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Popular Culture: Discovering the Teenagers

Popular Culture: Discovering the Teenagers

Until 1950 the term teenagers had never before been coined. The word “teenage” had first appeared in the popular press in the 1920s, but the idea that there was a time of life between childhood and adulthood that could be isolated, and that had its own peculiar characteristics, belongs largely to the 1950s. Children were known as girls and boys were known as youths once they displayed signs of puberty. Then young people were grown up at 18 and fully adult legally at 21 when they often married and set up a home of their own, even if it was a rented room.

The long-established belief had been that people remained children until they suddenly became adults; this conviction lost its hold partly because of social changes, partly as a result of the flourishing postwar consumer economy.

What has been called the “self-conscious subculture” of the young developed during the 1920s and 1930s as a largely urban white middle-class response to the increasing leisure opportunities afforded by changing social attitudes. After World War II the extra years spent in education both broadened the base of the group and gave it a clearer sense of identity. The economy started booming and families experienced a great deal of economic power freedom and independence, including teenagers.

At the same time, teenagers in work (many of them working-class) found that increases in spending power and in leisure time enabled them to move to a position where they could both assert their independenee and be courted by leading representatives of entrepreneurial America. Ironically, while teenagers were more open than ever before to market influences, they were frequently hostile to the adult culture of which the market was a part.

Teenagers were also becoming more independent in the type of music they preferred to listen to, no more listening to what their parents liked, teens flocked to the new music of the decade, which was rock and roll. Even though teens were able to purchase rock and roll records because they were receiving extra spending money, their parents were opposed to rock and roll music, they despised it, and thought of it as corrupting their children.

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Focusing on San Francisco

Focusing on San Francisco

Take in the sights… and take home your best pictures ever. Go ahead, leave your heart. You can’t help leaving a piece of it, anyway. It will get lost in the crowded, bustling streets of Chinatown, the picturesque Victorian “painted ladies,” the vast green expanse of Golden Gate Park.

San Francisco is a photographer’s paradise, with its endless array of impossible-seeming angles, ever-changing show of light and shadow and treasure trove of old and new architecture. It is also a city that will make a photographer out of the uninitiated – one simply must capture a part of San Francisco.

Reduce the country’s most beautiful city to a mere few images? Impossible. But for starters, here are a few favorite shots from photographer J’vIark E. Gibson-who’s lucky enough to make a living at it. Gibson has been using Canon equipment for 22 years. “It’s performed extremely well for me-I’ve never been tempted to switch,” notes Gibson.

Cable Cars… Poetry in Motion

They are the only National Historic Landmarks that move-and perhaps the single most recognizable icon of the City by the Bay. The cable car system represents the charming contradictions of San Francisco at its best: functional frivolity, 120-year-old remnants of the old world stubbornly and happily bustling along with the new. Adventurers can still ride along on the outside-just hold on tight around those curvy streets and plunging hillsides.

Focusing on San Francisco

California Street, at the crest of Nob Hill

Gibson explains, “The perspective is from the top of Nob Hill, looking downtown. From here, you can get a great front end view, because tbe cable car runs up and down California. And, if you’re at tbe right cross streets, you can get wonderful sideviews of other moving cars, or people getting on and off. In the background, tbe view stretches all the way downtown, and beyond to the towers of the Bay Bridge. It’s a fantastic mixture of visual elements.”

According to Gibson, time of day is important for this shot. It’s best with good frontal lighting, so make sure the sun is behind you.

Fisherman’s Wharf… The Fabled Dock of the Bay

The pungent aroma of fresh seafood and the irrepressible pulse of seafaring commerce beckon us to discover the sights and sounds of the incomparable Fisherman’s Wharf. The Wharf draws in 87 percent of San Francisco’s visitors-unquestionably its perennial catch of the day. Enjoy the teeming humanity right along with the succulent crab, shrimp and fresh sourdough, as you stroll through the waterfront marketplace. But calm tranquillity is always as near as the water’s edge, where colorful fishing boats punctuate the horizon.

Docked fishing boats

“The vantage point of this shot is from the pier, approximately eight feet above the water. This tight close up shot emphasizes the repetitive pattern of the fishing vessels. Use a slow shutter speed and a tripod or pier railing to prevent camera movement and to get a clear sharp-focused shot,” advises Gibson.

