Did Titanic have functional fireplaces


Feb 14, 2011
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I am convinced at least one fireplace on Titanic was functional, and that was the one in the First Class Smoking room. Titanic forensics guru Roy Mengot suggested the pipe connecting the roof of the smoking room to the 4th funnel may have been an exhaust point for smoke generated in the fireplace. I doubt any of the staterooms had functional fireplaces- I beleive most simply had electric heaters positioned within the fireplaces.
Such was probrolly the same for the fireplaces in the First Class lounge, and Reading and Writing room, There simply was no uptake that could accomidate smoke from these fireplaces. Further ahead, there was that horozontal pipe in the area between funnels # 1 and 2, but as I understand it that pipe vented out chlorine fumes from the laundry deep below, and did not accomidate any fireplace smoke. So the way I see it, the First Class Smoking Room likly had the only functioning 'real' fireplace on board. What do you all thiink
Regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Bill Sauder

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Dec 19, 2000
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Tarn writes:

". Further ahead, there was that horozontal pipe in the area between funnels # 1 and 2, but as I understand it that pipe vented out chlorine fumes from the laundry deep below, and did not accomidate any fireplace smoke"


My goodness Tarn, where on earth did you hear that?

Bill Sauder
 
Dec 2, 2000
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What laundry?
eh.gif


Few if any ships had such in that time. The Titanic had facilities for dealing with linen on F deck, but it wasn't a proper laundry. The practice then was to hold soiled linen until the ship reached port where it was taken care of by local contractors.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I stand corrected then!
Thanks for the info!

Is there a definate purpose known for that pipe that once existed by the enclosure of the dome above the grand staircase? Bill, your expertise on the layout of Titanic is much greater than mine, so hope mabey you could solve that mystery for me.
Thanks!

Regards

Tarn Stephanos

8 )
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I heard the theory that the pipe was used as a venting pipe for the laundry on either Jeff or Mark's discussion groups- I cant recall which. Ill take your word that that information is incorrect.- Another theory I have heard was that pipe between the two forward funnels was used as a place to dry out linnens or canvas of some kind- it must have had some purpose..Any theories?

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Bill Sauder

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Dec 19, 2000
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Hi Tarn:

Your assumptions regarding the fireplaces are pretty much right. Roy is correct, the 1st Class Smoke Room had the only working fireplace and the pipe leading into the after face of the No 4 funnel is the flue. It is double insulated for most of its rise from the deck to prevent people from getting burned on the hot metal (just like the flue pipe going up the main mast from the crew's galley). Lusitania had an identical arrangement.

Sadly, the Lounge and Reading Writing Room did not have electric heaters in their fireplaces, they are just architectural blanks as required by the style of the room. No electric heating elements appear on inventories for these rooms, nor do the distinctive switches appear in the paneling either in photographs or in surviving paneling for the Lounge in England.

Titanic carried no laundry as we understand the term today, and certainly no dry cleaning apparatus, which I believe used carbon tetrachloride as a cleaning agent at the time. Laundry wash tubs were provided, however, in third class and steward lavatories.

The drying room on the port side of F deck was basically a room for wet rugs and gear with steam heated drying horses and racks.

The mystery pipe between the No 1 and 2 funnels is simply an "awning rafter" which allowed a tarpaulin to be stretched between the port and starboard sides of the officer's quarters roof. Most researchers (including myself) thinks/thought that this was a vent pipe. My own pet theory was that it was a suction vent from the elevator shafts to the stoke hold vent forward -- The theory being that since the lift doors were metal grills, it was important that the flow of air always be into the shaft, never out from it, or the first class would start to have that oily machinery smell that is so distinctive to ships. So much for the best set traps...

By the way, my question about where you heard the story about the laundry on board was a serious one. I spend so much of my time correcting misinformation (some of it rather silly) that it's become something of a hobby-inside-a-hobby to know where mistaken factoids came from and how long they've been around. When a producer or director had heard that Lusitania had 12 passenger dinning rooms and I say she only had 3, he will demand to know why my less-sensational number is right and the more opulent number is wrong (an example taken from life by the way).

Bill Sauder
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Hi Bill!

Thanks very much for you detailed response to my poste. Its very satisfying to know that the Smoking Room fireplace was indeed functional. This begs a question- I suspect what was burned was coal, not wood- if so, where was such stored within the smoking room?

