14 January 2009
The Man who Made the Map
On this day in 1947, MacDonald Gill, the fellow who painted the fabulous mural of the Atlantic Ocean, entitled simply, "Decorative Map of the Atlantic," [pictured left] passed away at the age of 63. The map remains today where it was throughout the ship's career, even in wartime, on the forward bulkhead of the cabin-class dining room. Across it, a miniature crystal replica of the Queen Mary followed its route, navigating cloud and star across the ocean, from London’s venerable Big Ben to the skyscrapers of New York. This seemingly whimsical touch is one of my favorite things about the Queen Mary, though at one time it was taken so seriously by the ship's captains, they wouldn’t come down to eat unless it was functioning properly.