White Star Line - RMS Titanic - 188
In order to catalog and compare the Stevens postcards that were sold on many of the passenger liners in the early 1900's, it is necessary to apply a code to the different known versions. They were generally available in two styles.
The more expensive postcard had an image woven of the actual ship and would sometimes have statistics of the size and capacity of the ship printed below.
The less expensive version would have two flags representing the countries of origin and destination for the particular voyage. Above the silk were printed the words "Hands Across the Sea" (HATS). Under the two flags would be a pair of hands clasped in a handshake representing the friendship between the countries.
Austin Sprake (in his book) differentiates between the National Flags on each postcard. I have taken the liberty of extending the codes used by Austin Sprake and have adopted the following:-
62 Union Jack / USA
63 Union Jack / Merchant Navy Service
64 USA / Scottish Royal Standard (Yellow with red lion)
65 USA / Sweden (Blue with yellow cross)
66 USA / Norway (Red with blue cross)
67 USA / early Ireland (Green with yellow harp)
68 USA / early Ireland with Union Jack inset
69 USA / pre-war Italy with Royal Coat of Arms
70 Spare number
He also differentiates between the tassels on each flag:-
Design A MF:- 2 tassels above flags plus 2 tassels behind hands.
Design B MM:- 2 tassels above flags plus 2 tassels behind hands.
Design C MF:- 2 tassels only behind hands.
Design D MM:- 2 tassels only behind hands.
Design E MF:- 2 tassels above flags plus 2 tassels at far end of sleeves.
The two hands woven into the silk are either two male hands or a male hand on the left and a female hand on the right.
The ropes and poles are usually yellow. However the following rope colors also exist on a few postcards:-
For the even more seasoned collector the Flagpoles can terminate in three places.
Outside the clasped hands. (Pole)
On the Cuff of each hand. (Cuff)
Slightly beyond the cuff on the Sleeve. (Sleeve)
Also, most postcards came with normal vertical capital letters and a second version with forward slanting name text. (Slant)
A few postcards had statistics such as Tonnage, Length, Breadth, Depth and Loaded Max Tonnage. (Stats)
Note that other differences exist such as blue Sea, rigging on ships(Type I or Type II (less rigging), sea roughness, mat embossing, and flagpole color.
Here is an example of using the codes:-
HATS 62B MM Red Cuff
This would have the Union Jack and USA flags with two Males shaking hands, two tassels above the flags, two tassels behind the hands, red ropes and poles and the poles would terminate on the cuff.
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item of related history.
- Malcolm J Roebuck,
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