SS Normandie

PAQUEBOT << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique
Galerie Salon
[Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (Company name)
Gallery Salon]
Publisher: Company of Photo-Mechanical Arts, Strasbourg, France

The SS Normandie was a French ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France, for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (CGT). She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat, crossing the Atlantic in a record 4.14 days, and remains the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built. Her novel design and lavish interiors led many to consider her the greatest of ocean liners. Despite this, she was not a commercial success and relied partly on government subsidy to operate. During service as the flagship of the CGT, she made 139 westbound transatlantic crossings from her home port of Le Havre to New York.

The luxurious interiors were designed in Art Déco and Streamline Moderne style. Many sculptures and wall paintings made allusions to Normandy, the province of France for which Normandie was named. Drawings and photographs show a series of vast public rooms of great elegance. Normandie’s voluminous interior spaces were made possible by having the funnel intakes split to pass along the sides of the ship, rather than straight upward. French architect Roger-Henri Expert was in charge of the overall decorative scheme. Most of the public space was devoted to first-class passengers, including the dining room, first-class lounge, grill room, first-class swimming pool, theatre and winter garden. The first-class swimming pool featured staggered depths, with a shallow training beach for children. The children’s dining room was decorated by Jean de Brunhoff, who covered the walls with Babar the Elephant and his entourage. The interiors were filled with grand perspectives, spectacular entryways, and long, wide staircases. First-class suites were given unique designs by select designers. The most luxurious accommodations were the Deauville and Trouville apartments, featuring dining rooms, baby grand pianos, multiple bedrooms, and private decks.

YouTube: Normandie’s Maiden Voyage, 1935

Le Paquebot << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. — Le grand hall des premieres classes
[The Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique (Company name). — The Grand Hall of First Class]
Publisher: La Cigogne, Le Havre.

Through the open door in its side, we enter the ship, and we find ourselves in a palace. A vast hall of a pleasant amber color welcomes us. The Walls are Covered with Algerian onyx, enhanced with patinated and gilded copper hardware, and take their full value between the ground, covered with black and dark blue, and the very luminous ceiling that constitutes, like beams blocking the hall on all its width, two groups of three elements of molded glass. Four lifts in gilded bronze cages connect the seven floors of the ship to this central square where stairs also converge. . . . Note on the first landing of a monumental staircase, the panel which closes the hall, and bears under the features of the “CHEVALIER NORMAND” the symbol of Normandie.
Brochure: The Ocean Liner Normandie – 1937 (CG Archives)

Interieur du Gd Paquebot NORMANDIE . Le Grand Salon.
[Interior of the Ocean Liner Normandie. The Grand Salon]
“Photo HAMON | Serie R. 102”

Cie Gle Transatlantique . Paquebot << NORMANDIE >> Un Coin du Grand Salon
[Cie Gle Transatlantique . Ocean Line “Normandie” A corner of the Grand Salon]
Publisher: Bloc Freres, Bordeaux (Photo Desbooutin)

PAQUEBOT << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique
1o classe – La salle a manger
Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
First class dining room
Publisher: Company of Photo-Mechanical Arts, Strasbourg, France

What air and light, beauty and freshness in this room so harmonious proportions! The burnished gold reflection of the coffered ceiling, the mauve runoff that drips the molded glass walls, the brightness of the sconces and the brilliance of the firepots help to create a brilliant atmosphere, which marvelously bathes the 241 flowery tables, trimmed the elegance of 700 guests and sparkling crystals. Eight small unique dining rooms open on either side. They each have their character. Alternating with the glass elements of the walls, marbles of blood breccia frame four bas-reliefs gilded staff evoking the resources and various activities of Normandie, which adorn the narrower parts. This room ends with the lower banquet hall which, in proportion, seems small despite its 72 seats.
Brochure: The Ocean Liner Normandie – 1937 (CG Archives)

