General Cargo Ship Japanese Prince. Her magnificent yard model in a scale of 1:100 is one of the jewels that stand in our exhibition on the history of modern maritime logistics on deck 6 of the museum.
The general cargo ship Japanese Prince was built at the Doxford & Sons shipyard, Sunderland, in 1911. She had been ordered together with three sister ships by the shipping company Prince Line Ltd. This enterprise, founded in 1895 and based in Newcastle-on-Tyne, quickly developed into one of the leading shipping companies in Great Britain. The business had already proved to be successful when she was bought by the logistics empire known as Furness, Withy & Co. in 1916. Furness, Withy & Co. had an extremely successful history, managing numerous notorious shipping companies from their founding in 1891 until 1980. On that year, and after a decade of decay marked by the crisis of ocean liners and of general cargo ships (due respectively to the rise of intercontinental commercial flights and of the logistics of the standardised container). The company was bought in 1980 by the OOCL from Hong Kong and later, in 1990, by the Hamburg Süd.
But, back to the Prince Line: It started mainly offering a Mediterranean-New York service but soon expanded its network to almost the entire globe. The SS Japanese Prince, a classic representative of British general cargo transport before the First World War, worked on the New York-South America route. During World War I she was regularly chartered by the British Admiralty to transport goods supporting the war effort. It was on such duty that she was sunk, February the 10th 1917. She was on her way from Newport News to Southampton, when she was hit by a torpedo from the German submarine UC 47, 24 nautical miles southwest of Bishop Rock. Her entire crew was rescued in time by the Acorn-class destroyer HMS Lyra.
Her magnificent yard model in a scale of 1:100 is one of the jewels that stand in our exhibition on the history of modern maritime logistics on deck 6 of the museum.