|Above is a framed print depicting the SS President Hoover of the Dollar Steamship Lines. The SS President Hoover, and the nearly identical SS President Coolidge were built in 1930 and 1931, respectively, for Dollar Steamship Lines through a US Maritime Commission plan inaugurated in 1928 to fund new US-built, US-registered shipping. These two ships were the largest ocean liners built in the United States until that time.
THE PRINT is identifiable easily, as numerous post cards with this same image exist and which are labeled as SS President Hoover (lead ship of the two-ship class) on the rear, with some particulars on the ship. This is a very large print of the same artwork. The frame is approximately 25-5/8 by 19-5/8 inches, and is furnished with a custom-labeled matte. Notable in this illustration is the smallish sampan passing the Hoover; this identifies the ship as a denizen of the Pacific Ocean, which of course the Dollar Steamship Lines and affiliates were. The frame is very austere, which is to be expected given the completion of the ships after the start of the Great Depression.
|I'm now in search of other collectibles pertaining to these two ships, and will post scans or photos as I find them.|
|Enlargement of print detail. There are post cards issued by Dollar Steamship Lines with a similar illustration; also, one collector informs us that he owns a similar but not identical print in a nearly identical frame. Futher, variations of this illustration appear in Dollar Lines advertisements in magazines. The image truly was the best known representation for the HOOVER and the COOLIDGE.|
|Length 654 ft 3 in
Gross rated tonnage 21,936
Rated shaft horsepower 26,500
Speed about 21 knots max.
|The SS PRESIDENT HOOVER was launched in December 1930 as the first of two ships financed by the US Maritime Commission and Dollar Steamship Lines for combination passenger and mail service throughout the Pacific Ocean. This was a period of greatly reduced shipping construction in the United States; according to the book "Steam at Sea," only 29 passenger ships were built in the US during the period 1927-1938. The Hoover, and nearly identical SS President Coolidge, were by far the largest of this time period and remained so until the resurgence of shipping construction just prior to the Second World War. The ships received a fair amount of press due not only to the competitive vacuum regarding large shipping construction in the US but also due to the fact that they incorporated turbo-electric drive (and electric amenities for the whole ship, including heat.)|
|At right, Lloyd Cigarettes card illustration from early 1930's showing the SS PRESIDENT HOOVER. (See more cards on another page of this site.)
The HOOVER did not have a long life, being grounded and declared lost in 1937. Sister ship SS President Coolidge, taken over by Dollar Lines successor American President Lines, was then taken over for military use during the Second World War but was lost after hitting a mine in 1942. The wreck of the Coolidge is in shallow water and is frequently dived on.