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Author Archives: Michael L. Grace

1952 Blizzard Snared the streamliner City of San Francisco… a Train in Its Frigid Grip

For three days, its 226 passengers and crew were cut off as rescuers struggled to dig them out. Help arrived just as hope began to dim. Great video on the train trapped by the blizzard… It was late Sunday morning, Jan. 13, 1952, and the Southern Pacific streamliner City of San Francisco was already 22 hours behind schedule. This was ... Read More »

Cruising There Is Half The Fun…

These fascinating images show the golden age of cruising where lavish balls, tug-of-war on the deck and working out in suits appeared to be the order of the day. Shuffleboard on board British India in the 1960s… The development of steam ships in the 19th century led to ever more luxurious vessels taking wealthy guests on glamorous breaks. From taking ... Read More »

1930s – The SS Europa crossing the pond…

The SS Europa (later the French Line SS Liberté) was one of a pair of fast ocean liners built in the late nineteen-twenties for the Norddeutsche Lloyd line (NDL) for the transatlantic passenger service. Her sister ship was the Bremen, and the two were very similar, though not identical. Come aboard the blue riband winning SS Europa for a transatlantic ... Read More »

PASSENGER LISTS – Judy Garland is on board the SS United States

Judy Garland is on the passenger list and its the Captain’s Dinner Night on the SS United States… And it is the one night that Judy Garland left her stateroom. Pictured: Sid Luff and his wife Judy Garland with a friend John Carlyle at right. 1956 1st Class Dining Room – SS UNITED STATES…  Cunard Line Passenger Lists Cruise History: Passenger ... Read More »

1952 – The Wreck of the Princess Kathleen

The final moments of the Canadian Pacific small liner SS PRINCESS KATHLEEN on September 7th, 1052. The Princess Kathleen sails to Alaska. The Canadian Pacific Line’s 6,000-ton Princess Kathleen, queen of Alaskan liners, was 18 miles from Juneau on the last trip of the season from Vancouver, B.C. to Skagway, Alaska. It was 3:15 a.m. Most of the 425 passengers and ... Read More »

“LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE IN NEW YORK SOCIAL DIARY…

“LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE by Michael L. Grace…  New York Columnist Lucius Beebe: A Real ‘Dandy’… From the 1930s until his death in 1966, Lucius Beebe was the image of celebrity. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet and bon vivant extraordinary – this extraordinary personality was one of the first gay men to have a publicly open relationship. Columnist Walter Winchell ... Read More »

David Bowie, with a fear of flying, sailed on many liners and cruise-ships.

British pop legend, David Bowie (8 January 1947 – 10 January 2016), who starred in the film The Man Who Fell to Earth, had a long-standing fear of flying. Bowie sailed aboard Cunard’s QE 2, the Italian Line’s Leonardo da Vinci and P&O-Orient Line’s Oronsay. So while other superstars would take the Concorde or private jets to cross the Atlantic, Bowie ... Read More »

The Electroliner… 90 MILES PER HOUR… FROM MILWAUKEE TO CHICAGO…

The North Shore Line’s Electroliners was the interurban’s last gasp at retaining its passenger traffic, which had been slowly withering away since after 1910. For most street railway and interurban lines the coming of the automobile put an end to an industry that was just a few decades old.  The 1920s and the Great Depression later that decade bankrupted and ... Read More »

French Lines’s SS De Grasse was the liner that represented France after World War 2…

The De Grasse was the first French merchant ship to restore the North Atlantic service after World War 2. The repairs and refurbishment took close to two years, but when the De Grasse returned to service in the summer of 1947, she was an almost entirely new ship. Upon her arrival in New York on July 25, 1947, she received a ... Read More »

Beatles first trip to America aboard the Congressional Limited in 1964…

The Beatles were so excited to be madly popular in America they were going to fly down from New York, but a big snowstorm hit Washington and they took the train. The Beatles reserved a couple of cars on the train and got tickets for the press traveling with them. They couldn’t have had a better time. They were always ... Read More »

Student travel in the 1950s… Sailing to Europe aboard The Arosa Line…

A little known shipping service – THE AROSA LINE – it provided Trans-Atlantic service for immigrants, students and families seeking lower fares. The company carried thousands of German and European immigrants to Canada and the USA during the 1950s. Although the company was known as a Swiss organization, all the ships were registered in countries of convenience such as Panama ... Read More »

SS CATALINA and SS AVALON – 26 miles across the sea…

They were called the Big White Steamers and sailed from Los Angeles to Catalina Island. SS Catalina and SS Avalon docked in Avalon, after completing the 2-hour voyage from Los Angeles (San Pedro), during the late 1940s.  These day tourist steamships operated together by William Wrigley Company from 1920 into the early 1950s — except for World War 2 – ... Read More »

Cruising to Cuba in 1941…

1941 – Here’s some vibrant color 8mm of what looks like a fun cruise to Cuba aboard the Swedish America Liner Kungsholm, loving shot by one J. Quentin Jaxon of Upper Darby, Pennsylvania (at least that’s what the Kodak box said!). A quick check with Kludas would suggest this film is from sometime between 1939 and 1941. Any car aficionados ... Read More »

“Catcher In The Rye” author J.D. Salinger served as a cruise director aboard the MS Kungsholm…

In 1941, the position of entertainment director for the Swedish America Line’s M.S, Kungsholm (built in 1928) was held by Salinger. He authored a number of short stories with the Kungsholm or a “liner” as the setting. Salinger was undoubtedly the Kungsholm’s most famous crew member.      First Class Smoking Room  Here is an excerpt from the short story in Mademoiselle ... Read More »

Cruise wear in the 1930s…

A wonderful group of photographs by Fowler-Bagby showing appropriate outfits for a cruise, or for wear in warm climates; the article appeared in the February issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, 1936. Women cruisers were reminded that they will probably be going ashore, so they will need appropriate clothes for the ports they visit, as well as evening dress for dining ... Read More »