Take, for example, today. I came across a site where you could look up the passenger lists of emigration ships of the nineteenth and early twentieth century. I tested it out with one of Isobel's uncles (Samuel Usher) who we knew had emigrated to Canada as a young man. I eventually tracked him down, on board the White Star Liner "Doric" bound for Montreal, Canada from Liverpool in August 1923. Then - in the best traditions of a good wanderer - my focus of interest shifted to the ship itself. I managed to find a postcard depicting the ship and it looks quite magnificent. Furthermore, I discovered that when Uncle Sam travelled on it, it was only a few months old - its maiden voyage was June 1923. Even the history of the ship is fascinating. Here I am quoting from a wonderful site called lostliners.com
WHITE STAR LINER : DORIC
Built by: Harland & Wolffe
Year Built: 1923
Length: 576 Ft
Width: 68 Ft
Displacement: 16,484 Gr Tons
Propulsion: Steam Turbines - Twin Screw
Passenger Capacity: 2,300 600 Cabin Class 1700 Third Class
Oil-burning single-reduction-geared turbines geared to twin screws gave Doric a top speed of 15 knots, making her rather slow. Following the drop in passenger travel during the Depression years of the early 30's, Doric was refit for cruising in 1932. In September 1935 while returning from a Mediterranean cruise, she collided off the Atlantic coast of Portugal with the French cargo ship Formigny and was severely damaged below the waterline. Passengers were offloaded onto the P&O liners Orion and Viceroy of India. Doric's crew managed to get her to Vigo where temporary repairs were made. She then sailed for Tilbury where it was determined she was worth more as scrap, as the cost of repairing her was exorbitant. So ended her life at sea.
Now, you must admit, that's far more interesting than wrapping Christmas presents.