The National Line was a British company operating out of Liverpool between 1863 and 1907. It was founded with the purpose to accelerate the substitution of powerful screw steamers for sailing vessels in the American and other trades. In the 1870's, the company with ten vessels in service landed 33,494 passengers at New York, a record that exceeded that of the Guion Line, Anchor Line and the Cunard Line. The company operated until 1907 when most of its ships were absorbed by the Atlantic Transport Line.
The America was the company's ship which was built as a contender for the Blue Ribband, but sadly failed. She was the line's fourteenth ship, operating for four years between Liverpool, Queenstown and New York. Sold to Italy for use in the Italian Navy, she was scrapped in 1925 after thirty-eight years in service.
White funnels are a trademark of National Line steamships and it is known that Jacobsen painted and sketched eleven ships belonging to the line.