Birth of the SS Saint Paul

American Line ocean liner SS St. Paul photographed under steam in or near New York Harbor 1895 — Photo by Library of Congress

On April 10, 1895, the SS Saint Paul named for the capital of Minnesota was launched in Philadelphia by William Cramp & Sons. It became the first commercial vessel to be commissioned for the Spanish-American War and later went on to serve during World War I.

The ship was named after Saint Paul, the capital of Minnesota. It was originally intended to be used to deliver American-made products to foreign countries and…