$ 695.00



$ 695.00
  • Description

German SS Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse 1900s Original Letter & Letterhead - $3,000.00 Appraisal Value!

A letter written from a mother to her daughter while she was sailing the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse, a German transatlantic ocean liner named after Wilhelm I, German Emperor, the first monarch of the German Empire. This ship gained the Blue Riband for Germany, a notable prize for the fastest crossing of the North Atlantic, east and westbound, which had been previously dominated by the British. Although it was a third-class ship for its final period of activity, the Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was considered prestigious because of its functionality. In 1908, German naval captains had been receiving orders to make preparations in the event of a sudden war. In fact, Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse was soon fitted with cannons and thus transformed into an auxiliary cruiser.
The letter is from the early 1900s. Written with pencil on paper. We can assume this is an American woman in Germany writing to her family - for it is unlikely in the 1900s that someone who is not from America would write in perfect english. What is worth mentioning about the letter is that it has a letterhead stamped from the ship itself, with the image of the Hamburg-Amerikan line flag and a text reading ‘An Bord des Dampfers,’ meaning on board the steamboat. The letter has 4 panels and two sides. This item is an impressive piece of American History and global history in general, as it refers to the history of immigration towards the United States. 

We believe that the following is a somewhat accurate transcription of the letter:
Dearest: this is the 10th day out and there is some possibility that we may arrive in three days! So far everything is alright - rather cold. A day or two ago we passed a four masted Norwegian bark very close and the lady beside me said “oh, i did not know that any vessel as small as that came way out here” (the bark was about 350 ft. long). A sailor was in the rigging and someone said “see the sailor in the strings”. Another one, “what do they come out here for - to fish?” There is great excitement when we pass a boat of any kind. A few days ago (page 2)the Kaiser WilheLM der Grosse went by. There is a dick boy who speaks some English, but he thinks we do not understand any German. But one of our ladies does understand it very well, and it happened to be she who asked him the name of the passing boat. He replied, “That is the Kaiser Wilhelm, the Big.” We had quite a laugh at her expense. Everything is dirty to the last degree. The waiters wipe the dishes on their travels, and I also saw one wipe his nose on the same towel. Of course you know I do not mind a little thing like that, but when I told Miss H. it was enough to make you have hysterics to see her face. We have had one (page 3)funeral on board, a poor immigrant woman who went to America last trip but had trachoma and was not allowed to land. She injured herself falling out of bed. She leaves four small children. We had two religious services yesterday, one in German beside the mass which they always have for the steerage. We have had one dance on deck, and progressive games in the dining room. There is a bass band concert at 10:00AM and another at 4:00 and an orchestral concert at 8:15. So we have a little variety. Also we have five meals a day. As I want to have this ready at the first landing palace, will finish and (page 4)post it. I hope there will be news from home awaiting me in Paris. Please thank Grace for her very sweet steamer letter and tell her that I will write her soon. Have you been a good girl and help mama Rosa all you can? I hope so and also hope that everything is going along all right. We are awfully disappointed because we will see so little of Paris- only one or two days at the most and there are other things that we could wish changed, but we must take things as they come. With much love to mama Lou and Grace, and blessings for my dear daughter. I am as ever, your loving mother.
(___)* Illegible content

This item will ship exactly as photographed in Very Fine Overall Condition. It also comes with:  
FREE $3,000.00 Certified Insurance Appraisal, &
Certificate of Authenticity!
This piece can be viewed at our Brand New gallery APR57 at 200 W 57th Street, New York, NY 10019. We ship anywhere around the world! This item is also available for local pickup at our gallery.
Appraisal Value: $3,000.00 
Our Price: $695.00

Specifications of Document


Family letter from SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse



In Reference, Relates To, And/Or Special Content:

Hamburg-Amerika Line, SS Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse


Circa 1900s


United States of America


Pencil on Paper (hand-written)


9" width x 7" height


Very Fine Overall Original Quality

Appraisal Value:

Comes with $3,000.00 Certified Insurance Appraisal Certificate



 The above item comes with a free certified insurance appraisal valued at $3,000.00
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