Cruise, Travel and Social History: Hurricanes Hit The East Coast – 1938 / 1936 / 1933
Cruise, Travel and Social History: Hurricanes Hit The East Coast – 1938 / 1936 / 1933
Cruise History and Liner History: Stars aboard the US UNITED STATES…
Marlon Brando and Salvidor Dali enjoying after dinner coffee in the First Class Lounge of the SS United States.
It’s Captain’s Dinner aboard the SS United States in 1956 in the First Class Dining Room. And this is the one night Judy Garland left her stateroom. Pictured: Producer Sid Luff and his wife Judy Garland with friend John Carlyle (and number one fan) at right.
The S.S. United States arriving at Bremerhaven Columbus Bahnhof – Germany. This dreamlike photo of the S.S. United States is a wonderful composition and gives the viewer a sense of the close relationship the people of Bremerhaven had with the shipping industry and its sea going passengers.
The SS United States (also known as “The Big U”) is an ocean liner built in 1952 for the United States Lines. At 53,329 gross tons, she is the largest ocean liner to date built entirely in the United States and still holds the record for the fastest westbound transatlantic crossing.
In 1952, on her maiden voyage as the new flagship of the United States Lines, the United States captured the Blue Riband with the fastest eastbound and westbound transatlantic crossings on record. The entry of the United States marked the first time a U.S.-flagged ship held the Blue Riband, surpassing European speed records which had stood for decades.The United States lost the eastbound record in 1990, but still holds the westbound record. The United States plied the transatlantic with passenger service until 1969, and she outlasted the demise of her original owners.
SS United States “waiting” at Philadelphia – December 2007.
Since 1969, the United States has not been in service. She has bounced around the world with promises of service from owner to owner. The ship is currently docked in Philadelphia until a decision is made about her fate which does not look good.
The RMS Aquitania Arrives In Southampton (1935)
Newsreel of the Cunard Line RMS ACQUITANIA arriving in Southampton from New York in 1935.
RMS Aquitania was a Cunard Line ocean liner that was built by the John Brown and Company shipyard near Clydebank, Scotland. She was launched on 21 April 1913 and sailed on her maiden voyage to New York on 30 May 1914.
Aquitania was the third in Cunard Line’s “grand trio” of express liners, preceded by the RMS Mauretania and RMS Lusitania. Widely considered one of the most attractive ships of her time, Aquitania earned the nickname “Ship Beautiful”. This despite criticism of her looks; having too many cowl ventilators and the forward funnel being as close to her bridge as it was.
In her 36 years of service, Aquitania survived military duty in both world wars and was returned to passenger service after each war. Aquitania’s record for the longest service career of any 20th century express liner stood until 2004, when the Queen Elizabeth 2 (ultimate career service of 40 years) became the longest-serving liner.
CAN YOU NAME THE PASSENGER SHIP (CRUISE LINER) PASSING UNDER THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE IN 1937?
Video of the Golden Gate Bridge opening day…
The United States Liner S.S. MANHATTAN firmly aground 300 yards off the beach at Lake Worth Inlet in January 1941. The after deck of the US Coast Guard Cutter MOJAVE with the deck crew preparing to pass a 12-inch hawser to the ship in an attempt to tow her off the beach at the next high tide. CBM Earl J. Morris to the right of the 5-inch gun working next to the ship’s rail.
The S.S. MANHATTAN on a Christmas/New Years Cruise 1934/35.
In the late evening of January 11, 1941 the United States Lines S.S. MANHATTAN, outbound from New York for San Francisco via Havana and the Panama Canal, ran hard aground about 300 yards off the beach ten miles north of Palm Beach, Florida.
The S.S. MANHATTAN, 705 feet long, displacing 24,290 tons, was cruising inshore of the north moving gulf stream when she plowed into the sandy beach near Lake Worth Inlet and came to an abrupt halt. She tried unsuccessfully to back herself off. The night was cold, the weather clear, light wind and moderately calm sees.
The S.S. Manhattan’s distress call was received at the US Coast Guard Radio Station, Jacksonville, Florida. The 8th Coast Guard District Office notified the nearest rescue units to proceed to the scene and provide assistance.
The life boat station at Lake Worth Inlet immediately launched their 36-foot self righting, self bailing motor surf boat. This was the First Coast Guard unit to reach the S.S. MANHATTAN. The 192 passengers and 482 crew members were in no immediate danger and the ship’s captain believed he could re-float his ship during the next high tide, so the Coast Guard surf boat hove to and remained at the scene.
