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Leviathan: The World's Greatest Ship, Vol. 2 - 1974 by Frank O. Braynard


1955

In explanation for the great detail with which this story of the LEVIATHAN is presented, I would like to tell you some­thing of my life-long love of this liner. The four pictures above document this passion. In 1923, when I was for the second time trying to pass first grade, my interest in the LEVIATHAN was stimulated by Alexander Blackburn, a teacher at the school I attended. His brother had been Executive Officer on the LEVIATHAN during her Navy career in the first great war. I only became aware of this relationship during the research period for this series of books. I can remember vividly being asked to show the first grade how to draw the letter “L” on the blackboard when we were learning the alphabet. And I knew how to do it because I could spell “LEVIATHAN” even though I could not spell my own name (see my first sketch above). The second picture shown here is a water color I did of the LEVIATHAN in 1926. Then comes my pen and ink drawing done in 1945 for my first book, LIVES OF THE LINERS, published by Cornell Maritime Press in 1947 (and still available). The 1955 sketch was for my book FAMOUS AMERICAN SHIPS, now out of print. The fancy letter sketches used at all chapter openings and most sub-chapter beginnings are mine. All represent scenes of or aboard the VATERLAND/LEVIATHAN.

Frank O. Braynard

Leviathan: The World's Greatest Ship, Vol. 2 - 1974 by Frank O. Braynard

Publishing this history in several volumes was a decision that ran counter to the advice of many friends and publishers. Only the South Street Seaport Museum, the exciting new restoration project in New York City, was willing to lend their name to the effort as publisher. The author with the help of some 125 LEVI­ATHAN friends raised the money to pay all production costs. Only 2,000 copies of Volume I and II have been printed, and the second volume was paid for from proceeds of the first. If Volume II provides sufficient funds it, in turn, will finance the third volume, and so on until the series is completed. At that time the loans of all those listed in the Preface as book patrons will be returned, in full, out of the proceeds of the final volume.

Originally it was expected that four vol­umes would do the trick, but Volume II has fallen six months behind this projec­tion, in that it has had to be ended as of July 27, 1923 instead of the end of that year. At this rate it appears that five volumes instead of four will be required to tell the full LEVIATHAN story in this rounded fashion. Volume II carries the ship’s tempestuous life up through her first round trip as a U.S. express liner. Volume III, for which 90% of the re­search is completed may be able to go up through the year 1927, the high point in the ship’s life. The two following vol­umes will pick up the story and move the ship through the Depression era, into the time when she was under the com­mand of the distinguished Captain Harold Cunningham, and on through her last years of service, her long period of idleness at Hoboken and her final voyage to the scrap yard, a trip worthy of a book all by itself.

The South Street Seaport Museum is happy to act as the publisher of this work. Its bookstore at 25 Fulton Street, New York, N.Y., 10038, will accept mail orders. The book is on sale at this store and through the author’s home at 98 DuBois Ave., Sea Cliff, N.Y., 11579.


THE AUTHOR—Frank O. Braynard, whose passion for American ships has given him much pleasure. It was his suggestion that resulted in the naming of the world’s first nuclear merchant ship the SAVANNAH. For several years he with hundreds of volunteers from the Army and Navy sought to find the wreck of the original SA­VANNAH, lost off Fire Island in 1821, and he has not given up this quest.

Despite his love for steam, he was one of the main cogs for the 1964 Operation Sail and is presently work­ing on the coming Operation Sail for our Bicentennial. Author of 9 books and many articles he is a past president of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He is an honorary member of the Council of American Master Mariners and of the Veteran Wireless Operators Association. His maritime collection at his home in Sea Cliff is one of the largest in the world.


Tl?e Story ©f tlje LEVIATHAN
By FRANK Q BRAYNARD


This book is dedicated to William Francis Gibbs and his brother Frederic H. Gibbs, and to the Robert L. Hague Merchant Marine Industries Post; and to Irving H. Jones and Harry Wright, two generous LEVIATHAN engineers, and to the LEVIATHAN Veterans Association with gratitude.

Published by the South Street Seaport Museum, 16 Fulton Street, N.Y. 10038 - 1974
Copyright by Frank O. Braynard
Library of Congress Card Catalogue No. 72—85207
Other books by the author:
50 YEARS NEW YORK SHIPBUILDING CORP.
LIVES OF THE LINERS FAMOUS AMERICAN SHIPS S.S. SAVANNAH, THE ELEGANT STEAMSHIP THE STOR Y OF SHIPS A TUGMAN'S SKETCHBOOK FIRE ISLAND TO VENICE ONE SQUARE MILE BY THEIR WORKS. YE SHALL KNOW THEM


TABLE OF CONTENTS

Photo courtesy Ernst Glaessel

Chapter I            AGAIN AT HOBOKEN.................................................................................... 7
Chapter II           ATTACK BY HEARST................................................................................... 17
Chapter III         “WHITE ELEPHANT” ................................................................................... 30
Chapter IV         HER HEART WAS SOUND........................................................................... 53
Chapter V           IMMIGRANTS AND RATS........................................................................... 66
Chapter VI         FRANKLIN UNDER ATTACK....................................................................   75
Chapter VII        LASKER TAKES THE HELM ...................................................................... 86
Chapter VIII      EASING I.M.M. OUT..................................................................................   100
Chapter IX         “AT A LOSS IF WE MUST” ........................................................................... Ill
Chapter X           “S. S. PRESIDENT HARDING”................................................................. 123
Chapter XI         NO SUBSIDY! ..............................................................................................  141
Chapter XII        WORLD’S LARGEST SHIP-AGAIN.......................................................... 158
Chapter XIII      RED, WHITE & BLUE STACKS ............................................................... 195
Chapter XIV      DRY-DOCKING IN BOSTON.................................................................... 227
Chapter XV        “MILLION-DOLLAR JOY RIDE” ............................................................. 244
Chapter XVI      “A THUNDERING DIAPASON”................................................................ 262
Chapter XVII     HER “THIRD INCARNATION”................................................................ 288
Chapter XVIII   MAIDEN VOYAGE (No.3)........................................................................... 306
NOTES                                                                                                                                            343
INDEX                                                                                                                                            373
CREDITS                                                                                                                                       382

 

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