Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 133,103 pages of information and 210,773 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1868 the British and African Steam Navigation Co was founded in Edinburgh (?) by a group of Glasgow businessmen. On 1 October Alexander Elder and John Dempster formed Elder, Dempster and Co to act as Liverpool agents for the new company.
1879 Alfred Jones became a partner in Elder Dempster and incorporated his business (founded in 1878 in Liverpool and also trading to West Africa) into it.
1880 Elder Dempster became managers of British and African Steam Navigation Co
1880 Alexander Elder and John Dempster retired from Elder Dempster and Company, but both continued as directors of the British and African Steam Navigation Company until 1900.
1889 Elder and Dempster acquired British and African Steam Navigation Co
1891 Elder Dempster also became managers of/acquired the African Steamship Co, rivals of British and African Steam Navigation Co
1898 Acquired Beaver Line, serving Canada
1901 Established the Imperial Direct West India Mail Service Company.
1903 Sold Beaver Line to Canadian Pacific.
1911 Jointly with Royal Mail Steam Packet Co acquired Union Castle
1920 Elder Dempster and Company was one of the first firms to adopt the motorship - the Aba being the first large passenger motor liner in the world to be placed in commission (built in 1918 for Glen Line and acquired in 1920).
1931 After the collapse of the Royal Mail group, management passed to Alfred Holt and Co.
1935 Acquired the Henderson Line
1944 Holt gave up management
1951 Elder Dempster purchased the British and Burmese Steam Navigation Co
1953 the Group name became Liner Holdings.
1953 Acquired Palm Line.
1965 Acquired Guinea Gulf Line.
1965 Liner Holdings Company, which held the Elder Dempster vessels, was incorporated into Ocean Steam Ship Co Ltd
1972 the group was renamed Ocean Transport and Trading.
1989 the Elder Dempster name, plus those of Palm Line and Guinea Gulf, was sold to Delmas-Vieljeux.