The S.S. Brasil articles contained herein were published by and for Mooremack Employees Ashore and Afloat.


Fred Heess:  Progress Report on New Passenger Ships


(Courtesy of John-Paul DeRosa)

With the launching of Brasil [some time between the spring and autumn of 1957, MML decided to change the spelling of the name from Brazil in order to associate the ship's name with the Brasilian spelling of their country] now scheduled for December 16, work on this vessel is proceeding at an accelerated pace.  Close to 600 workmen are aboard daily, engaged in such crafts as joiner, electrical, sheet metal, pipe fitting, painting, etc.

The hull of Brasil has been completed almost entirely up to the Promenade Deck, with sections of the Boat Deck now in position so that the vessel on the ways is beginning to resemble the ocean liner it will eventually be.  Tank testing, compartment searching and compartment check-offs are proceeding at a very rapid pace so that various portions of the exterior hull have been released for sandblasting and painting.

Similarly, with the interior of the vessel, numerous sections and compartments have been released and the installation of joiner work is now proceeding rapidly.  An interesting feature in the construction of these vessels is the extensive use of prefabricated shower–and–toilet compartments.  These units are "manufactured" in the shipyard, and the individual cubicles are then shipped aboard the vessels as a unit, moved into position and riveted into place.  Final finishing and installation of sanitary fixtures will be done aboard the vessels.

Many of the joiner bulkheads surrounding the crew staterooms are now in position, as well as the doorways leading into these staterooms, and one can now visualize what attractive quarters the crew will have.  These bulkhead panels have a hard, plastic finish which, aside from being very attractive, should prove most durable, will not require painting and should require the very minimum of maintenance and repair.  Installation of ladders, stairways and escalators is also proceeding.

Up to recently, Brasil and Argentina were progressing at almost the same rate, but it is now at that point where Brasil is moving ahead much faster.




Luxury Liner Brasil is Launched in Mississippi

WINTER 1957-58

(Courtesy of Bob and Ken Bradsell)

The launching in Pascagoula, Miss., Dec. 16, of the largest ocean liner ever built in the deep South was hailed by Congressman Herbert C. Bonner, chairman of the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee, as an auspicious start on a $3,500,000,000 program to rebuild America’s merchant marine.

The Brasil was christened at exactly 3 p.m. by Mrs. Emmet J. McCormack, wife of the chairman of the board, as the long, sleek $26,000,000 vessel began to ease down the ways into the waters of the Gulf of Mexico.dignitaries on Launching platform included congressman and Mrs. Herbert C. Bonner, Ambassador and Mrs. Peixoto, Mr. and Mrs. Emmet J. McCormack, Admiral and Mrs. Robert C. Lee and Admiral Eugene Moran.

A newspaperman, Hal Boyle, Pulitzer prize-winning war correspondent and columnist, actuated the pneumatic mechanism that knocked out the last block holding the Brasil on land.

Witnessing the launching ceremonies in the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corporation shipyards in Pascagoula were some 300 representatives of Government, the diplomatic corps, shipping concerns and friends of Moore-McCormack and the Ingalls Company who came to Pascagoula by special train from New York and Washington.  Principal speaker at the ceremony was Congressman Bonner, and Ernani do Amaral Peixoto, ambassador to the United States from Brasil, delivered a message from his country to the people of America.

Congressman Bonner Hails New Ship

"The Brasil," Congressman Bonner said, "represents the spirit of America, an America which owes its origin and its strength to the sea."  He stressed that these are times of violent change and added that the nation is arriving at a period of crucial test when failure to replace and expand our fleet, as contemplated in the Merchant Marine Act of 1936, "would leave us weaker and more vulnerable than we were in the late 1930's, before World War II."  The new Brasil and Argentina, he concluded, will help to bind closer together the United States and her neighbor countries in South America and so promote the "international togetherness" that distinguishes this hemisphere.  "God speed to the Brasil."

Off the Ways...Brasil Turns...Pauses Momentarily...Gracefully Accepts Tow...And Completes Her First Trip.

Mr. Peixoto in his message from the people of Brasil said that Mooremack’s two new ships "will be among the finest in the world" and that in sending them to South America the line will "render a major service to the cause of strengthening the relationship of friendship which has always existed between our two countries."

