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Calcutta - (1900-1912 & 1916-1923)
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Calcutta - 1892, 1,694 GRT
Built by the Naval Construction & Armaments Co., Barrow, as Unionen,
for Vestlandske Petroleum Co., Bergen.
Measurements: 240 feet length X 40 feet breadth.
Three masted steel barque.
1900: Calcutta (Anglo-American).
1912: (Tank Storage & Carriage Co. Ltd.).
A centreline bulkhead and six transverse bulkheads divided her hull, except at the ends, into ten oil tanks and her load displace-
ment, reckoning on 2,540 tons of oil cargo, crew and stores, was 3,570 tons. The oil could be offloaded in twenty-four hours,
the pumps driven by a donkey engine. Her masts were stepped on the main deck over the oil tanks and there was still room
for 'tween deck storage of dry cargo between the upper and main decks. She was given electric lighting in the accommodation,
but this was considered too risky for the navigation lights.
The first voyage of the Calcutta for Anglo-American was in April, 1900, from Queenstown for Philadelphia to load batching oil
for Calcutta. She made several similar voyages and the usual programme, after discharging in Calcutta, was to proceed to
another port in the East to load general cargo for the United States or Europe. The homeward cargoes generally consisted
of sugar, rice, sago and other products of the East. A round voyage usually took about a year.
In December, 1904, on a voyage from Leith to Philadelphia, the Calcutta encountered heavy weather in the Atlantic. This partly
dismasted the ship and disabled her steering, but she was able to make temporary repairs and reached port after sixty-five
days. In 1906 it was decided to send her to take up trade across the Pacific and she sailed to San Francisco by way of Australia,
loading a cargo of wool at Newcastle, New South Wales, before taking up the run between San Francisco and Shanghai. Her
record passage was in 1907 when she arrived in Shanghai forty-seven days out from San Francisco and after five days in port,
made the return passage in only thirty-four days. On this passage she made a run of 302 miles in one day. The next year
she lost her topmasts in a typhoon off Japan, but completed the passage to San Francisco in fifty-two days. A year later she
again lost her topmasts, but reached Woosung only fifty-four days out from California. The Calcutta returned to home waters
in 1915 to become a destroyer fuelling depot ship at Falmouth, this work being done by two pumps worked by a large tank boiler
abaft the foremast. When war ended the ship was released from this service, refitted by her owners to carry cadets and placed
in the transatlantic oil trade again. She carried eleven apprentices on her first voyage from Liverpool to Philadelphia, but this
arrangement did not last long and in 1921 she was withdrawn and moored in Southampton Water, opposite Hamble, serving
as a fuel barge. In 1923 she was sold for breaking up. The Calcutta was the last of the oil sailers owned by the Anglo-Ameri-
can Oil Company.
The Miramar Ship Index for "UNIONEN"
Scrapped at Nieuw Lekkerland, Holland 10.04.1923.