BELGENLAND PHOTOS

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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If I may return to the Belgenland, does anyone know of a color rendering of her first-class dining room? Being the flagship of the line, surely a brochure was done for her with a few color images. I am looking to ascertain the colors of the interlocking linoleum floor and the leather on the chairs.

If no color rendering exists, does anyone know of a written description of the room? Or any Red Star / Belgenland collectors who might know something?

I have done a fair amount of online searching and, surprisingly, find very little on the interiors of this largest of Red Star liners.

Many thanks,

Ken
 
Oct 15, 2007
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Ken, Do you happen to be related to Ken Marschall who's paintings of Titanic and other ships are outstanding and phenomenal? I love his paintings. He puts great detail into what he draws !!!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Ken, I'm wondering if William H. Miller might be able to help you out with this. He's had quite a few books published with his photo collection, including one with interiors. I would think that if anybody has any such photo, this would be the guy.
 

Mike Poirier

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Dec 31, 2004
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I would think Richard Faber would have many brochures that might contain what you are looking for.
 

Jim Kalafus

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There was a lavish color brochure I picked up a few months ago, the images from which will eventually go up on Gare Maritime. There is also at least one tinted postcard that may, or may not, reflect the true colors. Also appearing, at some point on the site, is a 1920s reel of film showing various Belgenland and Olympic shots, taken by a Cleveland family who did the Euro grand tour by ship.
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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Thank you for the replies.

Shannon: Yes, I am the Ken who paints Titanic. Many thanks for your compliment.

Michael S: Bill Miller is a good thought. I will try him if Jim K. is unable to assist.

Michael P: No luck with Mr. Faber. Says he doesn't collect or deal with the large shipping lines anymore and is concentrating on the "less important" ones. (I'd have thought that Red Star might be one of those, but no dice.) He has, however, kindly put me in touch with a gentleman who wrote a book about Red Star. I only just sent the letter off to Belgium.

Jim: The material you mention is exactly what I was asking about. I will contact you privately. Thank you for posting.

Ken
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>(I'd have thought that Red Star might be one of those, but no dice.)<<.

(blinks) kinda makes you wonder what her idea of "unimportant" happens to be. Red Star wasn't exactly one of the Biggies. Hope you find what you need Ken, and I'd look forward to seeing what you do with it in your own work.
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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Michael,

The info is needed by Father Roberto Pirrone, not me, on whose behalf I am doing this search. He is completely redoing his 18-foot cutaway model of Titanic (now displayed on Queen Mary) which is rather out of date due to the massive amount of information and discoveries that have come to light since he completed the model some 25 years ago.

It's the now-known colors of the linoleum in the first-class dining saloon and smoking room that have us concerned. Green leather furniture worked nicely with Olympic's initial grey and buff linoleum in her smoking room, but it's hard to imagine green leather in a room with a red and blue floor, which we now know Titanic had.

And Titanic's dining room floor was likewise largely a combination of red and blue (with a small pattern of ochre). Again, with a largely "purple"-looking floor, would White Star's decorators have used Olympic's green leather in Titanic as well, or maybe more prudently switch to a reddish-hued leather that would compliment nicely the linoleum colors?

B&W photos show that Belgenland (1914), built at H&W shortly after Titanic, had the same linoleum floor pattern and chairs in her dining room as Olympic/Titanic, but not necessarily the same colors. A color rendering of this room in Red Star's flagship, if it shows reddish leather on her chairs, would be good evidence that perhaps Titanic had the same. Without such evidence, it is a bit too much of a leap to take that chance and make such a drastic change from the conventional wisdom.

Ken
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>The info is needed by Father Roberto Pirrone, not me,...<<

Ahhhhh...I stand corrected. I wish you the best in this. Unfortunately, it took examining the Titanic herself to settle some of the questions on her furnishings and decor. Since the Belgenland is no longer extant, I can see where this would cause some problems.

I'm wondering if there's a computer program available which can tell what the colours are in a black and white photo by way of the shades of gray. If there's nothing else to be had, that may be the way to go.
 
Feb 4, 2007
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quote:

I'm wondering if there's a computer program available which can tell what the colours are in a black and white photo by way of the shades of gray.
Wonderful idea in theory, but tough in practice due to the various degrees of lighting in B&W photos. All the same, it would be great if such a program existed.​
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>...it would be great if such a program existed.<<

It probably does, but for the reasons you mentioned, it wouldn't be without it's problems. Still, if that's all you have left to go on...

