The New S.S. France 1912
This is a brochure for the Steamship SS France launch of the CGT-French Line produced in 1912 which offers an excellent review of the book of first class accommodation, services, engine room details and boilers, provisions and much more.
New Paquebot "France"
Compagnie Générale Transatlantique
This New Ship Features:
All The Latest Improvements
Tout Le Confort
A Luxury Unknown So Far
Assuring All Passengers
The Most Pleasant Crossings
From Paris to New York
It was only seventy-five years ago that a regular service was established between France and the United States. Indeed, around 1835, the first service of boats was organized between Le Havre and New York, by means of American sailboats made of wood, of a maximum weight of 450 tons.
How far we have traveled since that time, so close to us, and which today seems to us very distant when we contemplate the majestic ship of which Compagnie Générale Transatlantique has just endowed our merchant navy.
The success of the first attempt encouraged shipowners to build larger units. Tall ships of up to 2,000 tons appeared.
The British having inaugurated a service between Great Britain and the United States, established a regular service between Le Havre and New York. On June 24, 1848, the port of Le Havre received the first ship of this service. They beat ships sailing under the American flag.
The French Government considered that we could not give up the monopoly of transatlantic relations to foreigners. The Union Maritime offered to link France with New York, the West Indies and Mexico.
But, having been unable to raise the necessary capital, it ceded its rights to the Compagnie Générale Maritime, which was to become the Compagnie Génèrale Transatlantique.
The Convention of 1865 established that the New York service ships would have a speed of 11 knots.
Since this historic date, the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique has equipped its increasingly large and increasingly comfortable vessels with increasing speed, at its Le Havre line in New York.
In 1864, the Washington was only 107 meters long, 3,300 horsepower and a tonnage of 3,554 tons. America, commissioned in 1873, had not increased in power, but its length had been increased to 120 meters and its tonnage to 4,636 tons.
In 1883, it was the Normandie, 144 meters long, 6,500 horsepower and 6,500 tons, and in 1886, Brittany, 155 meters, 9,000 horsepower and 7,315 tons.
Then came the time of the great units: in 1891, the steamer La Touraine, 163 meters long, with 9,161 tons and 12,000 horsepower; In 1900, the Lorraine, 177 meters long, 22,000 horsepower, and 11,874 tons; In 1906, La Provence, 190 meters long, 30,000 horsepower and 14,744 tons.
Lastly, less than three years ago, the Penhoët shipyards in Saint-Nazaire were setting up "France", 220 meters, 45,000 horsepower and 24,838 tons, a real floating city, which will bear the reputation of France The botanical pause "France" is a pure marvel, you will judge of it indeed, if you would like to visit with us.
THE EMBARKING HALL
The transatlantic train stopped in front of the Eure basin in Le Havre. Wagons, a crowd rushes, whilst towards the vans are hurrying the porters ... A first surprise awaits the passenger.
Instead of the traditional footbridge where we hurried, we saw a tent-landing stage, spacious and very well installed. This innovation makes the hour of farewell less painful.
It seems that we are going to catch the train for some next station. There is no longer a gap between the immobile continent and the "vale marche". And already before the departure, the concern of Compagnie Générale Transatlantique is asserted to assure all its passengers the most complete conveniences, the desire to provide them both what we will call:
Individual comfort, for the cabin and the meals, and the general comfort, on the steamer and in all places.
Enter the liner. The ship is a veritable maze, a Noah's ark, where it is strongly traversed; you may ask yourself how you can find your cabin in a house with a thousand floors? Don't worry, the Master of the Hotel will designate a guide who will help you avoid getting lost on the ship.
While through the bridges your guide leads you to your cabin, you will doubtlessly ask yourself this agonizing question, which harasses all those who embark for a long voyage:
"Will I have a good cabin!" There is no need to worry today. All cabins are good aboard the "France".
You will be able to judge: The S.S. France First Class Accommodations
The "France" liner contains 207 first-class cabins and 51 mixed-class cabins, divided between the main (109) and upper (25 and 51 mixed) promenade bridges (73). The particular originality of these cabins is the composition of the partitions.
