Any photo / information on where & how the Titanic / Olympic's crew lived

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Guest (R17)

Guest
Hello

I was wondering, after always seeing pictures of 1st 2nd and 3rd class cabins and public rooms what the Olympic's and Titanic's living quarters were like for various crew. The little brain is wondering if there are any photo's of the type of cabin's crew members of various stations would have occupied ? Did some of the lower crew members have to sleep in dormitories with quite a few others ? I don't suppose there would be many photo's of where the crew lived as the WSL would be more interested in showing off how good the public rooms were for the passengers ! I understand that third class on Olympic class ships was better than what had gone before - but still from the pictures I see it looks pretty ghastly or should I say rather basic. Having said that so long as it is clean I'm always happy or would have been
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Also wonder about washing and things like that. I understand that people in those days did not wash as much as they do now hence this made me think about the crew and the living conditions they lived in. Even the 1st and 2nd class passengers I would think had to share bath room facilities - no ? By the 1930's I'd imagine things would have improved quite a bit for the crew ( whatever it was like before ) as well as for the 3rd and 2nd class - as *tourist* class was born ! I notice by the 30's they made a little bit more effort in third class - small things like more framed pictures on the wall, little pots of flowers, curtains !

Anyway I would be very interested in any information about what life was like for Olympic class crew. Pic's would be great if anyone has any. :))

Cheers my dears !

ps is this not a wonderful picture of the Olympic ! Funny as the ship got older she looked ( a lot of the time ) more fresh and white ! Much cleaner... Having said that I have seen some picture's of her looking quite rough in later life. But in later b&w photography I notice her funnels come out more white. Far lighter than when she was new. Whereas in early 1911 pictures they never looked so light ! Maybe it is the 30's photography or they lightened the buff colour on WSTL ships.... Titanic never had a chance to look this good ! I don't think they fully finished the Titanic hence the slight rust round the join mark by A deck !

?
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Dec 2, 2000
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I'm not aware of any photos extant of any of the crew quarters on either the Titanic or the Olympic, but from what I've seen in various general plans and descriptions, the dormitory/barracks description is not that wide of the mark. People such as the deck seamen and the firemen would have been in common bunkrooms with the officers on the other end of the spectrum having the private staterooms.

On the matter of the Olympic or the Titanic looking a "little rough" I wouldn't read too much into that. Salt water is nothing if not a relentlessly corrosive environment and rust is a problem that just never goes away. A ship will never look better then when she has overall a nice fresh coat of paint, and will never look worse then after spending a few weeks or even days at sea. You'd be amazed at how quickly it get's into things.
 
G

Guest (R17)

Guest
Ah that's a shame. Would interesting to see the rooms that the crew occupied, but I can't see any reason why WSL would photograph these rooms.
Come to think of it there must be quite a few rooms on the Titanic and Olympic that we will never know what they looked liked !

It would be quite cool to see a hypnotist, and instead of pay them to help you give up smoking or whatever - pay them to hypnotise you so u were able to walk around/explore the Titanic at free will :))) I'm sure it could be done ! And if it were one of these really good hypnotists, you'd really think you were there.... Would be a wicked experience !
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>but I can't see any reason why WSL would photograph these rooms.<<

There might be some archival material floating around out there. Probably in private hands. However, the reason you would never see something like this in any of the published material...especially adverts...is because nobody would really care where the crew slept. The people who would be booking passage would be interested in what was available to them.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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The crew dormitories were probably furnished with lockers and two-tiered steel-framed bunks. These were located close to communal washrooms and toilet facilities (only senior members of the crew had access to bathrooms) - in the forecastle for seamen, firemen and greasers, off the working alleyway on E deck for the victualling crew. Those in positions of authority had shared or even single cabins which were similar to 3rd Class passenger cabins, but generally very small and spartan. Some of the 'rank and file' crew also had shared cabins with just a few berths located close to their place of work, which in the case of the stewardesses was right in among the passenger cabins.

