On 26 September 1934 Queen Mary, one of the greatest ocean liners ever built, was launched at the John Brown and Company shipyard in Clydebank, Scotland.
For a world still tightly gripped in a deep and seemingly endless economic depression, Queen Mary’s launch provided a glimmer of hope that better days were ahead.
Here are some facts about Queen Mary’s launch:
- It was a Wednesday. It rained.
- Queen Mary herself launched the liner. “I name this ship Queen Mary.” she said. (The crowd cheered upon hearing the new liner’s name spoken for the first time.) “I wish success to her and all who sail in her.” The Queen then pressed the electric button that released Queen Mary down the slipway and into the Clyde.
- Queen Mary’s hull was painted white so she would stand out better in photos and newsreels (a common practice at the time).
- A total of 2,350 tons of drag chains were attached to the hull to act as a brake.
- As Queen Mary slid into the water, she traveled 1,196 feet, just two feet more than predicted.
Her journey was just beginning.