Souvenir of our Famous Cruise Around the World.
1909 (undated) 19.5 x 19.5 in (49.53 x 49.53 cm)
1 : 137500000
This is a rare commemorative c. 1909 handkerchief celebrating the 1907 - 1909 World Cruise of the 'Great White Fleet.' Inaugurated under president Theodore Roosevelt, the 'Great White Fleet' was an American naval review in the form of a world cruise. It consisted of 16 battleships divided into two squadrons, along with various escorts. The review was intended to demonstrate American naval power and deep-water naval capacity. It is considered a significant episode in the emergence of the United States as a world power. Roosevelt himself considered it one of his greatest accomplishments as president.
The term 'White Fleet' refers to the stark white paint on the ship's hulls, leading to a particularly striking appearance. The fleet traveled from Hampton Roads, Virginia, around South America to San Francisco, the west across the pacific to New Zealand, Australia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, and India, before rounding the Horn of Africa and passing though the Red Sea, Suez Canal, and Mediterranean, stopping at Gibraltar, before returning across the Atlantic.
The present souvenir, in the form of a silk scarf or bandana, consists a world maps surrounded by sixteen lifesavers, each representing one of the battleships assigned to the review. Six photographs are also included, among them Theodore Roosevelt and the admirals in chart of the fleets.
Good. A few minor splits, reinforced on verso. Fabric fragile and brittle. Evenly toned.