The steamship BRITISH EMPIRE was built for British Shipowners by
Harland & Wolff, Belfast (engines by G. Forrester & Co, Liverpool), and was
launched on 7 March 1878. 3,329 tons; 119,56 x 11,89 meters / 392.3 x 39 feet
(length x breadth); straight step, 1 funnel, 4 masts; iron construction, screw
propulsion, service speed 12 knots.
Originally chartered to the American Line. 25 September 1878, maiden voyage, Liverpool-Philadelphia, for the American Line. 1 September 1880, last voyage, Philadelphia-Liverpool. 30 May 1885, 1 roundtrip voyage, Liverpool - Queenstown - New York, chartered to the Guion Line. 1886, purchased by the Nederlandsche-Amerikaansche Stoomvaart Maatschappij (Holland America Line), and renamed ROTTERDAM (the second of several vessels of that name owned by the line); accommodation for 70 passengers in 1st class, 70 in 2nd class, and 800 in steerage. 6 November 1886, first voyage, Rotterdam-New York. 8 February 1890, first voyage, Amsterdam-New York. By 29 October 1892, resumed Rotterdam-New York service. 31 August 1895, resumed Amsterdam-New York service. 1895, renamed EDAM (to make way for a new steamship named ROTTERDAM); 28 November 1895, first voyage, Amsterdam-New York, under new name. 25 February-27 May 1899, Rotterdam-New York. 1899, scrapped in Italy.
Source: Noel Reginald Pixell Bonsor, North Atlantic Seaway; An Illustrated History of the Passenger Services Linking the Old World with the New (2nd ed.; Jersey, Channel Islands: Brookside Publications), vol. 3 (1979), pp 911 and 940.