107 years ago today at 9:10 pm, Lusitania left her home port of Liverpool for her first crossing of the Atlantic. Her fleet mate Lucania had departed Liverpool a few hours earlier. The scuttlebutt around the city was of a “race” across the Atlantic between the two Cunarders, but as anyone in the shipping world already knew, it was impossible for the 14-year-old Lucania to compete with the new turbine-driven Cunard flyer. Of Lusitania’s sailing, one newspaper reported that:
“Probably never before has so much interest been displayed in the maiden voyage of a new vessel as was displayed today in the sailing of the Lusitania. As Lusitania gathered headway down the river, and every steamer and riverside factory for miles along the Mersey joined in the chorus of goodbys [sic]. The din was deafening.
“The demonstration reached its climax when the vast multitude broke out with ‘Rule Britannia.’ This song was taken up by the crowds on the Cheshire side of the river and sung until the ship, with her 3,000 passengers, had passed slowly beyond the sight of the four-mile-long riverside promenade.”
This postcard did not make the final cut for my book RMS Lusitania: A History in Picture Postcards.