Though the wood was substituted, in most cases, with fiber-cement. As little paint as possible was used, so that - advantage of the most appreciable - no smell arises from these apartments. The passenger will find in his cabin the charm of his home.
More of these superimposed and classic berths! Coquetry beds have replaced them.
A number of cabins have two beds, others have only one, while some, about forty, have a sofa bed.
The various cabins on the promenade deck and the main deck are decorated in modern style, and their ornamentation includes pretty Irises evoking rustic subjects and new woods.
Compagnie Générale Transatlantique has complemented these sumptuous installations with the addition of a private water closet and bathroom to most cabins.
Many of these cabins are also equipped with a toilet. It will be noted that these arrangements do not exist on the biggest newly built passenger ships.
Finally, an electric clock will allow each one to measure, at any moment, the elapsed time.
Luxury First Class De Luxe Suites
Not forgetting that the New York line is frequented by high society, Compagnie Générale Transatlantique wanted to do even better. She had four luxury apartments installed, and an apartment of great luxury, of which no steamer could offer the equivalent.
The luxury apartment extends over a length of more than twenty meters, to starboard, under the mixed lounge and gallery of the tent deck.
You enter through an antechamber, overlooking the bathroom and the toilet. Here is the Directoire room, a large Louis XVI lounge, clear and cheerful, which would not disfigure one of our chateaux in Touraine.
A corridor on which the pantry opens connects the living room with the dining room with ash-like partitions in the purest style of the Empire; Finally, at the end of the house, cozy and intimate, a Louis XVI room invites to a peaceful rest. This room is equipped, itself, with a bathroom and a toilet.
These apartments of great luxury can house six people. It contains, in fact, a double bed, a single bed and three sofa beds. No doubt that all the Kings of the American industry will dispute the honor of occupying this princely residence where art is combined with the most refined comfort.
Unlike this apartment on the port side, two luxurious apartments, less rich but no less pleasant, include a Louis XVI room with a Directoire lounge, the other a Louis XV room with a Louis XV living room , which are very aristocratic, and where one feels much more at home than in the most considerable hotels.
Both have bathroom, toilet, wardrobe, all the details of the modern dwelling which make it so seductive to our eyes, and dumbwaiters ensure communication with the lower offices.
At the front of the promenade, two other apartments, decorated, but of lesser importance, have been fitted out.
First Class Dining Saloon
We like the monumental dining rooms. It seems that digestion must be hampered by the exiguity of the premises. A low ceiling does not encourage appetite.
The hosts of first classes of "France" will not experience this sensation. Compagnie Générale Transatlantique gave them a real surprise. Imagine a large hall, occupying three decks of the ship. And measuring, therefore, eight meters in total height.
The hall itself is divided into two floors, 350 passengers can be seated at meal times.
In the center of the hall, stands a cupola, that supports rectangular columns. A magnificent staircase ensures the connection between the two bearings. The decoration was borrowed from the old hotel of the Comte de Toulouse, which was decorated by Robert Decotte, the son-in-law of Mansard, the famous architect of the Louvre.
The wooden sculpture, the paneling and the powerful coloring of the central panel framed by the interior staircase will be admired. This work with warm, luminous tones represents the French Grace, and bears the signature of the eminent painter La Touche.
The same artist painted the ceiling of the cupola which evokes, with as much charm as poetry, the great regions of France.
Breaking with the tradition of the great tables, dear to the old steamships, the Company has adopted the fashion of small tables, more family, more intimate, and where one can isolate oneself in the midst of the community.
The offices and kitchens of this palace of Gargantua are immediately behind the lower dining room, arranged in such a way as to allow great accuracy and perfect speed in the service of the food of the passengers.
The Service Lifts. For the sick, as well as for breakfast service in the morning, there was established at each bridge a special office, communicating by elevators and telephones with one of the principal offices. This practice is sure to be highly appreciated by passengers.
Finally, for those that the sea air easily alters, an American bar has been installed on the main deck.
LES SALONS DU PONT-TENTE
The covered promenade is occupied, over a length of about 150 meters, by a long series of saloons, which may be said, without fear of being contradicted, that they recall rather the rooms of a royal palace than the common arrangements Of a steamship.
