28 February 2011

This week in the history of the R. M. S. Queen Mary:

The Glasgow Herald reported on March 3, 1935, that Messrs. John I. Thornycroft and Co., Ltd. received an order from the Cunard-White Star Line for RJ/2 type, two-cylinder diesel engines to power the Queen Mary's lifeboats.

The paper stated "This important order has been placed after lengthy research by the engine-builders in co-operation with the owners and builders of the lifeboat hulls."

Cunard-White Star, the paper further reported, was determined to have every lifeboat equipped with every possible safeguard for passengers. Of the 34 motorized lifeboats, two would be statutorily fitted with wireless equipment, and another two would be used for quick emergency launching, as in the case of someone falling overboard.

The engines, once installed, were fitted with a closed-water circulation system so that they could be started instantly at any time. Unlike previous motorized lifeboats, these engines could also be started before hitting the water. The engines developed 18 b.h.p. at 1200 r.p.m. and were inexpensive to run.


The luxury liner, Queen Elizabeth, leaves a weekly laundry of 30,000 towels, 25,000 napkins, 5000 sheets and pillow cases and a small mountain of other items every time she docks at Jersey City. When her sister ship, the Queen Mary, comes in, she picks up the Queen Elizabeth's clean laundry and leaves hers to be scrubbed. Sounds like a good family cooperative plan. Laundry always is a problem, even if the family washing is slightly smaller than a steamship's. However, with the proper equipment, the task is much easier. That's why so many housewives have bought modern washing machines...
- Spokane Daily Chronicle, March 3, 1949

...One of Cunard's public relations staff, Jim Murray, was waiting for us at Pier 90 the other day to escort us on a look-see of the vessel. And it took us something like three hours, with time-out for lunch, to see her highlights from stem to stern. It was something like going through a miniature city with all the populace away on a picnic or something.

Mr. Murray, we soon learned, knows his way about the Queen Mary. We went through this corridor and that. From the grand lounge of the luxurious first class to the less pretentious, but nevertheless comfortable, public rooms of the cabin and tourist class.

Lunch time found us at the Queen Mary's main restaurant--which is an excellent place to be at lunch time.

You can't help feeling a bit exclusive when you have lunch, practically alone, in the largest room ever built in a ship...regardless of its immense size it has an air of cozy elegance about it--and a perfect setting for a menu including filet, lobster and crepe suzettes.
- Excerpt from "Travel Trails" in The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, March 2, 1952

The Gettysburg Times reported that Lady Clementine Churchill, widow of Winston, and their daughter Mary, arrived in New York aboard the Queen Mary on March 1, 1965, on their way to a holiday in Barbados and Jamaica.


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