Le Paquebot << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. — Le grand salle a manger
]The Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. — The big dining room]
Publisher: La Cigogne, Le Havre.
(Same photo as above)

Normandie’s first-class dining hall was the largest room afloat. At 93 m (305 ft), it was longer than the Hall of Mirrors at the Palace of Versailles, 14 m (46 ft) wide, and 8.5 m (28 ft) high. Passengers entered through six-metre-tall (20 ft) doors adorned with bronze medallions by artist Raymond Subes. The room could seat 700 at 157 tables,[ with Normandie serving as a floating promotion for the most sophisticated French cuisine of the period. As no natural light could enter it was illuminated by twelve tall pillars of Lalique glass flanked by 38 matching columns along the walls. These, with chandeliers hung at each end of the room, earned the Normandie the nickname “Ship of Light”

PAQUEBOT << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique
La Piscine
[Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
The Swimming Pool[
Stamped on back “Visite S/S Normandie/18 Avr. 1938/Le Havre”
Publisher: Company of Photo-Mechanical Arts, Strasbourg, France

The pool measures 25 meters by 6 meters wide – its walls are covered with white and bluish enameled stoneware tiles. A ceramic from the Manufacture de Sèvres, executed on the cartons of M. Menu, surrounds the gallery overlooking the bath with its frieze. Steps allow to enter the green water gradually, alighting makes light, until losing a foot in the deep tank. The ceiling is violently illuminated by an element of the sculptural composition, made in antique bronze by M. Chauvin, and placed on the beach where bathers meet at the bar, an elegant rendezvous. Mechanotherapy room beautifully equipped, cabins, hydrotherapy rooms and massage, neighbor.
Brochure: The Ocean Liner Normandie – 1937 (CG Archives)

Le Paquebot << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. — Le Jardin d’HIver
[The Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. — The Winter Garden[
Publisher: La Cigogne, Le Havre.

“Normandie” carries a little of the soil of France, its flowers, its roses, its lilies, in this admirable garden entrusted to the vigilant care of the house of Vilmorin, which opens in rounded facade on the front of the ship, above the Promenade Bridge. Parterres, pergolas, and greenhouses glazed along the windows, always carry the most beautiful flowers. Two aviaries, full of pretty birds, surmount, in the center of the garden, basins where fountains flow.
Brochure: The Ocean Liner Normandie – 1937 (CG Archives)

Le Paquebot << NORMANDIE >> de la Compagnie Generale Transatlantique. — La Chapelle
]The Ocean Liner “Normandie” from Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. — The Chapel]
Publisher: La Cigogne, Le Havre.

An altar in sober style shines in the dim light of the Chapel, whose half-cylindrical vault and supports woven patterns blue and purple. In the shadow of the aisles, covered with black marble from the Pyrenees, fourteen panels mark the Way of the Cross. Everywhere are the four elements of Christian iconography: ear, vine, rose, and palm. The atmosphere is that of a very collected chapel, very far from the brilliant world and favorable to prayer and meditation.
Brochure: The Ocean Liner Normandie – 1937 (CG Archives)

S.S. Paris

St-NAZAIRE. – Intèrieur d’un Paquebot de la C. G. T.
Dôme de la Grande Descente

[St Nazire. Interior of a paquebot of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
Dome of the Grand Staircase.]
Publisher: J.B. Jonbier

