Home / Tag Archives: SOCIAL HISTORY

Tag Archives: SOCIAL HISTORY

MAR-A-LAGO – From Mrs. Post to President Trump

Mar-a-Lago, the grand estate now owned by President Donald Trump in Palm Beach, Florida, was built from 1924 to 1927 by cereal-company heiress and socialite Marjorie Merriweather Post. Trump apparently feels more comfortable at Mar-a-Lago than almost anywhere else, and his pleasure in the estate was in evidence when I spoke to him while researching background on Post’s magnificent yacht ... Read More »

LIZZIE BORDEN AND THE OLD FALL RIVER LINE

Fall River’s Borden family helped fund the company.  They were mainly known for their famous family member: Lizzie Borden. B was tried and acquitted of the axe murders of her father and stepmother… Cruise History – The Old Fall River Line – Everyone from presidents to swindlers sailed the Sound on “Mammoth Palace Steamers” in the heyday of the side wheelers ... Read More »

The SS United States and the latest Range Rover have a lot in common.

The SS United States and the latest Range Rover are both made in large part from aluminum, in order to save weight without sacrificing strength. Both can draw connections to the military; Land Rovers have served with the British armed forces, as well as other armies around the globe, for decades; the United States was designed to be pressed into ... Read More »

Lucius Beebe, famous American railway buff & historian, was a self-described hedonist.

From the 1930s until his death in 1966, he was the image of a celebrity. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet and bon vivant extraordinary – this amazing personality was one of the first gay men to have a publicly open relationship.   Columnist Walter Winchell called him “Luscious Lucius.” Beebe is perhaps best known for having coined the term ... Read More »

John Ringling North Saved Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus- Part 1

Ringling Bros. Circus heir, John Ringling North was the man who brought “The Greatest Show on Earth” into the 20th Century and was responsible for its survival into the 21st Century! John Ringling North was a combination of Circus King, showmanship, brassy flamboyance, huckster salesman and perennial Playboy, and was a good enough show to compete with the acts and ... Read More »

John Ringling North is the Circus King – Part 2

If John Ringling North had not come on the scene to run the family business in 1937, Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey might not have ever made it into the 21st Century to have its last performance tonight on Long Island. He seemed the only one to have the business and showman sense to run the show amongst the younger family ... Read More »

John Ringling North a combination of “Diamond Jim” Brady and “Bet a Million Gates”! – Part 3

As president of the Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey during the heyday of the famed Big-Top and traveling circus which will have its final performance tonight in Long Island, New York, John Ringling North received a rather modest salary.  But what North might have been lacking the substance of a millionaire, the consciously displayed the form. North was a glittering ... Read More »

North’s Showmanship at Madison Square Gardens and the end of the Ringling family business – Part 4

John Ringling North knew that every season was vital to the circus to open its season at New York’s Madison Square Gardens, not only because of the big box office but because of the national media attention. Opening night would always benefit a charity with stars such as Marylyn Monroe, Marlena Dietrich or even Hopalong Cassidy as guest headliners. Critics ... Read More »

ZIM LINE – Israel’s Passenger and Cruise company in the 1950s and 1960s

Zim Lines began passenger service connecting Israel with Mediterranean ports began after the State of  Israel was established in 1948 and for 20 years they operated an excellent sea transportation fleet of ships In the early 1950s, Zim became a member of the North Atlantic Passenger Conference and bought Home Lines Argentina; the former Norwegian liner Bergensfjord; for its first ... Read More »

Throwback Thursday – Elvis Presley on the train from New York to Memphis in 1956.

“Elvis who?” Photographer Alfred Wertheimer recalls uttering that very question in early 1956. A publicist from RCA Victor Records had contacted him, asking if he was available to photograph a young singer named Elvis Presley. “I’d never heard of the man,” Wertheimer told TIME Magazine in an article 40 years later. “He didn’t have a gold record yet.” (By the end ... Read More »

Mid-Century Liners: The M/V Aureol – Liverpool to West Africa

Elder Dempster Lines was one of the UK’s largest shipping companies, and during its 150-year history, it operated more than 500 ships. Based in the historic port of Liverpool it was the major shipping line to serve West Africa. As well as its cargo ships, the Elder Dempster Lines operated three ocean liners on a scheduled service to Ghana and ... 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 »

SP’s Streamliner COAST DAYLIGHT – The most beautiful train in the world

The Southern Pacific’s Streamliner Coast Daylight was the West’s finest train into the 1950s, linking Los Angeles and San Francisco in a glorious daylight trip, streaking along the edge of the Pacific Ocean for more than a hundred breathless miles. Chair car passengers had full access to the Coffee Shop, Diner, and Tavern cars. The two Parlor cars were restricted ... Read More »

History of Cruising… from the BRITANNIA to the LOVE BOAT…

  The earliest ocean-going vessels were not primarily concerned with passengers, but rather with the cargo that they could carry. Black Ball Line in New York,?in 1818, was the first shipping company to offer regularly scheduled service from the United States to England and to be concerned with the comfort of their passengers. By the 1830s steamships were introduced and ... Read More »

RMS Titanic’s abandoned bodies…

It was April 23, 1912, at daybreak, out on the North Atlantic. The seascape looked every bit like a well-adorned graveyard, with an overcast sky, rolling fog and, as far as one could see, pieces of wreckage that bobbed in the swells. Doors, pillows, chairs, tables, and scattered remains were everywhere. White fragments dotted the debris — clustering and moving ... Read More »

Les Paquebots: Tahitien and Caledonien – Sailing from France, via the Panama Canal, to Cambodia and Vietnam.

The Messageries Maritimes ships, the Calédonien and the Tahitian (later reborn as the cruise ship Atalante), sailed for two decades (1952 to 1972) on regular round trips lasting almost four months between Marseilles and Sydney. The two ships were beautifully designed passenger-cargo liners. These handsome ships carried cargo, passengers, and military personnel to French outposts in the Caribbean and the ... Read More »

THE FLIP SIDE OF ELLIS ISLAND… aboard the RED STAR LINE…

Saved many Jewish immigrants during World War 2… Everyone knows the story of the poor immigrants who arrived at Ellis Island after a transatlantic journey from Europe. The “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” came by the millions in the late 19th and early 20th century, all with one dream—a better life in America. Their long voyage ended as they ... Read More »

ELLIS ISLAND…

Immigrants to America… ELLIS ISLAND HISTORY – IMMIGRANTS TO AMERICA The great steamship companies like White Star, Red Star, Cunard and Hamburg-America played a significant role in the history of Ellis Island and immigration in general. The German liner Imperator carried many immigrants in steerage. While most immigrants entered the United States through New York Harbor (the most popular destination ... Read More »

Cruise Ships firsts…

Cruises as we know them today were created following the debut of the mega-hit TV series “The Love Boat”… But the tradition goes back more then a hundred years when passengers started booking travel on mail ships crossing the Atlantic. These mail ships evolved into the grand ocean liners whose names we still remember: Lusitania, Titanic, Queen Mary. Now the cruise lines ... Read More »