was launched on October 9 ,1932 as the largest ship
in the world. After a few years of fitting out and
final touches it took its maiden voyage on March
29, 1935. Normandie had a successful year but was
quickly overtaken in size by the Queen Mary, losing
the title of "Worlds Largest." A refit
was made in 1937 where it was once again regained
the title...the Queen Mary was quick to answer.
This could have gone on for some time but WWII came.
In 1940, after the fall of France, the US seized
the ship who wanted to converted it into a troop
transport vessel and rename it the USS Lafayette.
It sat in Manhattan's Pier 88 for the conversion,
in 1942 a welders torch sparked a blaze that torched
and capsized the ship. It was scrapped in 1946.
The SS Normanie had a short but prosperous life.
rare full length colorful matchcover was more than
likely made for France by New York's Lion matches
to celebrate the maiden voyage.