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1839 William and Alexander Thomson went into the shipping business as partners, importing marble from Italy and taking coal to Canada returning with timber.
1833 Thomas Henderson married the sister of Alexander and William Thomson. This led to a close association between the two families.
From 1859 the company operated routes to Singapore, China and Japan and this became its major source of business.
By the mid-1880s New routes had been established to the Baltic; the Canadian trade had run down.
1919 Name changed to Ben Line Steamers Ltd.
By 1927 the Baltic trade had ceased.
During the 1970s the Ben Line diversified into oil drilling, container ships and the transportation of chemicals
1972 Formed the Ben Line Ship Management Ltd with Galbraith Wrightson Ltd in 1972.
1976 Took over the Sheaf Steam Shipping Co. Combined with East Asiatic Co., Copenhagen, to run a weekly service to the Far East.
1992 Sold its remaining ships.