Cruising the past. Just a long weekend away – Aboard the SS United States or SS America – During the heyday of trans-Atlantic travel in the 1950s – before the Jet made “getting there” what it is today! A living nightmare.
Gary Cooper and family. From an ad in Holiday Magazine – 1950s.
The SS United States, when it came to passengers, had a lot of cruise and social history. The list of celebrities, artists, musicians and heads of state that have sailed this great trans-Atlantic liner in it’s 1950′s heyday is impressive (the likes of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, Marlon Brando, Salavador Dali, Kim Novak, Cary Grant, President Harry Truman, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford, Gary Cooper)…That alone is enough to declare this ship a historical treasure.
The SS United States was the brainchild of one of the world’s foremost marine architects, William Francis Gibbs. His dream was to build a passenger ship that was faster, safer and more technologically advanced than anything else afloat.
Marlon Brando and Salvador Dali.
Duke and Duchess of Windsor – Regular Passengers.
Passenger ships, flying European and American flags, such as the United States, France, QE 2, Rotterdam, Lurline, would soon be under foreign flags and served by foreign nationals. Stewards were no longer young Brits or Italians or French – but from Indonesia or the Philippines.
Lines such as American Export, Union-Castle, Orient, Italian Line, Swedish America – would be gone.
The once great merchant marine of Britain, America, France, Germany and Italy was over.
These are photos of British seamen taken during the heyday when the British merchant marine sailed the world.
The 1950’s and 60’s arguably saw the heyday of the world’s merchant fleets. [Read more...]
SS AMERICA – Sailing from New York on her maiden voyage.
The SS America was an ocean liner built in 1940 for the United States Lines. She carried many names in the 54 years between her construction and her 1994 wrecking, as she served as the SS America (carrying this name three different times during her career), the USS West Point, the SS Australis, the SS Italis, the SS Noga, the SS Alferdoss, and the SS American Star
The SS AMERICA leaving New York.
She served most notably in passenger service as the SS America, and as the Greek-flagged SS Australis for Chandris. In 1941, she carried two Nazi spies from the Duquesne Spy Ring in her crew: Erwin Wilhelm Siegler and Franz Joseph Stigler. Both men were charged by the FBI with espionage and sentenced to 10 years and 16 years imprisonment, respectively.
SS UNITED STATES: FIRST LADY OF THE SEA! Celebrating the inauguration of President Obama with a great video about a ship symbolyzing the USA.
This great video uses archival footage and a rare 78rpm recording of the SS United States theme song to highlight the glory days of this fabled ship. The song, “First Lady of the Sea,” was written by brothers Meyer & Emery Davis, who also conducted the ship’s orchestra, and is perhaps a one-of-a-kind demo cut at Apex Records just days before the ship’s maiden voyage in July of 1952.
Please help us save the SS United States by visiting www.ssunitedstatesconservancy.org.
The SS United States leaving New York during the 1950s…
Another video on the SS United States showing celebrity passengers…