1865-1948 History of the SGTM

 
1865 Foundation as freighter-line for Algerian iron ore 
1867 Commencement of the South America service
1884-1927 First steamship "Provence" sails on this line
 
Tear-off calendar of SGTM
 
 The beginning of a long history

When the Societé Generale de Transports Maritimes à Vapeur (SGTM) after World War II decided to order two new passenger liners for the Marseille - Buenos Aires - route, the company already was a long-established line in the South America service with an experience of 80 years. Originally founded in 1865 to connect France with the iron ore Mines of Mokta-el-Habib in French Algeria, the company had additionally started the service to Buenos Aires only 2 years later .

Of cause the ships for the South America route had always been the largest units because of the long distance to South America. That was also the case with the two new ships under construction; they should even become the largest liners, which this company ever possessed! The management decided to name the ships after French regions: TSS PROVENCE and TSS BRETAGNE.  The "TSS." stands for "Turbine Steam Ship". These new ships were not the first ships to carry these names. Both had a predecessor, and, how could it be different, of cause served for the SGTM. The first PROVENCE was a steam-driven emigrant ship of the modest length of 118 meters, compared to its modern name cousin, and it already sailed the same route to Argentina as the second PROVENCE, starting in 1884. (for those, who want the details: 3874 tons, beam: 12.89 m, 14 knots, built in France, on the South America line until 1907 for SGTM, then for a Spanish subsidiary company until the demolition in France in 1927).
 

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