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SS Paris was a French ocean liner built for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique by Chantiers de l’Atlantique in Saint-Nazaire, France. Although Paris was laid down in 1913, her launching was delayed until 1916, and she was not completed until 1921, due to World War I. When Paris was finally completed, she was the largest liner under the French flag, at 34,569 tons. Although not so large as the Olympic or Imperator ships and not intended to challenge the speed record of the Mauretania, the Paris, operated by the Cie Generale Transatlantique, was one of the finest liners put into service, at the time.
. . .
Paris’s interior reflected the transitional period of the early twenties, between the earlier preferred Jacobean, Georgian, Baroque, and Palladian themes that were used in earlier liners built before World War I. Paris’ interiors were also a fusion of Art Nouveau and Art Deco. Many important early French Art Deco designers worked on the interiors and furnishings such as Louis Süe, Paul Follot and Rene Prou. The painter Albert Besnard decorated the dining room with “La Gloire de Paris” and Georges Leroux made a large decorative panel for the smoking room: “Le Jardin du Luxembourg”. The painter decorator Adrien Karbowsky also participated in the decoration of the ship’s library, without forgetting Lalique. The decorating architect Louis Süe participated in the decoration of this liner.
. . .
On 18 April 1939, Paris caught fire while docked in Le Havre and temporarily blocked the new superliner Normandie from exiting dry dock. She capsized and sank in her berth where she remained until after World War II, almost a decade later.

Two years later the elegant Paris was finally completed. She emerged from the shipyard as the largest vessel ever built in France. Now that she was completed, the press could catch an eye on what the French Line had meant in 1913, when they talked about the Paris’ interiors. The ship certainly had something of a magic touch, for she featured a number of styles of amazing and superb interiors. Passengers could choose to travel in the conservative Palace-like cabins, but the Paris also featured Art Nouveau, as well as hints of the Art Deco that the Ile de France would boast six years later. The luxury of this ship was something no other liner in the world coul d claim at that time. Amazingly, the vast majority of the First Class staterooms had proper windows rather than the traditional round portholes. In the cabins guests had a private telephone, which was extremely rare on board a ship. A valet was available on the Paris, and he was easily called by phone and he would be there within a minute, as he was locate in an adjacent room, rather than in a cabin in the second class like on other companies, which would have been far away. Added to this the Paris, along with the other French liners, was well known for their amazingly superb cuisine, which was of a very high five star standard!
SSMaritime (more pictures)

Barques, Lake Geneva

Barque du Léman
Publisher:Comptoir de Phototipie, Neuchatel

Lots of pictures (in French)

The magnificent sight of large wooden sailing boats silhouetted against the backdrop of the Alps is returning to Lake Geneva. A small but growing number of traditional barques are transporting schoolchildren and tourists back to the glory days of the lake. There are currently three renovated or replica barques, which are peculiar to the region, operating on Lake Geneva. They provide a poignant reminder of when these vessels were the principal means of transport in the region.
Traditional barques back in service on Lake Geneva (

Now that the racing boats are ashore for the winter, it gives me the opportunity to talk about the old sailing barges that were used on Lake Geneva in the 18th and 19th centuries. Some of those still exist and a group of enthusiastic sailors have built a replica called La Demoiselle which is now one of the biggest sailing craft in Switzerland, soon to be the first sailing training ship in the country. These sailing barges are an evolution of older designs and appeared on the lake around 1785 and are characterized by two latin sails, a large deck to transport materials and a long flat keel. Some of them sport a small jib as well. They were basically used to transport merchandise, in particular quarry stones from the east part of the lake to the different cities on the other side. Most were built in St. Gingolphe which sits on the border between Switzerland and France, some close to Geneva and others on the French shore of the lake.
Sail World