Admiral Robert C. Lee, Mooremack’s vice-chairman of the board, who is in over-all charge of a $400,000,000 new-ships' program the line is undertaking, told the launching guests that every state in the Union contributed materials and skills to the building of the Brasil and Argentina.

"Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana," he said, "aside from providing the army of workmen who are here on the job, supplied material from 70 plants scattered throughout the three states."

The Brasil, he commented, was built after years of planning and after ten detailed designs had been prepared and four different sets of specifications.

Ovation to Mr. McCormack

Mr. McCormack, co-founder with the late A. V. Moore of Moore-McCormack Lines, and dean of New York shipping executives, received an ovation when he was introduced by Monro B. Lanier, Ingalls’ vice-chairman of the board, the master of ceremonies.  It was one of the proudest moments of his life, Mr. McCormack said, to participate in the ceremonies climaxed by the moment when his wife christened the greatest ship Mooremack ever built.

William T. Moore, president of the line, told newspapermen the Brasil is scheduled to go into service to East Coast South American ports, via the Caribbean, in mid-summer 1958.  The Argentina will make her maiden voyage about three months later, he said.  The Brasil and Argentina will cruise at better than 23 knots and make the round trip between New York and Buenos Aires in 31 days.  Formerly the 12,000-mile voyage required 38 days.


Launched—A Million Brasils

At the same time Brasil was launched in Pascagoula, Miss., across the continent in Venice, Calif., the first of many hundreds of thousands of Brasils rolled off the production line.  These Brasils are in model kit form and can be assembled into authentic scale replicas of Mooremack’s new luxury liner by oldsters and youngsters throughout the world.

Designed from official blueprints supplied by Moore-McCormack, the model is produced by Revell,Charlie Lucido (L) shows AVP Joe Medernach the scale model of Brasil Inc., world’s largest manufacturer of scale plastic model kits.  It is complete in every detail, even to the new stabilizing fins on the hull, and measures 18½ inches in length when completed.

According to a Revell spokesman, perhaps a million Brasils will be assembled and collected by hobbyists in all parts of the world. These kits also will be used in schools in teaching such subjects as geography and by travel agencies to demonstrate the exciting features of the luxury ship sailing under the Southern Cross.


The Mooremack News Autumn 1958

BRASIL – Gala Maiden Voyage


(Courtesy of Bob and Ken Bradsell)


The plush new $26,000,000 cruise ship Brasil began her maiden voyage to South America on Friday, September 12 in royal style, befitting the largest and most luxurious liner ever built for the South American service. She made the 12,000-mile round-trip voyage between New York and Buenos Aires in 31 days, cutting a week off the running time formerly required by Mooremack’s Good Neighbor Fleet.

S.S. Brasil leaving New York

Southbound, Brasil calls at Barbados in the Caribbean, then proceeds to Rio de Janeiro, Santos, Montevideo and Buenos Aires.  After a visit of more than two and a half days in Argentina, she returns north via Santos (where passengers may travel inland to visit points of interest in São Paulo, Brasil’s largest city) and Rio, again; then makes additional stops at Salvador (Bahia) and Port of Spain (Trinidad). Keel for Brasil was laid at the Ingalls Shipbuilding Corp. yards in Pascagoula, Miss., on July 6. 1956.  617 feet long, she can accommodate 553 passengers in one class.

The new Brasil replaces the old Brazil, retired from service earlier this year. Built especially for tropical cruising, she is air-conditioned throughout. Every luxurious device modern arts and science have made available have been built into her.Commodore Thos. Simmons, Brasil Master, with Admiral R. C. Lee Denny-Brown stabilizers reduce sea-roll to a minimum and protect against sea-sickness. She has two large outdoor tiled swimming pools, one for adults and the other for juniors. The latter pool has its own adjoining sports area; in close proximity is a snack bar where the younger set can get refreshments, dance to juke box tunes, and hold gab sessions.

The adults’ swimming pool also has an adjoining sports area. Another innovation is the Solarium, 100 feet above the water line. Here passengers who wish to can get an all-over tan — the Solarium will be used exclusively by women passengers at certain hours and by men passengers at other hours.

