A Tribute to the Swedish American Line
The White Viking Fleet - 100 Year Anniversary 2015
25 Years on the Internet


Pier 97, W 57th Street
Where hundreds of thousands of Scandinavians entered America.

... and the Piers of Manhattan

Do you have memories of Pier 97 ?
email us: salship@yahoo.com

The terminal building, facing W 57th Street.

The Gripsholm of 1925 at Pier 97 in 1951.
Dawe collection.

The entrance to the terminal building, 1974 or 1975.
Contributed by Lars Johansson.

The Foot of West 57th St.
Photo by Lars Johansson April 24, 1974.

The entrance to Pier 97.
Photo by Karl Glimnell 1972-73.

West 57th St.
Photo by Karl Glimnell 1972-73.

Pier 97 in 1971. Picture taken from just outside I.J. Gonons General Merchandise, on W57th Street. On the opposite side of the street there was the taxi garage from which Robert De Niro took his car to the streets of New York in the movie “Taxi driver”.
Contributed by Hans "Hasse" Gustafsson.

Taxi Driver
In the movie Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro walks east on West 57th Street
after having been employed by the cab company. In the background,
there is a view of the front of the building on Pier 97, showing
the Swedish American Line sign.

Pier 97 Revisited

Gunnar Hallert, crew member on the Kungsholm in 1962 and 1965, has recently visited Manhattan and Pier 97 at the end of West 57th Street, where the SAL ships docked. The terminal buidling is no longer there, and the pier has since many years been used as a parking site for garbage trucks. It is going to be restored and will be used primarily for active recreation and historic ships. Unfortunately, the building on the pier will not be reconstructed.

The Hudson River Park Trust, a partnership between New York State and City is charged with the design, construction and operation of the five-mile Hudson River Park.

Read more here. Also read about the Friends of Hudson River Park.

Gunner Hallert at Pier 97 in 2009.
Mrs Birgitta Hallert at the foot of West 57th Street.

W 57th Street in 2009.

A Fire on Pier 97 in 2010

There are several video clips on Youtube of a
fire on Manhattan's Pier 97 in September, 2010.
There are video clips from both sides of the river.

Pier 97 and W 57th St in the 1960's.
From the Dawe collection

Kungsholm of 1953 at Pier 97.

Carl-Gustaf Edhardt has contributed this photo of Pier 97,
North River, at the end of West 57th Street in New York,
where the SAL ships docked.

Photo from the Dawe collection

Photo shot from the Gripsholm in June 1966.
Contributed by Ken Sandholm.

The Kungsholm of 1966 approaching Pier 97.
Photo from the Curt Dawe collection.

"Italia" of Home Lines, ex Kungsholm of 1928, here possibly in the mid-fifties.
Many thanks to Frank Scherer, Hamburg, and Örjan Slätte, Göteborg, for correctly identifying the ship.
From the Dawe collection

The Gripsholm of 1957.
From the Hemingstam collection

The Gripsholm of 1925 about to leave
Manhattan on July 2, 1937.

The Gripsholm of 1925 leaving
Manhattan on July 2, 1937.

Interior photo of the building on Pier 97 in 1931.
Source: "En Atlantresa" by Stellan Wulff, printed in 1931.

Inside the building on Pier 97 in the 1960's.
Photo contributed by Mr F. Storck Petersen.

View into the building from Kungsholm's deck during a departure in 1954.
Photo by Tage Hemingstam

Inside the terminal building at Pier 97.
Photo by Karl Glimnell 1972-73.

Inside the terminal building at Pier 97.
Photo by Karl Glimnell 1972-73.

Gripsholm at Pier 97.
Photo by Karl Glimnell 1972-73.

Crew members waving good-bye to the Kungsholm
on the final voyage from NYC
, to Newcastle, in 1975.
Photo by Sven-Olof Svensson


Miss Annica Sundberg (now Roussetos) of the SAL office in NYC
was a holder of a pier pass for official business on arrival day.
Contributed by Annica Roussetos

Eddie Flynn, Legendary Superintendent

Eddie Flynn was born on 59th Street and 10th Avenue, Hell's Kitchen, in 1913. He was an amateur boxing champion, served in the "Steveadore Battalion" during the invasion of Casablanca, and became superintendent on Pier 97 after WWII. He served on the pier for nearly three decades. Every time one of the SAL liners arrived, he bossed over 200 longshoremen, (deckmen, holdmen, and dockmen), unloading the cargo. He was well-known to thousands of Scandinavian passengers and crew.
Source: Nordstjernan, October 1962.

Click on the list to read the names.
From the Dawe collection.
Click on the list to read the names.

I worked on pier 97 for many years on ship stores loading provisions for both Gripsholm and Kungsholm. I remember a chief of stores called Blume, he would always take care of us, good man.
One time when I was working on deck we were loading cars and the superintendent Eddie Flynn was putting pressure on us so the ship could sail, so the dock crew took his car to the string piece where we loaded it and it was buried below decks, needless to say Flynn was fuming. Thanks for the pictures and the memories.

Information on ticket cover

Luggage tag to be used for embarkation.

