Compagnie Generale Transatlantique by The Vintage Collection



Title

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique

Artist

The Vintage Collection

Ref SPG1494
Type Print
Image Size
Select additional sizes and options from the list
Price Add to basket
Description  
Normandie was an ocean liner built in Saint-Nazaire, France, for the French Line Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. She entered service in 1935 as the largest and fastest passenger ship afloat; she is still the most powerful steam turbo-electric-propelled passenger ship ever built. Her novel design and lavish interiors led many to consider her the greatest of ocean liners. Despite this, she was not a commercial success and relied partly on government subsidy to operate. Normandie held the Blue Riband for the fastest transatlantic crossing at several points during her service career, during which the RMS Queen Mary was her main rival. Work by the Société Anonyme des Chantiers de Penhoët began on the unnamed flagship on 26 January 1931 at St. Nazaire, France, soon after the stock market crash of 1929. On 29 October 1932 – three years to the day after the stock market crash – Normandie was launched in front of 200,000 spectators. The 27,567-ton hull that slid into the Loire River was the largest launched and the wave crashed into a few hundred people, but with no injury. Normandie was outfitted until early 1935, her interiors, funnels, engines, and other fittings put in to make her into a working vessel. The luxurious interiors were designed in Art Déco and Streamline Moderne style. Many sculptures and wall paintings made allusions to Normandy, the province of France for which Normandie was named. Normandie's maiden voyage was on 29 May 1935. Fifty thousand saw her off at Le Havre on what was hoped would be a record-breaking crossing. Normandie reached New York after four days, three hours and 14 minutes. Under the command of master Captain René Pugnet, her average on the maiden voyage was around 30 knots (56 km/h) and on the eastbound crossing to France, she averaged over 30 knots (56 km/h), breaking records. An estimated 100,000 spectators lined New York Harbor for Normandie's arrival. During World War II, Normandie was seized by US authorities at New York and renamed USS Lafayette. In 1942, the liner caught fire while being converted to a troopship, capsized onto her port side and came to rest on the mud of the Hudson River at Pier 88, the site of the current New York Passenger Ship Terminal. Although salvaged at great expense, restoration was deemed too costly and she was scrapped in October 1946.