Collections Carousel – Ribbon from MS Vulcania

MCHS Collections – #2003.127.1 (front)

As travel restrictions start to ease a bit across the nation and parts of the world, it’s been hard not to search through the museum’s collections for interesting travel-related items. This green satin-weave ribbon from the ocean liner, the Vulcania, fit the bill. Brought back to the United States by Frances and Bertil Lindquist, the ribbon was a travel souvenir from a 1938 trip the Little Falls couple took to Sweden. Lindquist family lore suggests that the couple was on a secret mission to check out the Swedish air force. Bertil was an aeronautics expert and former test pilot for the United States air force.

A perfect advertising piece, the ribbon is lightweight, easy to pack and repeats the name of the ship multiple times in gold text. The bold gold against green suggests the luxury and grandeur of transatlantic travel.

The MS Vulcania, along with her twin sister the MV Saturnia, were famous Italian ships. The Vulcania was known for carrying the most passengers, with a capacity of 1760. The ship operated from 1929 to 1974 and during World War I and World War II saw service in the military as troop transport. Her career came to an end after she hit a rock near Cannes in 1972 and sank on her way to the scrappers in 1974 (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MS_Vulcania).

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