An original photo, of the Normandie, late 1930's,
New York Harbor, with the Bay Ridge Section of Brooklyn
in the background , during winter, after a snowstorm.
The photo taken by another ship passing the Normandie
on its way out of New York.
This photo was not on the ships Maiden Voyage, but believed
to be shortly thereafter, and possibly on the same voyage
as the menu to follow, since the menu is of November, 1936,
and the possibility of snow back then was normal during this time.
An original, third class,
"DINNER De GALA"
menu from the famous French Line Steamship
November 21st, 1936
(if this was what third class was like, can you imagine first???)
A very nice and decorative menu, written in French only.
An original ship information manual made available to passengers
on the maiden voyage.
ARTHAUD, BYRON, SCHALL
Printed in France
All items above are part of the
Great South Bay Collection
was most likely the Queen Mary's best competition,
1935 she had a gross tonnage of 79,000, the largest in the World.
A year later the QM was built at 81, 000 tons.
Not to be out done, the Normandie had a large deckhouse built
on one of her aft decks, which pushed her tonnage to
She was the most glamorous ship of the 1930's, at
the cost 60 million dollars!!!
Some of the world's most famous, designers,
as well as the ship builder's of the famous
"ILE De FRANCE"
were commissioned to design and build her.
a former designer of the Czar's warships, was placed in charge.
The ship was to originally be named the
"SUPER ILE DE FRANCE"
but was eventually named the
"The First Lady of France"
Christened with the World's Largest bottle of Champagne
6 Quarts in all, on October 29th, 1932.
She was launched on the "LOIRE RIVER"
A victim of the Great Depression, laid up for a time at her fitting dock.
Her Maiden Voyage was not until June 1935,
in which she broke all
records, averaging 32 knots, and completing the transatlantic crossing
in 4 days, 3 hours, and 14 minutes.
The " ITALIANS" sadly relinquished the
which was held by the "REX"
The Normandie Arriving in New York Harbor on her maiden voyage
June 5th, 1935 after breaking the Atlantic Crossing Speed Record
Associated Press Wire Photo from The San Francisco Examiner
The Normandie was built in 1935 by
CHANTIERS de L'ATLANTIC, St.
She was 82,799 gross tons, 1028' feet long, 117' wide, with steam
turbo electric engines, geared to a quadruple screw, with
a service speed of 29 knots.
She could hold 1.972 passengers, 848 first, 670 tourist, and 454 third.
The Normandie was delayed in New York Harbor,
just after Germany
invaded Poland on September 1st, 1939.
The American Coast Guard delayed her sailing, fearful of attack
on the open seas, as it was well known that passenger liners
were carrying aid and munitions to Europe.
When France fell to Germany the following year, she was still
idle at Manhattan's Pier 88, her crew reduced to 110.
On May 15th, 1941 she was seized by the U.S.
transferred to the Navy to be used as a troopship.
On February 9th, 1942, sparks from a acetylene torch, ignited a group
of life jackets, and mattresses, creating a great fire which
caused her destruction.
LETS GO INSIDE THE NORMANDIE
& VIEW ITS INCREDIBLE INTERIOR!!!
THE GRAND DINING ROOM
305' LONG AND 45' WIDE
150 TABLES, ROOM FOR 700+ DINERS
PANELED WITH MOULDED & HAMMERED GLASS WITH A VERY
UNIQUE ART DECO LIGHTING SYSTEM
A STATE ROOM'S BEDROOM & SALON
"THE WIRELESS STATION"