SS Adriatic 12 Cent Stamp - 1869


SS Adriatic (Collins Line), operated by the Collins Line (trans-Atlantic packet) {established 1848 New York} commissioned 1857, and was among the first ships to be depicted on a postage stamp when used on a 12c value of the United States in 1869. The line began with four paddle wheel steamships, the Atlantic, the Arctic, the Baltic, and the Pacific. Each were 282 feet in length and 2,680 tons burthen. They were built by W.H. Brown of New York at a cost of $700,000 each. The last addition to the fleet was the Adriatic in 1857, the finest and fastest vessel afloat at that time. She was built by Steers in New York and was 355 feet long, 50 feet broad, with a gross tonnage of 3,670 tons. Her machinery, which was constructed at the Novelty Iron Works of New York, consisted of two oscillating cylinders, each 100 inches diameter working up to 3,600 indicated horse-power, with a steam pressure of 20 pounds to the square inch. Her paddles were 40 feet in diameter and at 17 revolutions per minute gave her a speed of 13 knots on a daily consumption of 85 to 90 tons of coal.[1] The company broke up after losses due to ship wrecks. In September, 1854, The SS Arctic collided with a small steamer, the Vesta, off the coast of Cape Race in a dense fog. She sank with a loss of 323 lives including the wife, the only son, and a daughter of Mr. Collins. The loss of the SS Pacific two years later proved the death knell of the Collins Line. The Adriatic was laid up after making a few fine voyages, and finally came to an end as a coal-hulk in West Africa.