GEORGE ROSENSHINE AND GERTRUDE MAYBELLE THORNE


Two first-class passengers on Titanic were George Rosenshine and Gertrude Maybelle Thorne of New York City.  Rosenshine’s name was never listed on the Titanic manifest because he and Maybelle were traveling as a married couple under the names of Mr. and Mrs. George Thorne!

George Rosenshine was part owner in Rosenshine Brothers, Inc., a mercantile importing firm that specialized in exotic materials such as ostrich feathers.  When the company closed in 1911, George took his share of the business and set off on an around the world tour with Maybelle by his side.

In October and November, 1911, George and Maybelle were in Japan, planning to continue their holiday and business trip to China, India, the Middle East and finally home.  In a flurry of activity to see the sites of Japan, they traveled to a number of cities while planning their itinerary to the Middle East through Thomas Cook & Son.  This travel agency with offices around the world could arrange travel by ship, car, or railway, with accompanying guides for an all-inclusive fee.

During this time, the Thornes stayed at some of the most exclusive hotels in Japan.  They marveled at the temples, hot springs, and landscapes in Yokohama, a major port city, where they were guests at The Grand Hotel, built in 1873. Later, they traveled to Kyoto and stayed at the Kyoto Hotel.   Here, the Thornes would have experienced the sights and sounds of the imperial capital. – palaces, pavilions, geisha dances, tea ceremonies, and the beautiful Buddhist and Shinto shrines.

Eventually, they headed south to Kobe in preparation for their departure to the Middle East.  In Kobe, they enjoyed the accommodations at the famous Oriental Hotel.  Established in the 1870s in the foreign settlement area of Kobe, the Oriental Hotel was world-renowned for its excellent cuisine and its attention to comfort and civility. The Oriental Hotel remained one of the most famous hotels in the world until it was all but destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 1995.

Although George did not tell his brothers the name of his traveling companion, he wrote home to that he was having ‘the time of his life.”

From November 1 -13, preparations were made for shipping and storing personal items as well as purchases acquired in Japan.  A new journey was about to begin.  On November 15, 1911, guided by the Thomas Cook & Son itinerary, George and Maybelle boarded a ship in Kobe, Japan, for Shanghai and Hong Kong.