Few ships had such a long career as the Virginian. One of the world’s first turbine liners, her 50 years of work spanned the period from sail to the world’s first nuclear-propelled ship, Nautilus. Her owners, the Allan Line, were a firm with a leading position in the U.K. Canadian trade. In the early 20th century they faced intense competition from the American International Mercantile Marine, and from Canadian Pacific. Allan responded by ordering the world’s first liners powered by turbine. The Virginian was built at the Clydeside shipyard of Alexander Stephen & Sons. Virginian launched in 1904. Gearing of turbines had not been invented so at full power her propellers – of 9 ft 6 in (2.9 m) diameter – worked at 280 rpm. From 1905 until 1914 she was based on Liverpool, sailing to Quebec and Montreal during the summer, switching to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and St John, New Brunswick, in the winter. For Irish passengers, she also included a call at Moville in N Ireland. She helped bring the Canadian Expeditionary Force, and then was requisitioned as an armed merchant cruiser, and served with the 10th Cruiser Squadron. She was sold in 1920 to Swedish American Line, who renamed her Drottningholm and put her on the Gothenburg-New York run. In the early Second World War she kept open the New York service and then became a mercy ship. In 1945 she was sold to Home Lines for the Mediterranean South American trade, under the name of Brasil. This changed to Homeland and she opened the Home Lines’ new Hamburg-New York service. She made her last voyage to Trieste and the scrap yard in 1955.