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The Shipping Wizard of Kirkcaldy
Andrew Weir's Bank Line
by Captain Alistair Macnab

Overview


One of the United Kingdom's largest and last remaining Cargo Liner and Tramp Ship operators surviving into the 21st century despite the advent of the containership which has swept most traditional American and British shipping companies from the world's oceans. This book takes a look at the influences of the 19th century entrepreneurs who shaped 20th century international commerce. The United States succeeded Britain as the world's economic superpower but the shift was as inevitable as it was beneficial for the betterment of the world at large.In many ways, the common cultural heritage of both countries ensured a smooth transition. The ensuing Great Depression of the 1930s followed by WWII, marked America's global maturity and firmly planted her name on the 20th century. But time moves on and today's international problems require completely new answers. The westward shift of global hegemony may not be accomplished as smoothly and beneficially as it was before, and may come a lot sooner that many of us would think or like. International commerce is today increasingly dominated by Eastern Powers which might inevitably lead to a self-interested State involvement with monopolistic tendencies.
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Description


It is not generally known or understood in the United States that world-wide commercial ocean ship operations by American companies were largely undertaken by British ships. At the beginning of the 20th century, the United Kingdom operated privately-owned fleets of ships, many of which were chartered to American trading and transport companies. Such well-known American trading companies as Kerr, Barber, and Norton lines employed British-flag ships for their cargo liner and tramp ship businesses.

But there were several British shipping companies set up their own ships also to serve the American markets. These included Lamport & Holt, Bucknall Brothers, Houlder's,and Andrew Weir.. The last named is the subject of this book. Mr Weir's history in American cargo liner trades, initially with Argentina, India and the Far East evolved into placing his Bank Line ships on the South African, Australian and New Zealand trades that lasted into the 1980s. Weir became a Baron in 1919 and among his American exploits he gave Rockefeller's Standard Oil a run for his money developing with American partners oil discoveries in California, Mexico and Venezuela. It would be true to say that Bank Line ships spent more time in USA waters than they ever did in Britain's.

If you are indeed a little bit curious about how commercial shipping works, you will learn that it is not the ships that create the international commerce structure but the cargoes the ships carry. A basic but much misunderstood fact. That American shipowners stuck to steam to drive their ships must be seen as anachronistic in light of the selection of motor-driven ships in the rest of the world and is discussed in this volume.

The Vietnamese Boat People, catapult projected airplanes from ship's decks at sea during WWII, and the last of the Intercolonial passenger ships with imperious 'mensahibs' are all visited as is a hilarious chapter of accidents that befell  a certain Royal personage aboard one of Andrew Weir's Bank Line ships.

Would it be too much to expect a book to inform and entertain at the same time? Even a dedicated 'landlubber' will be exposed to 20th century maritime history and find much to learn about one of the necessary pillars of today's internationaltional commerce

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About the author


Born in Ayr, Scotland. Apprenticed to Andrew Weir's Bank Line in 1953, first command 1966. Represented Weir's interests in the USA from 1968 to 1981 in New Orleans, New York and Houston. Married 1976 with three adult children. President: Greater Houston Port Bureau; Adjunct Lecturer, Business School in University of Houston at Downtown campus. Now resident in Brooklyn NY.
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Book details

Genre:TRANSPORTATION

Subgenre:Ships & Shipbuilding / History

Language:English

Pages:252

Format:Hardcover

Hardcover ISBN:9781543940343


Overview


One of the United Kingdom's largest and last remaining Cargo Liner and Tramp Ship operators surviving into the 21st century despite the advent of the containership which has swept most traditional American and British shipping companies from the world's oceans. This book takes a look at the influences of the 19th century entrepreneurs who shaped 20th century international commerce. The United States succeeded Britain as the world's economic superpower but the shift was as inevitable as it was beneficial for the betterment of the world at large.In many ways, the common cultural heritage of both countries ensured a smooth transition. The ensuing Great Depression of the 1930s followed by WWII, marked America's global maturity and firmly planted her name on the 20th century. But time moves on and today's international problems require completely new answers. The westward shift of global hegemony may not be accomplished as smoothly and beneficially as it was before, and may come a lot sooner that many of us would think or like. International commerce is today increasingly dominated by Eastern Powers which might inevitably lead to a self-interested State involvement with monopolistic tendencies.

Read more

Description


It is not generally known or understood in the United States that world-wide commercial ocean ship operations by American companies were largely undertaken by British ships. At the beginning of the 20th century, the United Kingdom operated privately-owned fleets of ships, many of which were chartered to American trading and transport companies. Such well-known American trading companies as Kerr, Barber, and Norton lines employed British-flag ships for their cargo liner and tramp ship businesses.

But there were several British shipping companies set up their own ships also to serve the American markets. These included Lamport & Holt, Bucknall Brothers, Houlder's,and Andrew Weir.. The last named is the subject of this book. Mr Weir's history in American cargo liner trades, initially with Argentina, India and the Far East evolved into placing his Bank Line ships on the South African, Australian and New Zealand trades that lasted into the 1980s. Weir became a Baron in 1919 and among his American exploits he gave Rockefeller's Standard Oil a run for his money developing with American partners oil discoveries in California, Mexico and Venezuela. It would be true to say that Bank Line ships spent more time in USA waters than they ever did in Britain's.

If you are indeed a little bit curious about how commercial shipping works, you will learn that it is not the ships that create the international commerce structure but the cargoes the ships carry. A basic but much misunderstood fact. That American shipowners stuck to steam to drive their ships must be seen as anachronistic in light of the selection of motor-driven ships in the rest of the world and is discussed in this volume.

The Vietnamese Boat People, catapult projected airplanes from ship's decks at sea during WWII, and the last of the Intercolonial passenger ships with imperious 'mensahibs' are all visited as is a hilarious chapter of accidents that befell  a certain Royal personage aboard one of Andrew Weir's Bank Line ships.

Would it be too much to expect a book to inform and entertain at the same time? Even a dedicated 'landlubber' will be exposed to 20th century maritime history and find much to learn about one of the necessary pillars of today's internationaltional commerce

Read more

About the author


Born in Ayr, Scotland. Apprenticed to Andrew Weir's Bank Line in 1953, first command 1966. Represented Weir's interests in the USA from 1968 to 1981 in New Orleans, New York and Houston. Married 1976 with three adult children. President: Greater Houston Port Bureau; Adjunct Lecturer, Business School in University of Houston at Downtown campus. Now resident in Brooklyn NY.
Read more

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