Anybody interested in RMS Olympic


O

Oakers

Guest
I am fascinated by the Olympic class liners, in particular the eldest of the trio "Olympic". I feel that she was one of the most attractive liners ever to be constructed (both internally and externally) - her exterior layout (windows etc) looked so much nicer than the Titanic & Britannic. Anybody got anything to share on the Olympic? I have only ever come across one book which is totally dedicated to her and one website. Olympic has never received the attention she deserves as "the pioneer ship", forever overshadowed by the plight of her sisters.
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Here's an entertaining little caberet menu from Olympic, a Thanksgiving cruise- Nov. 25-28 1931
The cover has a sexy pirate lade holding a martini with "White Star Line" The menu is fabulous- Finnan Haddie to Sirloin of Beef and Galatine of Turkey-sandwiches galore and filleted "bloaters". The entertaiment features 8:30 dancing in the lounge, Talkies in the cinema, Dancing at 10:30 in the dining saloon and Cabaret at 11. Who's the stars you ask? Why it's The Brady Girls and their Collies, Miss Lili Demuth-acrobatic dancer, Mr. Quinlan- Irish Tenor, The 7 Kaufman Girls (novelty dancers), Eddie Michaels (eccentric dancer), Davis Sisters (ballet dancers), Clark and Morgan, Funsters Extraordinaire and the Monkey Shines. Sign me up!
 
Aug 29, 2000
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That should read sexy pirate LADY on the cover (with cleavage!)-inside is a chef (not sexy) and a very suggestive drawing of just tuxedoed legs and high heeled feet, facing each other at close quarters- behind a placard-SHE's on her TOES. A 30's cutie is lounging on the top of the cabaret posting in a slit skirt with plenty o' gams showing right next to a White Star burgee- hmmmm those naughty 30's- where are my ankle straps and hip flask? Poo-poop-de-doo!
 
Aug 29, 2000
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Superb sites for Olympic- was not aware of either. Forgot to mention music at the cabaret was provided by "The Princeton Pied Pipers" and the Olympic Ship's Orchestra- it must have been SWELL. No mention of the cruise destination- it may have been a 3 day Thanksgiving Cruise to nowhere thing. (nov. 25-28)
 

Inger Sheil

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Feb 9, 1999
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Shelley - Why not a sexy pirate lad(e)? I think there is a lamentable shortage of menus with sexy pirate lads out there.
 

Neil McRae

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Apr 16, 2001
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I realize that there wasn't the same fascination with the loss of the Titanic in the thirties, but I can't help but lament that this beautiful ship and the sole survivor of "the big three" was scrapped rather than given a good home in a museum somewhere. Can you imagine how many crowds she would attract today. I wonder if there wasn't anyone who attempted a petition or such to save her. Surely there was a museum somewhere that would have been interested in her. Such a shame...
 

Remco Hillen

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Dec 13, 1999
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I agree that it would have been wonderful if Olympic was still here nowadays, but back then money was the main factor...

Olympic wasn't in a too good state(to say it nice:\) in her last year, and the collision with the Nantucket lightship certainly didn't help her.
Scrapping her would mean extra money for Cunard/White Star, no further (maintainence) costs and a lot of work for people on the scrapyard!
A ship of this size takes a while to scrap, as you can imagine.

Anyone with some more thoughts?

Regards,
Remco
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Olympic's condition during her later years was much better than many think. After the 1931 hull repairs and engine repairs every single passenger certificate was issued for twelve months as far as I know at the moment.

Various examples include the oil fuel installation in 'excellent condition' (Board of Trade surveyor report, 1928), 'her hull was as sound as a bell' (Sea Breezes, 1956) 'her hull was in excellent condition when she was scrapped' (wording rough, 'Majesty at Sea: The Four Stackers,' 1981).
 
Jan 5, 2001
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I forgot from my last post that the Board of Trade surveyor stated that after three voyages following the engine repairs of late 1932/early 1933, on the third voyage she ran at an easy average of seventy-six revolutions, acheiving an average of 21½ knots 'without the slighest trouble.'

It was noted seventy-eight was her most satisfactory speed regarding running pressures, etc.

It is therefore a myth that she could only do 20 knots by the 1930s due to tired machinery; if at 80 revolutions she seems still have been able to do 22½ - 23 knots.

In 1930, she averaged 22.5 knots for nearly five days, even on a 'normal' crossing.

Several times during the 1920s she did her crossings at an average of 23 knots.

