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Albert Ballin created the first pleasure cruise aboard Hamburg-America Line’s S.S. Augustus Victoria in the Gilded Age.

The German shipping magnate was responsible for turning Germany into a world leader in ocean travel prior to World War I. With 25,000 employees, Hapag was the largest shipping line in the world for both freight and people (464,000 passengers in 1913). It was Albert Ballin who also invented the ... 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 ... Read More »

The Ambassador East – Lunch at the Pump Room with Natalie Wood and Robert Wagner

When Ernie Byfield opened The Pump Room in the Ambassador East Hotel on October 1, 1938, he undoubtedly had little idea that he was beginning an enterprise that would still be thriving to this day. Today, The Pump Room remains highly acclaimed restaurant and Chicago landmark. Located in Chicago’s Gold ... 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 ... Read More »

SS UNITED STATES – The Last Great Race

Larry Driscoll’s book “The Last Great Race”  fascination with ships started as a 7-year-old, when he, his mother and two siblings boarded the S.S. America to cross the Atlantic to join his father in Paris, who worked for the Voice of America. Driscoll recalls how the ship — in the ... Read More »

Video – 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 ... Read More »

The true story behind Plymouth’s role in the RMS Titanic disaster

Plymouth,England, Titanic,RMS Titanic, crew members, survivors, cruising the past, Michael l grace

Two weeks after the ship sank some of the survivors, who were all crew, were taken to Plymouth, England. Playing its part in many historical events – from The Mayflower setting sail for North America to the World War Two bombings, Plymouth also had a role in safely transporting the ... Read More »

Enjoy watching a 1929 home movie onboard the SS Nantucket cruising from Florida to Savannah!

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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 ... Read More »

The Italian Line’s S.S. REX and Cary Grant’s S.S. REX…

Rex, Cary Grant, Gambling Ship, Los Angeles, Cruising The Past, Michael L Grace

Besides the fabulous Italian ocean liner S.S. REX launched in 1931, there was another S.S. REX. The gambling ship off the coast of California in the 1930s and 1940s. The far lesser (but profitable)REX was operated as a gambling ship off Los Angeles by Anthony Cornero. Gary Grant made a ... Read More »

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