Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Steamship Company
The Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Company of Baltimore, Maryland was incorporated in May 1920. Its primary mission was to transport goods and produce across the Atlantic, across the Pacific and coast to coast via the Panama Canal. It was started by Baltimore natives W. Bernard Duke, President, Currall A. Askew, Vice President, and William B. W. Mann, Secretary and Treasurer. Duke had been President of the Seaboard Bank of Baltimore; Askew was previously General Manager of States Marine Company and Steamship Manager for Thomas Cook and Sons; Mann was formerly of Mann Shipbuilding Company.
Approximately $2 Million in capital was raised to begin the venture. With that amount six ships were purchased from the United States Shipping Board. The ships included the Charles H. Cramp, the Liberator, the H. S. Grove, the Cape Romain, the Cape Henry and the West Haven. They ranged in size from 7,400 dead weight tons to 11,700 and totaled 55,000 tons.
In 1921 they became the first company to transport citrus fruit between coasts via ship and the Panama Canal. The ship Charles H. Cramp brought that first shipment of fruit. The advantage touted by the shipping company was lower cost for the transport versus rail as well as less spoilage. To celebrate this milestone a luncheon was held at the Reunart Hotel in Baltimore February 5, 1921 with O. E. Goodman of the California Fruit Growers Exchange and S. W. Collins of the U. S. Department of Agriculture attending as guests of honor. Collins had arranged the test shipment and made the voyage. Baltimore's Mayor William Frederick Broening also attended.
- Baltimore Sun, Sunday, February 6, 1921 p. 21.
- Baltimore Sun, Tuesday, August 15, 1922 p. 22.
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