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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

WOODIN | Will's Daughter Libby — Beautiful and Talented

Detail of portrait of Libby Woodin,
courtesy of the Woodin family.
Elizabeth Foster (Libby) Woodin of New York City and East Hampton and William Wallace Rowe (Harvard '20) of Cincinnati announced their betrothal in early April 1922. Then she went on a trip to Europe on the S.S. Paris.

A beautiful photo of Libby appears in a magazine and may be viewed with a Getty Images watermark on it here: http://bit.ly/2sjZP9H.

A detail of a portrait of her obtained from the Woodin family also shows her appeal.

Libby Woodin's father Will Woodin was in 1922 president of the American Car and Foundry Co. He accompanied his daughter on the trip. The wedding took place in 1923.


Gloria Swanson (L) and her
husband, the Marquis de la Falaise.
When the great American actress Gloria Swanson (1899–1983) went in 1925 to Paris with her husband, Marquis Henri de la Falaise  de la Coudraye, they chose the same ship.


Dining on the French ocean liner S.S.Paris was the height of luxury. The staterooms were supremely comfortable. The French Line brochures advertised its ships as morceaux flottantes de France, "floating pieces of France."

The S.S. Paris cuisine was so haute that an extra cadre of sea gulls followed it for scraps. The ship had more followers than any other. The French Line's success took off when a third ship joined the relay: the Île de France.

The S.S. Paris was laid down in 1913 at Saint-Nazaire, France for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique. The builder was Chantiers de l'Atlantique of St. Nazaire. The ship's launching was delayed by the war until 1916, and it was not fully completed until 1921 because of wartime priorities and then postwar scarcities. When the “Paris” was finally completed, it was the largest liner under the French flag, at 34,569 tons. A short (2.5 minute) YouTube video shows the “Paris” in operation, 1921-39— https://youtu.be/u3853AWYAaU.


The end of the S.S. Paris was as spectacular as its commencement and life. The tragic burning and sinking of the ship in its LeHavre dock in April 1939 is shown in a shorter (1.5 minute) video — https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98At2ve0BFU.


(This post will be incorporated into a soon-to-be published book about Will Woodin and his children.)