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British shipping companies (O)

Last modified: 2021-05-29 by rob raeside
Keywords: ocean dominion steamship | ot africa line | oregon steamship | orient steam navigation | orkney steam navigation | osborn and wallis | overseas containers |
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See also:

Oakley, Street & Co.

[Oakley, Street & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Oakley, Street & Co. (#694, p. 70), a London-based company, as red with a white cross patty.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/35/
Ivan Sache, 26 April 2021


Ocean Steam Fishing Co., Ltd.

[Ocean Steam Fishing Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Ocean Steam Fishing Co., Ltd. (#1126, p. 90), a Grimsby-based company, as triangular, white with a red disc.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#55
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021


Ocean Transport Co.

[Ocean Transport Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Ocean Transport Co. (#1406, p. 103), a London-based company, as tapered swallow-tail, white with a blue star.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#68
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021


O.I.L. Ltd.

[O.I.L. Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005

O.I.L. Ltd., Woking - white flag, bordered red; black "OIL".
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 3 November 2005


Olau Line Ltd.

[Olau Line Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 3 October 2005

Olau Line Ltd., Sheerness - white flag, two lying parallelograms, top one red, bottom one blue, separated by a thin white space. This might have been a Finnish firm, operating the ferry Vlissingen - Sheerness, used by the good old Magic Bus.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 3 October 2005


One Penny Postage Line

I've come across a flag image printed on a British pictorial envelope -- so it may never have existed in reality -- but I was wondering if you might recognize it. I'm attaching the image, drawn by Henry Anelay for the League of Universal Brotherhood and in support of the Ocean Penny Postage movement in 1848. It's the one on the mainmast of the steamer (that is, the one that is not the British flag).

A second envelope (stationery, actually) has a variant of the flag above. One may be correct and the other in error, or both invented -- again, I'm not sure.
Peter Shulman, 10 September 2011

The stationary obviously has the barquentine-rigged steamship One Penny, flying the house flag of the Ocean Penny Postage line. The company name is displayed on the fore course sail, as some companies did in the past, and the ship's name including part of the company name was also a common practice. That house flag, at least for ships flying the ensign of Welcome, appears to display the sealed reverse of an envelope. The pennant flying from the fore is clearly the One Penny's name pennant. Finally, the paddle box bears a representation of the company's purpose, if rather more crude than was usual.

The envelope might be showing the One Penny too, or maybe a One Penny before or after her. Here too, she sails for the Ocean Penny Postage line, but at this time, she was apparently registered in the country of Union, as she flies the Union ensign. This difference also seems to bring a different house flag, namely a white field with on it the white reverse of an envelope, while even in this image the design is not clear enough to determine for certain whether it has a seal. Here too she flies her name pennant, but the paddle box does not seem to show any lettering, making it much more agreeable.

Considering that I don't know of the countries of Welcome and Union, I would declare these as complete fiction. In today's age, there would be a chance that the Ocean Penny Postage movement would in fact have had such flags made, but since this was around 1850, this would have been quite costly, and I think they would not have gone beyond the version in the prints.

There are several more versions of the print. I think the only flag-wise difference, apart from what see here already, is that at least one version has the text on the ensign of Welcome reading "A WELCOME EVRYWHERE". The older versions are apparently those which show a design like that of the envelope, with the Union Flag as their ensign, where the British red ensign was flown by the real British mail ships. The choice may have been motivated by a desire to make it more understandable for Americans, as the movement existed on both sides of the ocean, asking for a one penny resp. two cent rate for the transatlantic leg of mail transport. Most mail between Europe and North America, here described as "The World", went through Great Britain, and the low rate would therefore be a benefit to all. The movement felt the resulting increase in mail flow would compensate the lower income per envelope.

While it is all just fiction, in my opinion, I would point out the details of the house flag. The saltire lines are drawn is such a way that they resemble an envelope, with a seal on it, yet the resulting flag cleverly mimics the flag of the actual mail company, the Royal Mail Steam Packet Co., which was a saltire bearing a crown.
The depicted Union Ensign shows that the artist is quite capable of indicating thickness of saltires, even at that size, so the likeness to an envelope, rather than to the actual flag, is quite deliberate. It's also a quite enjoyable visual pun.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 20 April 2012


Orders & Hendford

[Orders & Hendford houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Orders & Hendford (#1285, p. 98), a Newport-based company, as white with a monogram composed of a blue "O", a red "&" and a blue "H".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#63
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021


Oregon Steamship Co.

[Oregon Steamship Co. Ltd. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of the Oregon Steamship Co. Ltd, London. An olive, green rectangular flag with a black diamond in the centre bearing a letter 'O' in white. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 22 August 2004


Orient Steam Fishing Co., Ltd.

[Orient Steam Fishing Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Orient Steam Fishing Co., Ltd. (#1078, p. 88), a Grimsby-based company, as red with a yellow border, a yellow star and a yellow crescent.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#53
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021


Orient Steam Navigation Co.

