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1940s

Remembering the Pullman Porters

Benjamin Gaines, 93, worked as a Pullman porter from 1945 to 1954. “The porters, believe it or not, we had a celebrity status,” he said in an interview with the Chicago Tribune. (Cover Photo: CW: Janet Leigh, star of Hitchcock’s PSYCHO boarding the Super Chief in fashion layout; Porter during the 1960s looking out at the Kansas prairie: Pullman Porter’s ... Read More »

Horrifying Murder of an Actress on a Cruise Ship – Death, Sex and Lies on the high seas!

FIRST CLASS, LINER, THE LOVE BOAT, GAY GIBSON, MURDER, UNION CASTLE LINE, CRUISING THE PAST, DURBAN CASTLE, JAMES CAMB, MICHAEL L GRACE, DEATH AT SEA, SOUTH AFRICA

Murder, suspicious deaths and disappearing at sea aboard liners from Cunard to Union-Castle have made cruise history.   The romantic decks of “The Love Boat” can be a very dangerous place. As for cruising the past, history finds there were two or three murders supposedly linked to Cunard Line’s RMS Queen Mary before WW 2.  Another murder during the winter of ... Read More »

San Francisco’s fabulous Fox Theatre was a lesson in the city’s tenuous loyalty and devotion.

San Francisco,Fox Theatre,Herb Caen,Pullman,SP Lark, Gary Cooper, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., Joan Crawford,Art Deco,William Fox, Market Street, largest theatre,El Capitan Theatre, Los Angeles Theatre,Fox Organist,Jamie Erickson, michael l grace, cruiselinehistory, cruise the past

When the Fox Theater was built in 1929, it seemed as if there weren’t enough adjectives to describe the movie theater’s magnificence. The San Francisco Chronicle called the opening “a spectacle of such beauty and magnitude that it seemed rather a fancy of one’s mind rather than the inaugural night of another commercial enterprise.” OPENING NIGHT But the life of ... Read More »

In the 1950s SUDDEN FEAR film star Joan Crawford heads to San Francisco on the famed California Zephyr.

Columbia Pictures, SUDDEN FEAR, Joan Crawford , Jack Palance,Grand Central Station, Oakland Mole, San Francisco, ferry boat, California Zephyr, New York Central, Chicago, Burlington & Quincy (the Burlington Route), Denver & Rio Grande Western (Rio Grande), Western Pacific , dome cars, Super Chief,City of Los Angeles,Zephyrettes,Cable Car Room,Santa,San Francisco Chief, cruising the past, cruise the past, michael l grace, cruises, Pullman, trains, streamliners

The streamliner California Zephyr was featured in Columbia Pictures 1952 thriller SUDDEN FEAR starring Joan Crawford and Jack Palance. Included were exterior and interior scenes aboard the train. Grand Central Station and the Oakland Mole were highlighted where Crawford respectively boards and disembarks to head across the bay to San Francisco by ferry boat. After playwright and wealthy heiress, Myra ... Read More »

The luxurious liner Awatea was the “only way to cross” the Tasman Sea from Australia to New Zealand!

Far away from the Trans-Atlantic services – “Down Under” – Union Steam Ship Company operated a fleet of excellent passenger ships between Australia and New Zealand until 1960. In her day the Awatea was regarded as one of the most luxurious and fastest liners of the period. Her history was brief and she was destroyed in World War2 like so ... Read More »

Chicago’s streamlines ELECTROLINER – 90 MPH north to Milwaukee

The North Shore Line’s Electroliners streamline interurban trains operated from the 1940s into the early 1960s. 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 shutdown many intermediate lines while the strongest companies ... Read More »

Retro Thursday: The CHICAGO CUBS cruise to Catalina

CATALINA ISLAND, CHICAGO CUBS

Chewing gum magnate William Wrigley Jr.’s twin interests in baseball and Catalina Island – he bought Catalina in 1919 and gained a controlling interest in the Chicago Cubs in 1921 – dovetailed nicely when he made the decision to have the Cubs train on Catalina starting in 1921.  In doing so, he became the first baseball owner to bring a ... Read More »

Elsa Maxwell: the greatest celebrity of all-time…

Pianist, gossip columnist, TV star, and above all a giver of great parties, Elsa Maxwell was famous for being herself. She was most likely far more interesting than the celebrities she covered. Elsa Maxwell first worked as a theatre pianist after leaving school at the age of 14 and before touring with a troupe in various music halls. Elsa Maxwell, ... Read More »

RED CARPET treatment started with the 20TH CENTURY LIMITED

20th Century Limited, New York Central, Red Carpet, Marshall Field, Bing Crosby,  Robert R. McCormick, Bob Hope, Bette Davis,  Doris Day, Wrigleys, Henry Dreyfuss Art Deco, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Beatrice Lilly, Carole Lombard,  John Barrymore, Alfred Hitchcock, North by Northwest,  all-Pullman, streamliner, MICHAEL L GRACE, CRUISING THE PAST

Have you wondered where the much-overused phrase “the red carpet treatment” originated? It all started with the 20th Century Limited. The train of tycoons and movie stars. The “Century” was an express all-Pullman passenger train operated by the New York Central nightly from New York to Chicago. From 1938 until the last run in 1968, passengers walked down a crimson carpet ... Read More »

The Panama Limited – All-Pullman Chicago and New Orleans

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The Panama Limited was a first class passenger train operated by the Illinois Central Railroad between Chicago, Illinois and New Orleans, Louisiana. It operated from 1911 to 1971. Offering the best in American railway deluxe services. The Panama Limited took its name from the Panama Canal, then under construction and three years from completion. For most of its career the ... Read More »