I'm in the process of clearing out old research files and odds and ends, and I came across this old photo of the SS Levithan.
I'm wondering exactly what this card was all about. The airplanes appear to be Martin MB-1 or MB-2 bombers, which would put the period at some time between 1918 and 1928. I can't even begin to identify the blimps. The ship appears to be in the US Lines Livery, which she used from 1923-37. This photo features so-called "trick photography" in the form of the superimposed airplanes and blimps. Trick photography became widely used in the 1920's, but apparently the person who created this photo wasn't a pilot because It looks to me that the Martin bomber in the center of the picture is about to stall. The washed-out writing in the lower right corner is, "USS Levithan, largest ship in the world." But one thing is for sure, when the ship was photographed, she wasn't in the US Navy anymore. So, if the card was created between 1922 and 28, or even as late as 1930-32,what's the message? Why all the warplanes and blimps? It has the look of a wartime propaganda postcard, but the war was over. For comparison here are pictures of the ship at different times.
This is the SS Vaterland (Levithan) in 1914 when she was a HAPAG liner. This was just before she was interned and her name was changed after she was seized.
Here she is in 1918 as the USS Levithan (SP-1326) in her "Dazzle Camouflage.
And this is how she looked as the SS Levithan with US Lines in 1925. Any ideas as to what the message is in the old postcard? Dwight