When disembarking, each piece of luggage was to be marked with stickers displaying the first letter of the passenger's last name. The luggage would be carted ashore and placed in the building on Pier 97 beneath a sign with the corresponding letter, and the passengers would be able to find them. After customs inspection, porters would deliver the luggage to the passenger's limousine or taxi.


The Bus Stop Bar.
A popular meeting place for SAL crews on
W 57th Street, just above Pier 97.
Photo contributed by Roy Johansson

I.J Gonon's Store on W 57th Street

Ted Gonon, son of I.J. Gonon, and Audrey Brava, granddaughter of I.J. Gonon,
have contributed the following information, for which we all are extremly grateful.
It's like going back to the store on Manhattan.

I am the son of I.J. I go back to the Drottningholm. I came out of the US Navy in 1946 and closed the business in 1981, after the demise of transatlantic passenger vessels. Lots of fond memories - Chief Purser Curt Dawe, Evert Eriksson, Captain Henry Sölje, Carl Quant and many other crew members, like Bertil Anderberg from the Beauty Parlor on SAL Ships. He resides in Cedar Falls Iowa, owner of a chain of beauty parlors plus being a successful businessman. His business card shows the Gripsholm and the Kungsholm in lights at night in NY.
- Ted Gonon

My grandfather’s store was quite unusual. I used to love going there as a young girl with my parents because the store sold everything. It was always such a treat for us.

My grandfather came to this country at the age of 15 with his father. After 6 months, my great grandfather returned to Russia and left I.J. in the USA with some relatives.  In 1950, he went to Israel for the first time and met his brothers and sisters. There were 12 in all but some were killed by the Nazi’s.  He worked in the store on 57th St. and finally bought it.

My uncle eventually took it over when my grandfather retired. My grandfather remarried and moved to Florida.  He was a great man and loved by so many people. When sailors from The Andrea Doria came to NYC and my grandfather saw that they did not have winter coats he gave them coats. They were so grateful because they had no money at the time. My grandfather said that they could pay in the future when they had money. He was that kind of a man. He would do anything to help another person.
- Audrey Brava

You can send a greeting to Ted Gonon and Audrey Brava trough salship@yahoo.com

Crew member Armin Nerger:

I remember that we used to buy our clothes, jeans, underwear (Fruit of the Loom), socks, Samsonite suitcases at very low prices, just opposite Pier 97 in a large merchandise store, operated by I.J. Gonon, on 642 W 57th Street.
I still have my first Samsonite suitcase bought in 1970 with the SAL initials on. Also, I still use my money clip (a present from I.J.Gonon with a 1935 silver dollar).
Contributed by crew member Armin Nerger, Germany, Pastry Chef on the Gripsholm 1969-72.

Crew member Björn Wallde:

Memories of Pier 97? Sure.

Docked at the pier five times 1961-62 and once in 1966 on the Gripsholm. You had to walk through the huge hall/storage building to get to W57th St. You could feel the smell of coffee. There was a candy machine where I bought a Babe Ruth (10c?). Inside the building there were green Clark fork trucks driving around, that you had to watch out for. Out on W57th St., the West Side Elevated Highway (now gone) ran above your head. And wasn't there a TV studio with its audience lined up just outside the pier's exit? Yes, I'm looking up my map from 1961. One block away on the right, CBS. And there was a large site for garbage trucks nearby, back then just as today.

I also remember how we hung around on the forward deck and watched the embarking cruise passengers. There were gentlemen and blue haired ladies in their eighties, each one in their own black Cadillac, with chauffeurs in uniforms of varied color, cut and design. There was even one in a light grey uniform with riding boots and all. We almost stood at attention on the forward deck (though I hadn't served in the military yet).

I remember Gonon's store very well, plus the Morning Star Bar a few blocks up. It was still there as late as a few years ago. I had my first hamburger (two for 25c) at the Bus Stop Bar on December 21, 1961, at about 2 p.m.

Björn Wallde
GRIPSHOLM 1961-62 and 1966

Ps. I always go on about the first 10 minutes of Taxi Driver, for Pier 97's sake.
Check it out!

Gripsholm leaving for the West Indies, 1961
Photo:Björn Wallde

Shot from the Gripsholm, approx. December 21, 1961
Photo:Björn Wallde

Shot from the Gripsholm, approx. December 21, 1961
Photo:Björn Wallde

IRT Powerhouse - NYC landmark, still standing minus five smokestacks.
Shot from the Gripsholm, approx. December 21, 1961
Photo:Björn Wallde

The view from Pier 97 in 1970.
Photo by Karl Glimnell.

The surrounding area in the 1950's.
The French Line pier on the far right.
Photos by Benny Doverhagen


Porthole view from Gripsholm's arrival in NYC, September 5, 1954.
Photo by Tage Hemingstam

Approaching Manhattan, September 5, 1954.

Gripsholm's arrival in NYC, September 5, 1954.
The French Line pier on the left, and the United States Lines on the right.
Photo by Tage Hemingstam

Manhattan 1954.
Photo by Tage Hemingstam

Piers 7 to 10, Venezuelan Line, 1954.
Photo by Tage Hemingstam

10 years later...

