The last ocean liner. The largest ocean liner ever constructed in the United States. The fastest ocean liner ever put into service, holding the transatlantic records in both directions even today. Conceived as a ship that was purpose built to be converted to a troopship, she was designed and built in partnership with the U.S. Navy and built to Navy specifications.
It was the height of shipbuilding design by William Gibbs and his company. They had been building ships since 1922 and been a major shipbuilder during WWII. Modern, compartmentalized, built without any wood, it was the height of U.S. manufacturing as well.
Forty-five thousand tons, nine hundred and ninety feet long, a service speed of thirty-five knots, and maximum (rated) speed of forty-three knots, four steam turbines, eight boilers, the same power plants used in the U.S. aircraft carriers.
She could carry nineteen hundred passengers and had a crew of nine hundred. And she was beautiful. Outfitted in luxury, it was the way to make a transatlantic crossing. There are collections of photos that capture what she looked like during her years of operation. and a lot of videos converted from home movies and newsreels.
It's passenger jets that brought travel by ocean liner to an end. That's tomorrow's post.