Compagnie Générale Transatlantique really wanted to make it harder to do better. Perhaps more gilding, motives, and furniture could be accumulated; It would be impossible, in any case, to compose with more art and skill the most sumptuous installations.
The Central Staircase
It is the thought that comes to mind when examining the decorative whole forms by the upper landing of the Great Staircase. In fact, one finds oneself in the middle of a colonnade, supporting an oval dome, in finely worked ironwork.
Green marble panels, ironwork doors surround the colonnade. Four high reliefs in gilded bronze with mercury enhance the walls of the rotunda. Baskets of electric flowers pour their light into the room.
The staircase flights to the lower floors are surrounded by a wrought iron ramp. In the stairwell, a bronze statue of "France" is inscribed in a niche, on a red-veined pedestal. The work of the sculptor Nelson has a great look and is still contributing to the Beauty of this monumental staircase.
Forwards, two galleries lead to the conversation-room, which is one of the most elegant of all. In the background, a magnificent fireplace is surmounted by the portrait, in full, of Louis XIV, by Hyacinthe Rigaud, copy of a striking truth, according to the painting preserved in the Louvre.
On the sides of the canvas are four pretty portraits: the Princesse de la Tour-du-Poin, Madame de Maintenon, Henriette of England, and the Duchess of Burgundy. The century of the Great King could not be better evoked.
In front of Louis XIV of Rigaud, a large painting, after Van der Meulen (Museum of Versailles), representing Louis XIV returning from a hunting party in the gardens of Versailles.
Opulent armchairs, of fashionable shepherdesses are arranged for the amazement of the eyes and the conveniences of conversation. Here are the seats covered with tapestries of Aubusson, there we see velvets of Genoa gardener, again, purple damask.
In front of the fireplace, notice this seat in X borrowed from the furniture of Versailles. All this furnishing emerges vividly on the blue carpet of king which stifles the sound of footsteps.
Let us not forget to raise our heads, to contemplate the central dome, so graceful, and the delicate frescoes of Boucher (Museum of Fontainebleau), Dawn and Twilight.
At the bottom, and on the right, silent and collected, is the library, of the purest regency style, whose walls disappear under the carved wood paneling. This retired place will be greatly appreciated by those who like to think in the company of our friends, books.
Stenographer and Typist
Those who have no time to stroll or meditate, who have copies to be executed, will find, on the left, in a small office, the typist, whose good offices will often be demanded.
First Class Lounge
Let's go back to the Great Staircase. Two galleries bathed in light, allow access to the mixed lounge, in Regence style. The eye rests on wooden paneling painted, green and gold, and columns of pink marble.
To the right and to the left, let us not fail to examine, with all their interest, four splendid tapestries of the Savonnerie, of considerable value; They represent naval subjects. On the chimney-piece, and above a console, at the two ends of the room, the two canvases you see are authentic.
These views of Italian landscapes date from 1774, and bear the signature of the painter of Laroix. In the center of the living room, was installed a quadruple sofa with H table.
The armchairs are covered with leather or velvet. A grand piano, play and writing tables complete the furnishing of this hall, where the sun enters at full rays. Let us cross the communication galleries in the Trianon Louis XVl style, fresh as gardens.
A stop at the delicious Moorish lounge where smokers can come to quench their thirst. To this end, the foresight of Compagnie Générale Transatlantique has created a marble fountain, from which flows an icy water.
The walls are covered with mosaics, flowers of arabesques, and wooden panels. Above the spring, which flows into a double basin, is a fresco, Algeria, by the orientalist artist Poisson. This sculpture, which appeared in the drawing-room, and was highly praised, has a great deal of character and life.
Smoking Room and Terrace
Continuing to the rear, we will reach the smoking-room, to which Colbert presides, the portrait of which embellishes the fireplace of veined marble.
This room, of vast dimensions, is, like the mixed lounge, Regency style, with carved wood paneling. Armchairs, with green velvet water, throw a clear and joyful note. Ice and strong waters harmonize on the walls.
This room communicates directly with a terrace, facing the back of the ship. Large bays, which can be closed by means of thick, movable panes, let the gaze wander over the immensity.
