"Messageries-Maritimes steamer"
Messageries Maritimes steamers in Marseilles
Public DomainMessageries Maritimes steamers in Marseilles - Credit: US Library of Congress

Founded in Marseilles in 1851, the Messageries Maritimes was a highly successful French maritime company during its golden age (from 1871 until the outbreak of World War I), sailing to China, Australia, Africa and the South Atlantic. With their trademark twin-funnels the steamers became iconic vessels on the world's oceans.