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SS Normandie (1935) - Cassandre

Ocean liners

An ocean liner is a large passenger ship, typically a motorized vessel that undertakes longer voyages on the open sea primarily for the purpose of transporting people from one place to another.

Ocean liners were the primary mode of intercontinental travel for over a century, from the mid-19th century to the 1960s, when they were finally supplanted by airliners.

The most notorious liner was the Titanic, infamous for sinking on her maiden voyage from Britain to the United States in 1912. The Lusitania was lost in 1915 to a German U-Boat during World War I while on passage from the USA to Britain. The worst disaster was the loss of the Lancastria in 1940 off Saint-Nazaire, France to German bombing with the loss of over 3,000 lives. The Cunard Line's Mauretania of 1907 was widely considered the finest of all the liners of its generation, and in decades following many had a similar devotion to the SS Normandie.

In the "Golden Age" of ocean liners in the early part of the 20th century, many offered extremely luxurious travel for a wealthy few, although even the more luxurious ships carried large numbers of poorer passengers in cramped quarters on the lower decks. Older ships were often given over to carrying immigrants at low prices. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ocean_liner [Feb 2006]

SS Normandie

On October 29th, 1932 - three years to the day from the stock market crash - the Normandie was launched in front of 200,000 spectators. The 27,567 ton hull that slid into the Loire River was the largest hull ever launched and it caused a large wave that crashed into a few hundred people, but with no injury. [Feb 2006]

Art Deco was a popular style for interiors of cinema theatres and ocean liners such as the SS Normandie.

See also: Machine Age - Art Deco - France - 1932 - 1935


Sinking of the Titanic (1912) - Willy St÷wer

The most popular trope of the Titanic is the orchestra continuing to play while the ship sinks: "After the Titanic hit an iceberg and began to sink, Wallace Hartley and his fellow band members started playing music to help keep the passengers calm as the crew loaded the lifeboats. Many of the survivors claimed that he and the band continued to play till the very end. None of the band members survived the sinking and the story of them playing to the end became a popular legend. A newspaper at the time reported "the part played by the orchestra on board the Titanic in her last dreadful moments will rank among the noblest in the annals of heroism at sea."

The most notorious ocean liner was the Titanic, infamous for sinking on her maiden voyage from Britain to the United States in 1912.

The sinking of Titanic has been the basis for many novels describing fictionalised events on board the ship. Many reference books about the disaster have also been written since Titanic sank, the first of these appearing within months of the sinking. Survivors like Second Officer Lightoller and passenger Jack Thayer have written books describing their experiences. Some like Walter Lord, who wrote the popular A Night to Remember, did independent research and interviews to describe the events that happened on board the ship.

The most widely viewed film adaptation is the 1997 film Titanic, directed by James Cameron and starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. It became the highest-grossing film in history.

Using Titanic as humour has not been exclusive to popular entertainment. The Intel Itanium microprocessor has often been jokingly called "Itanic", since (as of 2005) its sales have fallen far short of expectations.

See also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/RMS_Titanic [Mar 2006]

See also: 1910s - 1912 - ship

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