The Brasil was designed to be a "resort afloat." Its facilities, many of them designed by Raymond Loewy Associates, include shops where wearing apparel, gifts and souvenirs can be purchased; a beauty parlor fully equipped with all the accoutrements of beauty culture including steam cabinets; massage parlors, a gymnasium, a photo laboratory; a library and reading room; a theater; a salon for dancing; studio where South American dances are taught; and a language room where instruction in Spanish and Portuguese is available to passengers who want it.

Breakfasts aboard ship will be served in staterooms and on deck; lunch can be had in the Deck Café and Deck Café Balcony, where both hot and cold dishes will be available from a de luxe smorgasbord, permanently set up.

On December 12, the Brasil's sister ship, the new S.S. Argentina, will go into service, to alternate tri-weekly sailings from New York.



A Ship Afloat ... A World Apart



(WINTER 1958-59)

(Courtesy of Bob and Ken Bradsell)

SHIPWRIGHTS fashioned her of steel, a pretty woman christened her BRASIL, and she slipped into the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico. 

Not for months did she have all her engines, pumps and dynamos; her evaporators, tanks and double shafts.

But a day came when she was complete; thousands of tons of fuel oil in her arteries, thousands of miles of cables and wiring for her nervous system, radar and lights and telemotors for her brain.

A SHIP is born twice, once on the ways, again when crew and passengers go aboard to call her home.

So, Phoenix-like, she sailed away from New York, steering south for warmer lands—a sleek, swift, man-made courier, whiter than any gull.

She made her first landfall at Barbados, where trade winds kiss the sandy cliffs of Bathsheba, then legged it down the ocean wastes for Rio.

The old seemed younger, the young more tolerant, when the great round saucer of the world at sea held only this one, S.S. Brasil leaving New Yorknew vessel.

By day the sun was warm.  By night the Southern Cross rode high in the velvety darkness, beckoning the ship to the equator, and beyond.

A SHIP afloat is a world in microcosm.  Men eat and play and sleep, secure because welder, steam fitter and caulker built a stout craft and master and mates know the lore of the sea.

Clocks serve to mark the coming of bouillon, tea and dinner.  Time itself stands still.  It is the cheapest commodity on the high seas.

A distant light at night, marking the passing of a tramp steamer; a porpoise frolicking off the cruise ship's bow, a black tern against a sun-drenched sky—all these count more than hours and minutes.

Peace comes at sea, an overwhelming sense of well-being.  Here, if anywhere, the traveler can mend the raveled sleeve of care.

A MORNING comes when the land reaches out to meet the sea.  Sugarloaf and Corcovado lie dead ahead, framing one of the two or three most beautiful harbors on earth.

Fireboats hurl their streams, fashioning a mist in which a thousand rainbows shine. Bands play and people shout, for the BRASIL, in a way, is their ship, named for a good neighbor.

Cargo from mills, blast furnaces and warehouses of the North pour from the hold; whistles blow, chains rattle in the hawsepipes and the ship moves on.

Santos, Montevideo, Buenos Aires; names that stood out like gems in the battered geographies of a New England schoolroom.

Coffee in plump bags pours into the holds like an unending brown stream.  Meat from the Pampas, hides from Uruguay; all the raw resources needed by the North are somehow swallowed by the ship.

THE BRASIL leads two lives: one serious and work-a-day below decks, another gay and colorful on sun deck, promenade and in the pools.  Below is a world of commerce, freight rates, competition; top-side is reserved for music, fun and romance.

Bahia, as Portuguese as Lisbon, and Trinidad, green as only the jungle can be green, slip past, lost in the milky wake churned up by the twin propellers.

Blue Caribbean merges into steel gray Atlantic.  Engines throb rhythmically and the Southern Cross dips below the horizon.

Day fades into night and night into day until one morning when solitude is shattered by a thousand sounds and a great lady holds her torch aloft, marking a safe landfall.  Home is the cruise ship from the sea.




Mooremack Announces Gala Cruise to the Northlands

A new cruise by a great new ship, the S.S. Brasil, has just been announced by Moore-McCormack Lines.

The Brasil, internationally known as one of the most luxurious ships ever built, will depart from New York May 14 on a gala 33-day "Northlands Spring Cruise," according to Albert J. Keenan, Jr., Mooremack vice president.  She will visit eight countries — Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Scotland, EnglandOne of the many thrills--cruising the Norwegian fjord. and Ireland — and make stops at 14 ports including seven capitals.

