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Shipping Wonders of the World

Part 3


Part 3 of Shipping Wonders of the World was published on Thursday 27th February 1936.

[date from rear cover of issue 3].


It was a standard issue of 32 pages. It included a centre photogravure supplement featuring some “Signposts of the Sea”, and formed part of an article of the same title.


The Cover

This week’s cover is a magnificent impression of the famous windjammer Lightning, built by Donald McKay for the Black Ball Line. Reproduced by the kind permission of the Blue Peter Publications Ltd., the original picture was the work of that great sea-lover, the late J. Spurling.


This cover was later reproduced as the colour plate in part 10.

clipper Lightning


Contents of Part 3


Diving for £1,000,000

The Triumph of the Normandie

Signposts of the Sea

The Navy Goes to Work

The Big Motor Cargo Liner

Thames to Tahiti





Diving for £1,000,000


The salvage of the Egypt, concluded from part 2. This is the first in the series Dramas of Salvage

(pages 69-71)


Thames to Tahiti


A first-hand account of an intrepid voyage of 12,000 miles from England to Tahiti, across the Atlantic and pacific oceans in a small 38-ft. yacht with a freeboard of only 20 inches at the stern. The article was written by Sidney Howard and appears to be the first in the series on Great Voyages in Little Ships. The article concludes in part 4.

(pages 99-100)


Signposts of the Sea -2


The third of the four illustrations in the photogravure supplement is shown left.


In the Hebrides. The lighthouse on the Dubh Artach Rocks, in the Sound of Coll and Tiree, is often unapproachable for days in stormy weather. This photograph shows the relief of a lighthouse man who had been injured. The tower has a broad red band, is equipped with a group-flashing light, and shows two quickly successive flashes every thirty seconds. Visibility is 18 miles.


(page 85)



This British Pathe newsreel clip covers the rescue of a sick lighthouse man from Eddystone Lighthouse (1938).

Dubh Artach Lighthouse


The Triumph of the Normandie


Built at a cost of £8,000,000, and a magnificent contribution to ocean-liner travel, the electrically-driven Normandie represents the peak of French maritime achievement. The article was written by A C Hardy. This is the second in the series The World’s Largest Ships.

(pages 72-78)

Signposts of the Sea

The lighthouse, whether built on a lonely, wave-swept rock, perched on a high cliff, straddling the sands on high stilts, or surmounting a steel caisson sunk into the sand, is still - despite the great development of wireless telegraphy - the supreme beacon for every ship. The article is by Sidney Howard.

(pages 79-90)




The Eddystone lighthouse (right) is built on a rock in the English Channel, 14 miles south-west of Plymouth. The present tower is the fourth, and cost nearly £60,000. To the right is the base of an earlier tower. The existing structure has two lights; the main light is 133 ft above high water,and is a white double -flashing light showing two successive flashes of one second divided by an eclipse of 5½ seconds and followed by an eclipse of 22½ seconds. Visibility is 17 miles. The subsidiary light, fixed white and visible 15 miles, is shown from a window 40 feet below the main light to mark rocks known as the Hands Deep, 3¼ miles NW.

Eddystone lighthouse









Signposts of the Sea - 3


THE NEEDLES, dangerous rocks on the west coast of the Isle of Wight, are protected by a lighthouse, group-occulting, white, red and green every twenty seconds. The visibility is fourteen miles. The tower shows two eclipses of two seconds each; the light between eclipses is two seconds and between groups fourteen seconds. Group-occulting means a steady light, with a group of two or more eclipses at regular intervals.


(page 86)

The Navy Goes to Work - 1


In peace or war, by day or night, the Navy works unceasingly. As the guardian of the world’s most widespread Empire, its diverse activities and responsibilities are unique. The article is by Hector C. Bywater and is the first in a series of articles on The Navy Goes to Work.

(pages 91-97)


The Big Motor Cargo Liner


THIS is one of an increasingly numerous class of vessel constructed in recent years for all long haul routes. She has several interesting points; in particular, high power arranged on a single screw, and a special hull-form with a curiously raking bow. Known as the Maier-form, the latter is primarily intended to increase speed, without increase of power, and to improve the weatherworthy qualities. The Nora Maersk belongs to a fleet of twenty-eight steamers and sixteen motor-ships under the control of a well-known Danish shipowner, Mr. A. P. Moller. Completed in September, 1934, she has a deadweight tonnage of 9,300, and a gross tonnage of 8,225, her dimensions being 450 feet length between perpendiculars, by 58 feet by 39 feet depth. When fully loaded she draws 26 ft 5 in of water.


Propulsion is effected by a diesel motor of Burmeister and Wain type, operating on the two-cycle, double-acting principle, having five cylinders, 24.41-in diameter and 55.12-in stroke. The total power output is 5,500 horse-power on the shaft at 110 revolutions. Her average service speed in loaded condition is about fifteen knots, and while “motoring” at this speed she consumes just under twenty tons of oil a day for her main propelling and auxiliary machinery.

She is a shelter deck vessel - that is, one having a continuous weather deck all fore and aft, with a forecastle, a large navigating bridge structure, and accommodation for engineers round the motor casing. She has one complete tier of ’tween decks, with a second tier in Nos. 1, 3, and 4 holds. There are five holds, three forward and two abaft the machinery space. No. 3 hold is a deep tank, and is capable of carrying vegetable oils which are picked up in Far Eastern ports. The hatches are well serviced with derricks of five tons and fifteen tons type, and one of forty-five tons. A double bottom extends throughout the ship, and is specially high in way of the main propelling machinery. It is noticeable how short this machinery is in fore and aft length.


The Nora Maersk runs from New York in trade round the world, outward by the Panama Canal and homeward by the Suez Canal. Occasionally she is engaged in transpacific trade to Japan, and for this reason has large silk rooms in the ’tween decks forward. The ship can also carry large quantities of fresh fruit from California in special refrigerated holds in the upper ’tween decks abaft the machinery space; these holds can also be utilized for transporting other forms of perishable cargo.


This is the second article in the series on Merchant Ship Types.


(page 98)

More on the Normandie


Newsreel clips from the British Pathe website.


The first is of the launching of the Normandie in 1932.




The Normandie’s maiden voyage in 1935.






The “Blue Riband” presented to the Normandie in 1937

The Nora MaerskTHE NEEDLES, dangerous rocks on the west coast of the Isle of Wight