From an article in the Times Daily in 1937:
NEW YORK, Aug. 5 - Days when autograph hounds narrowed their field of endeavour [sic] to theater and movie openings are all over...the new stamping grounds are the transatlantic boat piers where they can collar celebrities coming and going. And being persistent birds, they are crowding the companionways, thus blocking the passage of the star until they get his or her autograph.
A vivid example of his recent invasion of the ocean liners was the departure of the Queen Mary of Europe. Madeleine Carroll came aboard, but she was shrewd enough to embark from a third class gangplank. Her premonitions turned out to be justified, for no sooner had she settled down in her cabin than the horde of autographists descended upon it. They beat, in vain, upon the door, tried deception by calling "Telegram for you, Madame" and attempted at least a dozen other ruses. In alarm, Miss Carroll took refuge in the clothes closet and stayed there until the final signal of "All Ashore."