Floating Palaces: Ocean Liners as Icons of Modern Splendour

Bernhard Rieger considers how luxury liners became icons of modernity and national pride in the early decades of the twentieth century.

The British liner RMS Queen Mary arrives in New York harbour, 20 June 1945, with thousands of U.S. troops from Europe. The Queen Mary still wears her light grey war paint.
'A civilisation is known by its realised dreams. If another age than ours should ask, 'What did you do with your time?' here, in the more than Roman magnificence of our engineering, is one answer we can give.'

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