The Ship’s Bridge

Until I moved to Ohio in 1974 I always lived on the east coast in New Jersey and Florida.  The ocean was always important to me and I took many photos of the ocean, ships and boats, beaches and lighthouses.  I still shoot those things but now in landlocked Ohio.  In late 1969 the original ship, the Queen Elizabeth, had been sold and was being towed to Hong Kong to be turned into a floating university.  It made a stop in Fort Lauderdale, FL and I had an opportunity to take a tour of this luxurious ship.  One of my favorite shots was of the bridge, originally shot as a transparency and scanned here to digital.

Bridge with ship’s telegraph, of the Queen Elizabeth

Aside from the stark white sky outside the windows, I’ve always loved this shot!  With all of the brass and rich woodwork the bridge was beautiful.  The expression “they don’t make them like this anymore” was made for this photo!  Ever since that day I’ve had a fascination for ship’s bridges.  I’ve also shot the bridge of her sister ship, the Queen Mary, in Long Beach, CA and it was just as beautiful.  Unfortunately, those photos are not sharply focused.

The Queen Elizabeth never made it to Hong Kong.  It caught fire while being towed and eventually was scrapped!

A few years ago I had the opportunity to tour the Great Lakes freighter William T. Mather, docked now as a museum in downtown Cleveland.  As you will see, as a freighter, the bridge is not as luxurious, but in my mind beautiful just the same.  The first shot is looking toward the ship’s bow, with compass in view and the city skyline stretching out to the south-south-east.

Bridge of the Mather, docked in downtown Cleveland

The wheel of the Mather was quite classic and beautiful.

Ships wheel, bridge of the Mather

The Mather’s telegraph, for relaying instructions to the engine room, was not nearly as elaborate as that of the Queen Elizabeth, but was functional and beautiful to me nonetheless!

Ship’s telegraph, William T. Mather

Despite being landlocked these days, it’s photos like these that connect me to the ocean and in the Mather’s case, Lake Erie which is almost ocean like in many ways, but fresh, not salt, water.




About Kolman Rosenberg

My interest in photography began as a college newspaper and yearbook photographer during the stormy 1960s and 1970s. I was influenced by many of the great photojournalists and documentary photographers such as W. Eugene Smith, Walker Evans, Dorothea Lange, Gordon Parks, Margaret Bourke-White and other black and white photographers of Life Magazine and the earlier Farm Security Administration. Though many of these photographers documented the horrors of war and the plight of poverty, they also showed me the dignity and adaptability of human beings in their desire to prevail.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Ship’s Bridge

  1. 1222cc says:


    Your bridges. Again, I’m struck by your artist’s eye.



  2. Carole


    I bet he cheats and uses a tripod to get those razor sharp edges.

    David Summers
    Sent from my iPad


  3. Bob says:

    You took fantastic shots even back then. Nice work.


  4. rafterdave says:

    Great pictures. Having spent some time on the bridge I can relate.

    Dave Baker Sent from my iPad


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s