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This information is extracted from the Illustrated London News of Dec 3, 1870.

The Cunard Steamer Abyssinia


The screw steam-ship Abyssinia is one of the latest additions to the fleet of the British and north American Royal Mail Steam-Packet company, popularly known as the Cunard Company. This noble vessel, of 3500 gross register tonnage, and with 600-horse power engines, was built very recently by Messrs. James and George Thomson, of the Clyde Bank Foundry, Glasgow, specially for the postal service between Great Britain and the United States. Her dimensions are 360 ft. length of keel, 42 ft. breadth (moulded), and 35 ft. 6in. In depth. Her engine-powerwas indicated by the Admiralty trial at 3150 horses, and her speed at 15 knots per hour. She has accommodation on the spar-deck for about 120 first-class passengers, the dining-saloons and sleeping-apartments for whom are very well lighted, heated, and ventilated, and for whose comfort and security neither trouble nor expense has been spared. On the spar-deck, too, are the kitchens, sculleries, pantries, ice-houses, bakery, and butchery, as well as the lavatories. The Abyssinia is provided with a male and female hospital and a dispensary. She is furnished with two sets of Normanby's distilling apparatus, capable of producing 2000 gallons of fresh water each day. On the main and lower decks is accommodation for about 1000 third-class passengers, or, if need were, for a regiment of two battalions of soldiers. These decks, also, are admirably lighted, heated, and ventilated. In her holds the Abyssinia has a capacity of 80,000 cubic feet; and she can carry 1200 tons of coals in her bunkers. This vessel, like the other ships of the Cunard Company, has been built under special inspection; and the iron and other material used in her construction are of the same quality as those of the Russia. The hull is divided into eight water-tight compartments. In her general arrangement and equipment this vessel, with her sister ships the Algeria and Parthia, will fully maintain the well-earned reputation of the Cunard Company. It will be remembered that when the present Government agreed to renew the Cunard contract, last year, Mr. Burns, acting for that company, intimated that several new ships would be immediately contracted for in order to carry out the postal service in the manner in which it had been done by that company for the last thirty years, and that these new vessels would be ready for service during the currency of the present year. To redeem this pledge, four powerful steamships were contracted for, of which the Abyssinia is the representative type.

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