I came across a very old Islay postcard, posted in 1908, of the good old steamer ferry days. The photo on the postcard is from Islay photographer Cameron and shows one of the mail steamers that visited Islay in the early 1900s, the RMS Pioneer, in the Sound of Islay.
The ship was launched on the 2nd of February 1905. RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship or Royal Merchant Ship. The steamer was built for the Islay and Jura mail service from West Loch Tarbert and commenced duties in April of that year.
She was owned by David MacBrayne and had a gross tonnage of 241. In 1939 she was replaced by the MV Lochiel. After service elsewhere, the Pioneer was finally scrapped in 1958. Speaking of the MV Lochiel, there is a nice account about the sinking of the MV Lochiel which makes some good reading.