The Transatlantic Liner PAVONIA under its combined steam-sail power is serving on its Liverpool to Boston route in 1887 in this commissioned work by Parker Greenwood. The day's illumination has burst forth and begun to withdraw, yet the sunset coloration at the horizon still pushing forth a luminescence to the undersides of the clouds.
Built by J. & G. Thompson of Glasgow in 1881 for the Cunard Line, PAVONIA measured 430'6" in hull length with a beam of 46'4". Carrying square yards on her fore and main masts, she was one of the first vessels to be steered from the bridge by an intricate steam-powered gear and pulley system. Her accommodations were arraigned for 100 First-Class passengers and 1,060 in Third-Class, as well as 4,000 tons of cargo. Her initial route was to New York from the Line's Liverpool home port, but was switched to Boston in 1884.
The difficult conditions faced in Atlantic crossings required an adaptable ship. Here Greenwood shows PAVONIA smoking along with most of her sails employed, possible not as an aid to her two-cylinder steam engine with six boilers and 18 furnaces (capable of 12 knots), but to help stabilize the roll and pitch of the passenger liner in the face of a steady breeze. Greenwood most definitely painted this fine work as a direct commission, either from her Cunard Line owners, or as her captain's remembrance.
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