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  #16  
Old 15-02-18, 08:17 PM
Paul Spellman Paul Spellman is offline
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Hi Steve,
I’ve seen similar to these to other ships of the White Star Line and Cunard line, one was described as a cap tally for its maiden voyage although I’m not sure how accurate that is, the Maritime Museum in Liverpool has I’m sure a permanent display to the Lusitania, it may be worth dropping them an email.
Paul
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  #17  
Old 15-02-18, 09:31 PM
arrestingu arrestingu is offline
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Thanks Paul , are you at Birmingham Sunday ? If so will see you there mate
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  #18  
Old 15-02-18, 10:32 PM
Paul Spellman Paul Spellman is offline
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Iíll be there Steve, looking forward to seeing you.
Paul
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  #19  
Old 16-02-18, 08:49 AM
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Frank Kelley Frank Kelley is offline
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That was certainly my belief too, I have always thought that the ships crew simply wore a Cunard tally in 1915!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Buttonman View Post
This one may be of interest as it is similar. I always understood that they were souvenir items that could be bought on the relevant ship.

David.
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  #20  
Old 17-02-18, 08:42 AM
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Guzzman Guzzman is offline
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Default Original Lusitania cap tally

I have been following this debate with great interest as it is very similar to the debate that goes on with RN tally collectors over 'Royal Navy' tallys with a ships's name (including H.M.S.) but with an embroidered flag at either end. These are always for ships from approximately the same period (1900s) as your liner tallys.

There are some collectors who insist that these tallys were worn by naval ratings for special occasions such as Fleet Reviews. But there is no evidence whatsoever that this was the case. The most likely origin of these tallys was that they were produced as souvenirs for such occasions or were made for childrens sailor suits - very popular at the time.

I think that the tally you have was also made as a souvenir. By 1915 men dressed as seamen working for Cunard seem to have just worn a 'CUNARD' tally and the, admittedly few, pictures I have found seem to confirm this.

In addition I have never seen an example that seems to have been worn or one that is still tied. They all seem to be be intact full-length tallys. They may be slightly crumpled because of being stuck in a drawer for 90+ years but they never seem to have been used. The question was asked 'Why make full length tallys as souvenirs when you could just make shorter ones with the name and flags?' The answer is simple - because that is the way the manufacturers make them. Their machines are set-up to only produce full-length tallys. And, as was also pointed out, you can visit Portsmouth Historic Dockyard and purchase a pristine full-length H.M.S. VICTORY tally and it's the same if you visit H.M.S. BELFAST. They are produced as souvenirs.

It was said that if these tallys were produced as souvenirs why aren't there more of them about? Well there seem to quite a few examples on the internet and in various museums such as the maritime museum in Liverpool. Also it is now a hundred years since they were produced so just think how many have been destroyed in the intervening years. It's possible that they were also sold at the launching of these vessels so that people could have something to remember the day by. I have a cheap, printed lace handkerchief that was sold at the launching of H.M.S. Dreadnought for that very purpose.

It is more likely that they were sold on the ship, or at the port of embarkation, as souvenirs of the voyage. And yes, thousands of people travelled on these great liners but how many had the money to buy souvenirs? Certainly none of the many poorer passengers. And of those that could afford to buy them, how many would be interested enough to actually do it?

It was suggested that the flags were added to the tally to mark the two nations that the liner operated between and this is obviously the case. But to suggest that the flags were added to official tallys in the same way that a ship flys a courtesy flag when it enters a foreign port is, in my opinion, not really very likely.

What you have here are souvenir tallys, an idea which was very common and very popular at the time. Remember that at the time this was the greatest maritime nation in the world with the largest Navy and the largest Merchant Marine. People took an interest in affairs at sea (unlike today) and were keen to mark great events connected woth the Navy and shipping generally by the purchase of souvenirs. That does not detract from their value or interest as they were indeed connected with the ship but not worn by members of the crew. But still a great find!

Pete
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  #21  
Old 17-02-18, 11:28 AM
arrestingu arrestingu is offline
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Thank you to everyone for their individual opinions and valid input .
Obviously their is Nothing conclusive either way within the debate ,it is either a ships souverner or a worn hat tally.
I am sure the debate will always continue .
Probably worth further research , though photographic evidence is certainly limited .Thanks
Steve
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  #22  
Old 17-02-18, 01:11 PM
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High Wood High Wood is offline
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Steve,

despite all the debate about who did or didn't wear it, it is a wonderful, original piece of history. I would certainly like a similar one in my collection.

Simon
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