The 125 foot Coast Guard patrol boat VIGILANT, based at Fort Pierce 40 miles to the north, recalled its crew members and was soon underway to also stand by with the surf boat should the passengers or crew need to be removed or otherwise assisted.
Seventy miles to the south in Miami the large 240 foot Coast Guard Cutter MOJAVE began recalling its crew and was underway about one hour later.
The MOJAVE was back in her homeport of Miami in between tours of duty on Neutrality and Weather Patrols in the North Atlantic Ocean and towing mothballed W.W.I ships from storage in the Mississippi River near New Orleans to East Coast ports for refurbishing for delivery to Great Britain.
During December 1940 on one of these long distance tows in a severe Atlantic storm, the 12-inch towing hawser snapped in two and had to be recovered before it became fouled in the MOJAVE’s propeller. After recovering the hawser from the tow and splicing it together, it was again passed to the towed ship which was in danger of being washed onto the beach. A short time later the hawser again snapped. It was decided to replace the 12-inch manila hemp hawser with an inch and one-half wire rope hawser.
Once again the MOJAVE’s whale boat towed the hawser to the towed ship and placed extra crew members on board to assist in hauling it aboard and securing it. After arduous hours of recovering the manila hawser and replacing it with the wire hawser, it now became necessary to splice in a wire bridal to ease the strain. While the deck crew was accomplishing this task, strands of the wire hawser would snap and unwrap with violent slashing of the deck and anything it came in contact with.
The deck crew finally completed this hazardous task as the storm continued to worsen. The tow was once again underway. The MOJAVE and her seasoned crew had plenty of experience in towing vessels.
When the MOJAVE was underway, the 26-foot monamoy whale boat was rigged for sea outboard of its storage space so to be ready for any emergency. In the dark night hours the deck crew, under direction of Chief Boatswain Mate (CBM) Earl J. Morris, were just completing this task when a large ocean swell caused the MOJAVE to roll heavily and Seaman First Class (S1/C) Harold was knocked overboard into the ocean. The cry “Man Overboard” was sounded. Quartermaster (QM) Charles Day on the bridge noted the time and immediately released a slide-mounted Fromkin Life Buoy, a large copper clad U-shaped life buoy equipped with carbide lights that ignited when immersed in water. This gave the “man overboard” a floatation aid and the ship a reference point to begin its search and rescue operations as it reversed course back to the emergency scene.
Chief Morris, as boat coxswain, with S1/C J. C. Entrakin, as stroke oarsman, mustered the six-man crew and immediately launched the whale boat even as the MOJAVE slowed its speed and began its turn to reverse course and return to the scene. The oarsmen began their strong strokes with Chief Morris standing in the stern at the sweep oar steering towards the Fromkin life buoy lights., Seaman Harold was also swimming towards the float and reached it at almost the same time as the whale boat.
The whale boat crew pulled S1/C Harold and the Fromkin life buoy on board and rowed to the returning MOJAVE pulling along side, hooking on and hoisted aboard, all the while underway in a rolling sea. The total elapsed time according to QM Charles Day was under six minutes. The MOJAVE was on its way back to the grounded S.S. MANHATTAN.
The MOJAVE deck crew, under Chief Morris, began preparing the 12-inch manila towing hawser and associated towing gear. The hawser was removed from its below-deck storage and rigged an the after deck. the MOJAVE would arrive on scene at about 4 AM, 12 JAN 41. The initial plan was to attempt to tow the S.S. MANHATTAN off the beach at the next high tide, scheduled at 9 AM.
On arrival the MOJAVE passed the 12-inch hawser to the S.S. MANHATTAN with assistance From the Lake Worth Inlet surf boat. At the 9 AM high tide all was ready and the MOJAVE began pulling while the S.S. MANHATTAN pushed with her engines in the first attempt to pull her off the beach.
The incoming high tide was also pushing more sand against the grounded ship setting her more firmly in place. The ship was taking a list to port as she grounded more firmly. The towing operation was placing a tremendous strain on the MOJAVE. The Merritt Chapman and Scott tugboat WILLET now arrived from Key West and added her capabilities in the attempt to pull the S.S. MANHATTAN from the beach. But she was firmly fixed and it would take extensive salvage operations before the ship would be re-floated.
