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Author Archives: Michael Grace

African-American Pullman Porters served US railroads from 1860 to 1968

Pullman porters were men hired to work on the railroads as porters on sleeping cars.[1] Starting shortly after the American Civil War, George Pullman sought out former slaves to work on his sleeper cars. Their job was to carry passengers’ baggage, shine shoes, set up and maintain the sleeping berths, ... Read More »

“Unsinkable” TITANIC Survivors Tell Their Story in BBC 1956 Interview

Two survivors of the RMS Titanic disaster told their incredible stories of being saved from the sinking ship. BBC Video A gigantic ship, almost 900 ft long and 175 feet high, it was a feat of engineering. The R.M.S. Titanic weighed more than 40,000 tons and it was the best ... Read More »

Arosa Line 1950s Bargain Students Immigrants Cruises

Arosa Line was the trade name for Compañia Internacional Transportadora. The steamship line bought older ships, sailing Trans-Atlantic and on winter cruises out of New York. Thousands of emigrants came from Europe to Canada and the USA on their four ships. In 1949, the shipowner Rizzi had bought his first ... Read More »

San Francisco’s Fabulous FOX Theatre

San Francisco’s Fox Theatre was the largest movie palace west of St Louis. A monument to opulence and glamour long gone. There weren’t enough adjectives to describe the movie theater’s magnificence. It drew crowds from the entire Bay Area with premiere movies and stage shows. Kids on dates from San ... Read More »

Most Famous Drag Queen Charles Pierce Impersonates Bette Davis

See Charles Pierce perform one of his famous Bette Davis impersonations. Performing from San Francisco and Los Angeles to New York as a top nightclub act, Pierce was one of the best female impersonators in American theatre history. Pierce was a star for decades, living in San Francisco, starting in ... Read More »

Davie Bowie refused to fly. Ships and Trains only for the famous star.

David Bowie, 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, P&O-Orient Line’s Oronsay and Canberra along with many other ships.   So while other superstars would take the Concorde or ... Read More »

APL – American President Lines – San Francisco’s Gateway to the Orient

American President Lines was a leader in providing passenger liner services between California, the Far East and Around The World. San Francisco was the company’s headquarters for years, and Bay Area residents, from San Jose to San Raphael, would see their great ships as they headed to work on ferry ... Read More »

Video: Greta Garbo to Holllywood onboard Liner ms Stockholm 1935

Greta Garbo was a Swedish actress during Hollywood’s silent film period and part of its Golden Age. Regarded as one of the greatest and most inscrutable movie stars ever produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and the Hollywood studio system. She traveled many times onboard the Swedish America Line from New York to Sweden ... Read More »

First Class Alaska Cruise 1950s $11 A Day

A sailing day meant excitement for the Alaska Steamship Company liners. Here is the SS Alaska sailing from Seattle in 1952. A look at the final days of the Alaska Steamship Company with a history of the famous organization that provided passenger service to the far north. A fond farewell. ... Read More »

Mid-Century Design Matson Line Office Los Angeles

Raymond Lowey’s basic design philosophy was behind the creation of the interiors for Matson’s luxury liner Lurline and modern ticket office in downtown Los Angeles. These were the ultimate in mid-century design for California’s famous steamship line. Raymond Loewy, whose modern concept of everything from fountain pens to airplanes, ships, ... Read More »