ils réalisèrent, en service courant, une vitesse de 17 nœuds qui réduisit la traversée du Havre a New-York à sept jours et demi seulement.

  On pouvait croire que ce brillant résultat obtenu assurerait pour longtemps la suprématie de la Compagnie transatlantique sur le turf de l'Océan et qu'elle n'aurait pas besoin de sitôt de faire de nouveaux efforts pour se maintenir au premier rang. Au contraire, il excita les Compagnies rivales étrangeres à dépasser encore cequi avait été obtenu. Les Anglais qui possédaient déjà d'excellents navires, comme l'America, l'Alaska, l'Umbria, l'Etruria, s'empressèrent de mettre en chantier des navires plus grands et plus rapides. La Compagnie Sumann commanda aux établissements Thomson deux nouveaux paquebots, dont on a tant parlé depuis, City of Paris et City of New-York, devant atteindre : 170 mètres de longueur totale, 19m,25 de largeur, 12m,80 de creux. Leurs machines, pouvant développer 18000 chevaux de puissance, devaient leur communiquer une vitesse de 19n,5 en service courant ; cette allure fut en effet obtenue, et la traversée de Quenstown à Sandy-Hook s'en trouva réduite a six jours. La Compagnie hambourgeoise-américaine faisait en même temps construire dans les chantiers anglais un navire rapide, la Normannia, long de 152 mètres, large de 17m,5, déplaçant 11 500 tonneaux en plaine charge, et dont la machine forte de 14 000 chevaux devait donner 18 nœuds de vitesse. Enfin la White Star venait de commander les deux navires Majestie et Teutonie qui sont aujourd'hui les rois de l'Océan. Déplaçant 17 000 tonneaux en plein charge ces deux immenses paquebots, longs de 175 mètres et larges seulement de 17m,40 avec 11m,90 de creux, développent 17 000 chevaux et donnent une vitesse courante de 19n,5.

   C'est dans ces circonstances que la Compagnie générale transatlantique résolut la construction d'un navire qui pût rivaliser avec les meilleurs marcheurs anglais, et dépassât encore comme luxe et confort, la Champagne, la Gascogne, et la Bourgogne. Il fut décidé que ce nouveau steamer désigné sous le nom de la Touraine, serait mù par deux hélices, ce qui offre de nombreux avantages, au point de vue de la sécurité des machines, de la facilité d'évolution, de la réduction de la mâture, etc.


   Les dimensions de la Touraine sont les suivantes : longueur, 165m,65 ; largeur 17m,10 ; tirant d'eau, 7m,30 ; déplacement, 12000 tonnes en charge ; tonnage brut, 6800 tonneaux. La coque est toute en acier doux de la meilleure qualité ; les membrures sont faites avec des fers en U permettant de réaliser une grande économie de poids, tout en conservant une grande solidité. Les lignes d'eau du navire sont excessivement fines, aussi bien à l'avant qu'à l'arriere, et ont été tracées sous las savante direction de M. Daymard, ingénieur en chef de la Compagnie transatlantique ; le paquebot a quatre ponts complets bordés en tôle.

   La Touraine est aménagée pour recevoir à son bord 506 passagers de cabine, et au besion 540 émigrants, soit un total de 1046 passagers. En outre le personnel du bord : état-major, mécaniciens, électriciens, commissiares, marins, chauffeurs, personnel civil, etc., comprend 305 individus, réunissant tous le corps de métier nécessaires à la vie matérielle du passager pendant les sept jours que durera la traversée du Havre à New-York. Ainsi l'expression traditionelle de Ville flottante, que l'on donne volontiers aux paquebots de grande taille, sera plus que jamais méritée par la Touraine ; ce navire portera dans ses flancs 1549 êtres humains, qui vivront dans l'espace compris sous le pont du navire (fig. 1).

