Capturing both her building glory and head of steam, this Canadian Pacific Railway’s Empress Liner, believed to be the Empress of Japan, begins her departure from Los Angeles Harbor. She is bound for the Atlantic via the Panama Canal, on the homeward stretch of a 1937 world cruise. This empress is escorted out by local tug boats.
Designed and built in 1930 to be the fastest, most luxurious liner on the oceans, the Empress of Japan lived up to expectations. She set several eastward pacific passage records from Japan and Hawaii to the North American west coast which stood for more than 30 years. Built by the Fairfield Shipyards of Glasgow, she was 666 feet in length and had a maximum capacity of 1173 passengers. Her steam turbines and twin screw propulsion provider her with 21 knots of speed and beyond, on request.
Beaumont, one of the most noted American naval artists and a watercolorist capable of loose yet highly accurate depictions, shows the three stacker pushing smoke out of two funnels, while the decorative false third stack is correctly silent. The coming world war would change the liner’s role and name. As a troop carrier for the allies, she served almost ten years, logged more than 500,000 miles and carried more than 3 million soldiers. Renamed the Empress of Scotland after the attack on Pearl Harbor, she was the only empress to return to passenger service after the war.
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