Leviathan: "The World's Greatest Ship" Vol. 2


Front Cover,  Leviathan: "The World's Greatest Ship" Volume 2

Front Cover, Leviathan: "The World's Greatest Ship," Volume 2. GGA Image ID # 1e8dba3003


Braynard has created what is probably the most extensive history ever written about a single ship when he authored United States Lines: "LEVIATHAN: The World's Greatest Ship, Volume 2", by Frank Braynard, published in 1974, hardbound with original dust jacket, 380 pages.

His ground-breaking series covers six 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 for the massive ship, so designer William Francis Gibbs hired drafters 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.

Volume 2 picks up the LEVIATHAN saga during her monumental conversion from a troop ship to a luxury liner and carries the ship’s tempestuous life up through her first round trip as a U.S. express liner. The book finishes with the SS Leviathan's triumphant return to the Atlantic. There are hundreds of great photos, which makes for excellent browsing and reading.


Table of Contents

  • Deck Plans for Bridge, A-Deck, and B-Deck. Includes Top View of Officer's Quarters
  • Table of Contents
  • Preface
  • 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 IMM Out
  • Chapter IX: "At a Loss if We Must"
  • Chapter X: "SS 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)
  • End Notes
  • Index: Ships, Steamship Lines, Ports, People, Companies
  • Information for Passengers of the SS Leviathan of the United States Lines
  • Deck Plans for Decks D-G


Dust Jacket, Illustration of the SS Leviathan, Volume 2 From a Painting by Albert Brenet.

Dust Jacket, Illustration of the SS Leviathan, Volume 2 From a Painting by Albert Brenet. GGA Image ID # 2054e8b348


About the Levithan Series

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.


Title Page, The Story of the Leviathan by Frank O. Braynard, Volume 2 of the World's Greatest Ship.

Title Page, The Story of the Leviathan by Frank O. Braynard, Volume 2 of the World's Greatest Ship. GGA Image ID # 205507dc34


About 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.


Passenger Ships Referenced in Volume 2 of the Leviathan Series

  1. Absaroka
  2. Adriatic
  3. Aeolus
  4. Agamemnon
  5. America
  6. Amphion
  7. Andrew Jackson
  8. Annapolis
  9. Antigone
  10. Aquitania
  11. Artemis
  12. Beagle
  13. Belgenland
  14. Berengaria
  15. Bismarck
  16. Black Arrow
  17. Brabantia
  18. Bremen
  19. Britannic
  20. Buford
  21. Callao
  22. Canopic
  23. Caronia
  24. Cedric
  25. Celtic
  26. Centennial State
  27. City of Sydney
  28. Clara H. Deane
  29. Clermont
  30. Cleveland
  31. Colorado
  32. Columbus
  33. Commercial
  34. Commonwealth
  35. Corsair
  36. Culgoa
  37. Dauntless
  38. De Kalb
  39. Deutschland
  40. Dirigo
  41. Europa
  42. Finland
  43. Flying Cloud
  44. France
  45. Franconia
  46. Friedrich Der Grosse
  47. G. H. Lohman
  48. Gallia
  49. Gargoyle
  50. George Washington
  51. Glory of the Seas
  52. Golden State
  53. Great Eastern
  54. Hansa
  55. Haverford
  56. Hawkeye State
  57. Helen
  58. Homeric
  59. Hudson
  60. Huron
  61. Imperator
  62. India Arrow
  63. J. G. Chandler
  64. James Duane
  65. Johann Heinrich Burchard
  66. John F. Hylan
  67. Kaiserin Auguste Victoria
  68. King Philip
  69. Kroonland
  70. Kronprinzessin Cecilie
  71. Lafayette
  72. Lapland
  73. Lepanto
  74. Leviathan
  75. Limburgia
  76. Lusitania
  77. Madawaska
  78. Majestic
  79. Manchuria
  80. Manga Reva
  81. Manning
  82. Martha Washington
  83. Mauretania
  84. Menominee
  85. Minnekahda
  86. Minnesota
  87. Minnetonka
  88. Minnewaska
  89. Mobile
  90. Momus
  91. Mongolia
  92. Mount Clay
  93. MT. Vernon
  94. Nansemond
  95. Newport
  96. New York
  97. Northern Pacific
  98. Normandie
  99. Nourmahal
  100. Nutmeg State
  101. Oconee
  102. Olympic
  103. Panhandle State
  104. Parker
  105. Philadelphia
  106. Pinetree State
  107. Pittsburgh
  108. Pocahantas
  109. Porto Rico
  110. Potomac
  111. Powhattan
  112. President Adams
  113. President Arthur
  114. President Buchanan
  115. President Cleveland
  116. President Filmore
  117. President Grant
  118. President Harding
  119. President Lincoln
  120. President Roosevelt
  121. President Taylor
  122. Princess Matoika
  123. Prinz Eitel Friedrich
  124. Queen Mary
  125. Raritan
  126. Red Jacket
  127. Reliance
  128. Resolute
  129. Reuterdahl, H.
  130. Rhein
  131. Ryndam
  132. St. Louis
  133. St. Paul
  134. Saelmo
  135. Sanders
  136. Santa Maria
  137. Santa Rosalie
  138. Saratoga
  139. Sarpedon
  140. Susquehanna
  141. Ten Adores
  142. Texel
  143. Titanic
  144. United States
  145. Vanguard
  146. Von Steuben
  147. W. F. Dalzell
  148. West Cam AK
  149. West Virginia
  150. Western Queen
  151. Wheaton
  152. William L. Strong
  153. William Oswald


Steamship Lines Referenced in Volume 2 of the Leviathan Series

  1. Am. National SS Co.
  2. Atlantic Transport Line
  3. Blue Funnel Line
  4. Booth Line
  5. Cunard Line
  6. Emergency Fleet Corp.
  7. French Line
  8. Grace Line
  9. Hamburg-American Line (Hapag)
  10. International Mercantile Marine (IMM)
  11. Isthmian Line
  12. Leyland Line
  13. Moore & McCormack
  14. Munson Line
  15. North German Lloyd
  16. Old Dominion Line
  17. Red Star Line
  18. Royal Mail Line
  19. U.S. Mail SS Co.
  20. White Star Line


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, [1978]. Vol. 5 has imprint: [Sea Cliff, N.Y.] : F.O. Braynard, [1981]. 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


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