Russ Willoughby's interest in ocean liners dates back over 30 years, to the discovery of TITANIC in 1985. That's when he started saving every newspaper clipping and magazine article about the ship that he could find. Soon after, he found a membership application for The Titanic Historical Society inside the box of an Entex model of the ship; he signed up right away.
His interest expanded (or rather, exploded) when he stumbled onto the book, "Fifty Famous Liners" by Frank Braynard and William Miller. Although he bought the book because it contained a chapter on the ill-fated White Star ship, he quickly became enthralled with the stories of the book's remaining 49 liners. LUSITANIA, IMPERATOR, BREMEN, EUROPA, NORMANDIE and CAP ARCONA left the biggest impression. He also became infatuated with the book's end pages (they contain graphics of ocean liner memorabilia). That's when the real fun began. To date, he has amassed a collection of nearly 14,000 items.
While he collects items from just about any liner, his favorite ships are North German Lloyd's pre-WW2 BREMEN & EUROPA. So much so that, in 2010, he wrote, and had published, a book on the two famous record-breakers. Since then he has released two other books, "The KdF Fleet in Historic Photographs", about the Kraft durch Freude cruise ships of the 1930s, and "Liner Bound", a collection of rare, and mostly unpublished, liner photos. You can find more information on our "Books & Magazines" product page.
As a profession, Russ has been in the travel industry for 26 years. An avid cruiser, he has sailed over 50 times, including the famous transatlantic route from New York to Southampton.
After years of buying and selling ocean liner items, Russ has decided it's time to share his collection by starting his own online store. From unique, high-end pieces for the serious collector, to simple, modest items for the budget-minded, his goal is to offer something for everyone.