Leviathan: "The World's Greatest Ship" Volume 2
Front Cover, Leviathan: "The World's Greatest Ship," Volume 2. GGA Image ID # 1e8dba3003
United States Lines: "LEVIATHAN: The World's Greatest Ship, Volume 2", by Frank Braynard, published in 1974, hardbound with original dust jacket, 380 pages. Braynard has created what is probably the most extensive history ever written about a single ship.
His ground-breaking series covers 6 volumes. This book is volume 2 and picks up the LEVIATHAN saga during her monumental conversion from a troop ship to a luxury liner.
There were no plans of the huge ship, so designer William Francis Gibbs hired draftsmen to spend thousands of hours measuring and drawing every inch. The ship was a wreck after her heavy trooping duties during WW1 so every corner needed restoration.
The book finishes with the LEVI's triumphant return to the Atlantic. There are hundreds of great photos which makes for wonderful browsing and reading.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Photo courtesy Ernst Glaessel
- Chapter I: AGAIN AT HOBOKEN
- Chapter II: ATTACK BY HEARST
- Chapter III: “WHITE ELEPHANT”
- Chapter IV: HER HEART WAS SOUND
- Chapter V: IMMIGRANTS AND RATS
- Chapter VI: FRANKLIN UNDER ATTACK
- Chapter VII: LASKER TAKES THE HELM
- Chapter VIII: EASING I.M.M. OUT
- Chapter IX: “AT A LOSS IF WE MUST”
- Chapter X: “S. S. PRESIDENT HARDING”
- Chapter XI: NO SUBSIDY!
- Chapter XII: WORLD’S LARGEST SHIP - AGAIN
- Chapter XIII: RED, WHITE & BLUE STACKS
- Chapter XIV: DRY-DOCKING IN BOSTON
- Chapter XV: “MILLION-DOLLAR JOY RIDE”
- Chapter XVI: “A THUNDERING DIAPASON”
- Chapter XVII: HER “THIRD INCARNATION”
- Chapter XVIII: MAIDEN VOYAGE (No.3)
In explanation for the great detail with which this story of the LEVIATHAN is presented, I would like to tell you something of my life-long love of this liner. The four pictures above document this passion.
In 1923, when I was for the second time trying to pass first grade, my interest in the LEVIATHAN was stimulated by Alexander Blackburn, a teacher at the school I attended.
His brother had been Executive Officer on the LEVIATHAN during her Navy career in the first great war. I only became aware of this relationship during the research period for this series of books.
I can remember vividly being asked to show the first grade how to draw the letter “L” on the blackboard when we were learning the alphabet. And I knew how to do it because I could spell “LEVIATHAN” even though I could not spell my own name (see my first sketch above).
The second picture shown here is a water color I did of the LEVIATHAN in 1926. Then comes my pen and ink drawing done in 1945 for my first book, LIVES OF THE LINERS, published by Cornell Maritime Press in 1947 (and still available).
The 1955 sketch was for my book FAMOUS AMERICAN SHIPS, now out of print. The fancy letter sketches used at all chapter openings and most sub-chapter beginnings are mine. All represent scenes of or aboard the VATERLAND / LEVIATHAN.
Frank O. Braynard
Publishing this history in several volumes was a decision that ran counter to the advice of many friends and publishers. Only the South Street Seaport Museum, the exciting new restoration project in New York City, was willing to lend their name to the effort as publisher.
The author with the help of some 125 LEVIATHAN friends raised the money to pay all production costs. Only 2,000 copies of Volume I and II have been printed, and the second volume was paid for from proceeds of the first.
If Volume II provides sufficient funds it, in turn, will finance the third volume, and so on until the series is completed. At that time the loans of all those listed in the Preface as book patrons will be returned, in full, out of the proceeds of the final volume.
Originally it was expected that four volumes would do the trick, but Volume II has fallen six months behind this projection, in that it has had to be ended as of July 27, 1923 instead of the end of that year.
At this rate it appears that five volumes instead of four will be required to tell the full LEVIATHAN story in this rounded fashion. Volume II carries the ship’s tempestuous life up through her first round trip as a U.S. express liner.
Volume III, for which 90% of the research is completed may be able to go up through the year 1927, the high point in the ship’s life. The two following volumes will pick up the story and move the ship through the Depression era, into the time when she was under the command of the distinguished Captain Harold Cunningham, and on through her last years of service, her long period of idleness at Hoboken and her final voyage to the scrap yard, a trip worthy of a book all by itself.
THE AUTHOR—Frank O. Braynard, whose passion for American ships has given him much pleasure. It was his suggestion that resulted in the naming of the world’s first nuclear merchant ship the SAVANNAH.
For several years he with hundreds of volunteers from the Army and Navy sought to find the wreck of the original SAVANNAH, lost off Fire Island in 1821, and he has not given up this quest.
Despite his love for steam, he was one of the main cogs for the 1964 Operation Sail and is presently working on the coming Operation Sail for our Bicentennial.
Author of 9 books and many articles he is a past president of the Steamship Historical Society of America. He is an honorary member of the Council of American Master Mariners and of the Veteran Wireless Operators Association. His maritime collection at his home in Sea Cliff is one of the largest in the world.
This book is dedicated to William Francis Gibbs and his brother Frederic H. Gibbs, and to the Robert L. Hague Merchant Marine Industries Post; and to Irving H. Jones and Harry Wright, two generous LEVIATHAN engineers, and to the LEVIATHAN Veterans Association with gratitude.
Library of Congress Catalog Listing
- Personal name: Braynard, Frank O. (Frank Osborn), 1916-2007.
- Main title: "World's greatest ship"; the story of the Leviathan, by Frank O. Braynard.
- Published/Created: [New York, South Street Seaport Museum, 1972-1983]
- Description: 6 v. illus. (some col.) 29 cm.
- LC classification: VM383.L3 B7
- Related titles: Leviathan.
- LC Subjects: Leviathan (Steamship)
- Notes: On cover: Leviathan. Vol. 4 has imprint: Newport News, Va. : Mariners Museum, . Vol. 5 has imprint: [Sea Cliff, N.Y.] : F.O. Braynard, . Vol. 6 has imprint: [Kings Point, N.Y. : American Merchant Marine Museum, U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, 1983]. Some ill. on lining papers. Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
- LCCN: 72085207
- Dewey class no.: 387.2/43
- Type of material: Book