I have noticed in some photos of Titanic at Queenstown, the canvas shades have been applied to much of the open promendade of A deck.

Now im curious, this awnning rafter, that could accomidate a tarpaulin above the officers quarters- would this tarp be any one of the canvas A deck 'blinds' that could be laid out to dry? I must wonder where those large canvas shades were stored when not in use. I suspect such might be intact in storage on the wreck, as small canvas remannts attached to the recovered Big Piece were found to be intact.

Your theory regarding the pipe as being a suction grille for the elevator makes perfect sense. As the lift rose and fell, the rising air pressure would have caused a perpetual breeze within the ship, unless a pipe could accomidate the release of that air pressure. Plus such would divert that not too unpleasent scent of oiled machinery.

The theory of that pipe possibly being used for venting chlorine from the laundry, or linin room, was proposed in an old thread on Mark's list- I cannot remeber by whom though...No doubt there are numerous differing theories as to the purpose of different bits of equipment on Titanic's decks.

The 'mystery box' seen on B deck beneath the bridge is a puzzle I would like solved.. Roy Mengot suggested to me mabey it held a fire hose? Who knows..

There is also a mystery box by the starboard side second class enterance, that the Olympic lacks. The box seems to have an electrical function, but noone knows what that function was.. This is why I enjoy studying the Titanic- there is always somthing new to be explored and explained.

Thanks and regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Bill Sauder

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My goodness Tarn, you are relentless.

The Smoking Room fireplace burned coal, kept next to the fireplace in a special bucket, called a coal hod. When the hod emptied out, a steward probably went down to the Restaurant galley one deck below to get some fresh coal from their coal bins. Remember, all the galley ranges and most of the ovens used coal as their heat source.

The canvas shades you refer to are properly called dodgers and are used as a wind break in cold weather. I don't know exactly where they were kept, but typically in deck lockers around the ship.

The awning rafter's identity over the Top of Houses is confirmed in a close up shot of Olympic. Unfortunately, it is in a private collection and I am not at liberty to post it, but the interpretation as an awing rafter is indisputable.

The purpose of rigging an awning over the Top of Houses is up for debate, since I haven't seen anything definitive in writing. I would point out, however, that Lusitania could rig an awning in a similar spot for the storage of deck chairs, presumably long term storage to get them out of the way and protected from the rain during dry-docking.

Of course, the Olympic plans are marked in several places with small compartments labeled "deck chair locker" but if you look at them you will quickly realize that they could not be large enough to hold all the hundreds of deck chairs on the ship. I think that these small lockers were used to store chairs in the immediate vicinity so that deck space could be cleared away for deck games, especially the 2nd class deck space around the No 4 funnel,

As for the B deck mystery box -- well I just don't know. Ken and I wanted to investigate this when we were at the wreck during the RMST 2000 expedition and although we got close, the MIR submersibles were not able to squeeze in between the bulwark and the deck house. Ken then asked Jim Cameron this trip to send in an ROV, and Jim obliged us all, but the box is so heavily encrusted with rust and rusticles that all surface detail is lost (think Andrea Doria and all the biomass attached to her).

The firehose box theory was attractive for a long time and I subscribed to it but it's becoming hard to defend since pictures of fire hose reels on other WS ships are showing up and there is no resemblance. It's not a vent head since it does not appear on vent plans and all thermotank suctions in the area of well deck are accounted for. It could be non-mechanical -- just a storage locker since there are none in that part of the ship. Its placement is exactly symmetrical with the access ladder down to well deck, but I think that's a coincidence.

As for the mystery box on Boat deck aft, it is a salt water bait box so that passengers could deep water fish while at sea. It was originally located aft on the poop deck on Olympic, but third class passengers kept nibbling the chum -- mistaking it for an all-you-can-eat seafood buffet -- hence its removal to 2nd class on Titanic.

Bill Sauder
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Bill,

You weren't supposed to divulge the purpose of the mystery box on Boat Deck aft...that's one of those jewels of information being kept secret by the powers-that-be!

Parks
 
J

James Douglas Smith

Guest
I hate to question Bill, but I wonder--is it even possible to deep-sea fish on a ship moving at twenty knots? Or was fishing done at stopping points like Cherbourg and Queenstown? Maybe an expert fisherman among us could give his opinion.

