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The Great Depression curtailed ocean travel, and steamship lines quickly weeded out their fleets, as older ships became less and less efficient, and more expensive to maintain. Beloved stalwarts such as Mauretania and Olympic led the procession to the scrapyards. In their place, among the biggest and grandest liners ever built: Normandie (which will be added at some point), Queen Mary, and Nieuw Amsterdam. And while they gained attention for the size, much was written about the use of native artists and the contemporary and modern (but not too modern) works they created.


The United States, for the most part, sat out the battle for North Atlantic supremacy. Our one attempt during this period, Leviathan, without proper running mates, was never profitable. (Prohibition didn't help, either.) She was ultimately replaced with two smallish cabin liners, Manhattan and Washington. Matson and the Dollar Line represented America on the Pacific. Grace Line's intercoastal service gave way to a Caribbean run. Ward Line's Morro Castle and Oriente are presently omitted due to the lack of images. (Any assistance in this regard would be most appreciated.)


By the end of the decade, as many ships in the merchant marine still dated back to the early 1920s, the United States Shipping Board gave way to the Maritime Commission. Subsidies and routes were evaluated, and a new shipbuilding program began. The first ship, Hull Number 1, was symbolically named America, but more on her later.


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