Maverick

scrap metal - the worlds last great ocean liners

187 posts in this topic

Thanks for sharing!!!

I love looking at ocean liner memorabilia! Great stuff!

Here's to hoping that the SS United States will continue to find a way to be saved in the new year!

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Glad you enjoyed them! There was also a spoon and a wrapped bar of soap in the lot but those are admittedly harder to place under a scanner. :)

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Glad you enjoyed them! There was also a spoon and a wrapped bar of soap in the lot but those are admittedly harder to place under a scanner. smile.gif

FYI - some scanners work fairly well with 3D objects - you should try it.

And thanks for all the stuff so far!

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Well I did give it a try and the spoon I think came out okay though "United States Lines" doesn't come out as clear as I would have liked. The soap was easier!

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Yesterday afternoon, I was sitting at home taking shelter from the heat (it was 110F!!)and saw documentry called The Thirties in Colour.

This particular episode (Wright around the world)was about American steel magnate Bolling Wright and his ocean liner travels in the 30s. As the title suggests it was all "home movie" style footage and in colour. My viewing was interrupted by visitors so I wasnt able to pay much attention to the second half of the show, however it did finish in New York, with scenes of sheep herding in the streets and a tour of the Worlds Fair.

It seems it is available on DVD from the BBC, its part 2 of 4.

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Hi All,

I wanted to share these images with you some time ago but only recently got clearance to show them (please no one post reworkings of these ones). I was asked to help select, color correct and clean up 29 (!) really rare color slides of the Cunard R.M.S. Aquitania from the late 1940's-1950 for the book Aquitania: The Ship Beautiful, written by Mark Chirnside and published by The History Press. I was unable to make the original scans which were really dark, "overdone" and twisted to turn the funnels vermillion red. In many cases these files were just a few dozen KB and not very much to work with with the print size of a fingernail. So, I did the best I could with what I had, right? I tried to show the Cunard orange as it was in each image under natural light. They are not perfect but they are OK :) A friend actually has a Mauretania funnel paint ship so I knew where I was headed, or close as these paints were mixed in small batches, weathered and were constantly being touched up. The end result printed was pretty much what was on my screen. If you are interested, it is a wonderful book - sold out right away, and has 29 color slides which is unprecedented for this ship I believe, including some wonderful and evocative images from Halifax. I would suggest a second edition as the printer was changed and produced what I was originally hoping for. I hope you like my work :)

Best wishes,

Eric

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Hi again,

And here is an updated photo of some of my liner collection. Starting from top right:

1) Teak handrail cap with inset "Rotothermometer" 1907; 1935 scrap souvenir, purchased 2009

2) Section of African Mahogany 1st Class Lounge molding with hand carved Greek key and egg & dart motif, 1907; auctioned 1935, sold 1935, storage 1935-2000, auctioned 2000, auctioned 2002, purchased C. 2004

3) Teak (forecastle) decking turned ash tray with cast Mg bronze (from propellers) bas-relief insert; 1935 scrap souvenir

4) Fragment of R.M.S. Lusitania wreck, hand gear from watertight door, possibly Shelter Deck, 1904; recovered from the Irish Sea in 1982 by Oceaneering International, auctioned C. 1990, purchased C. 2008

5) Launch photograph; app. 4:15:50, September 20th, 1907, Swan Hunter yards, Wallsend-on-Tyne; Ken Schultz collection, auctioned 2009, purchased 2009

6) Porthole dog of Admiralty brass, from Boat Deck (as used in Marconi shack) or 1st Class Dining Room; 1907, scrap souvenir engraved 1935, purchased C. 2006

7) Teardrop of ram's fur hand carved from pine with gold painted plaster from a Scamozzi double ram's head capital in the 1st Class Lounge; 1907, auctioned 1935, resold 1935, gifted C. 1941-44, gifted 2010

Hope you enjoy :)

Best wishes,

Eric

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Hi again,

I forgot this - not a bit of the ship but purchased on board the Mauretania. An Elkington sterling silver spoon with Cunard rampant lion crest. Pre-WW1, date stamped 1913. I also have a set of bookends made from her yellow pine, but I don't have a photo. I wish they had deck bolts in them but what can you do.

