The Smithsonians maritime collections contain many objects relating to the steamship Leviathan, the largest American passenger ship of the 1920s and 1930s. While by far the showiest of these objects is the nine-foot model displayed for many years at the United States Lines headquarters in New York City, most are small mementos originally preserved by passengers and crew to remember their experiences aboard.
Most of the Smithsonians Leviathan
collection was donated to the Institution by historian and collector Frank Braynard. A lifelong ocean-liner enthusiast, Braynard has devoted decades to researching the ship. Along the way, he has met dozens of people with Leviathan
connections, many of whom have shared both their stories and their keepsakes with him. His labors led him to amass the largest collection of Leviathan
memorabilia in existence and to create his astonishing and expansive six-volume history of the ship, published between 1972 and 1983.