Golden Gate Bridge… Gates of Heaven

“I don’t know who decided to paint it orange, but God bless them,” declared the author Susan Cheever, speaking of the Golden Gate Bridge. And whether it provides your doorway into the great city or your conduit to the neighborly delights of Sausalito and Marin County, the sight of its 4,200 foot expanse at sunset is not one you’re likely to forget. But bring your camera just in case.

From north of the Bridge-Marin headlands road

“Drive across the bridge and get on the elevated road that goes along the Marin headlands shoreline,” says Gibson. “As you drive west along that road, looking back you can find a spot on the road where you align the north pair of towers of the Golden Gate Bridge with downtown San Francisco-it’s a great shot with the bridge in the foreground and the skyline behind it. You can get a detail of the Bridge tower with the Bank of America and the Transamerica Pyramid behind it. It’s a very popular shot for people who want both elements.”

When conversing with Mark Gibson about shooting San Francisco, his excited reverence is irrepressible. “Visually, this is an incredibly rich place. There is such variety, with the hills and the water, the bridges and the architecture. And the lighting is phenomenal-fog, clouds and clear blue skies in rapid succession. There’s always another perspective. How could anyone get tired of it?” Here are a few tips for shooting in San Francisco:

Don’t let San Francisco’s trademark fog make you camera-shy. It can add a dramatic mood to your shots, but use a fast film for clarity. When photographing a moving cable car-or from a moving cable car-be sure you’re holding the camera steady and press the shutter release gently.

Here on the Marina Yacht Harbor jetty at the foot of Baker Street, our feathered friend offers a slightly different angle of a familiar landmark: the majestic Golden Gate Bridge.

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Popular Culture: Evolution of Fashion Styles

Popular Culture: Evolution of Fashion Styles

Fashion is how we express our identitites. Fashion not only highlights the social history and the needs of women, but also the overall cultural aesthetic of the various periods. The evolution of fashion dates back to several hundred years and as our attitude and culture change, fashion comes along with it.

In the 1950s reconstruction in Europe and the boom brought about by the Korean war boosted the fashion industries of the capitalist world. There exists a great evolution through the fashion of the 40s to the 50s, and it involves different ideologies, dress trends, shoes and hairstyles.

Cheap, mass-produced clothes that closely followed prevailing fashions were more widely available than ever before. For the first time in this early postwar period all classes had access to clothes in up-to-date styles. Until the 1930s the poor and the old had tended to wear clothes in styles long out of fashion, either from choice or by necessity, but now even they were incorporated into the language of style.

The 50s were the shirtwaist era, when the rock and roll causes a change in the fashion. This era was represented perfectly at Grease movie, when we can see the different fashions between the social groups. The women used crinolines and shirtwaists. Men used jackets and blue jeans, with grease in their hair. And women used the hair over the shoulders.

The huge success of the New Look, and the stringent attempts of Dior and his contemporaries to lirnit the pirating of their fashion designs and take advantage of worldwide licensed copying and the adaptation of their creations for the mass market, led to an awareness of the news value of fashion. The evolution of styles was now dramatized so that each season was to have its own “look” or “line”. it had been possible to present the New Look as a revolution because of the hiatus of the war; henceforward dress designers sought to repeat this miracle in the molding of popular taste.

In the 1950s every season’s new line was frontpage news and most newsworthy of all was the length of the hemline. The height of the hemline was alýnost bound to be an easily changed variant of fashion when neither full-Iength skirts nor trousers were a serious option. Couturiers emphasized variations in eut and length and sought to encourage the association of fashion with exelusivity.

Parisian fashion in particular was promoted on the basis that it sold to the French aristocracy, to international royalty (women such as Queen Soraya of Iran) and pseudo-royalty Jackie Kennedy was a great fan of Pierre Cardin and Chanel). These clients were even more prestigious than internationally famous actresses and film stars, though they too used to publicize their favored couturiers- Audrey Hepburn, for example, whose sIender figure and waif-like face fixed the gamine look for the decade, was often dressed by Givenchy. Her appearance in his clothes in popular movies such as Funny Face (1957) gave them even more powerful publicity than they received from Vogue and other magazines.

