Normandie Maiden Voyage photos


Jim Kalafus

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This is a series of photos, from an album of over 150 I acquired today, taken aboard the Normandie's maiden voyage. Here we see the crowd aboard awaiting her departure from LeHavre on 29 May 1935
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Jim Kalafus

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The photographer was apparently one of the Vogue models who were aboard. Her initials, S.I.A.P. do not correspond to any name on the passenger list. This is a characteristic natural candid
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one of several of her and the other models.
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Jim Kalafus

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A gala onboard night in the Grand Salon, showing details of the Smoking Room and Cafe Grille staircase. One of the few slightly damaged shots in the book (lower left) which tore when someone apparently tried to remove it.
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Jim Kalafus

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The New York City Skyline looms in the distance as an estimated 100,000 people await the Normandie's arrival in Battery Park and along the waterfront, and a flotilla of harborcraft move out to greet her. The excursion ship closest to the camera is the Playland Line's Americana.
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Jim Kalafus

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The Americana heels as the crowd aboard her moves to port and the Normandie passes. Not from the album but purchased in the same photo lot.
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Jim Kalafus

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And an almost corresponding view taken by S.I.A.P.
showing the Americana (right) several of the other craft, the skyline and, of course, the giant Mickey Mouse balloon which appears suspended over a barge in the center.
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Jim Kalafus

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The models apparently spent some time sightseeing in NYC, then returned to Europe aboard the Champlain.
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Jim Kalafus

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Living the "good life" to the furthest extent possible in 1935, as they sail towards their next assignment.......
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Apr 4, 2007
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I have some Normandie photo's taken in 1935 or 1938 and some color 16mm footage. I am in the process of getting it scanned and put to CD. When I get all this done I will put it on. Your photo's look interesting. Thanks for sharing them.
 

Jim Kalafus

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You are welcome. The only color footage I've seen of the Normandie was a semi-professionally done home movie account of one of the Rio Cruises. There were several French feature films done aboard her, none of which are available on video in the US, so I look forward to seeing the blowups from your footage. This woman's photo album was a find- in addition to the Normandie maiden voyage photos and the photos aboard the Champlain and of various aspects of the rise of Nazism, there are some shots of an earlier trip aboard the Paris, some aerial shots of NYC she did from an open plane, and several of the 1933-'34 Chicago World's Fair. Apparently she lived well.
 

Scott Reigel

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Also —

Immediately behind Normandie’s first funnel deck house (behind the children’s play room) was a structure made of pipes or poles which I assume may have been a swing set. Appears in some photos, but not all. Do you have any photos of it in use, or do you have any information on its history.

Thanks
 
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Jim and Scott, just found some color footage of Europa and Bremen on other reel, and a 3 stacker that I haven't seen a name on her. I have to look on my footage to see if there is a structure behind the first funnel. I know this footage is not the same as on Floating Palaces. There is a shot of a plane shooting of the deck of the Europa I believe and flying off, maybe for mail or something. Fred
 

Jim Kalafus

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About the footage- yes, some of it was used in Floating Palaces.
"The film begins with some footage of the Normandie docking printed in reverse to suggest that she is departing (the smoke being sucked into the funnels is a dead giveaway) followed by some deck shots of the passengers and some very underexposed footage of the Winter Garden and Dining Salon. Then there is a long "life on board" segment which concentrates more on the passengers than on the ship and shows many of the deck games- some inexplicably bizarre. The shore excursion footage seems interminable, but then we get to the color footage of the Normandie broadside familiar from Floating Palaces and lastly the same footage of the Normandie as in the beginning, only this time projected forward."

My notes from the time I sat through a screening of this film. I do not own a copy and neglected to learn who owned the rights to it at the screening.

I'll check on the mystery object behind the first funnel and get back to you on it.
 

Jim Kalafus

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But was there on the Maiden Voyage, and used by The Nameless Model Who Kept The Photo Album for some of her stunningly natural candids
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Viewed in the center shot, it appears to be the frame of a swingset.
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Jim Kalafus

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More on the Mystery Object By The First Funnel- I am going to venture a guess that it was a piece of athletic equipment which seemed to combine elements of swing sets and "monkey bars." I dug through all of my 1935 Normandie photos, brochures, films, and could not come up with a single shot of the whole object. Whatever it was, it was attached to plates on the deck at all four legs, and held in place by two cables also attached to the deck plates. Aside from the photos I've posted, I haven't found a single shot of anyone using the thing, posed or candid, nor have I found a shot of it with swings attached- only that single knotted climbing rope the model is dangling from in several photos. Since it was located directly in front of the playroom, I am guessing that it was intended for children- and since the swings were detatchable, and the sports deck was intended as an adult area (you NEVER see children in deck shots taken on it) I am assuming that the Mystery Tangle Of Pipes was only meant to be used when the children could have discreet fun and not annoy 'the paying guests.' It was removed in 1935/'36 when the wind shelters were erected between the funnels.
 

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