[Orient Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] image by James Dignan

Based on Sampson (1957)
James Dignan, 15 October 2003

Orient Steam Navigation Co. (Anderson, Green & Co,. Ltd., Managers)
Houseflag: white, with blue St. George's Cross and gold crown in center.
Jarig Bakker, 16 October 2003

British. Formed circa 1877 with trade routes to Australia and later New Zealand and by the 1950s to San Francisco, Vancouver and Honolulu. P&O purchased majority interest in 1919 and the balance of the company in 1965. The next year the company was fully absorbed into P&O.
Phil Nelson, 16 October 2003

The art-work on the crown at a specimen in the National Maritime Museum is quite different.
Peter Hans van den Muijzenberg, 6 May 2019

[Orient Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the same house flag (#1195, p. 93).
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#58
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

See also: White Star Lines

[Orient Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] image by António Martins-Tuválkin, 8 May 2010

[Orient Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] image located by Neale Rosanoski, 26 February 2004

Orient Steam Navigation Co. The Stewart series uses this company as an example of the development of a house flag although it includes one discrepancy. The original flag combined those of Anderson, Anderson & Co. (blue with a white saltire) and Frederick Green & Co. (white with a red cross surmounting a blue panel), who combined as Anderson & Green (also shown as Green & Anderson) in 1874 to operate the Orient Line, forerunner of the Orient Steam Navigation Co. which was formed in either 1877 or 1878. This combined flag was blue with a white saltire and overall an undefined white diamond bearing a red cross over a blue panel. Stewart does not show the panel in his example but it is by Loughran 1979. Whichever is correct was used until c.1880 when the white with red cross and crown format was adopted, presumably being based on the similar flag used by Pacific Steam Navigation Co. who were associated in these early days, but this has the red letters "OSNC" in the respective quarters. This was altered slightly by the addition of a small "o" after the "C" with Loughran quoting 1888 and Stewart c.1892 but both then agreeing that in 1908 the letters were done away with, coinciding with Pacific Steam being no longer connected.
Neale Rosanoski, 26 February 2004


Orkney Islands Shipping Co., Ltd.

[Orkney Islands Shipping Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Jarig Bakker, 10 November 2005

Orkney Islands Shipping Co., Ltd., Kirkwall - red flag, near top and bottom rectangles; in center "O", containing "I", all white.
Source: Loughran (1995)
Jarig Bakker, 10 November 2005


Orkney Steam Navigation Co.

[Orkney Steam Navigation Co. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of the Orkney Steam Navigation Co., Kirkwall. A rectangular flag divided diagonally into four broad white and five narrow red stripes."
Jarig Bakker, 23 August 2004


Ormond Cook, Ferguson & Co.

[Ormond Cook, Ferguson & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021

On 28 February 1917, Georges Eadie retired from the ownership of Ormond Cook, Ferguson & co. leaving his two former associates, Ormond Cook and David Neilson Ferguson as the sole owners of the company (The Edinburgh Gazette, 23 March 1917). Ferguson retired from the company on 15 September 1921, leaving Ormond Cook as its sole owner (The Edinburgh Gazette, 20 September 1921).

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Ormond Cook, Ferguson & Co. (#1734, p. 119), a Glasgow-based shipping company, as quartered red and white per saltire, charged in the center with a black disk inscribing white "R".
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#84
Ivan Sache, 4 May 2021


Osborn and Wallis

[Osborn and Wallis houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of Osborn and Wallis, Cardiff. A white flag with the monogram 'OW' in blue in the centre. The flag is made of a wool and synthetic fibre bunting. It has a cotton hoist and is machine sewn. A rope and toggle is attached."
Jarig Bakker, 23 August 2004

[Osborn and Wallis houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 23 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Osborn & Wallis (#334, p. 52) as white with a red "O.W." monogram.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#17
Ivan Sache, 23 April 2021


OT Africa Line

[OT Africa Line houseflag] by Jorge Candeias, 03 Feb 1999

Yellow, a white disc with a wide blue border (making an "O") and a blue "T" inside.
Jorge Candeias, 03 Feb 1999

Believe this should be a British company as OTAL appears to be a subsidiary of Thamesport.
Al Fisher, 03 Feb 1999

OT Africa Line. Brown 1995 shows this flag for the Swedish company O.T. Shipping A/B which appears to have originated as O.T. Rederierna which was declared bankrupt by the Swedish Government in 1982 with its assets disposed of to A/B Shipinvest which was formed for that purpose. However it continued to be shown in Lloyds as O.T. Shipping A/B until the early 1990s. Brown makes reference to the OT Africa Line service as having the same flag but with the addition of "OT AFRICA LINE in white outlined blue across the centre which I have presumed to resemble as attached (below). On my original visit to site for OT Africa Line, also known as OTAL, at www.otal.com, I have noted that it was formed 1975 and was based in Nigeria. It showed a logo of the OT flag with the legend plastered over it but not forming part as it extended beyond the flag borders [see logo below]. However 10/1999 it, together with its associate Antrak International, were sold to the Group Bollore of France but remain independent from their shipping arm Delmas [all this from the site].  I have just had another look at their site and are now not at all sure where their HQ is at present. The ships appear to be split between Antak and Delmas and that latter has some registered in the name of Otal Investments Ltd. formed 2001. I can only conclude from the maze that the original name was sold by the Swedes together with the flag and its continued appearance on the website means it still exists but in what context is another matter.

