H. Farquharson Kerr
AMONG the men who have recognized the op-portunities offered by war conditions in shipping and improved them with the argest measure of success is H. Farquharson Kerr, organizer and now president of the Kerr ^teamship Line.
Mr. Kerr has for his entire business life been ientified with shipping, his father, the late J. E. Kerr, of Jamaica, West Indies, and New York City, having been engaged in the shipping business. And having built the "Pomona," the first reamer ever expressly designed for the purpose r carrying bananas, and which became a pioneer zr.d leader in the introduction and upbuilding of the banana trade between Jamaica and this coun- ::y. H. Farquharson Kerr, trained from his boy- 3d in the shipping business, became a partner
- the shipping firm of J. E. Kerr & Company.
When, in August, 1914, the European war was precipitated upon a startled world, no man had keener perception of the possibilities opened up r increased shipping under the United States ig. He thereupon gave up his interest in the E. Kerr & Company and organized the Kerr r:vzmship Line, of which he became president and E. Clegg vice-president. This line, by subsequent and rapid accessions, has developed into one the most important fleets of the American merchant marine. It began with a regular transatlantic with the French ports of Flavre, Bordeaux, and Marseilles, with regular sailings and
cargoes, by amount ten steamers per month.
. He line also established a regular service be-tween New York and all the Spanish and Portu-gese ports, with the steamers of the Compafna Miritima del Nervion; and by arrangement with Wilhelmsen, of Tonsberg, Norway, the shipowner of that country, his steamers ere organized into a fleet for regular service between New York and the ports of Brazil and the
- so that the Kerr Steamship Line became important factor in the promotion of improved
relations between the United States and the " _theAmerican republics.
Jther additions to the Kerr Steamship Line "ive been made by construction and purchase,
and early in 1917 a large increase of tonnage was secured by the purchase of eight Austrian steamers which had been self-interned in the United States ports from the early years of the war. These vessels, refitted for services and given new names, of which the syllable 'Ker" is in each case a part, are the "Kermanshah," formerly "Himalaia," of 8,100 tons deadweight, which had been lying at New York from August, 1914, and which was built in 1910; "Kerkenna," formerly "Borneo," 5,500 tons, built 1910, which had been lying at Tampa "Keresan," formerly "Erodiade," 6,780 tons, built 1910, which had been lying at Buenos Aires; "Kerlew," formerly "Virginia," 4,805 tons, built in 1906, lying at Havana; "Ker- wood," formerly "Budapest," 5,350 tons, built in 1911, lying at Norfolk; "Kermoor," formerly "Marawitz," 6,980 tons, built in 1907, lying at Galveston; "Keresaspa," formerly "Franconia," 7,300 tons, built in 1903, lying at Philadelphia; and the "Kerowlee," formerly "Compania," lying at Galveston. The transpatriation of this important tonnage was one of the most valuable accessions of that year to the American merchant marine, and a valuable augmentation of the resources for service of the Kerr Steamship Line.
The large and steadily increasing tonnage of the Kerr Steamship Line has been steadily kept busy in the channels of American overseas trade, and among the vessels included in it the "Rochester" is distinguished as one which fearlessly defied the Kaiser's warning proclamation of ruthless submarine warfare and safely reached the port of Bordeaux with a full cargo. The line has steadily continued to give regular service between American and French ports. When, in the spring of 1918, the leading transportation lines were taken under Government service the Kerr Steamship Line was one of those included in the order and was used in active war-winning service.
Mr. Kerr established an office at 7 Rue Scribe, Paris, an office and complete dock organization at Bordeaux, offices at New Orleans, Chicago, and Marseilles, and well-conceived and perfected arrangements for a continuance of the marvelous progress which his endeavors have brought to the important steamship line that bears his name.