A latticework of a tender green in two colors, decorates the partition. In fine weather, it is possible to smoke as in the open air, and if the bad weather prevails, one can brave it, sheltered from the erectly erected ice.
To the right and left of the staircase of the Grande Descente, one can see grids very artistically ironed. These gates close the cage of the two elevators that serve the various floors of this gigantic house.
The children have not been forgotten by Compagnie Générale Transatlantique, the most maternal of all. On the one hand, it was advisable to prevent passengers from being disturbed by the cries or the races of the children, and that, on the other hand, they could occupy their leisure without too much trouble.
Two rooms are reserved for the turbulent youth. At the bridge of the boats, at the end of the large living room, and completely isolated from the latter, a playroom has been arranged, or Guignol will give daily performances. This piece will certainly not be the least joyous of the ship.
At the level of the upper dining room was installed a childlike dining room. Paintings under glass contain the stories that were dear to our young years, the blue tales and the golden legends. Little Red Riding Hood is next to Ali-Baba, and we see Mr. Lustucru making a mistake in the cat of Mother Michel.
The life of large steamships is essentially worldly, especially when the evening comes. Ladies and gentlemen often need the assistance of the hairdresser. Two very modern hairdressing salons have been installed. All the furnishing is of mahogany.
Second Class Accommondations
In order to describe the fittings of the second classes, it would be necessary to begin again to study the different premises in which flows either life in the cabins or life in the apartments.
We shall call them a single word, which everyone will understand: the wealth and comfort of the second classes on "France" correspond to the richness and comfort of the first classes on the old steamships.
The dining room, vast and cheerful, is in the entry point.
It is connected by a magnificent descent, the bearings of which are decorated in the Regency style, in the salon and in the smokehouse placed at the back of the ship on the main deck.
The living room is in a half-tone. The background is in the range of blue and gold, and the furniture is green-water. The gray velvet smoker's chairs harmonize nicely with the lemon-colored panels. All the decor was very neat.
The cabins are much more spacious than the second ones of the other steamships. The bathrooms have been multiplied on all floors.
Finally, a special hairdressing salon is set up on the upper deck, near the second office.
Third Class Accommodations
Finally, the passengers of the third class also have common premises, and in particular, spacious dining rooms, a smoking room and a refreshment bar. This class of passengers has its own special food service with its cabbages, its kitchen, entirely separate from the service of the first and second classes.
The General Comfort
We are accustomed, with the refinements of the contemporary period, to find in all places the same facilities that we meet with us. The Compagnie Générale Transatlantique did not want it to be otherwise on "France", and it tried to make the passengers their stay on sea as pleasant as possible.
Several times a day, an orchestra, carefully recruited, gives the passengers the most classical music as well as the most fashionable music, and in the evening balls allow to enjoy the pleasure of the dance.
For those who like to contemplate the horizon, breathe the open air of the open sea, probe the immensity, or plunge their gaze into the constellated sky, a vast promenade bridge was built on the "France", sheltered against high winds by Of the movable panes.
On stormy days, it will be permissible for passengers to remain on this deck, quietly stretched out in a comfortable rocking chair.
The Florist's Store.
A florist stand was installed on the promenade deck. It is to be expected that it will be very busy. There will also be some trinkets and postcards, and we may imagine that we have not left the mainland.
Some people, accustomed to a very active life, sometimes complain of the impossibility of maintaining their muscles on board steamships. Others, by regimens, must use their nerves.
For the use of one and the other, a room of mechanotherapy was established the front of the tent-bridge. It can be mechanically made of horses, bicycles, even camels. The plant has a vibrator Seistès, extensors for the arms, a rowing machine.
Near the room of Mechanical Therapy, opens the Room of Hydrotherapy, equipped with the most modern arrangements: showers in circle, in jet, in rain, underwater massage, and adjoining the massage room that serves a specialist , And has the rest room.
Various games are, on the other hand, made available to passengers, who can recreate at their leisure; The croquet, the game of barrel, the game of shuffle-board make it possible to make short the crossings.
Finally, the steamer hand a permanent fawn, its communications with the earth, through wireless telegraphy. An innovation, which will be very popular, is to note: a waiting room, very spacious, has been installed for the passengers who have messages to be sent.