The 60s were the time of a revolution. The hippie clothes, psychedelic ones, and groovy elements were fashionable. The hippies used a natural or ethnic style, love-ins, flowers, and free-flowing hairstyles.

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1950’s Cars: Dream Machines

1950's Cars: Dream Machines

With the return of prosperity in the early 1920’s, the American automobile industry came into its own as the nation’s largest manufacturing enterprise. Production of motor vehicles climbed from 2,227,349 in 1920 to a phenomenal high of 5,337,687 in 1929, a figure not surpassed for another 20 years. By 1929, there was one automobile on the highway for every six people in the United States, and Herbert Hoover’s campaign slogan of “two cars in every garage” was by no means as ridiculous as it was made out to be by subsequent critics.

Much of the economic expansion of the period, in fact, was a direct consequence of the rise of the motor vehicle. The production and the operation of automobiles absorbed 20% of the country’s annual steel output, 90% of its gasoline, 80% of its rubber, and 75% of its plate glass. Moreover, as millions of Americans became automobile owners, they demanded better roads.

The Federal Highways Act of 1921 and the dedication of the Zero milestone in Washington a year later, a ceremony at which Roy D. Chapin was appropriately one of the principal speakers, signaled the launching of a vast program of road building by both Federal and state authorities. The automobile also brought with it a substantial new area of service occupations: dealers and repair shops, filling stations and tourist camps.

1950's Cars: Dream Machines

The effect of the automobile on recreational habits was often decried in the 1930’s: the substitution of a passive amusement for something more active; standardization and regimentation; the moral problem of the parked sedan and roadside tourist camp. The Sunday-afternoon drive was devastatingly described — the crowded highways, traffic jams, and accidents; the car windows tightly closed against spring breezes; and whatever beauties the landscape might offer lying hidden behind forbidding lines of advertisements. “One arrives after a motor journey,” one eminent sociologist wrote, “all liver and no legs; one’s mind is asleep, one’s body tired; one is bored, irritable, and listless. But what such critics forgot was that the great majority of Sunday and holiday motorists, or even vacation tourists, would have been cooped up in crowded towns and cities except for the automobile.

The country they saw may at times have been almost blotted out by billboards and the air they breathed tainted by gasoline fumes. But the alternative in many cases would have been the movie, the dance-hall, or the beer-parlor. The steamboat and the railroad began a century ago to open up the world of travel and provide some means of holiday escape from one’s immediate enviromnent, but until the coming of the automobile, recreation along these lines was a rare thing. The wealthy could make the fashionable tour in 1825, the well-to-do built up the summer resorts of the 1890’s, but every Tom, Dick, and Harry toured the country in the 1930’s — thanks to the automobile.

By the early 1950s, brightly polished chrome on bumpers, door handles, headlight surrounds and body trim had become the main means through which automobiles expressed more than their mere utility functions. Their bulbous pressed steel bodies provided a canvas upon which all sorts of imaginative delights could be portrayed.

While it was a highly capital-intensive exereise to modify the shell itself, it was relatively cheap to vary the amount of chrome detailing in order to provide a range of differently priced models. The fact that General Motors soId automobiles under a range of different brand names – Cadillac, Pontiac, Buick, Chevrolet and OIdsmobile, each aimed at a different sector of the market – meant that it could simultaneously standardize the production of major components and provide different models through varied body decoration.

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Coca Cola: The Real Thing

Coca Cola: The Real Thing

Coca-Cola is an all-American product and its Classic Coca-Cola beverage recipe has withstood the tests of time, even shaking off efforts to make an improved “New Coke” formula. The American public wasn’t having any of it. “Classic is better” and “Keep the original” were cries that could be heard from across the country, as well as around the world.

In the vortex of the 20th century’s constant change it has been a source of reassurance to find a new points of stability, a few commodities not subject to the whims of fashion and planned obsolescence. The red and white Coca-Cola logo is instantly recognizable, a guarantee of standardization and an emblem of the American Way of Life, as potent as the Stars and Stripes itself.

