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Before the advent of passenger air travel in 1914, there were only ships to carry people across the ocean. Voyages were long, and they could be dull and dreary. But they had a sensory and emotional dimension that made them quite unforgettable. The blare of the ship’s horn before it departed… the multitude of hands waving farewell on the wharf… the sound of undulating waves… and, yes, the heady smell of salt water as one stood on the deck. The following photographs are a reminder of what it was like to travel by sea back in the day.

Vaterland Departs, 5/26/14
Bain News Service, publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

SANTA ANNA ship sailing, between c. 1910 and c. 1915
Bain News Service, publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

The Steerage, 1907 (negative) / 1915 (photogravure)
Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864–1946)
Courtesy of the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Emigrants coming to the “Land of Promise”, c. 1902
William H. Rau (American, 1855-1920)
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

Passenger lying on a deck chair, smoking a pipe, c. 1900
Courtesy of the Australian National Maritime Museum

Arrival OLYMPIC 1911
Bain News Service, publisher
Courtesy of the Library of Congress, USA

~ Barista Uno

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