I hope somebody has the material that Ken is looking for.
 

Ken Marschall

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Oh, someone does. Mr. Kalafus posted just above (Oct. 23) that he has exactly what I requested. I have written him privately asking how we may proceed in this regard and only hope that he received my mail. Using his ET profile to write him, I checked the option "Send myself a copy," but no such copy arrived in my in-box...which has me a bit worried that something may have gone wrong and he maybe DIDN'T get my message. I'll try again if I don't hear back in a few days.

"I'm wondering if there's a computer program available which can tell what the colours are in a black and white photo by way of the shades of gray."

If only. I can't imagine there'd be a chance of such a thing. Shades of gray are only that and could have been any color in the original object or scene. Even if you have a "control" in the shot such as a Kodak standardized color card, it wouldn't help because the "value" (lightness vs. darkness) of a certain color, say blue, would exactly match the value of a certain shade of red, green, etc. It's hopeless, I'm afraid.

Ken
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I checked the option "Send myself a copy," but no such copy arrived in my in-box...<<

Now that's a bit odd. I suppose if you want to do an experiment, you could send something to me...doesn't need to be anything meaningful...with the Send Myself a Copy thing checked, and I'll let you know if I got it. If the system isn't working right, Phil Hind needs to know about it so he can get the thing fixed.

>>It's hopeless, I'm afraid.<<

That's regretable. Somebody is probably working on the problem, but if there's nothing out there now, it's going to be quite a stretch of time before anything is. Too long to do you any good in the here and now.
 
May 27, 2007
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Ken-

I have Jim Kalafus's email address and I sent him an e-mail letting him know about your question. I wanted to get in touch with Jim to congratulate him about his article on the Morro Castle anyway.
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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George,

Thank you. If he did get my e-mail, then he may feel pestered, which I do regret. We have busy lives, and I only wrote him -- what -- two days ago? But thanks for making sure he knows that I did respond to him. I appreciate it.

In that mail I included my e-mail address so that we could communicate privately.

I will try what Michael suggests and send a test mail to him right now.

Ken
 
May 27, 2007
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Ken-

I'm certain it's no problem. I wanted to let him know anyway that I loved his Article on The Morro Castle. Jim's a nice fella he'd probably be glad to help you out.

Geo.
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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Good to know. Thanks.

Michael -- It's been over and hour since I sent you that private mail, and nothing's appeared in my in-box. Shall I ask Phil about this or do you want to?

Does it make any difference that, in my profile, I have not enabled private messages?

Ken
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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That was my first thought, Ken, but we tested that theory out this afternoon, and even with "Disable PM's from others" selected "Send me a copy of my message" functions all right. And Phil checked the log, which shows that your message went out from ET OK.

The two remaining technical possibilities are (1) the email address in your registration, or in Jim's, is outdated or (2) your, or Jim's, ISP thought the message was junk mail and trashed it. In any event, there doesn't seem to be a problem at this end.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I will try what Michael suggests and send a test mail to him right now.<<

I got it Ken, and I sent a reply just an hour ago. Sorry I couldn't get to you sooner, but I've an odd work schedule. I won't be back again until tonight since I'm working a 7am to 4pm shift for the next two days.

>>Does it make any difference that, in my profile, I have not enabled private messages?<<

It just might. The program isn't all that selective. Also, your operating system may be binning it as SPAM if it's one of the newer systems with all the bells and whistles. I'm using VISTA Home Permium and it does that on occasion. Your IP may be doing this as well and you wouldn't be the wiser.
 

Brian Ahern

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Dec 19, 2002
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>>Says he doesn't collect or deal with the large shipping lines anymore and is concentrating on the "less important" ones. (I'd have thought that Red Star might be one of those, but no dice.)<<

I've been on an interiors kick lately, and those of the Lapland were more palatial than I expected, making me wonder if Red Star was more of a prestige line than I'd thought. Photos can be seen at Red Star's wikipedia page.

But then, almost all liners a century ago had lovely interiors, making it another myth that Titanic's sumptuous decor and high degree of luxury were so unprecedented.

While Antwerp was probably a lesser destination for first class travelers than French and English ports, I believe that Red Star ships were regularly calling at Dover by 1912 (as they certainly were a decade later). Advertisements from the line might give a different impression, since they usually just had "Antwerp to New York" and didn't have the "Via..." addendum that other lines usually had in their posters.