   Nous ne décrirons pas les salons, les salles à manger, les appartements, les cabines de la Toutaine ; ils dépassant en luxe et en confortable tout ce qu'on peut imaginer, mais ils sont analogues à ce que nous avons dit de la Bourgogne et nous renverrons nos lecteurs à nos précédents articles ; nous donnons cependant une vue du magnifigue escalier qui conduit de la salle à manger au salon de conversation (fig. 2) : il est sculpté avec un grand art et orné de magnifiques tableaux de M. Poilpot, le célèbre peintre du panorama des transatlantiques. On jugera par ce détail de l'ensemble de l'installation.

  Nous avons dit que la Touraine compte deux hélices. Chacune d'elles est mue par une machine semblable à celle qui actionne l'autre. Chaque machine est à triple expansion et se compose de trois cylindres, dont les diamètres sont : 1m,04, 1m,54, 2m,54 ; hauteur : 2m,80. Le plus voisin de la chaufferie est la cylindre de haute pression. La longueur du compartiment des machines ne dépasse pas 15m, 40.

  Les arbres porte-hélice sont pleins, en acier forgé ; leur diamètre mesure 516 millimètres et leur ligne 55 mètres de longueur, dont 38 à l'intérieur de la coque, et 15 à l'extérieur ; un double palier-console, fixé à l'extrémité de la coque, soutient  les tronçons extérieurs de ces arbres au droit des hélices (fig. 3), et est fait de manière à présenter la moindre résistance la marche : chaque arbre pèse environ 90 tonnes ; l'hélice qu'il porte est à trois ailes en bronze à canon (88 pour 100 de cuivre), rapportées sur un moyeu en acier coulé; elle a 6 mètres de diamètre, et travaille au même niveau et dans le même plan vertical que sa jumelle, dont elle est séparée seulement par l'extrémité de la coque, formé à cet endroit des deux murs superposés. La vapeur est fournie par deux installations de chaufferies, dont la principale occupe le milieu des fonds du navire (fig. 4) ; la seconde se trouve reportée un peu à l'avant. La principale chaufferie, comprend six chaudières, dont trois doubles et trois simples. Le personnel des chauffeurs doit alimenter en tout 45 foyers.

  Le poids de vapeur dépensé à l'heure par les deux machines motrices, plus les accessoires, atteint 85 tonnes. C'est environ 2000 tonnes d'eau qui doivent passer pas les chaudières pour vingt-quatre heures de marche ; c'est-à-dire de quoi remplir un réservoir cubique qui aurait 12m,60 de coté, et pourrait alimenter une ville de près de 40000 ames â raison de 50 litres par habitant.

  La consommation du charbon est de 10000 kilogrammes par heure, soit 240 tonnes par jour pour les machines seules. En ajoutant 14 tonnes consommées par les accessoires, on arrive au chiffre de 254 tonnes par vingt-quatre heures de marche.

La lumiere électrique est distribuée sur la Touraine par une nombreuse canalisation ; elle comprend en tout 872 lampes à incandescence de 10 et 16 bougies. L'énergie électrique est produite par les machines dynamos, dont les moteurs sont du système compound.

  Nous n'ajouterons plus que quelques mots sur les essais du navire qui viennent d'avoir lieu devant la Commission de réception. La vitesse a dépasse 19 nœuds, sans le secours du tirage forcé; on est donc en droit de prévoir qu'avec l'emploi de ce dernier, elle s'élèvera jusqu'à 20 nœuds et demi environ, limite très rarement atteinte et jamais dépassée par les plus rapides paquebots anglais.

  La Touraine n'est pas seulement le plus grand, le plus rapide et le plus beau navire de commerce sur lequel ait flotté jusqua'ici notre pavillon, mais elle constitue également un nouvel et précieux engin pour la défense du pays. Elle est, en effet, appelée, en temps de guerre, à faire l'un des meilleurs croiseurs de la marine militaire.

  Ce magnifique paquebot, véritable chef-d'œuvre de la science maritime actuelle, fait le plus grand honneur aux savants ingénieurs qui l'ont conçu et executé.

X....., ingenieur


 

  The ocean liner la Touraine is the largest passenger ship which to this date has been constructed in a French dockyard. Its proportions are comparable to those of the most recent English ocean steamers.

