Bon Voyage Display at Duke & Winston

Nov 30th, 2012 by admin in Uncategorized

"Bon Voyage" display at the Duke & Winston showroom. Each signed copy is inscribed with the quote from London's "Punch" magazine

“After the loud and fantastic claims made in advance for the liner United States, it comes as something of a disappointment to find them all true.” -Punch, 1952

Seun Olubodun, founder of Philadelphia clothing company Duke & Winston, admires the style of the golden age of the transatlantic liner. The two inspirations for his line of t-shirts and traditional clothing are Winston Churchill and his English bulldog Duke.

Winston Churchill, a frequent ocean liner bon vivant, cabled a congratulatory note to Commodore Manning of the SS United States after the ship’s record-breaking 1952 maiden voyage. Yet Sir Winston never took a trip aboard the ship, preferring the traditionally British RMS Queen Mary and RMS Queen Elizabeth.

The ship did find some loyal British fans.  The SS United States was the favorite of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, who booked the same suite four times a year and traveled with over 80 pieces of luggage. As for dogs, the Windsors usually had two pugs in tow. The chief steward permitted the Windsors to keep the dogs in their suite rather than have them locked away in the ship’s kennels.

This display is in Duke & Winston’s showroom in Northern Liberties. The signed books are inscribed with the quote from the London humor magazine Punch.

Winston and Clementine Churchill salute the troops aboard the RMS "Queen Mary," 1943.

Winston and Clementine Churchill salute the troops aboard the RMS "Queen Mary," 1943.

Ever the bon vivant in peace time. Winston Churchill aboard the RMS "Queen Mary," c.1955.


Newsreel of Prime Minister Winston Churchill arriving back in England aboard the RMS Queen Mary, 1952.

The Duke and Duchess of Winsdor relaxing in the first class observation lounge of the SS "United States" in the 1960s. The former King of England was a big booster of the big American ship, and the United States Lines gave him and his wife special privileges: access to the otherwise off-limits bridge, a discount on their favorite first class suite, and a mind-boggling baggage allowance.

Duke & Winston is located at 633 North 2nd Street, Philadelphia, PA 19123. Phone: (267) 639-5594

No Comments