An impressive timepiece, this instrument came off the Pacific Northwest's Admiral Line passenger steam ship, named by the founder of the line , H.F. Alexander of Tacoma, Washington, after himself. Started in 1911 as the Pacific Alaska Navigation Company from the acquisition and merger of other Northwest shipping companies by Alexander and several partners, the company's first and premier passenger liner became known as the "Galloping Ghost of the Pacific", capable of 25 knots on her frequent runs between Seattle and San Francisco.
The 8-inch diameter face of the Seth Thomas Clock - America's oldest clock-making company, founded in 1813 - has the additional seconds sweep dial and is in fine condition. In is unusually displayed on a hand-painted shield plaque with Scandinavian-inspired designs.
The ship was launched in 1915 as the GREAT NORTHERN for the Great Northern Steamship Company. She was soon put into troop service during World War I, and sold to Alexander's company in 1922. She was known as the largest, fastest and most luxurious coastwise vessel in the world" in her time. This claim was partially backed by the fact that she could beat the coastal trains on the same route by three hours. She served faithfully through the 1920s and ‘30s until needed again for military service in World War II, re-christened GEORGE S. SIMONDS in 1942. She would join the Maritime Commission's Reserve Fleet in 1946 and would head into the Philadelphia breaking yards in 1948. Thousands of passengers and soldiers the world over voyaged on this ship under her three identities, and she was a stalwart fixture of the Admiral Line in the waters of the Pacific.
Provenance: Helen Sweeney, Massachusetts (niece of Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy, mother to President John F. Kennedy); Private Newport Beach Collection.
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