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Fred Hoertz, Previously Undocumented Postcard Artist

March 9th, 2008 · 1 Comment

While listing a nautical postcard yesterday, we were able to document a previously unknown postcard artist, Fred Hoertz (1899-1977). Frederick J. Hoertz, who had an affinity for nautical artwork, worked from a studio at the Battery in New York City for many years but, with the advent of World War II and a prevailing anti-German sentiment, he was asked to move because of his German name. Major bummer. He actually designed several World War II motivational posters which are collectible now for their artwork. Hoertz moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where he shared a studio with Fred W. Hunt.

S. S. Argentina Passenger Ship Postcard, Artist-Signed by Fred Hoertz

His signature is seen at bottom left in this unused c. 1947-1958 postcard of the S. S. Argentina, a passenger ship which sailed a U.S.-South America route and was owned by the Moore-McCormack Lines of New York.


The history of the S.S. Argentina is, in itself, interesting. The Argentina began life as the Pennsylvania, and was originally built for the Panama Pacific Line’s New York-Panama-Los Angeles-San Francisco route. She could carry 750 passengers in first class and tourist class accommodations. She and her sister ships, the California and the Virginia, were too large for the route. After government subsidies were halted in 1938, the ships were laid up.

After the U.S. Maritime Commission took over the ships, they were given to the American Republics Line, a Moore-McCormack subsidiary. The rebuilt Argentina then sailed a U.S.-Caribbean-South America route which had been established as part of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “Good Neighbor Policy.” During World War II, from 1941 to 1946, the Argentina and her sisters were troop ships. Returned to passenger service in 1947, the Argentina was laid up in 1958, when Moore-McCormack planned to build larger ships. She was sold for scrap in 1964 to Peck Iron & Metals of Norfolk, Virginia, and then sold again to the Luria Bros. of South Kearny, New Jersey.

Read about a rare Moreland Motor Co. truck which advertised Zerolene gasoline in Los Angeles, California.

See more nautical postcards in the transportation category at our website.

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Tags: Postcards

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 robert anderson // Feb 7, 2009 at 8:40 am

    I have a large print (24×33″) of the SS Argentina by Fred Hoertz, identical to the picture above, in every detail, except for the stack colors & icon. In my print the stack has black, blue & gold bands, with a large red “M” in a white oval on the blue section.
    Does anybody know why this change was made or what it means? Perhaps the “M” was for Moore-McCormack, but why change it on the print?

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