Cunard White Star History and Ephemera
The Cunard White Star Line (1934-1949) was formed as a merger of the two once giant steamship lines - The Cunard Steam Ship Company and the White Star Line. The depression years had taken their toll on a number of transatlantic steamship lines. After World War II, traffic, especially tourist traffic had recovered and the Cunard line purchased the remaining assets of White Star Line in 1949.
Ships with Names that eneded in "ia" were part of Cunard Line and if the name ended in "ic" - the ship was part of White Star Line (originally).
Note: For ease of researching, we have placed documents for ships ending in "ia" OR beginning with "Queen" with the Cunard Line collections. Documents pertaining to vessels ending in "ic" will be found with the White Star Line collections.
Other Cunard White Star Line Documents of the Archives
- 1935-04-20 "Au Revoir" Dinner Menu, M.V. Georgic, Contained a number of autographs from fellow passengers including: Leslie Howard, Dave Brwon, Allan Todd, Irene E. Bovery, Elizabeth Bovery, Eleanor Hennesey, Adeline Wheeler, Wilbaur Shearer, Violet Lore, Fred Borké, Carol Gale.
- 1937-08-08 Farewell Dinner Menu, RMS Queen Mary. Auld Lang Syne Fancy Cover.
- 1938-03-11 Carnival Dinner Menu, M.V. Georgic - Extensive two page listing.
- 1938-03-14 Luncheon Menu, M.V. Georgic - Extensive two page listing.
- 1938-03-16 Luncheon Menu, M.V. Georgic - Extensive two page listing.
- 1938-03-17 St. Patrick's Day Luncheon Menu, M.V. Georgic - Extensive two page listing.
- 1938-03-18 Luncheon Menu, M.V. Georgic - Extensive two page listing.
- 1938-08-18 Au Revoir Dinner Menu, M.V. Georgic. Illustration of Spanish Sailing Vessel (17th Century?) on Cover - Auld Lang Syne.
- 1938-08-20 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-22 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-23 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-23 Dinner Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-24 Dinner Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-25 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-26 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-26 Dinner Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-27 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia.
- 1938-08-21 Luncheon Menu, RMS Franconia
- 1938-08-22 Dinner Menu, RMS Franconia
- 1938-08-27 Dinner Menu, RMS Franconia. Illustration of Rio Grande dancers on front cover - Auld Lang Syne Menu.
- 1939-05-07 Dinner Menu, RMS Lancastria
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: Cunard White Star Docks, Southampton. RMS Queen Mary docks on right.
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: Prize Fiths on RMS Aquitania, August 1937 showing 4 lums - smoke stacks.
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: RMS Aquitania , Deck with a view of the Bow, August 1937.
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: 4 Smoke Stacks of the RMS Aquitania in August 1937
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: View of Southampton harbor, leaving on the RMS Aquitania, 25 August 1936
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: View of Southampton harbor, leaving on the RMS Aquitania with two tugboats in view, 25 August 1936
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: RMS Aquitania. Passengers looking at the Docks at Southampton
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: View of Lifeboats, RMS Aquitania, looking aft, from August 1937
- 1937-09-02 Photograph: RMS Aquitania Looking down on the deck towards the bow - from August 1937
- 1938: Booklet: RMS Queen Elizabeth Guide to Accommodation and General Information for Passengers: First Class. 36 Pages.
- 1930s Horse Racing Race Card, RMS Laconia, Captain B. B. Oram, R.D., R.N.R. - Passengers were able to place bets on racing from New York Stakes, Boston Handicap, Delaware Plate and Belmont Park Cup. (1934-39)
- 1935 Atlantic Track Chart, Used, Voyage 11/3 to 11/11 (Eastbound). Brief article on Cunard White Star, The Largest Fleet on the Atlantic.
- 1936-05-27 RMS Queen Mary Maiden Voyage Cover , Southampton to New York Cover - Postmarked in Southampton with Original Envelope and Signed Insert (Marshall H. Hancock).
- 1936-05-27 RMS Queen Mary Postcard: Philatelic Greeting per SS Queen Mary, Published by Steamship Collecting Ltd, London. In original protective casing.
- 1936-10-14 Luggage Tag, RMS Queen Mary, complete with string and stamp label for two bags, Cabin Class Passenger - Mrs. F. F. Wallin, Southampton to New York; Room B-78.
- 1938 Landing Arrangements, RMS Franconia. General Information - Landing Arrangements for Boston and New York.
- 1939-07-17 Order for Collection of Baggage, Compagnie Nord Atlantique Agents for Cunard White Star, Paris - 2 Suitcases. Transferred from Hotel in Paris to The Georgic in Havre.
- 1939-07-21 Bon de Livraison - Compagnie Nord Atlantique - Cunard White Star - 2 Valise
Merger of White Star Line with Cunard Steamship Company
In 1928 a new Oceanic(III) was proposed and her keel was laid down that year at Harland & Wolff but the final ship was never completed. She was to have a new diesel-electric propulsion system and maintain the thousand foot dimensions that had originally been planned for Gigantic and the un built Ceric (1913). As White Star faced financial troubles through the bungling of Lord Kylsant at the end of the twenties, Oceanic's keel was dismantled and the steel was used in two new smaller ships built for the White Star, RMS Georgic & RMS Britannic. Both of these ships would enter service in 1930 and would be the last liners White Star ever built. In 1933, White Star and Cunard were both in serious financial difficulties because of the Great Depression, falling passenger numbers and the advanced age of their fleets, particularly White Star's. Work had been halted on Cunard's new giant, Hull 534 (later the Queen Mary), in 1931, to save money. In 1933, the British government agreed to provide assistance to the two competitors on the condition that they merge. The agreement was completed on December 30, 1933.
The merger took place on the May 10, 1934, creating Cunard-White Star Limited. White Star contributed 10 ships to the new company while Cunard contributed 15 ships. Because of this, and since Hull 534 was Cunard's ship, 62% of the company was owned by Cunard's shareholders and 38% of the company was owned by White Star's shareholders. A year after this merger, the last of the "Olympic Class" ships the Olympic was removed from active duty. Two years later, in 1937, she was scrapped. Paneling from her First Class lounge was salvaged and installed in the restaurant of the White Swan Hotel, Alnwick, Northumberland, England.
In 1947, Cunard acquired the 38% of Cunard White Star it did not already own, and on December 31, 1949, it acquired Cunard White Star's assets and operations, and reverted to using the name "Cunard." From the time of the 1934 merger, the house flags of both lines had been flown on all its ships, with each ship flying the flag of its original owner above the other; after 1950, only Georgic and Britannic, the last surviving White Star liners, continued to fly the White Star burgee on a regular basis, above the Cunard house flag. All other ships flew the Cunard flag over the White Star flag until 1968.