Monthly Archives: February 2015
This scale model of Queen Mary is over 3 feet long and built from metal, wire, plastic, and pewter. It is one of only a few ever built in the world by a company called Maritime Replicas. Since only a few were built, it cost approximately $3,800.00. But the model is worth it due to its rarity, craftsmanship, and extraordinary scale. The photos do not do it justice. Presently, I have an extremely rare, perhaps one of a kind, waterline model which is 5 1/2 foot long being refurbished. It was used as a travel agency display in the 30s, 40s, and 50s in New York. It will be necessary to send this particular model freight. I will have a table built to accomodate it and place it behind my living room sofa which is, thankfully, an inch longer so that the display will not be wider. I am anxious to receive it and builder/refurbisher Ered Matthew of CabinClass.com states that it is the finest waterline model of a ship he has ever encountered.
I use the 3 foot long model for school and library presentations, most recently the “Read Aloud Day” at Eldorado Elementary for a fifth-grade class. Students are read period pieces concerning the building of the ship, the launch, the maiden voyage, and the present day existence of her majesty as a hotel, tourist attraction, and museum. By the fifth grade, most students are capable of imagining a ship as long as the Empire State Building is tall lying on its side in the water. As students a row at a time stand and inspect the model, awe and wonder always ensue and the questions last for a considerable time.
The gauge pictured above measured the temperature pressure of 1 of 24 boilers on Queen Mary. An engineer can be seen in the other photo with a gauge like this one on the right side. The boilers were each 3 storeys high and weighed 100 tons. The “B. P.” indicates “Blowoff Pressure” which was maintained at approximately 425 degrees as can be seen on the gauge between the red indicators. The boilers used a crude oil called “Bunker C” which supplied the main turbine engines with 240,000 horse power. At full speed, Queen Mary thundered across the Atlantic at a normal speed of 32 knots. Queen Mary burned a gallon of Bunker C oil for every 8 feet she moved. She was the fastest ship in the world and held the Blue Riband until the liner United States broke her record in 1952. Sadly, the city of Long Beach, California which purchased Queen Mary in 1967 stripped all 24 of the boilers from their beds as well as the massive turbines which turned the propellers. Today, only the aft engine room remains.