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American-Hawaiian Steamship Company

1 Ships

The American-Hawaiian Steamship Company was

founded in 1899 to carry cargos of sugar from Hawaii
to the United States and manufactured goods back to
Hawaii. Brothers-in-law George Dearborn and Lewis
Henry Lapham were the key players in the founding of
the company. The company began in 1899 with three
ships, operated nine by 1904 and was operating seventeen by 1911 with three on order.[1]

SS Alaskan
SS Arkansan
SS American
SS Arizonan

At the time of the companys founding, its steamships

sailed around South America via the Straits of Magellan to reach the East Coast ports. By 1907, the company began using the Mexican Isthmus of Tehuantepec
Route.[1] Shipments on the Tehuantepec Route would
transship at Atlantic port of Coatzacoalcos (formerly
Puerto) or the Pacic port of Salina Cruz and would traverse the Isthmus of Tehuantepec on the 310 kilometres
(192.6 mi) Tehuantepec National Railway.[2][3] The contract, binding until completion of the Panama Canal, with
American-Hawaiian for its entire cargo moving between
oceans and assuring a minimum of 500,000 tons of sugar
and other cargo was important in the railways economic
plans from its beginning.[4] For the steamship line the
Tehuantepec route enabled the company to serve both
a New YorkHonolulu route and a coastal route from
Salina Cruz to Pacic ports of the United States.[5] With
new ships to be delivered the company planned to have
four 8,000 ton ships on the New YorkCoatzacoalcos
route, six 12,000 ton ships operating on the Salina Cruz
Honolulu route and two 6,000 ton ships serving the West
Coast route.[6]

USS Californian
SS Dakotan
SS Floridian
SS Hawaiian
SS Indianan
SS Iowan
SS Kentuckian
SS Mexican
SS Minnesotan
SS Missourian[8]
SS Montanan
SS Nebraskan, built by Bremer Vulcan, BremenVegesack for North German Lloyd in 1912 as Elsass.[9][10] The ship was seized by the United States
6 April 1917 at Pago Pago, Samoa coming under
the control of the United States Shipping Board
as Appeles and then renamed Kermit in 1920 before acquisition by American-Hawaiian on 5 March
1920 for the price of $538,881.99 and being named
Nebraskan.[9][10][11] On 9 February 1942 the ship
was delivered by American-Hawaiian to the War
Shipping Administration (WSA) for operation under United States Army Transportation Corps charter with American-Hawaiian as the WSA agent until
title was transferred to WSA on 2 December for delivery of the ship under Lend Lease to the Soviet
Union where the ship became Sukhona until return
to the WSA 6 April 1944.[10] Returned to the Nebraskan name the ship was allocated to the Army
on 17 October 1944 until returned for layup in the
Wilmington Reserve Fleet on 17 October 1946.[10]
The ship was used by the Army in the Pacic as a
oating mobile warehouse.[10]

Company ships were used on both the Pacic and Atlantic

routes.[7] When American political troubles with Mexico closed that route, American-Hawaiian returned to the
Straits of Magellan route.
When the Panama Canal opened for trac in August
1914, American-Hawaiian began routing all of its ships
via this route. The temporary closure of the canal because
of a series of landslides forced the company to return to
the Straits of Magellan route for the third time in its history.
During World War I, twelve of the companys ships were
commissioned into the United States Navy; a further ve
were sunk by submarines or mines during the conict.
Roger Dearborn Lapham, a future mayor of San Francisco, California, served as company president in the

SS Ohioan

SS Oregonian
SS Panaman
SS Pennsylvanian
SS Texan
SS Virginian
SS Washingtonian

During World War II, the company operated ships under the War Shipping Administration, some of which
were company owned and taken over by WSA as was Nebraskan, and others wartime built and delivered directly
to WSA for operation by commercial agents including
Benjamin Goodhue, Chanute Victory, John Milledge, John
Drake Sloat, and Marine Eagle.[12]
In the 1950s, the company ceased sailing operations and
was taken over by Daniel K. Ludwig, who used it as a
holding company into the 1960s. Ventures at that time
included the development of Westlake Village, California.[13][14]


[1] Johnson 1912, p. 8.

[2] Heubner, p. 102.
[3] Hovey, p. 84.
[4] Hovey, pp. 82, 83.
[5] Hovey, p. 82.
[6] Hovey, pp. 82, 84.
[7] Heubner.
[8] Lloyds Register 193031.
[10] Maritime Administration: Nebraskan.
[11] San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park: Roger
D. Lapham photograph collection.
[12] MARAD Vessel History DatabaseVessel Status Cards.
[13] Watts, Ian (2009-10-23). hawse pipe: AmericanHawaiian Steamship Company. hawse pipe. Retrieved
[14] COLVIN, RICHARD LEE (1992-08-29). Shipping
Magnate Who Created Westlake Dies : Suburban: Daniel
K. Ludwig was 95. In 1967, he began developing the area
into one of nations rst instant cities.. Los Angeles Times.
ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2015-03-15.


3 Bibliography
Cochran, Thomas C.; Ray Ginger (December
1954). The American-Hawaiian Steamship Company, 18991919. The Business History Review.
Boston: The President and Fellows of Harvard College. 28 (4): 343365. doi:10.2307/3111801.
JSTOR 3111801. OCLC 216113867.
Hovey, Edmund Otis (1907). The Isthmus of
Tehuantepec and the Tehuantepec National Railway. 39 (January 1, 1907). Bulletin of the American Geographical Society. Retrieved 10 February
Heubner, S. S. Steamship Line Agreements and
Aliations in the American Foreign and Domestic
Trade. 55. Annals of the American Academy of
Political and Social Science. Retrieved 10 February
Johnson, Emory R. (1912). The Relation of the
Panama Canal to the Trac and Rates of American
Railroads. United States Senate Reports. Washington, D.C.: United States Government Printing Ofce.
Lloyds. Lloyds Register (PDF). Lloyds Register
(through PlimsollShipData). Retrieved 10 February
Maritime Administration. "Nebraskan". Ship History Database Vessel Status Card. U.S. Department
of Transportation, Maritime Administration. Retrieved 10 February 2014.
Maritime Administration. MARAD Vessel History Database. U.S. Department of Transportation,
Maritime Administration. Retrieved 10 February
San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.
A guide to the Roger D. Lapham photograph collection, 1892-1956. Online Archive of California.
Retrieved 10 February 2014. ELSASS ( 1912 - 1948 )". Retrieved 10 February 2014.

4 External links
History of the American-Hawaiian Steamship Company

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