Barque du Leman
Dated & postmarked 1914
Louis Burgy & Co, Lausanne

(Via Google Translate)
A Lake Geneva barque (also known as a Meillerie barque ) is a type of boat with the main characteristics of a tall ship. These boats are powered by lateen sails (or by motor for the models renovated at the end of the 20th century) and are intended for lake navigation. This type of boat is used on Lake Geneva and was originally used until the beginning of the 20th century to transport heavy raw materials. . . . The boats of Lake Geneva were intended for boating activities and the transport of heavy materials, in particular that of cut stones from the Meillerie quarry in Haute-Savoie. Transport by boat made it possible to transport these building materials to the various ports on the lake, in particular to Geneva in Switzerland. They then used the inland waterways of Lake Geneva, having as other activities to ensure maritime transport and the transit of goods between the shores of the lake, or even commercial cabotage between the various ports of Lake Geneva.In 1900, Lake Geneva had sixty boats in operation. Since the middle of the 19th century , the activity of transporting goods has decreased, competing with road or rail transport, which is in full development.
. . .
Built of wood (generally local wood), the boats of Lake Geneva were designed to carry heavy materials directly on their decks. In their design, the risk of capsizing is sought to be avoided thanks to a wide beam (between 6 and 9 meters). They could thus carry up to 180 tons per trip. . . . The hull is most of the time built using oak beams , the keel is, for its part, made up of a piece of white fir supporting the frames . The bridge, made of larch, is curved so as to allow the loads to be distributed by arching effect and houses a lazarette. The length of the rudder can vary from 4 to 6 meters in total length — rudder and tiller.

Native Boats, Kolkata, India

View of Native Boats on Hooghly, Calcutta

Wikipedia Commons: Boats in West Bengal

“I was born on the banks of the Madhumati (a river in present-day Bangladesh),” said Biswas. “I am familiar with all the rivers of East Bengal. My father was a merchant and we used to own boats. As a child, I have seen boat races in East Bengal. If we were to step back in time by only a hundred years, in Bengal, for transport, for business, there was no option other than boats. You will find the term ‘nou-sadhan’ in many texts about Bengal.”

“This is riverine country,” said Biswas. “What we know and think of as Bengal is actually a large river delta.” Bhattacharyya explained further: “You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.”You will find different kinds of rivers in Bengal, from the shallow, rapid streams of North Bengal, to the Hooghly of Kolkata, with its slow and stately gait.” Each kind of river demands a specific boat. “If I were to go to a boat-maker today and ask him to make me a boat, the first question he would ask me is, on what river would the boat operate,” said Bhattacharyya. The dinghy, commonly seen at the ghats of Kolkata, works fine in the waters of the Hooghly, whose current is weak. “But it would be useless in North Bengal because a dinghy cannot travel against the current due to its shape.”
Quartz India: Inside a boat museum preserving eastern India’s disappearing river traditions

St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken (Piers), Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg. Die neuen St. Pauli-Landungsbrücken
Publisher:Wilhelm Flohe Nachfolger, Hamburg

Google Street View.

The St. Pauli Piers are the largest landing place in the Port of Hamburg, Germany, and also one of Hamburg’s major tourist attractions. Other English language translations include St. Pauli Landing Stages or St. Pauli Landing Bridges. The piers are located in the St. Pauli area of Hamburg, between the lower harbour and the Fischmarkt (Fish Market), on the banks of the Elbe river. The Landungsbrücken today form a central transportation hub, with S-Bahn, U-Bahn and ferry stations, and are also a major tourist magnet with numerous restaurants and departure points for harbour pleasure boats. There is an entrance to the Old Elbe tunnel at the western end of the Landungsbrücken. The eastern end of the building complex is marked by the Pegelturm (water level tower). Halfway up the tower, there is a water level indicator built into the wall, which indicates the current stage of the tides.

The first pier here was built in 1839 at what was then the edge of the harbour. It served as a terminal for steamships, which could be relatively easily filled with coal here. The pier ensured a sufficient security distance from the city, since these ships were fueled by coal which presented a fire risk. The current piers built in 1907 consist of floating pontoons, which are accessible from land by ten movable bridges.


