On the Water

Dessert Plate, SS United States

This dessert plate was used aboard the SS United States, the largest and fastest passenger liner ever built in the United States. Launched in 1952, it was billed as the most modern and luxurious ship in service on the North Atlantic. This plate was one of the 125,000 pieces of chinaware supplied to the ship by the United States Lines. The china—a pattern featuring a ring of gray stars—was produced by Lamberton Sterling, an American manufacturer.

There were plenty of choices for dessert aboard the SS United States. Menus from a December 1954 voyage—the first taken by the Duke and Duchess of Windsor on an American vessel—reveal a combination of American favorites and fancy confections inspired by the French. For dinner on December 10, passengers enjoyed Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake, and Peach Melba, as well as Meringue Glace au Chocolat, Frangipan, and Petits Fours. For luncheon the next day, the choices ranged from Green Apple or Blueberry Pie to Biscuit Glace and Chocolate Éclairs.

ID Number:
Lamberton Sterling
1/4 in x 6.5 cm; .635 cm x 2 9/16 in
Transfer from US Department of Commerce, Maritime Administration (through R. J. Blackwell)

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