Best,

Eric

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Absolutely beautiful stuff MB. Thanks for sharing. I've been looking at recent photos of the remains of the SS America (American Star) as well as some of the ships being dismantled in Alang--all of which is fascinating but immensely depressing. Seeing these cherished bits of maritime history is heartening and a nice counterpoint to all the depressing stuff I've been subjecting myself to recently.

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Hi Glen,

I am glad you enjoyed the images :-) Maybe others have some bits, or bitts ;) to share. At least the Mauretania painting by Thomas Hemy was removed from the QE2 before she went to her "next life." The engine telegraph however...

Best wishes,

Eric

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Hi All,

I am having a discussion at another board about who thought Titanic broke in two before she was discovered in 1985. I thought you might find this photo interesting. This is me, at home with a blood disorder so out of school for a year, in 1978 with a post-sinking pre-landing model I made showing a bow section with the then-thought-to-be 300 foot long iceberg damage.

Best,

Eric :)

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From today's NY Times:

Efforts in Philadelphia to Save Showpiece Ships

Three historic but badly aging ships sit along the Delaware River as supporters pursue various schemes to revive them.

This is the link to the story:

http://nyti.ms/bYrT84

This is the text without photos:

Efforts in Philadelphia to Save Showpiece Ships

By BILL MARSH

Published: August 18, 2010

PHILADELPHIA — They made an impressive display of America’s seafaring might, the aging maritime stars moored along both sides of the Delaware River.

Enlarge This Image

Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times

The battleship New Jersey, from World War II, is one of three historic ships facing hard times in the Philadelphia area.

Related

In Portland, Me., a New Business Plan (August 19, 2010)

Enlarge This Image

Jessica Kourkounis for The New York Times

The cruiser Olympia, from the Spanish-American War, is a National Historic Landmark, but its future is uncertain.

There is the 1892 cruiser Olympia, the oldest steel warship afloat, whose guns and those of the ships it led blasted away a Spanish fleet in Manila Bay, announcing America’s arrival as a naval power. The ocean liner United States still holds the record for fastest westbound trans-Atlantic crossing. And the nation’s most decorated battleship, the World War II-era New Jersey, repelled swarms of enemy aircraft.

But to their devoted keepers, the state of the historic trio is a depressing comedown from past glories. The ships are struggling in a world of threadbare private support and unpredictable government grants. Two of the three have barely avoided closing, or worse, with cash infusions that buy time but fall far short of saving them.

The most endangered, the Olympia, a National Historic Landmark, needs $10 million for hull repairs or it could go to a watery grave within three years, inspectors say. The owner, the Independence Seaport Museum, may close the ship this fall and dump it at sea to make an artificial reef. The museum and its ships have drawn about 90,000 visitors annually.

The hollowed-out United States has been rusting downriver since 1996, awaiting its last voyage to the scrapyard. A Philadelphia philanthropist, H. F. Lenfest, donated $5.8 million in June to buy the ship for a conservancy, which is pursuing development schemes, but the effort faces long odds.

The battleship New Jersey, docked in Camden, is in good shape physically, but it was nearly forced to close this summer after the State of New Jersey threatened to cut off $1.7 million in financing, about half its budget. Its paid staff was cut to 11, from 58 people four years ago, who oversee 250,000 visitors yearly.

Creative fund-raising is a priority. Jim Schuck, the ship’s president and chief executive, said that a line of Battleship New Jersey wines — a “battleship red” and “battleship white” — had sold 1,500 bottles in its first two months. A battleship beer is coming.

Many of the 100-plus historic Navy ships in American ports are in need of money. The Olympia may be the most important of those, said Jeffrey S. Nilsson, the executive director of the Historic Naval Ships Association.

The cruiser is a bridge between the great sailing ships and the advent of steam power. It is the last American warship to have both masts for sails and smokestacks to vent its muscular steam engines, which could burn through 20 tons of coal an hour.

Fixing the Olympia amounts to a roof and basement job. Leaks in decks have been patched in 1,200 places. About 70 tons of concrete poured over the original Douglas fir deck to seal it must go; then all of the wood must be replaced. Floating steel museum ships should be dry-docked every 20 years for maintenance; the Olympia has been marinating in the Delaware without ever drying out, since 1945.

