- Known as the “Queen of Sea,” the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company Steamship Line operated one of the finest fleets of passenger steamers on the Atlantic Coast and ranked foremost as one of America’s top tourist routes.
- It was said to be the only line plying between Baltimore, Savannah, and Jacksonville.
HOME MOVIE OF COAST-WISE TRIP FROM FLORIDA TO SAVANNAH aboard the Merchants and Miners Trans Co SS NANTUCKET courtesy of www.shipgeek.com on youTUBE. Lots of deck scenes with a film of passengers entertainment along with hilarious sequence on steward helping woman who has sea-sickness. The background music is “Yes, we have no bananas.”
- The Merchants and Miners Transportation Company was incorporated on April 24, 1852.
- Among the first directors were Thomas C. Jenkins, George J. Appold, Benjamin Deford, Johnathan W. Pottle and Solomon Spaulding. The company served ports in Maryland, Massachusetts, Virginia, Jacksonville, Florida, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.
- In 1861, some of its vessels were commandeered for federal transport. Then again in 1898, three Merchant and Miners Transportation Company ships were charted for use in the Spanish-American War.
- In 1900, the company inaugurated a Philadelphia-Savannah run. Then in 1907, the company bought the Windsor Line which operated between Philadelphia and Boston.
- A line was established to Jacksonville in 1908. Merchants and Miners were directly involved with World War II. When the war broke out the company technically suspended their services for the duration of the war.
- Then on April 11, 1942, the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company was appointed General Agent by the War Shipping Administration, in charge of the management of some vessels in the off-shore trade.
- The company began the process of dissolution and liquidation on March 17, 1948.
- A new route between Baltimore, via Savanah and Jacksonville commenced in 1909 and 1920 a service was initiated to Havana, Cuba, but this was discontinued after about a year.
Postal Card featuring the Merchants and Miners ships.
- A service to Nassau, Bahamas started in 1939, but on the entry of the United Stated into World War II in 1941, most of the company’s ships were requisitioned for war duty.
- Limited services continued, but after the war, it was not considered financially viable to re-purchase ships which had been sold to the Government or to build new ships and in 1948 it was decided to cease trading. The company was officially liquidated in 1952.