Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ship Christening - USA, 1920

Another picture sent to me by Peter from Germany. The only information provided: 'USA 1920'.
The ceremony of christening new ships began in the distant past, and we know that Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians all held ceremonies to ask the gods to protect sailors. 
By the 1800s the christenings of ships began to follow a familiar pattern. A “christening fluid” would be poured against the bow of the ship, though it was not necessarily wine or champagne. There are accounts in the US Navy records of 19th century warships being christened with water from significant American rivers. 
The christening of ships became great public events, with large crowds assembled to witness the ceremony. And it became standard for champagne, as the most elite of wines, to be used for the christening. 
The tradition developed that a female would do the honours and be named the sponsor of the ship. And maritime superstition held that a ship that wasn't properly christened would be considered unlucky. A champagne bottle that didn't break was a particularly bad omen.

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