Coca-Cola was Coca-Cola was definitely an American original and the most widely distributed mass-produced item in America when World War II began and the war provided an opportunity to spread the product into Europe and Asia. Its standardization of experience is both what we admire about its production, and what we occasionally dread about its effects.

When European conservatives inveighed against the incursions of crass American values into their ancient cultures, the Coca-Cola logo epitomized all that they resented, and for the young the very act of drinking Coke became a minor form of rebellion against stifling tradition.

Coke’s advertising tells us this carbonated syrup “Is It,” although we have not been told what “It” is. The formula is a long-held, well-guarded secret, and so it should be, because the foaming dark brown liquid is an elixir: Coke “Adds Life”. These famous artists from every era have created timeless Coke images of refreshment we know and love. Old Coca Cola prints from the National Geographic magazine featured timeless Coca Cola ads on their back covers 7 months of the year since the 1930’s. Things, whatever things are, “Go Better” with it.

They always did: a 1905 ad declared it to be “a delightful palatable healthful beverage. It relieves fatigue and is indispensable for business and professional men, students, wheelmen and athletes.”

Such claims might be disputed, but not for the drink’s supreme claim, the perfect ad-line for the perfect product, that Coca-Cola is “the Real Thing”. This is a triumph of the American corporation and advertising industry. If Coke is the Real Thing, what can we possibly call artificial or fake?

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Route 66: Iconic Road from Los Angeles to Chicago

Route 66: Iconic Road from Los Angeles to Chicago

Route 66 that crosses through the western United States from Chicago to the location of Los Angeles is an iconic American highway.

The Mother Road, as it was referred to as has been the subject of songs (“Get your kicks on Route 66.”) The backdrop of quite a couple of movies, and even a component of a typical Disney movie (Cars.) Traveling Route 66 is really a dream for some Americans, rather. Here are some fundamental reasons and know why.

Route 66 was developed in 1925 when Congress decided to join many small roads between Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California. At that time, traveling by car was a brand new concept, so this concept has contributed to the evolution of U.S. highways. As soon as people began generating this trip, they leave places essential to eat, sleep and put gas in their car. Enter the lot of a now-famous stops along Route 66.

Motels actually got their start at this point in time. Travelers needed a place they could drive right up to rent a room to rest before continuing their journey. Not surprisingly, some motels were much more elaborate than others. The Wigwam Motel in San Bernardino, California, and Holbrook, Arizona are some of the most famous and well known to date.

Diners also became popular and necessary along the Mother Road. Travelers need to eat, so people started providing fast and cost restaurants that provided standards like fried catfish, fries, chili, chicken pies and milkshakes. The 66 Diner in Albuquerque, NM is an example of a dinner that provides the food in a style similar to what was available in the early days of Route 66.

Traveling Route 66 also required an approach to fill the gas tank of the car. For this reason, the home based business gas station exploded from the start. Although the stations used to be necessary in a city, now people now, these days producing long trips needed a chance on a typical gas, which provided a lucrative opportunity organization for men and women who lived near Highway 66.

Unfortunately, today much of the Route 66 passes through the invisible travelers because of the motorway program. Route 40 was built to cover about the exact route west along Route 66. This caused the closure of many stores of the diners and motels that were once very busy. While Route 66 fans can still travel over the road, however. It really is an exceptional method to see America in a multi destination path that takes you through the perspective of the first passenger car.

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Popular Culture: Drive-in Theatres

Popular Culture: Drive-in Theatres

While many movie theaters in small American towns closed in the 1950s, an equal number of a new kind of theater, which recognized the supremacy of the automobile in American life, opened up.

In the 1920s concerned parents had been anxious about the effects of automobiles and movies on their children’s morals; their grandchildren could now combine these menaces to their moral welfare at the drive-in.

The first drive-in movie theater opened in 1933, but they mushroomed in the decade after World War II. By 1956 there were 4,200 drive-ins, earning nearly a quarter of total box-office receipts.

They were promoted as “the answer to the family’s night out”; a way for married couples to avoid the expense of baby-sitters, but their real attraction was to the youth market, where teenagers could escape parental supervision.

The drive-in market encouraged a new kind of filmmaking, pioneered by Columbia producer Sam Katzman and American International Pictures (AlP). Discarding conventional formulas such as the Western, they geared their films solely for the teenage market, hooking a story on to any gimmick they could think of.

