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Historical Statistics:



John Brown & Co. (Clydebank) Ltd, Clydebank, Glasgow, Scotland, UK

Yard Number:


Date of Build:


Vessel Name:

RMS Queen Mary

Other Names:


Type of Vessel:

Passenger ocean liner

Date Launched:

26th September 1936

Launched by:

HM Queen Mary

Maiden Voyage:

 1st July 1936

Southampton to New York, USA via Cherbourg, France

First Post WW2 Voyage:

31st July 1947

Southampton to New York, USA via Cherbourg, France

Final Commercial Voyage:

 31st October 1967

Southampton to Long Beach, California, USA via Lisbon, Las Palmas, Rio de Janiero, Valparaiso, Callao, Balboa, Acapulco and finally arrived in Long Beach, USA on the  9th December 1967.

Final Voyage:

27th February 1971

Long Beach Pier E to Pier J





Port of Registry:

Liverpool, England, UK

Original Owners / Operators:

Cunard Line, Liverpool, England, UK



Technical Statistics:




1,018 ft


118 ft


39 ft

Gross Registered Tonnage:

81,235 tons


Single reduction geared steam turbines driving four propellers


Four propellers

Maximum Speed:

34 knots

Service Speed:

29 knots

Passengers & Crew:

776 Cabin class, 784 Tourist class, 579 Third class




Technical Facts:

Signal Letters: GBSS

IMO Number:

Cost: £5 million

The Queen Mary was built in an age when Britain was respected throughout the world for producing products of quality, factories across the country were employed to craft the thousands of components that were needed. Many of the mechanical items were produced locally, such as the four giant turbines that were made by the John Brown works at Clydebank. Electric pumps used for sewage, deck washing, refrigeration and fire purposes were supplied by Drysdale's of Glasgow.

Kelvin, Bottomley and Baird, also from Glasgow, were responsible for the huge compasses, whilst elsewhere in Britain her fittings and furnishings were manufactured. She was modern and featured the most up-to-date materials, and reflect the current fashion trends and she was opulent in the extreme. Britons Limited of Kidderminster weaved her fine quality carpets. Blankets were mostly made by Priestly Brothers of Halifax. In St Albans clocks of every description were made for the ship. In London, Waring & Gillows built much of the furniture and wood panelling. Around 200 firms contributed to the Queen Mary. In total some 6 miles of carpets and rugs were laid in the public rooms and staterooms, together with 13 miles of fabric for bedspreads, curtains and covers and a further 500,000 pieces of linen, including 30,000 sheets and 31,000 pillow cases. Additionally there were 200,000 pieces of glass, china and earthenware and 16,000 items of cutlery and table-ware. (Although many pieces of the latter were transferred to the Queen Mary from the Mauretania when that she was retired from service and scrapped).

Kelvin Hughes Ltd (formed in 1941 by the merger of Kelvin, Bottomley & Baird Ltd with Hughes & Sons)

Allders of Croydon (resurrected the Waring & Gillow Ltd furniture brand in 2005)


The Queen Mary was fitted with huge single reduction geared steam turbines driving her four propellers.


The Queen Mary had 24 watertube boilers. These were equally divided in four boiler rooms. She additionally was fitted with three double ended "Scotch" boilers in their own compartment to provide low pressure steam for the ship's hotel services including heating and cooking, whilst 10,000 KW of electricity, which would be used to power the 22 lifts, 596 clocks and around 30,000 light bulbs, was provided by 7 turbo-generators.


The Queen Mary had four giant propellers each weighing 35 tons. They were produced by the Manganese Bronze & Brass Co. Ltd and they measured 20 ft in diameter and were 10 tons heavier than any previously used.


The Queen Mary's normal cruising speed was 29 knots, while her maximum speed was 34 knots.


In the 1958 the Queen Mary was fitted with four Denny Brown stabilisers.
Each stabiliser fin had an outreach of 12 ft 6 inches and a width of 7 ft 3 inches. Both sets could be extended and operated independently of the other so that only one set need be operated in a moderate swell. Operated from the Bridge the forward set had a righting moment of 11,500 ton/ft and the after set exerted 14,000 ton/ft. It was calculated that a roll could be reduced by 75% within a very short time.

Rolls-Royce PLC (acquired Brown Brothers in 1999)


The enormous anchors each weighed 16 tons.


The Queen Mary had the most comprehensive on-board telephone systems of her day. Great attention was also paid to safety, indeed the ship was equipped with the most up-to-date of automated systems; 66 watertight doors were installed in bulkheads throughout the main areas of the ship at the lower levels, 38 of which were power operated, controlled from a central point on the Bridge. The position of these doors was shown on an illuminated panel and when activated, in the case of a collision, for example, they would have isolated a particular part of the ship. Two hydraulic pumps, supplying fluid at a pressure of 700 lb per square inch, actuated the movement of the doors, and for safety, each door had a bell which rang approximately seven seconds before the closing process began. Additionally, each door could be manually opened in case someone became trapped in a sealed off area.

Fire is clearly a threat to the safety of any ocean going vessel and the equipment for preventing, detecting and extinguishing fire on the Queen Mary was the most comprehensive ever installed in a ship at that time. From the design of light fittings and heaters, use of fire retardant materials and paints wherever possible, every detail was carefully considered. Areas of the ship which would be difficult to patrol regularly, such as storerooms, cargo spaces, baggage rooms and spaces for cars, were fitted with a sophisticated "Lux-Rich" smoke detector system, which not only raised visual and audible alarms on an indicator panel in the central fire station, but would pinpoint the location in which the smoke had originated. The duty officers could then respond by activating an equally sophisticated extinguishing system which released CO2 into the appropriate compartment, which would extinguish the flames by smothering them. Considering the Queen Mary entered service in 1936, this system was far ahead of its time, and even by today's standards it is quite remarkable.

In other parts of the ship, including passenger and crew accommodation, stairways, corridors and all linen lockers, a sprinkler system was installed, which was not only fully automated, but had sprinkler heads which were operated independently of each other. The flow of water through a sprinkler would automatically activate a fire alarm and show its location on an indicator panel. In the case of the Queen Mary thousands of square feet needed to be represented, and consequently the indicator, with its plans of the 12 decks, measured 7 ft in both height and width!

In addition there were over 200 conventional two-gallon fire extinguishers and 313 lengths of fire hose, each one 60 ft long and 2.5 inches in diameter. There were further individual detector / extinguisher systems designed to protect specific items and areas. One such was the "Pyrene Automatic Film-fire Extinguisher" an example of which protected each of the 7 on board projectors by discharging CO2 through the film track in the event of a fire. The vulnerable boiler rooms were equipped with elaborate foam making devices, connected to special hoses.


The ship has an extra thick steel hull for strength and stability for Atlantic crossings.

Lifesaving Equipment:

The Queen Mary was the first liner to be fitted entirely with motorised lifeboats, each of which could be single-handedly launched in less than a minute thanks to the winding gear.


The Queen Mary has three huge "Tyfon" whistles, one on the second funnel and a pair in front of the forward funnel. Measuring 6 ft and 7 inches in length and each weighin a ton, they were originally operated by steam at a pressure of around 140 lb, per square inch. Their tone was pitched to "A", two octaves below middle A of a piano. Their low, vibrant note was one of the most far-carrying sounds ever devised and could be heard 10 miles away. They were manufactured by Kockums Ab of Sweden.

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Kockum Sonics

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