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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

Part 1 – The Panama Limited – Chicago to New Orleans – History of the All-Pullman famous streamliner!

The Panama Limited was a passenger train operated by the Illinois Central Railroad between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. It operated from 1911 to 1971. This is a two-part history of the famous streamliner.  The Panama Limited speeding south during the 1940s. The Panama Limited took its name from the Panama Canal, then under construction and three years from completion. For ... Read More »

History of the GRACE LINE – Part 1- One of America’s great passenger ship fleets

In the mid-1800s, the Irish-born Gracmid-1800ss, William Russell, and Michael established a commercial and shipping business in Callao, the port of Lima, Peru. They prospered, especially in the exporting of guano from the Chincha Islands to the United States, where this fertilizer was in considerable demand. Excellent 16mm Silent home movies taken in the 1950s and 60s of Grace Line ... Read More »

Throwback Thursday – Mid-Century – 1950s “Psycho” Star Janet Leigh aboard the Santa Fe streamliner SUPER CHIEF

Star of Alfred Hitchcock’s PSYCHO, Janet Leigh is ready to board the famous SUPER CHIEF and Virginia Leith, star of A KISS BEFORE DYING shows us the all-Pullman train during the 1950s in a promotional film. Even the characters from TV’s MAD MEN may have been aboard the train all through the 1960s. A lot of executives would take the ... Read More »

Anchored: Will Philly be stuck with the SS United States forever?

The former American luxury liner was supposed to be docked In Philadelphia for 21 days; it’s been almost 21 years. Is time running out for the famous ocean liner?  The SS United States is a luxury passenger liner built in 1952 for United States Lines. It was designed by American naval architect William Francis Gibbs to capture the trans-Atlantic speed ... Read More »

RMS Queen Mary – The Maiden Voyage in 1936 – President John Kennedy

The floating palace for the rich and famous: Vintage photos reveal glamor on board the Queen Mary during her maiden voyage. First Class Dining Room RMS Queen Mary left Southampton on M en route to New York, the first of many transatlantic crossings. Elizabeth Taylor walking her dogs.  She hosted the wealthy and elite, including Winston Churchill, John F Kennedy, Elizabeth Taylor ... Read More »

THE MS STELLA POLARIS – the “royal yacht” of cruising.

The STELLA POLARIS was considered one of the most elegant and exclusive devoted to cruising. The Dining Salon on the MS Stella Polaris The ship was considered one of the most elegant and exclusive devoted to cruising. She sailed to the Mediterranean, North Cape, Caribbean, and Around The World. She had no rivals. On the World Cruise, there was more than ... Read More »

75th Anniversary – Day of Infamy – Pearl Harbor – Matson Line’s SS Lurline caught in the middle of WW 2.

The SS Lurline made her destination safely, cruising at maximum speed from Honolulu to San Francisco, and soon returned to Hawaii with her Matson sisters SS Mariposa and SS Monterey in convoy laden with troops and supplies. December 7, 1941, was a turning point in the history of the United States, which had been teetering on a decision between isolationism ... Read More »

The MS St. Louis carried Jewish refugees desperate to flee Nazi Germany on a voyage of the damned.

Six months after the Nazis celebrated Kristallnacht, the German transatlantic liner MS St. Louis sailed on May 13, 1939, from Hamburg Germany. The voyage became a symbol of American and Canadian heartlessness, xenophobia, and anti-Semitism. Flags were flapping in the wind and well-wishers waved from the Hamburg pier. On board, the eight-deck ship were 938 paying passengers, all but one ... Read More »

Cruising on the SS Yale and the SS Harvard between San Francisco and Los Angeles during the “Roaring Twenties”!

The SS Yale and SS Harvard became known as “white Flyers of the Pacific”! The sister ships each made four sailings a week, carrying 565 First Class passengers at an average speed of 23 knots between the two major California cities. The fast coastal ships provided an overnight cruise on the Pacific. They were a very popular way for traveling between ... Read More »

“Give ’em hell” Harry! President Truman aboard his 1948 campaign train heading to win re-election.

Faced with the likely loss of the 1948 presidential elections, President Harry S. Truman set out from Washington on September 17 on a twelve-day cross-country political barnstorming trip aboard the “Truman Special” from Washington Union Station. The barnstorming “Truman Special” makes a whistle-stop. At the last minute, wealthy Democrats had come through with last-minute contributions to make sure the “Truman Special” ... Read More »

Ships and Liners of Messageries Maritimes

Messageries Maritimes was a French merchant shipping company. It was originally created in 1851 as Messageries Nationales, later called Messageries impériales, and from 1871, Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes, casually known as “MesMar” or by its initials “MM”. Its rectangular house flag, with the letters MM on a white background and red corners, was famous in shipping circles, especially on the ... Read More »