Millions of passengers were on the move, corporations spanned the globe, and ship lines competed to build the world’s largest moving objects, North Atlantic superliners.William Roka, the South Street Seaport Museum’s historian and public programs manager, and curator of the Seaport’s most recent exhibition Millions: Migrants and Millionaires Aboard the Great Liners, 1900-1914, led us on a tour of this extraordinary period in the history of travel.Ships built to serve colonial empires slowly disappeared as one possession after another declared independence.Using the British India liner SS KARANJA as an example, Ted introduced us to people who had to pull up stakes in East Africa and find another home.The largest number of passengers were westbound travelers, the immigrants in third class, who sought economic opportunity and a new life in the United States.Immigrants formed the largest source of revenue for shipping companies.Saturday, December 9, 2017 – PM to PM 2017 PONY BRANCH HOLIDAY PARTY Arte Cafe, 106 West 73rd Street, Manhattan On Saturday December 9, 2017, members and guests braved a cold and snowy day to enjoy food, drinks and the camaraderie of fellow ship enthusiasts at the annual PONY Branch Holiday Party, held once again this year at the Arte Cafe on Manhattan's Upper West Side.
In his program, Pat Dacey looked at many of these operators and their various plans to upgrade, renovate and restore the great ship.Beyond national pride in building the biggest and best, shipping companies were motivated by a more common interest: profit.After immigrants in third class, it was first-class passengers who provided the greatest source of revenue.Pat Dacey is a long-time PONY Branch member whose interest in ships, especially in Cunard Line, goes back 40 years.Pat first visited the QUEEN MARY in Long Beach in the early 70’s and has been a frequent visitor ever since. Fred Rodriguez Community Church Assembly Room, 40 East 35th Street, Manhattan On the same day in 2008 that J.Regency Cruises was a major operator of second-hand ships until it declared bankruptcy.On this journey, we followed the REGENT SEA, converted from Swedish Americas Line’s GRIPSHOLM of 1957, on a cruise to the Mayan ruins of Belize, Honduras, and Belize.During Ted's program we ventured from Buenos Aires on a 26-day, northbound voyage to Brooklyn aboard Ivaran Lines’ super-comfy, 86-passenger-container ship, AMERICANA.Intended to be the first of a new breed of combi-ship, and officially classified as a scheduled passenger vessel, she attained priority access to congested Brazilian ports. HELENA, living on borrowed time as her namesake island’s brand-new airport located deep in the South Atlantic finally opened to regular air service from South Africa after a long delay due to severe wind shear. HELENA represented the very last of the long-distance mail ships and served the island with everything it required, except fuel.For only a hundred thousand annual passengers shipping companies would create floating palaces that rivaled the best hotels in comfort and amenities.First class and third class, millionaires and immigrants, lives that were worlds apart on land, but would, for a brief time, almost touch aboard the North Atlantic liners.