Three Special Numbers of The Shipbuilder; Mauretania, Olympic and Titanic, and Aquitania.
“The Shipbuilder, a Quarterly Magazine devoted to Shipbuilding, Marine Engineering and Allied Industries”, was first published in 1904 as the “Mid-Tyne Link”, and continued with minor variations of title, up to 1964, encompassing 682 issues, establishing itself as the journal of record for the industry. Original copies of perhaps the three most important numbers ever produced, covering Cunard’s first Mauretania of 1907, sister ship to the Lusitania; Aquitania, ‘The Ship Beautiful’, in her later years honoured as the ‘Grand Old Lady’; and White Star Line’s successful Olympic and her ill-fated twin sister Titanic, which sank on her maiden voyage in 1912 – less than a year after the Midsummer 1911 issue of this special number. It was probably a combination of White Star Line puffery, and The Shipbuider’s highly detailed technical articles, based in part on the Line’s puffery – “The watertight subdivision of the Olympic and Titanic is very complete” (p.25 ) – that gave birth to the myth of the Titanic’s unsinkability. Interesting to note also that “it does not fall within the province of this work to describe in detail the Marconi apparatus”. All early numbers of this periodical are uncommon, those featuring the great liners are particularly sought after, with the Titanic “special” being the prize. A highly attractive group.
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3 volumes octavo bound as one (243 180 mm) Near contemporary black sand-grained cloth by Otto Hesse, Bethlehem Book Bindery, title gilt to the spine. Mauretania (November,1907); 164pp., coloured frontispiece 3 other similar plates, 165 photographs and diagrams to the text,many full-page, and 5 folding plans: Olympic and Titanic (June, 1911); 130 pp., coloured frontispiece, additional portrait frontispiece of Bruce Ismay, 7 folding plates and plans, 146 photographs, diagrams, sketches to the text, many full-page, 2 folding advertisements: Aquitania (June, 1914) :154pp., Mounted coloured frontispiece, ship portrait by C.E. Turner, 4 coloured plates, 5 folding plans, numerous illustrations to the text, the majority full-page. A little rubbed, some light browning and soiling to the endpapers, a very good copy.