An information desk was set up in the hall of the main staircase on the main deck. The public will find all the indications he may desire.
A safe deposit box, similar to that which the large financial institutions make available to their customers, is annexed to this office.
The Onboard Newspaper
A printing company operates on the "France" for the drawing of the menus and the publication of the Journal de l'Atlantique, which contains the latest news received by wireless telegraphy. "France" is a modern city with all the organs Can no longer be dispensed with today.
L'ÂME. To animate a colossus like "France", to operate its multiple organisms, to ensure its rhythmic pulsations, a small army is needed, to which the command gives the impulse, and of which it maintains the homogeneity.
The captain is assisted by a second captain, four lieutenants, a pilot, two doctors and three commissioners.
The size of the Giant S.S. France
"France" is indeed a giant. Its length is 217 m. 63, its width of 23 meters, and its height of 21 m. 50 from the keel to the bridge where the boats are located. Initially, the ship's draft is 9 m. 10, and its displacement to this draft, reaches 27,190 tons.
The liner has eight decks, seven of which accommodate passengers or officers. The last deck is reserved for passengers' luggage, provisions and merchandise. Under the last deck there is a cargo hold.
The total number of passengers is 2,558: 535 first-class passengers, 442 second-class passengers, 950 third-class passengers and 631 passengers.
The bridge of the commander is really the brain of this colossal body. From there proceed all the nerves which involve the active organs of the ship. Here are the apparatus for controlling the machinery, the rudder, the various machinery of the bridge, front and rear; Others ensure the maneuvering of whistles. Still others provide for passenger safety. At the time of any danger, the Commanding Officer may, in his or her discretion, close all doors to the watertight bulkheads.
The devices are very different in nature: mechanical, electrical or hydraulic. The gateway also has loudspeaker phones, optical signal devices.
A special indicator ensures that navigation lights function properly; A central electric clock sends the time in salons and cabins.
Here is the room of the maps, with its nautical library, its chronometers and its sextants. Finally, a chamber of silence allows the hearing of submarine bells for days of fog. We are amazed that so much can be kept in such a small place.
The Lungs and the Heart
Nothing is more curious and more informative than a visit to the "lungs" and the "heart" of the colossus. The liner "France" is operated by four propellers. Its evaporator consists of eleven boilers, eight fireplaces each, eight boilers with four fireplaces, a total of 120 fireplaces giving a grid area of 222 square meters.
The consumption of coal, for a 140-hour voyage, is about 4,000 tons. Fresh water consumption is expected to reach almost 800 tons. The power thus obtained is 45,000 horsepower, and the production of steam per hour of 270,000 kilograms.
To avoid the need to carry more than a thousand tons of fresh water to supply boilers, the ship is equipped with evaporator boilers in which seawater is distilled.
Machines demand not only coal and water, but also air. This air is supplied by sixteen electric fans, with a total throughput of 530,000 cubic meters per hour.
This quantity of air weighs about 690 tons, and corresponds to twenty-three times the weight of the coal. The flow of the fans maintained during the 140 hours of crossing therefore corresponds to a total air weight of 96,500 tons.
The air is sucked by large wells, located around the chimneys, into eight ventilation chambers placed above the boilers, from there it is driven back into heaters, which bring its temperature to 300 degrees, and finally, sent On the grids.
If necessary, these ventilators could be ventilated.
In this case, they would be capable of renewing the total volume of air, including bunkers and holds, ten times per hour, which corresponds to twenty times per hour for inhabited spaces.
The engine itself consists of four turbines each placed on a line of shafts: one high-pressure turbine, one medium and two low-pressure turbines. In addition, there are two high-pressure turbines and two low-pressure reversers.
The turbines comprise 618,300 copper fins, of which 290,700 are stationary and 327,600 are mobile. These fins placed end to end would represent a ribbon of 109 kilometers.
This figure gives an idea of the considerable adjustment work required for the construction of an apparatus of this power.
For the first time, on the "France" a turbine engine with triple trigger is used.
To give an idea of the power of the turbines of France, we shall observe that the internal diameter of the pipe, which combines the mean with the low pressure, is nearly two meters (1m 930).