  Earlier we have described the ocean liners constructed by La Compagnie transatlantique in 1886, which successively had commissioned La Champagne and La Bretagne (length, 155 metres ; beam 15.75 metres ; displacement 10,000 tons; power, 8,000 hp), & later La Bourgogne and La Gascogne (length 155 metres ; beam 15.95 metres ; displacement 10,000 tons; power 8,000 hp) These four splendid vessels, which have cost not less than 32 million francs, left the shipyards of Penhoët (the first two) and the la Seyne shipyards, near Toulon, (the last two). Driven by 6,500 horse power under normal conditions, they reached a service speed of 17 knots, which reduced the crossing from Havre to New York to just seven and a half days.



   One might have believed that this would have assured the supremacy of La Compagnie transatlantique on Trans Atlantic routes and that they would not have required renewed effort so soon in order to maintain a leading position. On the contrary, it excited the foreign rival companies to surpass what had been achieved. The English, who already owned excellent vessels like America, Alaska, Umbria, & Etruria, hastened to construct ever larger and faster ships. The Sumann Company
[webmaster's comment. Can anybody explain the reference to 'Sumann'. Both vessels were built for Inman & International Steamship Company (Inman Line)]. ordered two new ocean liners from the Thomson shipyards, the City of Paris and the City of New York, of a total length of 170 metres, beam of 19.25 metres, and a draft of 12.80 metres. Their engines, which could develop 18,000 hp were expected to deliver a speed of 19.5 knots under normal operation; this speed was in fact attained, and the crossing from Queenstown to Sandy Hook was found to be reduced to six days. At the same time, the Hamburg American Line ordered from English dockyards a fast vessel, Normannia, 152 metres in length; 17.5 metres in beam, with a displacement of 11,500 tons fully loaded, and which, with an engine of 14,000 hp, should generate a speed of 18 knots. Finally White Star ordered two vessels, Majestic and Teutonic, which today are the kings of the ocean. Displacing 17,000 tons under full load, these two huge ocean liners, 175 metres long and only 17.4 metres wide, with a draft of 11.9 metres, develop 17,000 hp, have a service speed of 19.5 knots.


   It is under these circumstances, that La Compagnie Générale Transatlantique resolved to construct a vessel which could compete with the fastest English vessels and would outclass as to luxury and comfort, la Champagne, la Gascogne, and la Bourgogne. It was decided that a new steamer would be constructed, with the name la Touraine, which would be driven by two propellers, something which would offer numerous advantages from the point of view of engine reliability, manoeuvrability, fewer masts, etc.

   The dimensions of la Touraine are as follows: length, 163.65 metres; beam, 17.10 metres; draft, 7.30 metres; displacement, 12,000 tons, gross tonnage of 6,800 tons. The hull is entirely from best quality mild steel, its ribs are made from U-shaped iron, thus permitting a considerable reduction in weight while preserving a great level of strength & solidity. The vessel's water lines are slim in both bow and stern, and have been designed under the skilled supervision of Mr. Daymard, chief engineer of La Compagnie Transatlantique; the ocean liner has four decks all fully enclosed.


   La Touraine is designed for 506 cabin passengers and as many as 540 emigrants also, for a total of 1046 passengers. In addition a ship’s company of 305 - officers, engineers, electricians, stewards, sailors, stokers, staff, etc., all needed for the well being of passengers during the seven day crossing from Havre to New York. Thus the traditional expression of Floating City, given frequently to large ocean liners, will more than ever be appropriate for la Touraine; the ship will carry within itself an anticipated 'city' of 1549 human beings (fig. 1).





   We will not describe here the saloons, dining rooms, suites & cabins of la Touraine; they exceed in luxury and comfort anything one can imagine, but they are similar to what we have said previously about la Bourgogne and we refer our readers to our previous articles; we will, however, give a view of the magnificent stairway which leads from the dining room to the saloon (fig. 2); it is artfully sculpted and adorned with magnificent paintings by Mr. Poilpot, the famous painter of 'Transatlanic Panorama'. You can judge by the following, the technical considerations.