It is loaded with original features in good condition. Its innovative engines, with their triple-piston steam loop, look ready to roar anew. The Olympia was the first American warship equipped with refrigeration, which put an end to rampant food poisoning of sailors. The admiral’s richly appointed rooms are intact and polished.

“The aesthetic they were going for was a gentleman’s smoking room in London — overstuffed chairs, very dark wood — that feeling of empire,” said Jesse Lebovics, the Olympia’s chief caretaker.

James W. McLane, a member of the museum’s board, said several groups were interested in restoring the ship but might not have the needed money. “We’re open to other people coming forward, but we’re running out of time,” Mr. McLane said.

Downriver, a conservancy dedicated to restoring the ocean liner United States is negotiating to buy the hulk from the Norwegian Cruise Line with $3 million from Mr. Lenfest, a former cable television mogul. Another $2.8 million should cover about 20 months of maintenance while the conservancy tries to find someone to develop the ship, perhaps as a floating hotel or casino.

Mr. Lenfest has a personal tie to the 990-foot ship, which was launched in 1952. Some of its watertight doors may have been built by his father, a naval architect, at his machine shop. Conservancy staff members are looking for those doors; the ship was stripped down to its structure by its various owners. Some saw its potential as merely scrap, and lots of it: at 990 feet, it is longer than any building in New York is tall, save the Empire State and a few spires.

The New Jersey has about a year to operate before it will require a cash infusion from its namesake. The United States has about two years to get a plan financed. The Olympia is not as lucky. Its owner says it will close to the public by Nov. 22. There is no viable plan to save it.

A version of this article appeared in print on August 19, 2010, on page A13 of the New York edition.

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The most endangered, the Olympia, a National Historic Landmark, needs $10 million for hull repairs or it could go to a watery grave within three years, inspectors say. The owner, the Independence Seaport Museum, may close the ship this fall and dump it at sea to make an artificial reef. The museum and its ships have drawn about 90,000 visitors annually.

Closing it for lack of funding I can see. But there must be an untold story here. Why is a Seaport Museum interested in an artificial reef? Would money change hands- i.e. a Scuba Diving Association would pay the museum something to take it off their hands, and it's the divers who would then sink it?

I assume the museum is private and not a public (government) affair. How did they get the Olympia to begin with?

Is leaving it tied to the dock but closed to visitors, while trying to raise repair money, and in the meantime leaving it in danger of sinking at the dock in 3 years, a hugely negative thing? (as opposed to making it an artificial reef, which is little difference to me- why not an artificial reef there at the dock?)---- maybe it would block a navigable waterway or something which the museum needs to get their ships in and out--- but taking that risk while trying to raise funds would seem to me to be preferable to just giving up now and towing it out to be sunk. Maybe there are other museums who would be willing to take it as a gift and then try to do their own fund-raising.

The Olympia's significance is right behind the Constitution and another early ship or two, which last I heard remain on the U.S. Navy rolls as "commissioned but inactive". Perhaps the Navy would like the Olympia back to put it into the same category.

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Why is a Seaport Museum interested in an artificial reef? Would money change hands- i.e. a Scuba Diving Association would pay the museum something to take it off their hands, and it's the divers who would then sink it?

I assume the museum is private and not a public (government) affair. How did they get the Olympia to begin with?

The Olympia's significance is right behind the Constitution...

Despite being involved in the Oceanography racket, I gave no thought to the financials behind artificial reefs.

Randy ya got that right re the Olympia's importance. It is a missing link, a "transitional form" between sail and steam.

I happened to be perched on a Kodak moment cliff when the Reagan-revamped New Jersey sailed out of San Diego enroute action stations in 1985 (?) and got some telephoto shots. Those hulls were legendary for shutting down adversary radio traffic just by their awesome presence and capability of firing Volkswagen size shells for many miles onto a dime.

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I think if they just close it they still incur most of the expenses, such as dock rental, as well as have a pretty hefty liability if it sinks. By saying they are considering sinking it they might just be trying to alarm people and get a donation like the SS United States did when it was looking like it would be scrapped.

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Hi All,

In line with this thread - today marks 103 years since the MV of the R<S Mauretania November 16, 1907. This photo below is pretty scarce and was taken just after 7:30 that rainy evening.