Popular Culture: Drive-in Theatres

The success of Rock Around the Clock in 1956, and the cycle of rock ‘n’ roll movies that followed made it clear that “teenpics” could reap huge profits even. If they pointedly excluded an older audience. These mainstream productions spawned imitations, such as Teenage Crime Wave (1955) and Hot Rod Rumble (1957).

The other major “teenpic” genre was the horror film: low-budget “exploitation” movies (so-called because their ‘publicity budgets were higher than their production costs), with titles like I Married a Monster from Outer Space (1958) were pumped out to provide the material for the double and triple-bills at the drive-ins.

Teenagers liked double-bills for the simple reason that they lasted longer – especially when offered on “midnite matinees”. Few of these movies shared classical Hollywood’s concern with tightly constructed narrative.

Instead, their emphasis on spectacle implicitly recognized that the audience might have other things to do than just watch the film. By 1960 the established industry had learnt at least some of the lessons of exploitation producers, and were successfully producing material for the teenage market.

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The Real Story of Rosie the Riveter

The Real Story of Rosie the Riveter

Until World War II, the automobile industry has been a predominantly male bastion. But with so many men called to serve, more women than ever looking for employment. While their fathers, son, husband and friends fought in Europe and Asia, women served the war effort right at home by filling quickly and competently.

In 1943, two years after the U.S. entered the war, more than 30 percent of Ford workers in the machining and assembly departments were women. Women built jeeps, aircraft B-24, and tractors. They even flew planes, becoming test pilots of the B-24 that were built for the war effort. They operated drills, welding tools, heavy machinery and casting as Rose-Monroe-riveting guns.

The term “Rosie the Riveter” was first used in 1942 in a song recorded by the conductor popular Kay Kyser large, which becomes a national hit. The song depicts “Rosie” as a line worker tirelessly, doing his part to help the American war effort. Although the song was inspired by Rosalind P. Walter, Rosie the Riveter became more closely associated with another real woman, Rose Monroe, Michigan, who moved to the Second World War. Rose Monroe was left a widow with two young children after her husband was killed in a car accident. Like millions of other women in America, she joined the staff to respond to a call to arms and to support his family.

The Real Story of Rosie the Riveter

She worked as a riveter at the Willow Run Aircraft Factory in Ypsilanti, Michigan, building B-29 and B-24 bombers for the U.S. Air Forces of the Army. Because Monroe happened to best fit the description of the worker described in the “Rosie the Rivert” song, she asked to star in a promotional film about the war effort at home. Rosie went on to become perhaps the most widely recognized icon of that era. The films and posters she appeared in were used to encourage women to go to work to support the war effort.

When the war ended, and his wife Rose Monroe colleagues in times of war were sent home for returning soldiers could return to work before the war. But women had made their point, and had changed the American workplace forever. Monroe has realized his dream of piloting a plane when she was in her 50.

After the war was over, gender was added to the non-discrimination clause in the contract between the company and the UAW in 1946, another indication of the changing times and the impact that “Rosie the Riveter “had on industrial production at Ford Motor Company and elsewhere. In the decades that followed, the law caught up with the changes, and more women have taken their rightful place in the boardroom and on the factory floor.

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Understanding the Leadership of Joseph Stalin

Understanding the Leadership of Joseph Stalin

As ruler of the USSR. from 1929 to 1953, Joseph Stalin was in charge of Soviet policies during the early phase of the Cold War. Born Iosif Vissarionovich Dzhugashvili on December 21, 1879, he adopted the name Stalin, which means “Man of Steel,” while still a young revolutionary.

Stalin first rose to power in 1922 as secretary general of the Communist Party. Using administrative skills and ruthless maneuvering, Stalin rid himself of all potential rivals in the party, first by having many of them condemned as “deviationists,” and later by ordering them executed.

To ensure his position and to push forward “socialism in one country,” he put the Soviet Union on a course of crash collectivization and industrialization. An estimated 25 million farmers were forced onto state farms. Collectivization alone killed as many as 14.5 million people, and Soviet agricultural output was reduced by 25 percent, according to some estimates.

