Thomas Henry Ismay, founder of the White Star Line, late 19th century.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Ismay (1837-1899), whose father was a shipbuilder, acquired the White Star Line shipping company in 1867. Together with William Imrie he also founded the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company which ran between Britain and the USA. On Ismay's death, his son Bruce (1862-1937) took control of the White Star Line, and commisioned the 'Titanic' ocean liner. Bruce was on the ship when it struck an iceberg in fog south of Newfoundland en route from Southampton to New York on 14 April 1912. Over 1500 lives were lost. Bruce Ismay, like most of the first clas pasengers, survived. Illustration from 'The White Star triple-screw Atlantic liners 'Olympic' and 'Titanic', 45,000 tons : the largest steamships in the world', published in Newcastle-on-Tyne in 1911.