  We have said that la Touraine has two propellers. Each of them is powered by a similar triple expansion engine, of three cylinders, of which the diameters are: 1.04 metres, 1.54 metres & 2.54 metres, with a height of 2.8 metres. Closest to the boiler room is the high-pressure cylinder. The length of the engine room is 15.4 metres.


  The propeller shafts are massive, made of forged steel; their diameter measures 516 millimetres and their length is 53 metres, of which 38 metres are inside the hull, and 15 metres are outside; a double shaft bearing mounting bracket fixed at the extremity of the hull supports the exterior part of these shafts (fig. 3), and is made in a way to offer the least resistance: each shaft weighs approximately 90 tons; the propeller which it carries is of three blades of gunmetal (88 per cent copper), built up on a cast iron hub; it has a diameter of 6 metres and operates on the same level and in the same vertical position as its twin. The steam is supplied by two boiler rooms, the main one of which occupies the central part of the ship’s interior (fig. 4); the second is placed a little further forward. The main boiler room comprises six boilers, three double and three single units. The stokers need to feed a total of 45 furnaces.




  The two engines, auxiliaries included, produce 85 tons of steam per hour. About 2,000 tons of water pass through the boilers in each twenty-four hour period; it is, in other words, like depleting a reservoir with sides 12.6 metres square, a reservoir that could provide for a town of almost 40,000 inhabitants, at 50 litres per person.

  The coal consumption is 10,000 kilograms per hour, being 240 tons per day for just the engines. Adding 14 tons consumed by the auxiliaries, we arrive at 254 tons for each twenty-four hours of operation.


  Electric light is distributed on la Touraine by numerous circuits; it comprises a total of 872 incandescent lamps each of 10 to 16 candlepower. The electrical power is produced by dynamos with compound motors.


  A few words about the vessel's sea trials, which took place recently before the Approval Commission. (Webmaster's note. What would be a better wording?) The speed exceeded 19 knots, at less than full power. It is likely therefore that at full power its speed will increase to approximately 20 1/2 knots, a speed rarely achieved and never surpassed by the fastest English ocean liners.

  La Touraine is not only the largest, fastest and the most beautiful commercial vessel on which our flag has ever flown but it constitutes also a novel and precious device for the defence of the country. She would, in fact, be requisitioned in time of war, to make one of the best cruisers of the navy.

  This magnificent ocean liner, a genuine masterpiece of present day nautical science, does the utmost credit to the expert engineers who have designed and constructed her.

X....., Engineer

 

Maybe you can provide additional data. Or images?

VOLTURNO SURVIVORS RESCUED BY LA TOURAINE

I would like, subject to the limitations of time, language & handwriting, to try to figure out who, in fact, was rescued by La Touraine, & how they later arrived in North America. It is not an easy task. In the table that follows, I list in the first column the 40 names that were reported as being saved by La Touraine in the New York Times of Oct. 14, 1913. But I have listed those names in a way that hopefully a visitor may today track.

The first 26 names described as being La Touraine (Le Havre) are listed not in the sequence in the New York Times, but rather in the sequence that I believe those persons were manifested on Ellis Island, I believe on Oct. 18, 1913, 401 & 400. The names at times defy reason, but I think the overall result makes some sense.

The next group of 7 names is similarly listed. They arrived in the U.S. not by La Touraine but rather by Uranium ex Rotterdam. I have no idea why that is so, but it surely IS so. There must have been reasons of a nature unknown (to the Webmaster at least). Those names are manifest listed on pages 418 & 417. Line 4 (at those manifest pages & below) is a bit of a stretch (Nogel/Groenveld) but I believe it to be a child of 3 1/2 years old & the data is consistent with that on page 77 of this site.

Lines 6 to 9 on those same manifest pages are also explained on page 71 of this site, and do not, regardless, relate in any way to La Touraine, since they were, I believe, saved by Devonian. And line 5 is currently a 'mystery'. Verona Buignon? Aged 3. Just as to which ship rescued her. But it probably was Devonian.

That leaves 7 names, 4 of whom are still of unknown disposition. Family name, given name is the consistent sequencing of the names.