NYC skyline in 1964. Almost identical to Tage Hemingstam's photo above.
Contributed by
Annica Roussetos.

Pier 97 in 1963.
Contributed by
Annica Roussetos.

Manhattan in the mid-sixties.
Contribted by C G Edhardt

Photo shot from the Gripsholm in June 1966.
Contributed by Ken Sandholm.

Photo shot from the Gripsholm in June 1966.
Contributed by Ken Sandholm.

World Trade Center 1967.
Contributed by
Patrick Zeller.

The New York Skyline in April, 1973.
Shot from the Kungsholm.
Photo: Tommy Stark

The Hudson River 1974 or 1975.
Contributed by Lars Johansson.

Crew waving goodbye, October 11, 1974, bound for a South America cruise.
Contributed by Lars Johansson.

The Kungsholm departing, October 11, 1974, bound for a South America cruise.
Contributed by Lars Johansson.

The Kungsholm departing, October 11, 1974, bound for a South America cruise.
Contributed by Lars Johansson.

Kungsholm at Pier 97 in 1970.
Photo by Karl Glimnell

Do you have memories of Pier 97 ?
email us: salship@yahoo.com



March 05
Kjell Smitterberg

Claes Feder
Architect &
Ship Designer

C-O Claesson
On the Bridge
Maurits and Anna-Greta Lindblad
Ship's Doctor and Nurse
Nils Haggård
Gripsholm and Kungsholm
Third Officer Inter

Lars Helmer
Second Engineer
Göran Forsén
3rd Engineer
Leif Vickberg Officer's Apprentice
About SAL
& SAL Timeline
About Us
Life as a Crew Member
Torsten Torstensson's webpage about the Swedish American Line   Exchange and
Repatriation Voyages
During WWII
Rune Dahlstrand
Gripsholm Barber
During WWII

Torkel Tistrand
Sea Personnel Manager
Sune Edensvärd Chief Radio Officer Bridge & Crew Page


Curt Dawe
Chief Purser
Carl-Gustav Kruse
Chief Purser
Hugo Bilén
Chief Purser
Evert Eriksson
Chief Purser
Poul V Lange
Chief Purser
Lennart Angelmo
Second Purser
Jörgen Areskough
Second Purser
Ingvar Torstensson
Second Purser
T Odenlund Cashier L-E Jansson
Information Officer
Asko Salkola
Purser's Office
Pier 97,
New York
The SAL Office in New York The SAL Office in
David Chisling
Cruise Staff
Hanna Owen
Anita Poli Olsson
NK Shop
Anthony Bloomfield
The Entertainers
Dining Room Menues   Stig Lundgren
Chief Steward
Gerhard Kummer
Chief Steward
C-G Quant
Chief Steward
Volker Roloff
Chief Steward
Ingwar Gemzell & Rolf Mayer


Karl-Gunnar Johansson

Karl-Gösta Ekblad
”Kalle Tårta”Baker,
Col Buffet Manager

Franz Havranek
Wine Steward
Juan Martinez
Patrick Zeller
Gustav Weber Petterson

Otto Friedrich, Cabin Steward

Lars Warlin
Assistant Waiter
Tommy Stark
Deck Waiter
Hans "Hasse" Gustafsson
Deck Waiter
C-G Edhardt
Deck Steward
Johan Jarekull
Hyttnisse, Assistant Deck Steward
Håkan Askman
Deck Steward
Björn Wallde
Crew member
Claes Lindstrom
Crew membe
B-G Nilson
and the
SAL Freighters
  Anna Karin

Berit Jacobsson (Svensson)

Lene Mikkelsen
The Women of SAL Lois MacNeil
Lis Brokmose
The Tenders SAL Ads SAL Trivia
FAQ News
        SAL Literature Home          
The Passenger Area
    The Hemingstam
Family, Gripsholm and Kungsholm
The Lindholm Family,
The McDonough Family,
The Neilson
Family, Gripsholm and
The Sandholm Family,
The Storck-Petersen Family,
Gripsholm and

Clive Harvey,
Passenger in the Post-SAL Era

More than 250 web pages developed and maintained by Lars Hemingstam ©1998-2023
Hasse Gustafsson and Tommy Stark have interviewed crew members and contributed many of the stories.

Email us

This site does not use cookies, nor do we save visitors' IP-addresses. We do not send information to any third party. If you find information or a photo about yourself, or a relative, and want do delete it, please email salship@yahoo.com, and the information or photo will be removed. (The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) does not apply to deceased persons.)

Denna webbsajt andvänder inte cookies, vi sparar inte heller besökarnas IP-adresser. Vi skickar ingen information till tredje part. Om du finner information eller ett foto om dig, eller en släkting, och vill ta bort det, skriv till salship@yahoo.com så tar vi bort informationen eller fotografiet. (EU-regeln GDPR omfattar inte avlidna personer.)

The New SAL Guestbook

Since the new guestbook can take some time loading, it has been moved to a separate page, and is not being displayed at the bottom of every page.

Read the new guestbook here.