Her glamorous itinerary provides for arrival at Bergen, Norway, Thursday, May 21st; then she proceeds to Eidfjord (Hardangerfjord), Gothenburg, Aarhus, Ronne (Bornholm), Stockholm, Helsinki, Visby, Travemunde (Lubeck), Copenhagen, Oslo, Leith (Edinburgh), Southampton and Dublin.

"When spring comes to the scenic northland," Mr. Keenan said, "there is no more fascinating and pleasant travel area in all the world.  Back in the 30's we used to operate passenger ships to this area — the Scanpenn, the Scanmail, the Scanstates, the Scanyork — and we are frequently asked why we don't run one of our modern new liners to the fjord country and the principal cities of the northland.  The special Spring Cruise is in answer to this demand.  We are diverting the Brasil from the South American run for this one voyage."

The Brasil is an all first-class ship.  Minimum fare per adult for the voyage will be $1350, Mr. Keenan said.  From the minimum, fares range upward to $4750 for a double bedroom, sitting room and two bathrooms.  All rooms on the Brasil are "outside" rooms and all have draft-free air-conditioning with individual temperature control.  Passengers who desire can turn off the air conditioning and open the portholes or windows.

The Brasil, recently completed for Mooremack at a cost of $26,000,000, was especially designed for cruise service.  She is equipped with Denny-Brown stabilizers to reduce roll.  She cruises at better than 23 knots.

She has two outdoor swimming pools, one for adults and the other for the junior set, each with adjacent sports areas.  Heated salt water is used in each pool.  Atop her dummy stack (engine exhaust goes through king posts at the vessel's stern) is an observation deck 100 feet above the water line.  This innovation provides an unusual vantage point from which passengers can view the magnificent scenery as the ship enters and leaves ports of call.Big Ben in London  Another innovation, near the juniors' swimming pool, is a snack bar where the younger set can order soft drinks, dance to juke-box music and have gab sessions.  Nearby is a children's area where youngsters can enjoy games under supervision.

For those who do not wish to join in organized activities, there are "quiet lounges" and card rooms.  One of these rooms is separated from the main lounge, with close-by night club area, by glass partitions so that passengers who wish to observe rather than participate in dancing and other activities may watch the fun in seclusion.

Every facility for a memorable vacation has been built into the Brasil — a wide promenade deck for the strollers, a theatre, a dance studio with an instructor in charge, a library, a beauty salon, a gymnasium, Swedish massage parlors, even a ship’s store where anything from gifts to sportswear can be purchased.

The Mooremack cuisine is internationally famous and features, on the Brasil, smorgasbord at lunchtime on the promenade deck.  The ship’s commissary also prepares favorite dishes to the order of the passenger.

Shore trips on the cruise are under direction of Thomas Cook and Son so that passengers can make the most of sightseeing and shopping opportunities.

Following this one special cruise, the Brasil will rejoin her sister ship, the S.S. Argentina, in Mooremack’s fortnightly South American service, Mr. Keenan said. She arrives back in New York Wednesday, June 17.



Pipes Aboard

WINTER 1966-67

(Courtesy of John-Paul DeRosa)


Almost all mariners have a hobby.  Some collect coins, others paintings, stamps.  Some make ships in bottles or do wood carvings.  Captain Joseph R. Davis, Staff Captain of the liner Brasil, collects pipes.

Since 1935 Capt. Davis has been a pipe smoker, and in his travels he has picked up pipes from all over the world.  To date he has 159 pipes in his collection.  Fifty-seven are with him on the Brasil, while an additional 102 are on display in his Florida home.

When Capt. Davis goes on leave he takes home what pipes he had with him aboard and changes them for others.  This way he can keep breaking in all of his collection.  His favorites are Meerschaums from Holland, Vienna, and Turkey.  He also has ten briars covered with silver filigree.

Every kind of pipe from the Turkish water piper to the clay pipe from Holland, has found its way into the display racks, including those with the head of Napoleon and a nude figurehead.

Capt. Davis is seldom seen without a pipe in his hand or mouth … or burning a hole in his pants’ pocket.

"I could buy another 50 collector's item pipes with the money I have spent to have my clothes rewoven," is his only lament




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