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Old ships and nautical memorabilia
August 24, 2012 10:15 PM   Subscribe

Old Ships is a website packed full of evocative, interesting and historical pictures of old ships from A to Zambesi. It's a feast of all kinds of other vintage maritime images, including ports, docks, ferries, harbors, paintings, canals, rivers, maritime scenes, onboard pictures, shipboard menus, lots of great postcards and other old historical nautical memorabilia (even the ship's cat).

A random selection: Samurai on horseback looking out to a ship at sea | Alexandria | Alger | Lowestoft sailing trawler | the Stella Polaris breakfast menu | "Whang poo sampans", Shanghai, China | Sea Princess luncheon menu | Lusitania sailing times | St. Jean Lighthouse, Marseille | Cairo, the Nile | Benares Bathing ghat |Queen Mary Swimming Pool | America's Cup Race Yacht Columbia and Britannia

Lots of assorted images of the Titanic: boarding pass | Titanic gangway | Titanic rudder | commemorative postcard | cross section | Titanic propellers | image of the Titanic's Captain Smith (on the right), the officers and the name of the hymn that was played by the ship's band as they sank | Titanic's survivors
posted by nickyskye (13 comments total) 47 users marked this as a favorite

 
What a collection!
posted by rmmcclay at 10:58 PM on August 24, 2012


Aahhhh! Quick, someone get me some plaid synthetic material to breathe into. Love this stuff.

Does he really intend to maintain all of that with jAlbum? Amazing
posted by circular at 11:16 PM on August 24, 2012


This is cool as hell.
posted by brundlefly at 11:29 PM on August 24, 2012


Hellooo time sink! What an amazing find.
posted by gofargogo at 11:49 PM on August 24, 2012


Great site, only slightly let down by much of the material not being dated.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:46 AM on August 25, 2012


Lovely stuff, much to explore, thanks for posting!
posted by carter at 4:21 AM on August 25, 2012


Here's the ship on which dad (Scottish ship's engineer) met mum (Australian nurse).
posted by mattoxic at 5:50 AM on August 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


For those in/near socal, the Toshiba Tall Ships festival is coming up... nice post!
posted by Huck500 at 6:47 AM on August 25, 2012


Thanks for posting!
posted by safetyfork at 7:25 AM on August 25, 2012


nickyskye, what a great find. This site is in the genre of magnificent obsession. It appears to be the work of one extremely dedicated aficionado who does this out of love:

"I am just a shipping enthusiast and do not commercially deal in ship pictures or postcards. Please do not ask me about details of ships. If a ship is not in the gallery then I haven’t got a picture of it. While I take every effort to reduce mistakes, there are probably still a few spelling mistakes in the ship names and occasionally the images may get labeled incorrectly. Please inform me if you see any mistakes."

You picked out a nice sampling, thank you. I echo gofargogo about the time sink!
posted by madamjujujive at 10:00 AM on August 25, 2012


Whoah. Mrs. Straw and I just built our first sailboat for tooling around our local waterways, and we're looking ahead to our next one, realizing that sailing ability isn't nearly as interesting to us as "looks cool" and "conversation starter". So we're starting to draw designs for a 16' hull that we're thinking we'll rig as a schooner, maybe with square topsails. Many scaled ship replicas look, to me, like they're trying a little bit too hard. It's going to take some artistic interpretation to get something that captures the "lots of sheets and lines and cloth" feel without looking horrendously outsized.

What I"m trying to say is: Yeah, I'm gonna spend a few hours just absorbing the vibe here. Thanks.
posted by straw at 10:48 AM on August 25, 2012


Thanks madamjujujive, I so appreciate your kind words.

Personal anecdote about how I found this link last night: Yesterday would have been my very dear, late father's 86th birthday and I was missing him. I went to Ancestry.com to see if there were any new additions and sure enough there was a microfilm image of the passenger list for the SS Fernsea, which sailed from Colombo, Sri Lanka on March 19th 1952. My dad was then 25 years old, aboard the Fernsea with 7 boxes and arrived in NYC about a month later. There weren't many other passengers on the same boat but there was an American family, father, mother and two little girls. I was curious about them, wondered what kind of company he had for that month. So I googled their names. Sadly, it turned out the little girl, Cecelia Shepard, then 5 years old was murdered at age 22 by the Zodiac killer, in 1969.

So off I went down the rabbit hole, reading about the Zodiac killer for a while. And then returned to thinking about my dad, his trip around the world then, from 1949 to 1952 (He sailed around the world for three years with three friends on a 63 foot schooner but was drafted into the Korean war in 1952 and had to return to the US, while his friends continued on.). So I googled the name of the ship on which he returned to the US, the Fernsea, such a nice name. And if you do that, the first google link is to the Old Ships site.

Down the link fest hatch I went again, exploring all those images, looking at odd things like the Titanic's gymnasium, and ended up wanting to share it on the blue. It was a night of thinking about interrupted journeys.
posted by nickyskye at 11:50 AM on August 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


That's a remarkable story all around, nicky - particularly the strange twist about the Zodiac victim. Your father sounds like he was a fascinating man, that is fun that you found a site that let you track some of the ships that were part of his travels.
posted by madamjujujive at 7:55 PM on August 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


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