Looking at photos of Boat Deck of the Olympic & Titanic during construction, all the windows along the Officer's Promenade were clear glass, and you could see into all of the rooms if you looked, just the same as any of the A or B Deck cabins that had windows looking over the Promenade
However two things prevented passengers from peering into these rooms - the first, the section of Boat Deck from boats 7 & 8 up to the Bridge was the Officer's Promenade - no passengers were permitted up that far, the second,as Jeremy said earlier there were curtains in all the rooms that could be drawn.
The only translucent pebbled glass windows I am aware of were used in the Gymnasium. Although some of the better B and C Deck suites had stained glass windows covering the portholes.
The only frosted glass was on the dexlue staterooms on Olympic's B-deck that looked out over the enclosed promenade. Titanic's arrangement was slightly different in this region. I really don't think Titanic or Olympic had any frosted glass windows on the A-deck staterooms. Check out this photograph:
These staterooms, though did have privacy glass that could be installed over the window inside the staterooms for more privacy later on as the nights grew darker. A large peice of this glass was found in the sunken remains of cabin A-11 in Cameron's 2001 Expedition as noted above.
Hi! Nigel, do you imply that the suites with the private promenade in Titanic had such windows. I cannot remember seeing anything like that in books or movies! Please, correct me if I am wrong. Thank you!
No, the Titanic did not have frosted glass in the B Deck Parlor Suites, the windows were stained glass.
No, the privacy glass was much like a storm window that would be placed over the existing window. The sliding diffusion glass you mention was only used in B and C Deck Suites and it was usually stained glass to make the portholes more attractive.
You can see inside the two windows and in the adjoining room that they did have some sort of frosted or stained glass in the frames. Remember though this was not just for decoration but also done for privacy.There was a public enclosed deck outside, so this prevented people from staring in the suites. On the Titanic I don't think they would need it becuase the suites were extended to the sides, though they proably did have some sort of stained glass in the frames in keeping with the decor styles of the suites.
I'm not sure about all the 1st class cabins, this info is specifically about Olympic's B deck suites (which also most probably applies to some cabins on C deck). The windows were actually tripple paned. There were 3 parts to it. The outer was clear glass, then was a solid board which could be closed to block out sun light, and innermost was a stained glass panel. Or was is the stained glass panel was in the middle? Either way, the two inner ones could be slid (down) out of sight while the outer - clear glass - panel slid up.
This would be the same for the private promenade cabins, and some sort of a similar arrangement for the other B deck suites. It is evident from photos that curtains were also used, while in 2nd class (and 3rd class) they used those roller blinds. There were several catches on either side of the portholes, so the blind could be rolled down partially or completely to close the porthole.
If Blackwell was in the smoking room (where Caroline Bonnell says she last saw him), he just as well might have been one of those who lingered too long in the smoking room, then stepped onto the boat deck port side... who knows....
Regarding the windows, the boat deck cabins may have had a similar window arrangement to what I described for the B and C deck cabins. Some photos of the curtains that I have seen would suggest that they were more for decorative purposes than for privacy. Below is a close up of Titanic's fore B deck windows, B1 & B2, and you can see the curtains.
Below you can see a better image of the type of curtains that would have been in those cabins. As you can see they would hardly give any privacy, so some sort of shutter screen, or a stained or frosted glass panel must have been built into the window as well.
Occasionally, pairs of very similar curtains turn up among dealers in maritime collectables. Like these, they tend to be highly decorative, short and rather light-weight. But, they were railed to close completely when loosed from their tie-backs. And, being both coloured and patterned rather than plain and also so very much stouter than any 'nets', I think they may have been surprisingly effective in securing privacy.
They would have been colored, but which colors I don't know. The colors would have depended on the style and color scheme of the cabin. There wouldn't have been one design used throughout all the cabins.