X. Paraphernalia


As in any hotel, virtually every object used by passengers carried the ship’s, or at the very least the line’s name and logo. There is a practical if somewhat morbid rationale for labeling a life preserver [110] with a ship’s name, but in other cases the sole impulse was promotional. As a marketing device this made good sense. Officers habitually gave certain items, like cups and saucers [111], to special guests as mementos of their passage.

Decks of cards [112] and the like were sold aboard ship. Some items were available for free but were intended to be used only aboard ship, such as scoring pads for bridge [113]. Accoutrements for general use—like stationary portfolios [114], room keys [115], and ashtrays [116]—were supposed to stay with the ship from voyage to voyage.

A significant number of passengers pocketed keepsakes after each voyage, and the replacement costs could be exorbitant. According to a Cunard spokesman, when the Britannic “made her maiden voyage to New York [in 1930], we lost $55,000 worth of silverware alone”—about $750,000 in today’s currency.