Jim Smith
 

Dave Hudson

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Bill,

"...it is a salt water bait box so that passengers could deep water fish while at sea."

Seriously? Or are you pulling our line?

David
 

Bill Sauder

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Dec 19, 2000
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As a few of you have guessed, especially from your private emails, the last entry about the "chum bucket" in second class was a good, old fashioned leg-pull. I had hoped a fellow provocateur such as George Behe would have spotted it and chimed in but, alas, only Parks took it the way it was intended. Given my previous rant about "bad information" I thought it made for a fit ending to the thread.

Now for the sensible answer: I suspect that it is a tank or filter used in connection with the service sinks in the 1st Class Smoke Room bar, just one deck below.

Since I see that there is already a thread open on the subject, (Mystery Box by the 2nd class entrance) interested readers are directed there for a more detailed discussion.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Tried to post an image but it didn't upload. I read all the instructions and I think I did things right, only it didn't upload! What do I do?
 
May 8, 2001
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Jim.
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That is o.k. I had to think twice about it too. Coming from Bill Sauder, I was believing it "hook, line and sinker". 3rd class eating the bait like a buffet bar, was a bit much. Chalk it up to initiation. You will find that Eric, Mike, Parks, Pat, Geoff, George, Josh, and a few others (like an unnamed moderator) are little stinkers.
If truth be known, I was all anxious, interested, and completely riveted in Parks post about the new sea life and felt like a real sucker when I saw the photo.
Anyhow, Welcome (to the Titanic)A-board Jim!
Colleen
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Man, and I believed the chum bucket story!!!!

I could picture the steerage passengers figting amongst themselves for scraps of fish, a brawl resulting, then the chum moves to 2nd class to avoid any more trouble....

And they say truth is stranger than fiction?

Regards

tarn Stephanos
 

Roy Mengot

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May 16, 2006
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Bill wrote:
"The canvas shades you refer to ( A-deck promenade seen at Queenstown )are properly called dodgers and are used as a wind break in cold weather."

Looking at the Father Browne photo on p59 of "Last Days", the dodgers stop at head height. In that position, they would serve much better as a sun shade for people sitting in a deck chair along the wall rather than a wind break, especially in more Northern latitudes.

On the pipe between the #1 and #2 funnels:
"The awning rafter's identity over the Top of Houses is confirmed in a close up shot of Olympic.
Unfortunately, it is in a private collection and I am not at liberty to post it, but the iterpretation as an awing rafter is indisputable. "

I've seen that photo. Why anyone would put an awning there is food for speculation. The forward end enters a Gibbs extractor vent. Naucious gases were usually piped to the funnels. The pipe is also round as opposed to the rectangular bar between the boat deck and the main mast that was also used as a spar for an awning seen on Olympic. I suspect it vented something thought to be undesirable, but don't know what.

On fireplaces, I believe the 1st class lounge and reading writing room fire place was functional. On p59 of "Illustrated History" and better pictures, the ceiling beam from the fire place to the #2 funnel uptake has the same vent grill as seen on floor boards in the gym. This is different from all other longitudnal ceiling beams. It may have housed the flue for the fire place. The beam starts directly above the fire place. The draw fan may have been in the uptake, rather than an extractor vent of the roof.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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I've had a look through the many and various pictures that I have that show the Lounge, Reading and Writing, Smoking room and sitting room fireplaces. All actually seem to have coal in them! Now I don't know whether this may be imitation coal or simply for decoration. But the Smoke Room fireplace certainly seems to have been functional. The fireplace in later life (I think after the war) had a screen installed I presume to decrease the area through which smoke etc. could escape from the fireplace.

The Lounge and Reading and Writing room fireplaces definitely look like functional fireplaces, so I wouldn't be surprised if they were and that the draw fan may have been in the uptake.

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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There would be another very practical reason for that screen, namely to prevent sparks from flying out and setting something on fire. (A sailors worst nightmare that. Believe me, I know!) As much wood as was used in those days, once something got started, if it wasn't put out fast, it would degenerate into a problem potentially enough to gut the entire ship. (Ask the Yarmouth Castle or the Morro Castle!)

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

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