The Queen Elizabeth

This isn’t railroad memorabilia, but it is passenger memorabilia that somehow ended up in my collection, and it presents an interesting contrast to on-board stationery used on trains. The Queen Elizabeth (named after the Queen Mother, not the current or Tudor queen) was built in 1939, but due to the war it didn’t go into passenger service until 1946. It continued in New York-Southhampton service until 1968, so this letterhead is probably from the 1960s.

Click image to download a PDF of this letterhead.

This letterhead is made of fine tissue paper, such as might have once been used for air mail. Since there was no reason to worry much about weight on a steamship, the paper was probably selected for its aura of luxury. I wonder how hard it was to write with a fountain pen on such paper, the danger being that the ink would feather and blur.

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