Throwback Thursday: The Germania

My great-grandfather Francisco Petrini emigrated to the U.S. on this ship, the S.S. Germania. He boarded the ship in Naples, Italy, and arrived at Ellis Island in January 1904. My grandfather was born two years later. (The Germania was built by the Scottish shipbuilding firm Caird & Co. for the Hamburg American steamship line.)

The Germania was described as having “all the modern improvements in machinery.” According to Hamburg American, “Her saloon was most elegantly fitted up in every respect, the panels were adorned with paintings of scenes in Germany, England and the United States. There was a first-rate piano and a good library on board for the use of the saloon passengers.” My great-grandfather would not have had such luxurious surroundings, but would have traveled below decks, in steerage, with the other third-class passengers.

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