"News" from 1909: Hobbies (Capts. Ranson, Finch, Roberts, Beadnell, Smith, Bartlett)

Mark Baber

Jul 4, 2000
MAB Note: This is an excerpt from a longer article entitled "Princes of
the Atlantic."

Sunday Magazine Of the New-York Tribune, 26 December 1909
Original article digitized by the Library of Congress
Retrieved from the Library of Congress' Chronicling America web site,

Some of Their Hobbies
Music is apparently the favored art among Captains. Captain Mills of the
Philadelphia is considered a good amateur organist, and the excellence of
his male choir, made up of officers, stewards, sailors, and cabin boys, is
known to every passenger who has attended Sunday service aboard his ship.

Captain Ranson of the Baltic is a proficient cellist, but the strains of his
instrument are not the [only?] music that is wafted aft along the deck to
delight the hearts of homesick travelers, for [dangling?] from hooks in his
room forward are a half-dozen cages housing some of the finest canaries
that ever warbled on the high seas.

Captain Finch of the Arabic has earned the reputation of being the best read
man in the Atlantic [fleet?]. His hobby is books, and he believes that
Byron's lines, "By the deep sea and music in its roar," explains why the
sailorman is fond of music.

Captain Roberts has a fine piano installed in his room on the Georgic and
employs his leisure [wrestling?] with a Liszt rhapsody or a few of Bach's
fugues. He is an enthusiast over grand opera, and his friends say he can
play from memory the greater part of the scores of Faust and others operas
of his liking. Captain Roberts states that the straining of his voice,
while preparing for an operatic career, caused him to abandon art for the

Captain Beadnell of the Majestic is another operatic enthusiast; but his
diversion when on shore is hunting among old shops for oriental art

If gossip of the waterfront is true, Captain Ted Smith of the Adriatic has
a small fortune in old prints. His collection at home in Southampton, and
indeed the prints that adorn his cabin, includes many of exceptional rarity.

Captains Passow of the St. Paul and Bartlett of the Adriatic are known as
the society Captains of the Atlantic fleet. Both are immaculate dressers,
and whether at the dance or dinner, driving in Fifth-ave. in summer or
standing on the bridge in a blinding winter storm, they are faultless in
their attire.