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The company owned many of the great transatlantic liners from the first Britannia of 1840, through the Blue RIband winners Campania and Lucania, the Mauretania, Lusitania, Aquitania and the ...
The company owned many of the great transatlantic liners from the first Britannia of 1840, through the Blue RIband winners Campania and Lucania, the Mauretania, Lusitania, Aquitania and the company’s succession of Queens, from the mighty Queen Mary to the Queen Elizabeth of today The images here give an idea of the splendor that was ocean liner travel on the Cunard Line in the golden age of shipping.
A mixture of color photographs, period advertising and paintings give a feel for the Cunard of old, when ‘Getting There Was Half the Fun’.
Posted April 13, 2009
The long history of the famed Cunard ocean liner company is brought together in photographs. The Cunard name is associated with elegant transatlantic steamship travel in the early years of the 20th century. Today, the name is associated with cruise-ship vacations mostly in the Caribbean. In 1998, the remaining Cunard fleet was purchased by Carnival Corporation so that it could claim to be the owner of the world's largest cruise ship. By this time, parts of the Cunard steamship company had already been sold off; and Cunard was seen mostly as a remnant of a bygone era of ocean travel. The growth of the jet-plane industry after World War II brought the near-demise of Cunard.
Cunard's history goes back further than its heyday of the early 1900s. The British company was founded by Canadian Samuel Cunard in 1939. The first steamship was launched the following year. The company was named the British and North America Royal Mail Steam Ship Packet Company. But it soon came to be known simply as Cunard after its founder.
The most interesting photographs are the older ones of the early generation of ships with masts for sails in addition to the steam pipes. Photographs of Cunard liners in their World War II roles as troop carriers and hospital ships are of particular interest as well as this side of the company's history is not so widely known. The ships were not only luxury liners throughout the company's history of about 170 years. Color ads of various types including posters attract special interest too for artists' dramatic and fetching pictures of the impressive liners.
Most of the photographs are black-and-white ones from different periods. Many of these are straightforward photographs of different ships, possibly for nothing more than identification. There are photos of ships near docks with a waiting crowd or pulling into or leaving busy harbors which convey the excitement generated by the huge ocean liners, an excitement still aroused today. The text follows the overall course of the history of Cunard and highlights the moments of change. The balance of diverse period photographs, complementary illustrations, and informative text make for a companionable general history and visual record.