Thanks to a very skilful device, the vessel being in the open road, it is possible, by a single maneuver, to put the four propellers in reverse at the same time, in order to avoid an imminent collision.
The whole engine unit is placed in two compartments, and one of these compartments could be invaded without the rest of the engine being paralyzed. We would be content to just walk with two propellers.
The lighting and the driving force of the edge are ensured by two electric stations, each comprising two turbo-dynamos of 400 horses.
The "France" offers this particularity of having no water tower. The pumps discharge the water, cold or hot, into reservoirs loaded with compressed air at the top, from where they are returned under pressure.
For hot water service, there is a continuous flow of piping, with return to the starting point, of fawn to prevent the cooling of the water before use by the passengers.
Finally, it should be added that, for the simplification of the boiler room service, the coal is distributed around the four groups of boilers, and that, in order to allow the general service of boiler rooms, machinery and the shipboard, A steep corridor connecting the various compartments.
There is therefore no need to open the doors at the lower part of the fifteen bulkheads which divide the ship into sixteen watertight compartments.
This large service corridor contains the auxiliary equipment necessary for the service of the machines, the life of the ship and the safety of the steamship.
It gives, in the back, in the supply stores and posts reserved for drivers and civilian personnel of the crew, and in the front, in the posts of the crew bridge and some of the emigrants.
Provisioning a Monster Ship
Provisions on the S.S. France
A monster such as the liner "France" engulfed prodigious quantities of food, especially since the ships of the Compagnie Generale Transatlantique are renowned for the quality of their table.
At the departure of Le Havre, the steamer carried 9,000 pounds of fresh meat, consisting of 22 whole cattle, 13 sheep, 8 calves, 4 pores, 350 kidneys, 270 tongues of beef, 550 squares of chops, 400 gigots, 400 pounds of sausage, poultry and game, distributed as follows: 750 kilos of various pork meats, 500 pork, 75 ham, 18 barrels of foie gras, 800 chickens, 700 pigeons, 180 rabbits, 400 ducks, 70 turkeys, 50 geese, 1,100 quails, 550 partridges, 250 grouses and 70 pheasants.
The fish market is stocked with 4,500 kilos of various fish, 40 kilos of shrimp, 250 lobsters or lobsters, and gourmets have at their disposal 600 dozen oysters.
These figures include 15,000 kilograms of potatoes, 900 of carrots, 750 of onions, 750 of turnips, 700 of cauliflowers, 900 artichokes, 750 headed cabbages, 400 leek boots, 700 radishes, 5,900 salads, 6,000 35,000 eggs, 3,000 pounds of butter, 5,400 tin cans, 1,500 kilos of cheese, 9,000 oranges, 6,000 pears, 6,000 apples, 380 pots of jams, 100 pots of honey, 110 kilos of dragees and pralines, 75 boxes of marmalades, candied fruits, cakes, etc., in profusion.
For the drink, 300 kilos of tea, 500 of chocolate, 150 of coffee, 6,000 liters of fresh milk, 6,000 kilos of sugar are provided.
The cellars of the steamer "France" do not give way to those of the most famous restaurants. There are 60,000 bottles of which 2,300 bottles of champagne and 2,000 bottles of wine, 1,800 bottles of fine wines, 350 of liqueur wines, 2,500 of beer, 900 of various liqueurs, 2,800 of mineral water and 2,500 half bottles , 1,500 bottles of lemonade, 25,000 ordinary yin and 30,000 liters for the crew.
No housewife ever had a supply of linen similar to that of the "France" liner, which had 7,200 bed sheets, 3,800 pillowcases, 1,200 tablecloths, 20,000 napkins, 22,000 toiletries, 8,000 tea towels, 2,500 aprons and 2,000 sink towels.
Finally, as the container must fit the contents, the dishes are in porcelain style Louis XI V, and the silverware Louis XV style.
And now you only have to embark. The colossus known as the S.S. France is waiting for you.
Informations sur Livret
- Issued: 1912
- Printer: Draeger, Paris, France
- Pages: 36
- Cover: Hard - no Dustjacket
- Binding: String
- Dimensions: 6 x 8.9 Inches