The Coast Guard was relieved of responsibility for re-floating the S.S. MANHATTAN. The passengers and most of the crew were removed by the surf boat and VIGILANT without incident. The Merritt Chapman and Scott tugboat company was awarded a contract to re-float the ship. Three company tugs, the WILLET, RELIEF and WARBLER, spent the next three weeks and succeeded on 4 Feb 41. It was necessary to off-load many tons of cargo including many automobiles and fuel oil, and to dredge out a channel before the y were successful.
The S.S. MANHATTAN suffered considerable damage to its two propellers and starboard engine shaft. She was towed to Robins Dry Dock in Brooklyn, New York, for repairs.
On completion of repairs, the S.S. MANHATTAN was taken over by the Navy as the troop transport USS WAKEFIELD (AP21) with a US Coast Guard crew in June 1941.
In January 1942, as she evacuated British citizens from the port of Singapore, the WAKEFIELD was hit by a Japanese bomb killing five and wounding nine Coast Guard crew members, among the first Coast Guard casualties of W.W.II.
On 3 September 1942 while returning to the U.S. from England, a fire broke out an board causing the Coast Guard crew to evacuate the embarked passengers and finally the crew itself. A salvage crew returned and extinguished the fire but the WAKEFIELD had to be towed to Halifax, Nova Scotia, and eventually to the U.S. She was rebuilt and recommissioned with a new Coast Guard crew in February 1944 and served in both the Atlantic and Pacific as a troop transport until June 1946.
The MOJAVE returned to North Atlantic Ocean Neutrality and Weather Patrols until 7 DEC 41. With the entry of the United States into W.W.II she continued service on convoy duty throughout the war. The MOJAVE was decommissioned on July 3, 1947, worn out after 26 years of arduous service.
Scrapping The Old Luxury Liner Berengaria (1938)
Newsreel footage of scrapping the great Cunard Line’s BERENGARIA (1938).
It was a glorious time, a time when the high seas of the North Atlantic were alive with behemoths of steel designed by men of vision and built by men of iron. The great ships of the post dawn 20th century, the ships of Cunard, White Star, Nordeutscher Lloyd, and Hamburg Amerika became the epitome of their breed; from which all others that followed would be fashioned and compared; though rarely surpassed. It was the era of the legends, of the greatest and most luxurious ocean liners to ever sail the seas…
To read more please CLICK HERE for a complete history of the SS Imperator / RMS Berengaria. You will be directed to a terrific website dedicated to this great ship. Photos and stories are brilliant. One of the best websites devoted to a famous liner on the internet.
Very detailed video of the SS Keewatin in 1950s…
Touring the SS Keewatin museum today…
Have you ever wanted to see the Titanic?
Although possible at a price these days the wreck would never be like seeing the real working ship unless you went to Michigan where a stunning example of an Edwardian passenger liner floats to this day and can be visited and explored. With an identical engine, grand staircase, luxurious dining saloon, well preserved staterooms and public galleries you can experience Titanic only two hours away from Chicago. There is even a Marconi Room, identical to the one on Titanic.
In 1967 RJ Peterson from Douglas Michigan bought the SS KEEWATIN – an old Edwardian decommissioned passenger ship from the Canadian Pacific Railway Steamship Company and towed it to Lake Kalamazoo. Peterson owned a large marina in the very small lake. As luck would have it, The Corps of Engineers had dredged to 18 feet that summer and it was enough to get the 350-foot, 300-passenger ship into the harbor where it has served as a floating museum for 44 years.
The SS KEEWATIN was built in Govan Scotland in 1907. She took her sea trials in the River Clyde along side the RMS Lusitania, (sunk by a German sub which resulted in the United States joining WWI).
The SS Keewatin sailed to North America and went to work sailing between the tops of the Great Lakes on Superior to a small port just north of Toronto in Canada. From the 1800′s and into the 1950′s many ships plied the inland seas moving freight and people between west and east.
As highways improved, railways proliferated and airplanes filled the skies these behemoths of commerce slowly retired, were scrapped or in some cases sank. By the 1960′s they were essentially gone with an era of elegance and simplicity. Except the KEEWATIN, hidden as a tourist attraction in a small town, on a small lake and fed by a small river.
But now at 104 years old her big story is being told. In 1963 and 1964 a 17-year-old high school student was fortunate enough to get a summer job on the SS Keewatin. The experience changed his life and now as a retired and successful adult he has found that his stage for youthful adventure is alive and well and living in Douglas. Eric Conroy is the youngest surviving crew member from the SS Keewatin and he has written a book about what happened to him in two of his most educational summers.
