|Hello and welcome to the Trans-Atlantic Liners Page. Like millions before, ocean liners have always been objects of extraordinary fascination for me. The largest moving objects ever created, they represented in their time, the technological equivalent of what space vehicles are to the modern age. Like many, I am too young ever to have sailed on these fabled floating palaces, yet these long lost ships occupy a permanent allure and charm for myself and millions around the world.
I grew up in Australia, in a period where the liners had been totally superseded by air travel. Although never having set eyes on one of these amazing ships, even at a early age, they were an inescapable part of everyday living. Liners have so impacted on western societies, that Queen Mary has become a term to express sheer size, while the Titanic is synonymous with the worst disasters at sea. The liners were more than just vast floating palaces, their presence would influence history itself. The liners would be instrumental in moving millions of immigrants from the old world to the new. The liners would also play a vital role in moving thousands of troops in war and some credit the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, for influencing Americaís decision to enter the first world war. I first heard of the Queen Mary from my grandfather. He was one of the thousands of Australian soldiers carried by her to the battlefields of Asia, while others were ferried to the conflict in Europe. He talked of being impressed at the sheer size of this enormous vessel. He spent much of his time, during the long voyage, exploring her decks and converted public rooms. In fact, my grandfather would spend most of his time above decks, due to the heat of equatorial waters, reducing the interior of the ship to a vast, floating sauna. But in spite of the privations, he always had a fond word for this most formidable of ships.
Later, I would explore more of the history of the liners, though texts and photographs
of which now only remain to tell the story of these illustrious ships.
From the triumphant Mauretania and Queen Elizabeth, to the
tragic loss of the Normandie and Lusitania, the classic era
of ocean travel would capture my imagination. Perhaps, it is historical
or social significance that captivates, or maybe itís the glamour represented
by ocean going luxury, standards of which in these contemporary times, seem
unattainable. Classically, the liners seem to have developed a stronger
allure in death, that they achieved in life. This page is a personal tribute
to these great floating artefacts, the trans-atlantic liners. ...(bibliography).
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