White Star Line which owned/operated Titanic And Her Sisters, was also known as Oceanic Steam Navigation Company or White Star Line of Boston Packets, the company was British where It was founded in Liverpool, England in year 1845 by John Pilkington and Henry Wilson
Although popularly known as White Star Line to many, the company`s correct name was the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company when it was created by Thomas Ismay in the late 1860`s. However the roots of the business stretched back to earlier in the century. The original White Star Line, founded in Liverpool by John Pikington and Henry Threlfall Wilson, was designed to capitalize upon trade with Australia, following the discovery of the gold of course, Initially it operated chartered sailing ships, but was to acquire its first steamship, the `Royal Standard`, in 1863.
Following a merger with two other shipping lines (Black Ball & Eagle) where the company became the Liverpool, Melbourne & Oriental Steam Navigation however as time went on it was seen this new business was not successful and White Star Line separated to concentrate increasingly growing transatlantic crossing due to a huge surge in European migrants wanting a new life in United States of America. For the newly shipping line White Star Line while its business held promise, its finances did not. Heavily in debt to the Royal Bank of Liverpool, to the tune of around £527,000, the failure of the bank in October 1867 forced the new shipping line into bankruptcy.
However , one mans`s failure is anthers opportunity right? well in January 1868 Thomas Ismay , which was a director of the national Line paid the very princely sum of £1,000 to acquire the trade the trade name, flag and goodwill of the White Star Line. So the new company has top be based at Albion House on Liverpool, required new financial and to achieve this new cash if you like Ismay entered into an a agreement with Gustav Schwabe which was German but was involved in Harland & Wolff. Schwabe guaranteed the funding the purchase provided that Ismay placed orders on any vessels with Harland & Wolff. This was all agreed on July 30th 1869, which the first orders were placed. The first ships to be built where Oceanic, Atlantic, Baltic & Republic. While work was underway with the new ships Ismay created the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company to operate them, with the new company having a capital of £400,000 with £1,000 in shares, it was formed on September 6th 1869. Where the completion of the line`s first vessel completed its voyage from Liverpool & New York from Queenstown in 1871.
After the sinking of White Star Lines second ship `Atlantic` on April 1st 1873 the fortunes continued and in 1878 the then head of the rival company Cunard Line John Burns proposed a merger of the two shipping lines, however it was declinced by White Star Line as it wanted to build its own fleet of ships. Then on March 26th 1883 White Star Line took the delivery of its first steel ship the RMS Ionic and her her sister Doric soon after where their engines was constructed & fitted by Harland & Wolff. White Star Line for the next 20 years remained an Independence shipping line, until the 20th century.