THE BLUE RIBAND BLOG

Guernsey's Arlan Ettinger Donates an Exceptional Item to Our Collection

In addition to saving the physical vessel that is America's Flagship, the SS United States Conservancy is also committed to preserving the legacy of this iconic and unforgettable ship. Part of that mission includes acquiring items from and related to the SS United States and United States Lines.

To that end, the Conservancy is excited to announce the donation of an exceptional artifact — a monumental stationary bike odometer from the SS United States’ gymnasium — to our growing collection.

We are deeply grateful to Arlan Ettinger for his generous gift, which continues his long commitment to preserving the legacy of America’s Flagship. Ettinger is the co-founder of Guernsey’s, which is one of the world's premier auction houses. In 1984, Guernsey's managed a major auction of the SS United States' interiors, furnishings and furniture for United States Cruises, Inc, which owned the vessel and planned to restore it as a luxury cruise ship. The auction in Norfolk, VA, stands as the largest auction in world history.

The stationary bike odometer donated by Arlan Ettinger.

Photo courtesy of Guernsey's.

Mr. Ettinger liked the odometer so much that he purchased it himself! Connected to the ship’s sleek stationary bikes on C deck, the odometer let fitness-minded passengers track the distance they had pedaled and celebrated every quarter of a mile with the ringing of a bell.

Regarding his recent generous donation, Ettinger said:

"I am pleased to donate this special item to the SS United States Conservancy for eventual display aboard the refurbished vessel. As expressed in the original Guersey's auction catalogue, every object from the SS United States 'encompasses a portion of American culture, a sample of American ingenuity and a bit of American history.' I am honored to be able to return this artifact to this unique, all-American ship."

We look forward to the day when, thanks to Arlan Ettinger’s generosity, the odometer can be displayed in a shipboard museum on the restored SS United States.

The Conservancy's curatorial collections continue to expand, thanks to our generous supporters and donors, ensuring that the unique history of the SS United States will never be forgotten. Do you own artwork, objects or photographs from America's Flagship? Reach out to us at archives@ssusc.org.

#curatorial #auction #donation #history #maritimehistory

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