On this day in Cruise Ship History: It was one of the largest maritime disasters in American history, 117 years ago today, the fire and sinking of the Steamship S.S. Saale on June 30, 1900, which resulted in the deaths of 361 crew, women, men and child passengers.
During the afternoon of June 30, 1900 the Saale was at the busy docks of Hoboken, New Jersey, along with the Kaiser Wilhelm der Große, Main and Bremen all owned by North German Lloyd Steamship Company, tied to piers 1, 2 and 3.
The docks were full of longshoremen and crew from the ships. The Saale had just loaded her passengers, ready to sail to Southhampton in the United Kingdom.
The SS Saale owned by the North German Lloyd Steamship Company, had been built in Glasgow in 1886. She was capable of carrying 1,240 passengers, 150 of which were able to use the First Class accommodation, 90 Second Class berths were available, and up to a thousand steerage passengers would be held deep in the belly of the ship in steerage.
The disaster resulted in one of the most important, passenger ship legislation to be enacted in American cruise history. See Video below and read more on Cruise Ship Fires
Video: Hoboken New Jersey History and Cartography (1881)