MV Georgic, Frank H Mason, 1952
This dramatic scene of the Thames and the Palace of Westminster – looking very much like they were in the grip of one of London’s notorious choking fogs of the 1950s – graced a menu on the MV Georgic. The artwork is by Frank Henry Mason (1875-1965), one of the foremost commercial illustrators of the early 20th century, and the artist behind many of the now-famous British travel posters, as well as a lot of work for Cunard.
The Georgic held the record as the largest vessel to sail up the Thames, so perhaps the choice of image marks this achievement.
Built as a sister ship to the MV Brittanic, the Georgic first sailed in 1932 – almost exactly 20 years prior to the date of this menu. The Brittanic and Georgic quickly became popular, and were the most profitable ships in the White Star (later Cunard White Star) fleet. During the second world war, the Georgic had a rough time of it, being sunk while operating as a troop carrier, and later refloated.
Refitted, the ship re-entered civilian service, now mainly carrying emigrants from the UK to Australia. But during summer high seasons, when this menu dates from, Georgic returned to its original New York route. The ship was scrapped in 1956.
Courtesy Private Collection.
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