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The Original Function of Ship’s Portholes

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Ship portholes were originally neither decorations nor passenger windows — they served as gun ports.

Of course, Hollywood found a way to exploit portholes. Who can forget the famous scene in the 1953 motion picture Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, in which Marilyn Monroe gets her ample, um, “self” stuck in a porthole on a cruise ship?

Not to be outdone by an unnatural blonde, an unnatural redhead named Lucille Ball performed a similar stunt in 1956 aboard the S.S. Constitution during the fifth season of TV’s I Love Lucy.

Did a brunette get into the act? You bet. In the 1964 film Goodbye Charlie, dark-haired Tony Curtis falls out a porthole and comes back as… you guessed it, Debbie Reynolds. Who could top that?

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