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“Give ’em hell” Harry! President Truman aboard his 1948 campaign train heading to win re-election.

Faced with the likely loss of the 1948 presidential elections, President Harry S. Truman set out from Washington on September 17 on a twelve-day cross-country political barnstorming trip aboard the “Truman Special” from Washington Union Station. The barnstorming “Truman Special” makes a whistle-stop. At the last minute, wealthy Democrats had come ... 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 ... 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, ... 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 ... Read More »

“LUSCIOUS” LUCIUS BEEBE – First Openly Gay Celebrity and Lover of Trains

San Francisco Chronicle columnist Lucius Beebe was probably the first gay men and major celebrity to have a publicly open relationship. An author, journalist, historian, raconteur, gourmet and bon vivant extraordinary – this extraordinary personality was world famous and a long time columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle. He loved trains and ... Read More »

MS STOCKHOLM – Collided with the Italian Line’s SS ANDREA DORIA…

MS STOCKHOLM – Collided with the Italian Line’s ANDREA DORIA. The Italian press called the Stockholm the “ship of death” (La nave della morte). The Stockholm returning to New York after her collision with the Andrea Doria. Her bow severely damaged. Public rooms, the pool and staterooms aboard the Stockholm. ... Read More »

Gateway to San Francisco in the 1950s. Streamliners, the SP ferries and the Oakland Pier.

Southern Pacific Railroad’s OAKLAND PIER in the 1950s… Gateway to San Francisco… Southern Pacific was one of the nation’s major railroads with headquarters in San Francisco. It was taken over by the Union Pacific Railroad Afternoon commuters stream from SP ferry Sacramento at Oakland Pier in the early 1950s. At ... Read More »

A 1929 home movie aboard a coastal liner cruising from Florida to Savannah on the SS NANTUCKET…

Known as the “Queen of Sea,” the Merchants and Miners Transportation Company Steamship Line operated one of the finest fleets of passenger steamers on the Atlantic Coast and ranked foremost as one of America’s top tourist routes. It was said to be the only line plying between Baltimore, Savannah, and ... Read More »

The USS WILLIAMSBURG… President Harry Truman’s presidential yacht scrapped…

The steel-hulled, diesel-powered yacht Aras was laid down on March 19, 1930, by the Bath Iron Works; launched on December 8, 1930; and delivered to wood-pulp magnate Hugh J. Chisholm on January 15, 1931. The Aras, a long graceful steel ship, was sold in April 1941 to the US Navy ... Read More »

Alaska Steamship Company: First Class cruising to Alaska for $9.00 a day in the 1950s…

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. The ... Read More »