1929 AN UPPER CLASS AFFAIR

Poem Describing the Online Brokerage on Berengaria

On August 16, 1929, Cunardís luxury liner The Berengaria became one of the first transatlantic ships to offer on board brokerage trading. This poem describes what it was like to be on the brokerage on board and was published in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, and later the Literary Digest August 31, 1929. It is eerily prescient to what happened during the Stock Market Crash of 1929 onboard the ship during its Southampton to New York City voyage that included cosmetics giant Helena Rubinstein and many other millionaire investors.


We were crowded in the cabin
Watching figures on the Board;
It was midnight on the ocean
And a tempest loudly roared. 

We were watching the quotations
With a certain sad appeal:
Some were short in General Motors,
Some were long on U.S. Steel.

And, timidly a tourist
Took a chance on twenty shares --
"We are lost!" the Captain shouted,
As he staggered down the stairs.

"I've got a tip," he faltered,
"Straight by wireless from the aunt
Of a fellow who's related
To a cousin of Durant."

At these awful words we shuddered,
And the stoutest bull grew sick
While the brokers cried, "More margin!"
And the ticker ceased to tick.

But the captain's little daughter
Said, "I do not understand --
Isn't Morgan on the ocean
Just the same as on the land?"


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