SS President Cleveland, Box 43, April 5, 1948


This box of negatives mainly contains negatives taken during an onboard tour of the SS President Cleveland. There is no further information available on the box.

President Cleveland was originally ordered by the Maritime Commission during World War II, as a transport ship, and intended to serve in the US Navy with the name USS Admiral D. W. Taylor 

The ship was laid down on 28 August 1944 at the Bethlehem Steel shipyard in Alameda, California, but was cancelled on 16 December 1944.

Redesigned for commercial passenger service, the steamship was launched on 23 June 1946 with the name SS President Cleveland, and she was completed in 1947.

SS President Cleveland subsequently operated from 1947 to 1973. She became the Panamanian-flag passenger ship SS Oriental President in 1973 before being scrapped in 1974 in Taiwan.

I assume this is a COP sponsored trip. I didn’t find any detail in Naranjado 1948 or Pacific Review. There are no Pacific Weekly magazines in 1948.

The series starts with few portraits of presumably COP administrators (Possibly Mr and Mrs O.H. RItter. EVP and comptroller of COP ) , watching from the boat. Joel used flash in the second image, the difference is obvious.

On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)

The last opening portrait is so much more accessible when the lady turns to Joel and smiles. Even the gentleman forgets to pose for a second.

On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)

I was intrigued by the pin on the coat, turns out it is a time telling device.

On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948, 2:17 PM.
On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)

Joel correct the above shot as he must have felt he cropped to tightly. Regardless, all of these images were printed at some point in time.

On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
Checking out the bar on the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
Kiddie playground on the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)
On board the SS President Cleveland, April 5, 1948 (Printed)

Seems like everyone had a great time !

There are three images left in the box, portraits of possibly Cecile McAllister, fall president of South Hall.

Possibly Cecile McAllister, April 1948
Possibly Cecile McAllister, April 1948

The latter portrait is a bit more relaxed. The reflection in the glasses is always an invite to go look deeper.

Joel’s dual reflection, holding a Graflex Super D camera.

The dual reflection, one for each side of the lens, clearly shows Joel carrying a Graflex Super D SLR press camera with hood extended. This type of camera allows the photographer to look at the subject until the shutter button is pressed. The mirror flips up and the shutter opens to let the light in. Not that different from the 35mm SLR cameras that would popularize photography in wider circles.

I’m borrowing an image of my friend Gerry Yaum, holding the same type of camera Joel is photographing with, for reference.

Gerry Yaum using a Graflex Super D camera, similar to Joel’s camera in 1946-1948.

I own a few of these cameras, and can attest that these mechanical marvels, properly maintained, still work. These will continue to work long after our iPhones and digital cameras fail.

Yes, there is still film available for these cameras and they are highly sought after by film photographers interested in historical processes.

It’s still April 1948 and the end of the academic year is near. Joel still has plenty to cover at College of the Pacific as we’ll see in the next few blogposts.

Cheers !


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