In the 1930s, Stalin launched his Great Purge, ridding the Communist Party of all the people who had brought him to power. Soviet nuclear physicist and academician Andrei Sakharov estimated that more than 1.2 million party members — more than half the party — were arrested between 1936 and 1939, of which 600,000 died by torture, execution or perished in the Gulag.

Stalin also purged the military leadership, executing a large percentage of the officer corps and leaving the U.S.S.R. unprepared when World War II broke out. In an effort to avoid war with Germany, Stalin agreed to a non-aggression pact with German leader Adolf Hitler in August 1939.

When Hitler invaded the U.S.S.R. on June 22, 1941, Stalin was not seen or heard from for two weeks. After addressing the nation two weeks later, Stalin took command of his troops.

With the Soviet Union initially carrying the burden of the fighting, Stalin met with British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Tehran (1943) and Yalta (1945), and with Churchill and Roosevelt’s successor, President Harry S. Truman, in Potsdam (1945), dividing the postwar world into “spheres of influence.”

Though the U.S.S.R. only joined the war against Japan in August 1945, Stalin insisted on expanding Soviet influence into Asia, namely the Kurile Islands, the southern half of Sakhalin Island and the northern section of Korea. More important, Stalin wanted to secure a territorial buffer zone that had ideologically friendly regimes along the U.S.S.R.’s western borders.

In the wake of the German defeat, the U.S.S.R. occupied most of the countries in Eastern Europe and eventually ensured the installation of Stalinist regimes. Stalin said later to Milovan Djilas, a leading Yugoslav communist, “Whoever occupies a territory also imposes his own social system.” He believed that the Americans and the British “imperialism” would clash and eventually “socialism” would triumph.

After initially approving the participation by Eastern European countries in the U.S.-sponsored Marshall Plan (1947), Stalin forbade it. Stalin also sought to gain influence in Germany, though his exact goals remain controversial. Denied access to the western German occupation zones, he agreed to the establishment of the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in October 1949.

Encouraged by Communist victory in the Chinese Civil War and the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in October 1949, Stalin gave the green light to North Korean leader Kim Il Sung to attack South Korea in June 1950.

His confrontational foreign policy and his domestic terror regime (the “Stalinist system”) had an impact on Soviet society and politics well beyond the dictator’s death of natural causes at age 73 on March 5, 1953.

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All About Orient Express

Orient Express Vintage Poster print
Orient Express Vintage Poster by willie50
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The Orient Express was the name of a long-distance passenger train service created in 1883 by Compagnie Internationale des Wagons-Lits (CIWL). The route and rolling stock of the Orient Express changed many times. Several routes in the past concurrently used the Orient Express name, or slight variants thereof. Although the original Orient Express was simply a normal international railway service, the name has become synonymous with intrigue and luxury travel. The two city names most prominently associated with the Orient Express are Paris and Constantinople (Istanbul), the original endpoints of the timetabled service.

The Orient Express was a showcase of luxury and comfort at a time when travelling was still rough and dangerous. CIWL soon developed a dense network of luxury trains all over Europe, whose names are still remembered today and associated with the art of luxury travel – the Blue Train, the Golden Arrow, North Express and many more.

All About Orient Express

In 1977, the Orient Express stopped serving Istanbul. Its immediate successor, a through overnight service from Paris to Vienna, ran for the last time from Paris on Friday, June 8, 2007. After this, the route, still called the “Orient Express”, was shortened to start from Strasbourg instead, occasioned by the inauguration of the LGV Est which affords much shorter travel times from Paris to Strasbourg. The new curtailed service left Strasbourg at 22:20 daily, shortly after the arrival of a TGV from Paris, and was attached at Karlsruhe to the overnight sleeper service from Amsterdam to Vienna.

On 14 December 2009, the Orient Express ceased to operate and the route disappeared from European railway timetables, reportedly a “victim of high-speed trains and cut-rate airlines”. The Venice-Simplon Orient Express train, a private venture by Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. using original CIWL carriages from the 1920s and 30s, continues to run from London to Venice and to other destinations in Europe, including the original route from Paris to Istanbul. In March 2014 Orient-Express Hotels Ltd. was renamed Belmond.

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