A Question re Will Murdoch's Vital Stats


Feb 21, 2003
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My fellow friend & fanfic co-writer, knows of someone in her area who can make me a lifesize realistic-looking William McMaster Murdoch doll. So therefore, I need his vital stats confirmed.

In Suzanne Stormer's "WMM: A Career At Sea" biography, Will wrote his following stats on two of his Merchant Marines' exams...

**Hair Color: Brown (?)(his hair could also be auburn?)
**Eye Color: Brown/hazel gray/hazel brown
**Height: Medium/5 ft. 8 1/2 ins./5 ft. 9 ins. tall
**Weight: (?)

What I would like to know is, what are the *actual* color of his eyes, what's his actual height, and just how much did he weigh? And any help at all will be most appreciated.

Thank you.
 
Feb 21, 2003
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Sit him on the end of my sofa (nearest my EZ-Boy Chair), with my handmade 36" tall McCalls' Pattern "Annie" doll, Punky, sitting on his lap.
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Inger Sheil

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Tammy, you are unlikely to find a single definitive source. Even data obtained from 'official' sources can vary greatly...for example, heights, eye and hair colour given for one individual in the BoT certificate applications can be different in each application for 2nd Mates, 1st Mates, and Masters' (which is where the information on Murdoch's stats is largely derived from). Pitman's height, for example, fluctuates by inches between that given in his BoT papers and the Ellis Island records. Weight, of course, can vary greatly. Descriptions of eye colour are often subjective (one man's 'hazel' is another man's 'green' is another man's 'brown').
 
Feb 21, 2003
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OK, Ing, shall I go with Will's last description of his stats, as is stated? Such as is...

Hair Color: Brown/Auburn
Eye Color: Hazel-Brown
Height: 5 ft. 9 ins.

As for his weight, it doesn't really matter, and nor does his height...because according to my friend, these dolls aren't lifesize as thought.

Anyhoo, thank you.
 

Kyrila Scully

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You can always make a Murdoch costume for Ken. I hear he's practically anatomically correct now.

(Michael Standart, I hope you're not drinking coffee when you read this.)

Kyrila
 
Jun 18, 2007
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In terms of Murdoch's height, I always leaned heavily towards the 5"9 one. In "Career At Sea", you'll notice the picture of him with the Medic crew in 1900, and Lightoller is standing next to him, and would appear to be at least three inches taller (though it is obvious that he's doing his best officer pose, complete with authoratively thrust-out chest). But, it perhaps would give a good indication of how tall Murdoch was (does anyone know a rough estimate of Lightoller's height in the first place?).

As for the Pinot Noir, 2002, hardly vintage...more like baby spit. :p
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
Depends on who you get the wine from. This one's an Italian wine. Doesn't pretend to be one of the top Bordeaux's, but it's nice every day wine. The better stuf I save for weekend supper when we have time to better savour and enjoy it.
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Feb 21, 2003
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Very funny, guys.
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But, once my Will Murdoch doll arrives at his new home...me thinks that I'll dress him up to looking like a typical Arizonan, by dressing him up in a pair of cheaply bought khaki shorts, my X-Large Titanic T-shirt, khaki WSL cap, and put my Titanic lanyard w/the whistle attached, around his neck...and cheaply bought velcro sandalls for his feet. So now I ask you, won't he look cute or what!?
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Then I'll sit Punky on his lap, with his arms drapped around her.
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Jul 12, 2003
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I could never have a life size doll sitting in a room...those kinds of things freak me out...I think it is because they just stare at you..or it's my active imagination where I think "they moved".

I don't like ventriloquist dummies and sometimes I get unnerved by some characters that people dress up as at amusement parks (mostly the scary ones). I'm weird, I know.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Dunno about that, Tammy. Old Will was an officer and a gentleman, and might prefer to be dressed in his best rather than his vest. :)
 
Feb 21, 2003
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Maybe so, Bob, but atleast I would be bringing him into 21st Century, as to the way men who love dressing casually dress (atleast in the Western States). And besides, since he would be just a doll, I would be in control of how he's dressed.
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Inger Sheil

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Lightoller's height on official documents varies between 5'8" (very early one - an application for his 2nd mates) and 5'10". Some Ellis Island Records give his height as 5'9", some as 5'10". Two of his BoT documents give 5'10", and I lean towards that figure, but it does illustrate the sort of ranges you can get with personal statistics.

Murdoch, judging from group portraits (including the standing portrait of the Olympic's senior crew in their summer whites) seems to have been a fairly slight man, and not overly tall. The tall man in the group was Wilde, who was 6'1". Lowe was another smaller man in terms of height. The smallest, however, was David Blair.

2002 Pinot Noir can be a good vintage as you suggest, Mike - depends on the maker. Vintage in this context being a noun and meaning merely the season of production, not an adjective meaning of high quality, especially from a past period.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Europe's 2003 vintage should be outstanding. The weather was ideal for the grapes even if it was rough on the people. Don't look for any of the champagnes from this vintage to be out any time soon. I don't know how long they hold out on your side of the pond, but the 1995 vintages are only now just being released over here. I've got a 1995 Dom Perignon I'm saving for New Years.

The 1985 Krug I'm saving for Christmas.
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May 12, 2005
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This has been an informative thread. As I'm to play an approximation of William Murdoch at the mini-convention/exhibition of Titaniacs here in Texas in a few weeks, I was curious as to how accurate I could be. I think I have his height at least, but not his small frame nor brown eyes.

I had wanted to portray James Moody but decided that it would be presumptuous to attempt to portray the era's best looking officer on the Atlantic run.

I have my fitting with naval uniform expert extraordinaire John Hemmert next week and look forward to seeing the gear he has lined up for me. John will be instructing me on how to stand and hold my cap with appropriate Edwardian dignity so I hope I won't disappoint.

Randy
 
Jun 18, 2007
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>I had wanted to portray James Moody but decided that it would be presumptuous to attempt to portray the era's best looking officer on the Atlantic run.

Yeah, it's best not to compete with the Scarborough Kid. ;)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Yes indeed, go for it, Randy. But keep the safety catch on the Webley. If I decide to gatecrash in my steerage costume (Italian, of course) I don't want there to be any misunderstandings.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Randy, you do underestimate yourself. You'd make a fine Officer Moody. I've seen your pictures.
Although the uniform usually makes the man - just ask my daughter. She has five boyfriends in the Armed Services.

Kyrila
 

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