Nile River, Egypt

Bord du Nil
[Edge of the Nile]
Published Lichtenstein & Harari, Cairo (1902-1912)

EGYPT. — The Tree Showing the place where Moses was found by the Pharaos Daughter
On the back:
Egypte. — L’Arbre indiquant l’endroit ou Moise a été trouvé par la fille de Pharaos
Publisher: Levy & Sons

During the first world war, soldier camped near Cairo often visted the city, buying souvenirs and takings tours of the city, which included many holy sites such as the place where Moses was found.  When they later wrote home about what they’d seen, the letters were often publishined in their local newspaper: Some extracts:

We visited Old Cairo again last Sunday, having a guide this time, who took us through two of the oldest churches in Egypt, being built by the Romans 2000, years B.C., almost as old as the pyramids. We then crossed the Nile to see where Moses was found in the rushes, but his cradle and Moses were not present, there being only a few reeds and a tree. The trip was very interesting, most of the old city now having given away, making a large heap of stone lying on the ground.
“Soldiers’ Letters: Pte. C. W. Boore.” The Grafton Argus and Clarence River General Advertiser, 16 August 1916

We drove through the main streets, then through some old broken down place (what is called the Old Cairo), till we came to the River Nile, where Moses was found in the bullrushes. A big pillar has been erected in the traditional place. At this pillar some of the water is taken away every August by the Sultan.
“Letters from the Front”, Newcastle Morning Herald and Miners’ Advocate, 15 August 1916

We visited Rhodes Island, on the Nile, where Moses was found by Pharaoh’s daughter, in the bullrushes. Bullrushes are still there, just near Pharaoh’s Palace, which is still there also.
“A letter from Pte. John, Murtagh”, Queensland Times, 18 November 1915

It might be about here.

I have pointed out elsewhere that as Cairo is the Arab capital, it was essential for the picturesque legend of Moses and the bulrushes to be located within a reasonable distance of that city, and the Island of Roda afforded the most promising locality. It had a mud shoal, upon which bulrushes may conceivably have grown in prehistoric times. It is not so near the chief sights and monuments of the capital as to be swamped by their superior attractions; it is rather a favourite picnicking place. Your Mohammedan is more apt to combine picnics with religious celebrations than most people. The visit to the family tombs on the chief day of Bairam seems to the eye of the infidel Christian much more connected with eating and drinking than anything else. Therefore the Princess Bint-Anat, the Pharaoh’s favourite daughter, and probably his wife also — some say that she stood in both these relations to Rameses the Great himself—had to find Moses’s ark on some portion of that once-favoured isle.
“Oriental Cairo: the city of the ‘Arabian nights'”, Douglas Brooke Wheelton Sladen, 1911

Rochor River, Singapore

The Rochor River, Singapore

No dating clues but about 1910.

Malay sampan and boys, Singapore. 

About 1910.

These two cards show the same part of the river (The buildings at the back on the left of the top card are the same as those on the right of the lower card.)

Rochor River is a canalised river in Kallang of the Central Region in Singapore. The river is about 0.8 km in length. Rochor River is a continuation of the Rochor Canal, and begins beneath Victoria Bridge and empties into the Kallang Basin.

Before the development of land infrastructure, boats and river transport played the role in transportation of goods. Bumboats did not only ply the well-known Singapore River and the quays. They also plied other water bodies like the Kallang River, Rochor River and Rochor Canal for transport purposes. Rochor Canal is a continuation of a canal that begins from as far as the Bukit Timah area, its water source. Officially, only the section after the Kandang Kerbau Bridge is named Rochor Canal. It continues along the aptly named Rochor Canal Road and ends at Victoria Bridge, where it continues as Rochor River. It is one of five waterways that empties into the Marina Reservoir.

Rochor Canal gave rise to one of the earliest industries in Little India – cattle trade. The natural pasture fed by the waters of the Rochor Canal suited cattle trade. Many streets in Little India are named after this cattle trade legacy, such as Belilios Road (named after a prominent cattle trader), Buffalo Road, Desker Road (named after an abbatoir merchant), and Kerbau Road (kerbau means cattle in Malay). Kandang Kerbau means buffalo or cattle pen in Malay. The growth of cattle trade fuelled other industries. The first municipal incinerators were constructed off Jalan Besar and later, more municipal abbatoirs were built. Along the canal were rubber factories, ice works, and markets for used goods.
Rochor Canal as a Historic Waterway

Rochor River (modern photos and a map)