"P" for Passenger,...February 2 2012 at 9:06 AM
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|Jacques (no login)|
from IP address 126.96.36.199
Response to looks like P is NOT for President
..."C" for Cargo. Yep, that also seemed obvious to me, however TABINTA (with a "C" designation) also carried passengers although by the look of her, not as many as PRESIDENT GRANT or BOSCHFONTEIN. So where is the cut-off between "not exclusively" or "primarily"? Is there a "T" for Tanker anywhere? Also, is it just a coincidence that the first numeral in the case of both Dutch vessels is a "9" or is this possibly an indicator of the nationality of a vessel, with US ships getting the low numbers? So - we need to see more cards.
If the Aussie cards are anything to go by, then a British/Commonwealth numbering system was a bit of an afterthought. A number is handwritten top left below "VESSEL" where the ship's name appears - no provision made on the cards for a reference number and no system seems to have been used other than to allocate (starting off towards the end of 1939)a four digit number, on a first come, first served basis. The cards for the Presidents (not all APL) were numbered as follows: ADAMS - 2222, COOLIDGE - 1544, FILLMORE - 1541, GRANT - 1550, HARRISON - 1534, HAYES 2258 JACKSON 2156 JOHNSON - 2164 MADISON -1538
MONROE - 1507, POLK - 1551, TAYLOR - 1539, TYLER - 1535 and VAN BUREN 1531, numbered more or less in order as they arrived in the Southwest Pacific.
That's all I've got.