Name in New York Times Age Line # The manifested name as I read it  
LA TOURAINE (LE HAVRE)        
Abanas, Mato 26 1 Arbanas, Mato  
Amolik, Salman S. 19 2 Anolik, Zelman  
Hecaabambo, Angelo 24? 3 Anglelof, Harlampi  
Badda, Friedrich 24 4 Batke, Friederich  
Bohents, Thomas 18 5 Bonnec, Tomo  
Balaz, Michael 39 6 Balasz, Michal  
Pachinski, Thomas 20 7 Baschinsky, Thomas (surely Thomas Vashinsky whose affidavit was referenced in the B. of T. Inquiry Report)  
Calie, Lvan 19 8 Calic, Stefan  
Eppl, Refuel 24 9 Eppl, Ruchel  
Froim, Epple 3 10 Eppl, Trojko  
Laibjon, Laibjon 26 11 Jung, Leib  
Kolaric, Illiya 26 12 Kolaric, Ilia  
Kalantac, Michael 19 13 Kolontaj, Michal  
Macanets, Joseph 27 14 Makanac, Josip  
Udjbriats, Ivan 18 15 Mabinac, Ivan  
Oliver, Francesco 26 16 Olureri, Francesco  
Parko, Ignac 27 17 Perko, Ignac  
Paskovsky, Hannalas 27 18 Paszkowsky, Stanislaw  
Ranella, Rafael 38 19 Ranella, Raffaele  
Silberstein, Mier 36 20 Silberstein, Mayer  
Schneider, Adolf 18 21 Sidler, Adolf  
Chocovsky, Petro 27 22 Silkowsky, Pioh  
Leizer, Fuchman 18 23 Fukmann, Leyov  
Mesendau, Yanos 25 24 Verandav, Janos  
Weisberg, Refuel 37 25 Weissbard, Rifke  
Weisberger, Isaac 3 26 Weissbard, Itzik  
URANIUM (ROTTERDAM)        
Semtchakovitch, Marianna 8 1 Szymcyakewiez, Maria  
Semtchakovitch, Bronislaw 6 2 Szymcyakewiez, Bronislaw  
Nilcheski, Michael 8 3 Wilczynsky, Michal  
Nogel, Wilhelm Groenveld, Willem  
Yulkowski, Helena 7 10 Zuilkowsky, Helena  
Yulkowski, Geneva 6 11 Zuilkowsky, Genoveta  
Yulkowski, Franzias J. 2 12 Zuilkowsky, Franz  
DISPOSITION UNKNOWN        
Khuwenski, Wasily        
Milikovsky, Abraham        
Jodan, Lisbau        
Tilour, William        
DISPOSITION CLARIFIED        
Magnovoski, Franz        
Mermeran, Henrich        
Adam, Debruin        

MAGNOVOSKI, FRANZ
This surely must be a crew member of Volturno, named Mognousky or Magnovoski with first name of Franz or Hans. As a crew member of Volturno, his not returning to North America would seem to make good sense as for the two names that follow.

MENNEMA OR MERMENA, HENDRIK
This surely must be Hendrik or Henrich Mennema or maybe Mermena, cook of the Volturno. Such limited data as the webmaster knows about him can be found on site page 36. He probably would have stayed in Europe & later joined another Uranium Steamship Company vessel, or become crew with another fleet. His not returning to North America would seem accordingly to make sense.

DE BRUIN OR DE BRUINE, ADAM
Adam De Bruin (or perhaps De Bruine) but not De Bruin Adam, was crew of the Volturno, in fact the head cook on the ship. Such limited data as the webmaster knows about him can be found on site page 36. As for the previous survivor, also a member of the Volturno crew, he may well have stayed in Europe. His not returning to North America would seem to be logical.

And a postcard image of a 'transatlantique', posted in 1903, & very appealing. It may not be of La Touraine, however; the card does not identify the ship. I seem to have lost much detail with my scan for some reason.

This page will, hopefully, track data about the La Touraine as it comes to hand. And hopefully data as it specifically relates to the Volturno tragedy.

Other La Touraine pages are numbered 80, 82, 83 & 84.

If any visitor can clarify (or correct) or provide more information about any of these matters, I would truly welcome their help. [ ]

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