A builders' model of the S.S. Robert Dollar, of the Dollar Line built by Rodger & Co circa 1920
cased dimensions 152 x 82in (386 x 208cm)
Robert Dollar (1844-1932), was born in Falkirk, Scotland. He immigrated to North America and worked in the woods of Ontario, Michigan and Northern California for lumber companies. He eventually came to own timber land and logging operations, extensive commercial shipping and a fleet of pleasure cruise ships, in addition he was a generous philanthropist. In 1895, he acquired his first vessel, a single steam schooner called Newsboy, to move his lumber from the Pacific Northwest to markets down the coast. Thus began his entry into the shipping industry that included lumber, commodities, mail, and passengers.
The Dollar fleet was a common sight from Canada to Canton, San Francisco to Shanghai, and Tacoma to Tokyo. California Governor James Rolph, Jr. stated, "Robert Dollar has done more in his lifetime to spread the American flag on the high seas than any man in this country."