Liner History – The Grace Line
Cruise History – THE GRACE LINE – In the mid 1800s, the Irish-born Grace brothers, William Russell and Michael, established a commercial and shipping business in Callao, the port of Lima, Peru. They prospered, especially in the exporting of guano from the Chincha Islands to the United States, where this fertilizer was in considerable demand.
In 1865, leaving Michael in charge of their interests in Callao, William established the firm of W.R. Grace & Co., in New York. By 1880 he had become a leading citizen and was twice elected Mayor of New York, despite opposition from Tammany. In the 1890′s the company entered the steamship business with a line of freighters running from New York to the South American west coast via the Strait of Magellan flying the British flag.
Grace’s original British-flag ships had black hulls, white painted masts and booms, and a green stack with a black top. After the First World War successors were painted grey, with masts and booms of the usual mast color. Hulls became black again in 1928 and masts and booms reverted to white in 1932. (about 1959-60 Grace passenger ships again turned to grey hulls).