by N. R. P. Bonsor

Chapter 28

1850 - 93



The LIVERPOOL & PHILADELPHIA STEAM SHIP COMPANY, founded in 1850, was popularly known from an early date as the INMAN LINE - as a compliment to William Inman, without whose enthusiasm it would never have seen the light of day. Born in Leicesterin 1825, Inman became a clerk in the office of Richardson & Company, of Liverpool, and in January 1849 was made a partner. His particular responsibility was managing a fleet of sailing ships running between Liverpool and Philadelphia.

In February 1850 the Glasgow shipbuilders Tod & McGregor launched the 1,609 ton iron screw CITY OF GLASGOW which, 2 months later, they placed in service on their own account between Glasgow and New York. Inman watched her progress with great interest and before the conclusion of her fourth voyage persuaded his partners to buy her to run between Liverpool and Philadelphia in competition with the sailing ships.

The inaugural voyage of the CITY OF GLASGOW from Liverpool began on 11 December 1850, under the command of Captain B. R. Matthews, late of the GREAT WESTERN. Owing to rough weather she took 22 days to reach Philadelphia but no more than 13 days 16 hours on the homeward passage, which was only 1 day 16 hours longer than a contemporary passage by the Cunard wooden paddle steamer NIAGARA on the appreciably shorter run from Boston.

It had been announced that Tod & McGregor were building a second steamer of increased size and power for the new line and that she would be named CITY OF PHILADELPHIA, but when the newcomer was placed in service in July 1851 it was as the CITY OF MANCHESTER. Her tonnage was 2,109 and she had four masts instead of her predecessor’s three. It is noteworthy that Liverpool & Philadelphia Company had decided to continue using the ‘CITY OF’ prefix, which had been introduced by Tod & MacGregor and not by them.

In November 1851 the 1,875 ton wooden screw CITY OF PITTSBURG put in an appearance at Liverpool from Philadelphia, and owing to the(balance missing)