Further, her Chief Engineer stated in late 1935 that the engines had never been performing better during the vessel's life and the Board of Trade surveyor stated in May 1934 that despite a complex and thorough examination he could not detect any flaw whatsoever or sign of movement with the engine bedplates or excessive vibration.
 
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It was rumoured according to authors Eaton and Haas that the new company defended its choices of scrapping the white star ships, saying that they were in poor condition, but that nautical observers noted the only thing wrong with the ships was their white star colours.
 
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It was rumoured according to authors Eaton and Haas that the new company defended its choices of scrapping the white star ships, saying that they were in poor condition, but that nautical observers noted the only thing wrong with the ships was their white star colours.
 
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It is often thought that Olympic during the 1930s was in a bad condition. Expressions such as ‘severe fatigue,’ ‘cracking-up hull’ and ‘tired worn-out machinery’ are commonly used. Actually, from a brief check of the hull surveys she does not seem to have been in bad condition at all. The main for this post is her general machinery. After the repairs to her rivets and hull cracks from 1930/1931, every certificate was issued for twelve months as far as I know. The repairs had proved efficient, and this trouble does not appear later after the repairs to my knowledge.


Quote:

‘The oil fuel system remains in very good condition. The boiler rooms are exceptionally clean…’ — Board of Trade, 1928






Quote:

‘The double bottom under the engines was very carefully and minutely examined in company with the senior ship surveyor and except for a few defective rivets, was found in satisfactory condition. The thrust blocks were lifted and the seatings examined with no weight on them, and it was found that a considerable number of rivets required renewal…
…all have been renewed at boiler construction standard all holes being reamered and a very careful inspection maintained to see that the rivets were a good fit through the entire length two additional stiffening brackets were fitted to the thrust seatings.’ — Board of Trade, December 1932.





Quote:

‘I made a careful inspection around the bedplates and choking when the vessel was last in Southampton, and I was unable to find any indications of movement, and I am of the opinion that these parts are substantially as good as ever they were… A declaration or twelve months…has been issued to the owners.’ — Board of Trade, May 10th 1933.





Quote:

‘The survey of this vessel for renewal of passenger certificate has been completed and a declaration of twelve months issued to the owners…
‘The bedplates of the main engines have been very carefully and minutely examined and in no case could any movement or defect be discovered…(Explanation of detailed mechanics) I am informed that at no time during the vessel’s history have these conditions been maintained for a like period.’ — Board of Trade, January 1934.





Quote:

‘It is almost sacrilege to destroy her after the performance she put up on this last voyage from Southampton,’ — Chief Engineer C. W. McKean. ‘I could have understood the necessity (of scrapping) if the “Old Lady” had lost her efficiency,’ he would tell a reporter, ‘but the engines are as sound as they ever were. Better, in fact, than when they were first installed in 1911.’ — October 1935.






Quote:

‘She will always be remembered for her magnificent war service and as a very fine-looking, reliable, comfortable and steady “old lady” — even though she was only twenty-four when taken out of service.,’ J. H. Isherwood wrote in Sea Breezes, February 1956. He continued: ‘Four years more and she might have been of enormous value to her country in World War II. Her hull was still as sound as a bell. But the great and rapid strides in marine engineering had made her uneconomical by modern standards and the slump rendered her redundant. The dreary flattened hulk towing up to Inverkeithing was, I think, rather specially pathetic. Besides being all that remained of a very proud ship, it brought back memories of the terrible disasters that had befallen her two sisters and was a symbol not only of the end of a ship but also of one of the greatest of transatlantic shipping companies.’






Quote:

‘Olympic’s hull was in excellent condition when she was scrapped.’ — ‘Majesty at Sea: The Four Stackers,’ 1981. (Wording rough.)



 

Remco Hillen

Member
Dec 13, 1999
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That's a good quote:
"the only thing wrong with the ships was their white star colours."

They could have said that she was 'outdated' or, as they did, in a bad condition.
But remember that Cunard's Aquitania even survived until after WWII...

sad.gif


Regards
Remco

BTW, I found this on eBay,
"Book of Wonders with RMS Britannic Article"
It could be 'The Shipbuilder' of course, but thought you might be interested(and $1 is not that expensive
happy.gif
).
 

Dan Cherry

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Dec 14, 1999
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Remco,
I have that book, and most of the pictures are of Olympic, although there are a few rare pictures of the Britannic's machinery under construction and a cool cutaway illustration of Britannic. A handful of the Olympic pictures are ones I haven't seen in any other books, which makes it a good buy. I see that the $1 bid hasn't met the seller's reserve...
 

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