Tuesday, July 14, 2020

SS United States

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.

6 comments:

libertyman said...

That ship would be nice if someone had the money and the will to restore it. Maybe make it your private yacht?

Jonathan H said...

I've seen it from a distance, when it was in Philadelphia 10 or 15 years ago. There was a company trying to bring it back; I don't know if they have given up or not - I KNOW they haven't succeeded yet, sadly.

Old NFO said...

Sad loss of a true piece of Americana!

Ed Bonderenka said...

Here I was expecting a treatise on the body politic :)

ASM826 said...

Ed, this is commentary on the state of affairs. Could the U.S build this ship now, sourcing everything domestically? The electronics? The steel? Do we have a ship yard to do it?

Paul, Dammit! said...

Every 5 years, some shill starts a Restoration annd Rehab company, to either rebuild the ship or copy it.

It's too goddamned small, too damn narrow and the hull design is 3/4 of a century old. It is a pretty piece of our past.

So, do we want to spent millions on it to make a museum that nobody wants to visit? I mean, we can.
Or, we can scan, photograph, and scrap the damn thing, like bringing ol Yeller to stud before spattering his brains all over the barn walls.
It's still sitting there in Philly, shedding lead paint into the Delaware
River, looking like a dirty armpit, fiting right in, in fact. Some asshole starts a 501-3(C) every couple of years pretending to want to rehab it.
A modern ship carries 3x the passengers, has 20% of the fuel cost and doesn't have more rust than Detroit. But some dingus will collect a couple million from fresh rubes every year and pretend like he's getting it back in service. This is... year 20 of that? Rehab number 6? 7? Whatever, you can build a new ship for the amount of donations that this sad tetanus farm has collected.