The Maritime Commissary
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Los Angeles Steamship Co. / LASSCO supplementary information page. Please feel free to send questions or comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org Relevant information, and credits, will be posted.
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Los Angeles Steamship Company was started by a group of Los Angeles boosters and notables in an attempt to break the virtual monopoly that San Francisco and its Matson Lines had on California-Hawaii shipping traffic. Intercoastal service between Los Angeles and San Francisco began in 1921, with service to Hawaii inaugurated the folllowing year.
Service didn't start as smoothly as it might. On its maiden return vogaye, one the the line's flagships, the City of Honolulu caught fire and had to be abandonded, and later sunk. All hands survived though, and the fledgling ship lines barely missed a beat.
The Los Angeles Steamship Co. enjoyed stunning success through the 1920's, with passenger traffic exceeding even Matson's, but with the onset of the depression, financial crisis quickly felled the company and in 1931 it threw itself into the arms of the exact cometitor it had aimed to challenge. Matson used the Los Angeles Steamship Co. name on those runs in a diminishing form until 1937 - Hawaiian service ended in 1932, and all regular scheduled service ended in 1936. It was fun while it lasted but fell quick in hard times. Nonetheless, it did establish Los Angeles as a major port for Hawaiian traffic - a pattern that exists to this day with airline traffic.