The general attitudes to personal hygiene in 1912 have been discussed in several threads in the 'Life on Board' section. First Class passengers had the option to pay for a private bathroom, but most shared, as did the 2nd Class passengers. The 3rd Class were provided, if memory serves me right, with only 2 bathrooms to serve the needs of several hundred people. But even so, I doubt there was a queue first thing in the morning!
 
G

Guest (R17)

Guest
>>with only 2 bathrooms to serve the needs of
several hundred people. But even so, I doubt there was a queue first thing in the morning!<<

Urgh sounds like Glastonbury festival :)

Looks as if most in 3rd class would have had to go the four days of the trip without washing.

Thanks for the information !
 
G

Guest (R17)

Guest
But having said that they would have had a small wash basin in their cabins ! I would be quite happy with just that
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Jan 28, 2003
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Pyjamas, Bob. And nightdresses. How far, do you think, such ideas as changing ones clothes for nighttime, had permeated the classes? I don't know the answer, but I would have thought that third class stripped down to underwear for bed, and then got up the next morning, had a brief wash of the visible bits, and got dressed again. Not a criticism of them, but more an effort to understand...
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Had a brief wash of the visible bits? Well, that's what I do, but not necessarily every bit every day.
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I'd say you have it about right for the 3rd Class toilette, though many might have started and/or ended the day with a 'strip wash' from the waist up. The usual interval between baths was a week, so that facility wouldn't be missed during the few days of an Atlantic crossing.

Randy and Shelley will have the answers about night attire, but I can tell you that among the recovered bodies the only men found wearing pyjamas (usually under other clothing) were either cabin class passengers or stewards, who presumably had more reason to be concerned about personal hygiene than most other members of the crew. It's also on record that a number of 3rd Class women in the lifeboats were freezing in nightgowns.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi Miles,
Sorry for not replying about Lucid Dreaming. Its a technique where, although you are in a dream state, you can consciously control what happens during your dream, so you literally can do whatever you like. A friend used to do it quite regularly (it involves a tape loop continually reminding him, almost subliminally that "this is a dream") - and he had spectacular results.

For many of us, this might be the only way to walk the decks of the great ship.

Cheers

Paul
--
http://www.paullee.com
 
G

Guest (R17)

Guest
Hello Paul
Thanks. I've not heard of that before ! I have been hypnotised once but they never did it right, so I never thought I was a chicken or whatever ! I've seen it done on TV where people *really* think they are chickens and make fools of themselves
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Dec 31, 2003
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With 'soft soap', running water (hot and cold), over-sized basins, large pitchers, 'dry-mats', fresh towelling and 'live' sponges (superior still to anything else and not then expensive), very many passengers aboard 'Titanic' were, perhaps, able to maintain that standard of personal hygiene to which we ourselves aspire.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Don, as far as I know h&c running water was available only in the bathrooms and in (most) 1st Class cabins. But even if this facility had been available to all, there can be little doubt that the average Edwardian had far less inclination than ourselves to make use of it. The standard of personal hygiene to which many aspire today, particularly in North America, would have been taken as evidence of neurosis, if not paranoia, in the Edwardian era (and possibly even today in many parts of the world!)
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Yes, Bob, and let us not forget that recent scientific research has cast grave doubts upon the wisdom of the very clean and hygienic modern home i.e. with every surface sterile, no dust mites, no friendly silverfish and spiders, all pets regularly irradiated with organophosphates etc. My family, however, have excellent immune systems .... so for once, I am ahead of medical advice.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Bob and Monica: A great response! Hope you were both amused by the little period piece of me so very satisfied with my cabin! Intended first to tell you about my great-aunt, Susan, and will now. Susan Smith (1878-1961) was a qualified pharmacist: I'm a bioethics librarian. We were very close; also the physical resemblance between us is remarkable. (In photographs taken before 1920, she could be me - in drag!) Anyway, Susie always boasted she had never had a tub-bath since childhood. She intended that remark to raise eyebrows. It did. But, I assure you, dear Susie was 'fastidious about her person'. Oh I know what you're both half-thinking to ask. The answer is: About six months ago. Though I didn't really need it. Don