Manufacturer: Scammell China
User: Baltimore Steam Packet Company, Seaboard Air Line Railway
Pattern: Old Bay Line Anniversary
Date of plate: 1940
Notes: The Baltimore Steam Packet Company, more commonly known as Old Bay Line, was founded in 1840. It provided overnight steamship service on the Chesapeake Bay, including stops at Norfolk, Virginia and Baltimore, Maryland as well as other cities. The ships were called "packets" due to a contract to carry government mail packets. It ceased operation in 1962 due to the rise of air travel and interstate highways and was the last surviving steamship passenger service in the US.
The Seaboard & Roanoke Railroad, predecessor to the Seaboard Air Line Railway, acquired a controlling interest in the Old Bay Line sometime before the Civil War. Controlling interest eventually passed to the SAL, which eventually acquired all of the Old Bay Line stock and continued to control it until the 1940's, when some ownership was taken by the Southern Railway and Atlantic Coast Line through a merger.
Some of the line's ships were North Carolina, Louisiana as well as S.S. President Warfield, renamed Exodus, which failed in an attempt to carry Jewish refugees emigrating to Palestine in 1947.
Old Bay Seasoning, a popular seafood seasoning, was named after Old Bay Line.
The plate was manufactured for the 100th anniversary of the line. It features a detailed map of Chesapeake Bay with some of the historic houses along its shores as well as historic events such as Civil War battles. Representative steamers on the water encircle the rim.
Lamberton China Ivory body with full color pattern featuring water, ships, houses, hotels, soldiers and produce. Gilded rim.
Much more information on the history of the Baltimore Steam Packet Company can be found here:
ID and photos contributed by reddygal