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With approximately 50,000 onlookers present, the Mauretania left the Prince’s Landing Stage in Liverpool for her maiden voyage to New York at 7:30 p.m. on November 16, 1907. Despite extreme weather, she set a daily distance record of 624 miles in 25 hours – faster than the Lusitania. For two hours during the height of the storms encountered on her first westbound crossing, while struggling against winds of 50 MPH and with 60 foot seas, she could barely manage 3 knots an hour. A very dangerous situation developed on the bow when the 10-ton spare anchor broke free and had to be secured manually. The Mauretania reached New York on November 22, making the voyage in five days, five hours and ten minutes and averaging 22.21 knots. She departed on her maiden return voyage at 1:35 P.M. on Saturday, November 30 and quickly passed the White Star liner Baltic along the way which had left New York two days earlier. Despite encountering initial fog, the Mauretania made the crossing in four days, 22 hours and 29 minutes, averaging 23.69 knots and taking the eastbound Blue Riband from her sister and holding it for the next 22 years.

Best,

Eric

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I was just visiting the battleship Texas in Galveston, built in 1913. I asked what the ship was like below the water line since it looks good up above. The docent said, yeah, it's rusting below the water line and leaking, but they plan to tow it in a couple of years to a place that they can drain and then fix it. I also saw the Battleship Alabama in Mobile, but I didn't go on it. I was messing around on old destroyers when I was in the Navy.

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Here's a new book on the Bremen & Europa that I just got in and really enjoyed.

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I contributed four pictures of the Europa while she was sailing as the Liberte. It's not on Amazon yet but I found it listed online at http://www.mainmastb...ls.asp?id=29862

I'm still reading it but think it's a great addition to the libraries of fellow ship enthusiasts.

UPDATE: Here's a US address to order it from as well: http://bremeneuropabook.homestead.com/BremenandEuropaAmerica.html

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Hi All,

Neat book Bill! The last ocean liner image I will likely restore for a long while is published just now - I was able to develop a "new" photograph of the Titanic's sister ship the Britannic at Mudros in 1916 with a P&O hospital ship alongside. I give a link to the authors webpage and you can see a preview of the image I did. Enlarge the screen and you can see it all clearly (crtl&scroll out w/mouse). Mark is a great guy and I have worked with him before on a few books (recall all those unpublished never-before-restored color slides of the R.M.S. Aquitania I did?) and articles for the Titanic Historical Society and so on - all of which can be seen at his website one way or another:

Mark Chirnside's Reception Room

Well, I am pleased to share this bit below! :) I hope you enjoy it - I am rather proud of this one.

Hi Everyone,

I am pleased to announce that the pilaster from the First Class Lounge of the Mauretania (1904-36) I mentioned a while back is fully restored in display at the Segedunum Museum at Wallsend. The site is perhaps 1,200 feet from the Mauretania’s launch cradle (gone since 1959). This new museum is just north of the former location of the platers' shed, the frame turners' shop and the timber shed at the old Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson Yards. More information about this museum and display will follow – this post will focus on the pilaster. I am also supplying an evocative candid of the Lounge for this pilaster display as well as a really dynamic unpublished photo taken from a tug under her stern, tied to her, at about 2:05 p.m. on October 22nd, 1907.

It was a little over a year ago that I was contacted by a friend to authenticate this rather large section of African mahogany. I certainly did due diligence, and in depth, but it was obvious to me it was indeed genuine just from looking at as I recognized it straight away - short line of solid provenance aside. I have been asked to examine carved wood and plaster capitals said to be from her before, but few, if any, such instances have yielded genuine finds beyond the odd treen and unusual scrap item.

I then spent time researching the origins of this pilaster, evaluating its condition, the symbolism so carefully carved and the techniques used to create this fine gilt decorated pilaster. The story about Palestinian carvers being brought in is just that - a story. I also detailed its interesting history once removed from the ship. Then I set about finding a good home for it. It was very important to the owner (and me) that the pilaster not be cut up and resold, but that it be restored and displayed for the public f possible. The materials below are just a part of the result of this research. We were very lucky to have found the ideal home - and so very near the original location where it was carved over a century ago.

