Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 140,702 pages of information and 227,385 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.
1869 Thomas Henry Ismay, soon after he had purchased the White Star Line, formed a partnership with an old friend and fellow-apprentice, William Imrie, the Oceanic Steam Navigation Co; this was backed by Gustavus Schwabe, a Liverpool merchant, on condition that all their ships would be ordered from Harland and Wolff (a shipbuilding venture involving Schwabe's nephew, Gustav Wilhelm Wolff, and Edward James Harland - Harland and Wolff).
The 2 friends had already formed a joint company Ismay, Imrie and Co which became a subsidiary division of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company. Ismay ran the steamers under the White Star flag. Imrie ran the sailing vessels under the name of North West Shipping Co.