[OT Africa Line houseflag]  

[OT Africa Line houseflag]


Overseas Containers Ltd.

[Overseas Containers Ltd. houseflag] by Jarig Bakker, based on the website of the National Maritime Museum.

From the website of the National Maritime Museum, "the house flag of Overseas Containers Ltd., London. A rectangular blue flag bearing the letters 'OCL' in white. The flag is made of synthetic fibre bunting with a cotton hoist. A rope is attached."

In use since 1971.
Jarig Bakker, 23 August 2004


Overseas Transport Co., Ltd.

(J.S. Pyman)

[Overseas Transport Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021

Oversea Transport Co., Ltd. operated three ships, "Abaris" (1904-1916), "Parracombe" (1928-1940), and "Welcombe" (1930-1940).

http://www.mariners-list.com/site_pages.php?section=Shipping+Companies&category=English&page_name=George+Pyman+
Mariners L

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of
Oversea Transport Co., Ltd. (J.S. Pyman) (#540, p. 62), a London-based company, as white with a black disc inscribing a white "P", the black letters "OTC°" placed along the hoist.

https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#27
Ivan Sache, 25 April 2021


Overton Steamship Co., Ltd.

(R.R. Clark)

[Overton Steamship Co., Ltd. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Overton Steamship Co., Ltd. (R.R. Clark) (#1242, p. 96), a Liverpool-based company, as white with a blue disc in the center.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#61
Ivan Sache, 30 April 2021


Owen & Watkin Williams & Co.

[Owen & Watkin Williams & Co. houseflag] image by Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021

Captain John Williams a native of Porthdinllaen, had been Master of the 130 ton schooner "Mary Watkins" since she was built in 1850. But like so many mariners from the north coast of Llyn, in 1857 aged 36, he became managing owner of his first vessel, the same "Mary Watkins". And this would indirectly become the foundation stone for one of the biggest shipping companies owned by a Llyn family. He continued to command his vessel, along with his crew of eight local men, and sailed her to many different places, from the West Indies, Black Sea, and to Brazil and other exotic destinations. Capt Williams and his wife Mary (she was the daughter of Plasymhenllech) had three sons, Owen, born in 1862, Robert 1863, and Watkin in 1864, and during this time the family moved to live to "Tyncoed" in the next village Edern.
Ship owning must have got into his blood, (or the healthy profit he was enjoying) because by 1871, the 205ton Brig “Sharp” had joined the fleet, only to be lost in less than a year. But this didn’t deter him, and in 1872, he acquired the 554ton barque “Lauretta” which cost £4,250, but he sold the "Mary Watkins" in 1873, and then in 1875 he bought the even bigger 1296 ton ship “Amoor”, which cost a staggering £7,750. By now Capt Williams had left the sea, and was looking after his shipping interests full time, which he continued to do so until he retired in 1887 aged 66, when he sold his two remaining vessels.

His youngest son Watkin, had been drawn to the sea as well, and had served on his fathers ship “Amoor” and by the late 1880s he was First Mate on the 1451 ton steamer “Jenny Otto” owned by G. Otto of London, and trading mostly to the Mediterranean.

Owen his oldest brother was working as a clerk in a Cardiff shipping company, but his father’s business ventures interested him, and his first flurry into ship owning came in the shape of shares in the barque “Caroline Spooner” in 1889 which he bought from the Rev John Morgan, who was rector of Edern church at the time. And his brother Watkin soon followed, by buying shares with him in the 2404 ton steamer “Hesperides” in the early 1890s, this would become the start of a partnership that would last thirty five years, and they would become owners of over 20 steam and motor vessels of up to 6900 gross tons.

From 1900 and up to the great war of 1914-1918, Cardiff became the coal capital of the world, in 1906 alone over seven million tons of the stuff was exported to the four corners of the globe, and by 1913 this had raised to over 10 million. The two brothers from Edern, were well placed to take advantage of the rich pickings to be had, their “Golden Cross Line” became a household name throughout Wales. But on Llyn they were affectionately known as “Llongau Pwllparc”, for the family had moved there from Tyncoed in the late 1870s, and many Llyn and especially Edern seamen sailed on them. The great war decimated their fleet, with seven ships lost. And when they dabbled in motor vessels instead of steam in the early 1920s things took a definite turn for the worse, and by 1930, the company folded with debts running into many thousands of pounds. But the sheer guts of these two brothers, has got to be admired, and Pwllparc ships quite rightly will always be remembered on the Llyn, as one of the greatest chapters in our maritime history.

https://www.rhiw.com/y_mor/pwll_parc/golden_cross.htm
Rhiw website

Lloyd's Book of House Flags and Funnels (1912) shows the house flag of Owen & Watkin Williams & Co. (#1218, p. 94) as blue with a yellow cross patty fitchy.
https://research.mysticseaport.org/item/l011061/l011061-c008/#59
Ivan Sache, 29 April 2021


British Shipping lines: continued
 
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