I am not prepared to discuss provenance in detail at this time as the previous owner wishes anonymity. I can say it was intended for Bristol and was never far away from that location. Furthermore, it was never installed in what is now the Java, and it was not part of the Great Tew Estate Sale. I provided three detailed photographs to show you some of the superb craftsmanship and quality of this piece before restoration. It is interesting to compare these photographs with the wood now in the Java. More photographs, as well as additional information regarding the museum's function and history and as the display opening, are forthcoming.

From my research: “...the pilaster has the gold skirting, carved fluted pilaster and the golden double ram’s head capital atop. Found near the sets of double doors which led out of the Lounge, these pilasters framed the adjacent sitting and writing rooms as well. They were also employed in each alcove and on the corners of the aft bulkhead alongside the statues of Columbia and Britannia.

Having never been altered, painted or re-installed since 1936, this example retains its original finish. Portions of the reverse have the typical dark grey graphite-based coating intended to reduce friction and noise between these large joined sections at sea. On the reverse and in hidden areas are some characters and markings from its original carving, installation or possibly from its reassembly for resale by The Mauretania Syndicate. The pilaster is in "fine" condition on the whole and has the wear and marks expected from 27 years of service and subsequent storage.

The skirting is of carved mahogany molding decorated with gold paint and detailed with the Roman crossed ribbon motif which appeared repeatedly in the ship’s decor. Two of the three sections of skirting remain attached to the pilaster, slightly loose, with the third segment requiring a minor glue repair. There is a small rectangular notch beneath the front left crossed ribbon on the skirting which reveals a small bit of original hardware. The tiny insert intended to conceal this is present and slips right back into place. There may be other concealed hardware inserts.

The fluted mahogany pilaster above the skirting, with its hand-carved gilt motif of stylized acanthus flowers, is beautifully intact and exemplifies the superior craftsmanship this ship is known for. It is not surprising to find the ancient technique of carving both wider and thicker at the bottom with a gentle taper toward the capital to subtly enhance the perceived height. The pilaster has four small equidistant holes running up each side from the original installation hardware.

The golden capital atop is of the stylized Scamozzi design typical of the First Class Lounge. The double ram’s heads denote strength and nobility with the spiral horns serving as volutes. The capital is adorned with a central medallion of Britannia wearing a stylized Corinthian helmet establishing maritime dominance. The portrait is surrounded by triumphal English laurel foliage and fruit; it is further decorated with ornate ribbons and a globe.

Missing are some of the smaller, more fragile elements of the capital, and the body of the capital is cracked in half just right of the medallion (a clean, break easily repaired). The lost bits include the swag suspended between the two intricate rams and approximately three fourths of the two rams' fur "pendants" which hung from horn to horn on each of the ram’s heads. A small portion, perhaps half of one ram’s fur “pendant,” remains on the left. If desired, the missing elements can be recreated from the photographic record and the originals in the Java at Bristol (although many columns and other features were removed from the pub during recent “renovations” despite the Grade II Heritage listing). The delicate carvings of the ram’s heads, laurel leaves, folded ribbons and more are nearly complete but for chips at each corner, one larger than the other, both of which will need filling. There are some additional minor losses, rubbing and abrasion, none of which are unexpected with delicate plasterwork over pine.”

Dimensions (ALL Approximate):

Skirting: Height 4 ½”, width 13”, depth 3”

Fluted pilaster: Height 82 ¾” (with skirting 87 ¼”, with skirting and capital 91” total), width at bottom 10” tapering to 8 ½” at the top, depth above skirting 1 ½” tapering to 13/16” at the top

Capital: Maximum height (rams snout to top) 7”, maximum width 15”, maximum depth 5”

Weight: 34 lbs

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The skirting with crossed ribbon detailing. Gold paint on African mahogany.

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The fluting with acanthus floral motif. Gold leaf on hand-carved African mahogany.

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Detail of a ram's head with horn and decoration. Gold leaf and gold paint on plaster over pine.

I hope you enjoyed these materials. Placing this pilaster at this specific museum and providing images of the ship for the display has been very satisfying! :)

Best wishes,

Eric

edited for spelling~

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Well done, Eric!

Thanks, Bill!! :D

Best wishes,

Eric

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A pleasant day in New York circa 1960.

First we look to the left.

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Then to the right.

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Those were the days, my friends...

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