The above photos show a model of Queen Mary made available at the many gift shops of all 3 classes at her maiden voyage on May 27, 1936. Made by noted British toy manufacturer Chad Valley, this “Take To Pieces” model indicated all public rooms and passenger accomodations on every deck. Not only a nifty memento of the voyage, it served as a guide to the bureaucracy of the huge liner to overwhelmed passengers. While children played with the model, endlessly disassembling and reassembling, their parents were necessarily dependent upon it for directions. The entire ship was open to all passengers on that first voyage so that even the poorest traveler normally relegated to a cramped cabin without portholes could experience the lavish craftsmanship of the newest, largest, and most glamourous liner ever put to sea. These models are highly sought-after nearly eighty years later, particularly when they have their original boxes. I purchased this example as a teenager and rarely see them on internet auction sites and dealer’s websites. And when they are offered, the original box and accompanying deck plan are usually not. I was fortunate enough to acquire mine in the 80s before the internet made acquisition difficult due to the fact that there is always some bidder with deeper pockets than the others.
Tag Archives: Chad Valley