8 January, 1999
To the Editor:

Last September, I received a letter from Mrs Kathy Demont, long-time friend and a staunch supporter of ocean liners, in which she enclosed a copy of the summer edition of the irregularly published Ocean Liner Gazette.

I have seen the occasional copy of the Gazette before and always enjoyed it but have never felt compelled to write to the Editor before. So, John, putting on your President's and Editor's hat, and in response to your request on page 19, here goes:

First, in connection with the photograph on page 13, included in Jack Sauter's article, the unknown vessel on the north side of Pier 88 is the Greek Line's Olympia, purpose-built in 1953 by Alexander Stephens and Sons of Glasgow.This was a bit of a struggle but the layouts of the ports, windows and after decks were the clues.

Your second quiz, on page 19, took a tad more research but my guesses are as follows:

The photograph was taken in the mid-1970's, and the ships are, reading from left to right:
North Side Pier 92:The Sagafjord, identified by the two kingposts forward. (Vistafjord only has a mast.)
South Side Pier 92: The Doric, Home Lines, ex-Hanseatic-ex-Shalom, at the time of the photo in the New York/Bermuda service.
North Side Pier 90: The Michelangelo, for no other reason than she had her mainmast painted black and Raffaello did not.
South Side Pier 90: The Oceanic, again Home Lines. Identified by the huge magrodome forward of the funnel and two little wings at the stern on the waterline. Made her a pig going astern, I am told.
North Side Pier 88: Rotterdam, as you state.
South Side Pier 88: Whilst a familiar ship, I cannot put a name to her, although I feel I should know it. Not that large, having only twelve boats, and my guess would be an old ship conversion. Sorry, I cannot help on that one.

I am sure many other more learned folk have written to you, and much earlier than this, giving the information but I thought it would be fun to seen just how close I could get.

My regards and best wishes to you and Mary and all the best for 1999.

Sincerely, Aye, Robin Woodall

(It is always a pleasure to hear from Robin, recently retired captain of Queen Elizabeth 2; his master's insights are of great interest and value. Who knew, for example that Michelangelo's mainmast was black and Raffaello's was not? Certainly not your Editor. Also, the difficulty of going astern aboard Oceanic. Of course the competition has long since been won and a prize awarded to Greg Straub and, when he receives the germane back issues, Robin Woodall will discover that the mystery ship on the south side of Pier 88 is none other than HAL's Statendam.)

26 January,1999
To the Editor:

My name is Anthony Strublic. At the current time, I am creating a book about RMS Titanic, also including her sisters Olympic and Britannic. A chapter in the book will contain a comparison between the Olympic-class liners and other ships of state of the period. Other liners included will be Lusitania, Mauretania, Aquitania, Imperator, Vaterland and Bismarck.

What I need are photographs of these other liners to include. (For the Lusitania, pre-Titanic and final year photo's would be appreciated.) Photographs of the Olympic-class liners are also needed for the main body of the text.

All photographs are vital to the completion of this book. Any photographs offered would be appreciated. If you have some pictures, please communicate with me at the following address:

Harrison Hall, Room 186
Vincennes University
Vincennes, Indiana 47591
Telephone: (812) 888-7321

Once again, any and all photographs offered would be greatly appreciated. Any fees will be paid if necessary.

Anthony Strublic

22 February, 1999
To the Editor:

I acquired a collection of ocean liner models built by a man named Van Ryper of Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts. They are scale wooden models. I wonder if you could help me find out more about the history of the model builder. I would also be interested in knowing about other members who may also collect these models.

I am a nephew of the late Gerard Burke (A long-time Museum member-Editor) and when he died, I was the only person who really had an interest in his ship collection and books and posters. Thus, I have basically his entire model collection.

All the Van Rypers and many metal ship models that may be German. I am presently thinking about how to display them in my home in Larchmont. I am a member of the Larchmont Yacht Club (predominantly a sailing-based club) and have thought about displaying them there as an exhibit.

I would appreciate it if you would publish my query about the origin of the Van Ryper models in the Gazette. My home address is 2 Bay Avenue, Larchmont New York 10538.

I work as as an orthopaedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan My Email address is:

Incidentally, I found the address and phone number of Van Ryper's son who also lives in Vineyard Haven. There is actually a museum there. Anthony Van Ryper gave me the name of Lewis Rusitzky, who apparently knew Jerry Burke and also has a large collection of Van Ryper models. He lives in Florida on Marco Island and is a member of your museum.

I have about 50 Van Ryper models, most of which are in excellent condition. I only have two large format models of Europa and Aquitania. I am certainly interested in adding to the collection and am still in the process of cataloguing them. I know Lewis Rusitzky was interested in my uncle's collection as he sometimes gets queries and arranges trades.

I now have almost every book you have written as Mr Burke probably had all of them. I am probably a bit unusual in that as I never really traveled frequently on the ships. However, when I boarded the Ryndam in 1969 in Le Havre, I looked behind me and there was the France loading up in all its glory. It's a pity I was never on that ship.

Anyway, please give me more information about the Museum and I would be happy if you would print my query about Van Ryper in the Gazette.

Russell E. Windsor, MD

(What a nice inheritance from a staunch friend of the Museum who loved ocean liners. Mr Rusitzky's collection is probably the most comprehensive among our members' and the two of you will doubtless enjoy some meaningful trades. It is interesting that there is a Van Ryper Museum in Vineyard Haven; many of our members would be interested in seeing it.)

16 February 1999
To the Editor:

I would like to begin by saying how much I enjoyed your book The Only Way to Cross. I've had it for several years now and have gone back to it often. I've had a strong fascination with passenger ships that I've never been able to explain.

I've never been on a liner at all and grew up in Dallas where there was not even any river traffic. My grandfather was in vaudeville and did have an English tour in 1932-1933 and (happily for me) saved everything from the trip. Often as a kid, I would dig through the passenger lists, menus and photographs from the Berengaria and Aquitania. We even still have his old steamer trunk complete with labels. It must be the romance of another age to me.

In putting together my grandfather's memorabilia, a few other ships have come up that I hoped you may know something about or at least be able to suggest some reference books in the New York Public Library.
1. S.S. Sonoma: It apparently belonged to the Oceanic Steam Company and together with Sierra and Ventura, operated a three-ship service between Sydney and San Francisco. Some people I'm researching arrived in San Francisco aboard Sonoma. I would like to know what became of her and how to find a photograph of the vessel.
2. Prinz Friedrich Wilhelm: Obviously a confiscated German liner used as a troop ship. I have a "troop billet" that belonged to a great uncle. Again, I'd love to know anything about her or if there might be photographs.
3. Emma Alexander of the Pacific Steamship Company. My grandfather went from Los Angeles to Seattle on her in 1932. I have some shipboard photographs and a menu, also the tickets.
4. Ponce de Leon: It may have been a cruise ship-late 1920's, early 1930's, possibly out of Florida. I was told that my grandfather also performed on cruise ships. I have a photograph that was taken "on the boat deck of the Ponce." written on the back. I know that isn't much to go on but I figured that if any person could steer me in the right direction, it would be you.

Thank you for your time.
Stephen Stratton

(The answer to most of the questions involved in Mr Stratton's letter can be answered by consulting N.R.P. Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway or his single companion volume South Atlantic Seaway. For the Pacific ships, Mr Stratton should consult Eugene Smith's Passenger Ships of the World Past & Present. If any members have photographs or details available about any of the ships that interest Mr Stratton, they should communicate with him directly at the address listed above )


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