A couple of questions


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Jeffrey Beaudry

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While watching ANTR, I noticed a few things regarding the set pieces that I haven't noticed in any other Titanic movies.

First, in the Third Class areas, all of the doors have a kind of "peep hole." It's shaped somewhat like a flower and seems like an early version of the peep holes on hotel room doors. Was this actually on the Titanic? As far as I can remember, I don't recall seeing them in any other movies.

Also, on the lifeboats, there is a rope that goes horizontal across the boat from each fall. I am pretty sure that this wasn't on the real Titanic, so was it just a safety precaution for filming?

Thanks,
Jeff
 

Dave Gittins

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Jeffrey, I had a fresh look at ANTR. The lifeboats in the movie are not authentic, as may be seen by the handrails on their bottoms. They were of a later pattern than those used on Titanic.

The rope is either a post-1912 addition, or a safety device added for the movie.

You can see what a Titanic lifeboat really looked like on page 215 of "The Titanic Disaster". compiled by Dave Bryceson. There's no sign of the rope that's seen in the movie.

There was a quick release device that ran from the bottom of the forward fall to the bottom of the aft fall. This was well below the level of the rope in the movie. Offhand, I didn't notice it in the movie.

The flower device was a simple ventilator. I don't know if they were used on Titanic. They are not in the phots I have, but I seem to only have the up-market areas. They may well have been seen in places like the crew's quarters and work areas.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

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Thanks, Dave.

You mentioned a quick release device. I was wondering, when one of the lifeboats (2 I think... Steward Johnson in ANTR (the book)) had to cut the falls to prevent being crushed by another lifeboat, why didn't they just use this release device?
 

Bob Godfrey

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According to fireman Beauchamp in boat 13 (which drifted underneath boat 15): "The boat was crowded. We could not get to the lever to get the blocks out ... Barrett cut one end of the falls and a sailor cut the other".
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

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Thanks Bob, I thought it might have been boat 13 that I was talking about, but I wasn't sure.

I watched ANTR again, and I noticed that the ventilators were not only on Third Class doors, but on a steward's room with "The Gloomy Hole" written on the door.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Wouldn't that be 'Glory Hole'? Some of those scenes might have been filmed on board a real ship, or otherwise on sets which made use of doors perhaps salvaged from a breaker's yard and not selected for absolute authenticity. For ANTR, they didn't have the resources to get every little detail right, or even to know if they'd got it right. No Cameron budget or Don lynch on set!

Producer Bill MacQuitty did his best to get the right 'feel' of the ship and he believed that the lifeboats for instance were identical to those used on Titanic, but they too came from a breaker's yard, specifically from the Cunard liner Franconia, which had been launched a decade after Titanic. In the film we see them lowered from davits on the Royal Mail Line's Asturias, dating from 1925 and again awaiting the breaker's torch at the end of its life.
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Dave Gittins

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"Steward Johnson in ANTR (the book)) had to cut the falls to prevent being crushed by another lifeboat, why didn't they just use this release device?"

Pure lack of training. Harold Lowe was possibly the only one to use the disengaging gear properly.
 

Dave Gittins

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My copy of ANTR is rather short of contrast. With a bit of imagination, I can see that the door is marked "The Glory Hole". This was a name sarcastically given to a large dormitory where many stewards slept.

I notice that the ventilators are also in scenes set on Californian. They can still be bought. My catalogue calls them butterfly vents. The can be had in stainless steel for $9-90Aus.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

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I must've confused Glory for Gloomy. I had only seen it for a second and at an odd angle. Now that you mention it, I do recall the use of a "Glory Hole" on ships.
 

Noel F. Jones

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"Glory Hole" was a pejorative term applied to stewards' (and firemens') quarters.

The compartments themselves would not echo that title. The BOT would engrave "certified for x stewards" into the door lintel and the compartment label would correspondingly state "X STEWARDS". Thus I would opine that the label seen in the film is inauthentic in the extreme.

However:

In large European-crew passenger ships the staff members who looked after both stewards and the catering officers would be signed on and rated as 'Glory Hole Steward'.

Glory Hole Stewards were opportunistically deployed elsewhere. Those gala night decorations and midnight balloons were probably rigged up by the Glory Hole Stewards.

Noel
 

Bob Godfrey

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In ANTR the official stencilled lettering on the door is just STEWARDS. One of 'the lads' has been busy with a bit of chalk and added THE GLORY HOLE.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

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So a Glory Hole Steward is a steward that looks after a steward? (Reminds me of that line in Titanic 1953) I can see why they would use that sarcastic name, if they had a job like that.
 

Noel F. Jones

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"... One of 'the lads' has been busy with a bit of chalk and added THE GLORY HOLE."

Believe me, in real life nobody would bother! And what glory hole? There were numerous such compartments on E and F deck which could aspire to the title. I would ascribe this to some over-imaginative script writer (or whatever they get called) picking up and running with a piece of information he wots not of!

"So a Glory Hole Steward is a steward that looks after a steward?..."

Well er... yes. Just as the sailors and firemen had their peggies so the stewards had their glory hole stewards. There's washrooms and alleyways to be cleaned, linen to be hauled,etc; they also made beds usually for tips. In the general scheme of things it was quite a lucrative post.

Noel
 

Dave Gittins

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Steward James Johnson mentions that there were several glory holes.

"Did they come up? - Some of them did and some did not till Mr. Dodd came, and he chased everyone out of every glory hole."

Another witness mentions #3 glory hole, suggesting some kind of system. There were several candidates for the name, notably on the port side of E deck.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

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From dictionary.com:

"glory hole

n : a small locker at the stern of a boat or between decks of a ship"

As for more than one glory hole, I would think that there would be more than one, since only six or so stewards could have fit in those rooms. And for the jobs that Noel stated, there would have to be more than six stewards to stay ahead of the work.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Jeff, the name 'glory hole' applied to all of the rooms where stewards were quartered, at up to 42 to a room. The glory hole stewards who kept those rooms in order did indeed have a lot of ground to cover, but there were only four men signed on for the job.
 
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Jeffrey Beaudry

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Sorry, Bob, my mind completely blocked out those larger rooms. For some reason I had it stuck in my head that the only large rooms for crew were the mess halls.
As for only four men, it is remarkable that they could do all of those things on a regular schedule. By the way, you (referring to anyone) wouldn't happen to know the names of the four glory hole stewards, would you?
 

Noel F. Jones

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Re Glory Hole Stewards

As a matter of pertinent interest, when I was on the North Atlantic one of the duties of the Glory Hole Stewards was to close the deadlights when 'Ice Routine' was decreed.

Presumably this specific response had yet to reach their job description in 1912.

Noel
 
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