It is called “A STEAK IN THE DRAWER” and it is great read about the early days of travel and a young man’s experiences’ coming of age. There are lots of pictures and a detailed description of the parts of the ship, the passengers and other crew he had contact with. All proceeds will go toward the SS KEEWATIN Restoration Fund, which this year is focused on rebuilding the Life Boats. For information call (416) 318-7186 or write…SS KEEWATIN MUSEUM PO Box 638 Douglas Michigan 49406 USA.
The SS Keewatin once sailed between Port Arthur / Fort William and Port McNicoll in Ontario, Canada. She carried passengers between these ports for the Canadian Pacific Railway’s Great Lakes Steamship Service. The Keewatin also carried packaged freight goods for the railway at these ports.
Pictured here are seven sections of the California Limited ready to depart from Los Angeles for Chicago in 1929.
A “section” meant an extra train. There were six extra all-Pullman trains leaving Southern California — a total of seven trains, with over a 1000 passengers, and nearly 100 pullman, dining and observation cars.
GOODBYE 1929: The Death of the Roaring Twenties. HELLO 2011: The beginning of the second great recession a.k.a. “depression”…?
History does repeat itself.
A Pullman porter makes up a berth (the lower of a sleeping car section) in the 1920s.
In 1929, passengers were traveling all over America. Over 100,000 passengers a night were accommodated by the Pullman Company in sleeping cars. There were over 35 million revenue passengers in 1929 along. For each passenger there were crisp linen, green curtains, a clothes hammock and a smiling white-jacketed porter.
Santa Fe’s CALIFORNIA LIMITED heading for Los Angeles and Hollywood in the 1920s.
Many were aboard Santa Fe’s all-Pullman Deluxe CALIFORNIA LIMITED when the crash hit. Passengers went from millionaires to paupers as the train headed across New Mexico and Kansas.
We all know that history repeats, but do we really believe that? Time will tell.
A wonderful new youTube video on the 1929 Crash. It looks like a “retro” version of the current crash. Partying, the crash and then poverty. Only the times have changed.
In 1929, many people were traveling aboard Santa Fe’s all Pullman train, the deluxe California Limited (eventually to be replaced as the deluxe train by the Chief and then the Super Chief in the 1930s), from Chicago to Los Angels when Wall Street Crashed.
The dining car on the CALIFORNIA LIMITED.
Waiters stand at attention in the dining car. The dining car steward is seen in the background. All waiters aboard American trains were African-Americans. Like Pullman porters they struggled with low salaries and management resistance toward unionization. They relied heavily on tips and were the backbone of the African-American middle class.
The All-Pullman train was a true “workhorse” of the railroad.
It was assigned train Nos. 3 & 4, and its route ran from Chicago, Illinois to Los Angeles, California.
Operating seven sections of the Limited was common, and during peak travel periods as many as 23 westbound and 22 eastbound sections departed in a single day.
Lounge Car – With the dining car steward supervising waiters who were serving passengers tea and cake. There was no liquor served aboard the trains during the 1920s. Prohibition was the law. But bootlegged booze was common.
The line was conceived by company president Allen Manvel as a means to “…signify completion of the basic [Santa Fe] system…”
When “Deluxe” was Deluxe.
Manvel felt he could attract business and enhance the prestige of the railroad by establishing daily, first-class service from Chicago to the West Coast.
All single room Pullman Car.
The California Limited, billed as the “Finest Train West of Chicago,” made its first run on November 27, 1892, with five separate trainsets making continuous round trips on a 2½-day schedule (each way).
Publicity shot of a single room. Waiting for a sophisticated lady passenger.
The California Limited was the first of Santa Fe’s name trains to feature Fred Harvey Company meal service en route. The later trains also offered all of the amenities of the day including air conditioning, an onboard barber, beautician, steam-operated clothing press, even a shower-bath.
The California Limited was permanently removed from service on June 15, 1954, giving it the distinction of having had the longest tenure of any train making the Chicago-Los Angeles run within the Santa Fe system.
The Pullman Company, founded by George M. Pullman, provided nearly all the overnight sleeping accommodations aboard American trains. They were the largest employer of Africa-Americans who were porters, maids and buffet car attendants on the deluxe Pullman limited trains. At one time they numbered over 8,000.
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