Dishwashers


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philip whittick

Guest
Hi David

You certainly opened up a hornet’s nest here. I have been racking my brains trying to figure out how the victualling department worked on Titanic. I think it is clear there was a huge gulf between first, second, and third class passengers and this is reflected in the way the catering services were organized and delivered (and, of course in how much the passengers paid for their tickets.)

An examination of the crew list throws up some interesting anomalies. There were 97 first class saloon stewards (for 322 passengers) and 44 second class saloon stewards (for 275 passengers). There are no saloons stewards specifically designated for the 712 third class passengers. When you look at the staff listed as working in the galley it is difficult to see how there was a sufficient number of cooks to run three separate galleys.

I would like to get hold of Dr Pellegrino’s book “Ghosts of the Titanic” and see what he has got to say about it all (and what his sources are). That bit about the waiters putting their tips in the automatic dishwashers in the A La Carte Restaurant rings true for me. Waiters used to put their own personal crockery through our machines at the very end of the meal when everything had quieted down. They never put tips on because they did not get their tips until reaching port (and they were bills not coins). But on Titanic would I be right in saying that the passengers used to pay for their meals in the a la carte restaurant and thus would probably tip at the end of each meal.

I hope to find out a lot more about the general victualling arrangements on Titanic. I am sure there is a lot of information around. One problem I have is when I try to access the deck plans for decks B,C, and D, there is no text identifying the various rooms, as there is for the other decks. Is this the same for everyone or is it just me?

Best wishes

Phil
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Beware Dr. Pellegrino's books.(He's written more then one.) I don't have them myself, but his work has been discussed here and I've been given to understand that they're full of inaccuracies.

I don't know mujch about tipping customs, however, the A La Carte Restaurant was a tarriff restaurant where the patrons paid for their meals.

On the deck plans, it's the same for us as it is for you. Do you by chance have the Eaton & Haas plans in Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy? Short of getting the info from Harland & Wolff directly, they are generally regarded as the best available.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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philip whittick

Guest
Thanks for that Michael,

I was able to reserve that book, Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy, from my local library. Should have it within a couple of days.

I take your point about Dr Pellegrino. I am just curious to know exactly what he wrote about the victualling arrangements, and where he got his information from. Perhaps he names sources that can be followed up. My line of thinking is that he would not be mistaken (hopefully) about obscure catering minutiae.

The point about the tipping arrangements is that passengers who dine in the dining saloon are normally “looked after” each meal by the same waiter at the same table. It is (or at least was) the convention for the passenger to give the waiter one largish tip for all his services the night before the ship arrives at its destination. If a passenger ate in the a la carte restaurant on an occasional basis and paid separately for each meal then the probability was (I would think) that s/he will leave a tip each meal as would happen in a hotel ashore.

Regards

Phil
 

Kris Muhvic

Member
Jul 3, 2001
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Hello all!
I guess I just can't leave this one alone!
One Has to rememember that these meals, all meals, all classes, consisted of many, many courses;
13 in 1st. class Dining saloon,
About 10 in a la carte.
In 2nd. class, 3 courses listed, but approx. 4 dishes served in all (rememember, these are not menues where you "pick and choose", you eat it all!).
In 3rd. class- breakfast, dinner, tea and supper. Probably the most "modern" menu... at least with quantity.
Now, that was just Dinner, I left out Breakfast, Luncheon, hot bullion on deck, the Verandah cafe, etc.
How many Dishes? ...Oh! Let us not forget all the Silverware! (Silver, which needs Polishing!) Nor Condiment pieces, serving dishes, serving spoons, tongs, forks, Pitchers...glassware! Dare I think of Linens!
Look, I still have no answers on how all this mountain of meal-time mayhem was cleaned up, but there must have been, however primitive, some real system in place.
Whew! Now, as far as tips (by the way, I heard that TIP stands for "To Insure Promptness"), according to "Notes for First Class Passengers..." (1910 ed.):
"GRATUITIES
are purely optional on the part of passengers, and any case of Stewards or others Demanding same should be reported to the Managers, when the matter will be seriously dealt with."
(The above from "The Titanic Collection", a "box" set from THS...Great stuff in that Steamer trunk!).
Well, had to get all that off my chest...forgive me.

Yours-
Kris
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,666
881
563
Easley South Carolina
Hi Phillip, I wish you luck in checking out those sources, but don't get comfortable with the assumption that Pellegrano wouldn't be mistaken about the trivia. From all accounts I've heard, everything he asserts needs to be double checked.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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philip whittick

Guest
Don’t worry Michael I shall be examining Dr Pellegrino’s credentials very carefully. I am only interested in what actually went on in Titanic, not what some authors with colourful imaginations would like me to believe. I found the following quote in a book I got from the library today.

“As the water crept inexorably up the stairways toward the Boat Deck on which the crowd stood watching the lifeboats fill, Andrews was heard to say, “Now men, remember you are Englishmen. Women and children first.”

Rather a strange thing for a native Irishman to say to a mixed throng of North Americans, Brits and Europeans, as well as some Chinese.

I am curious to know Dr P’s sources because there was so little time for any established customs or practices to develop on Titanic (and hence be commented on) and most of the staff of the a la carte restaurant perished.

Regards

Phil
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 25, 2001
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Phil,

About your Andrews quote: isn't it also interesting that Andrews was supposed to be in the Smoking Room by the time that the water was Boat Deck level?

happy.gif


David
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Mar 16, 2000
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A great deal of what we have about Thomas Andrews comes from Shan Bullock's hagiography (look it up!) written in 1912.

Sometimes Bullock names sources, including Albert Dick and Judith Sloan, but mostly the witness is "a steward" or "others tell a similar story". The "Remember you are Englishmen" comes from "a stewardess". The well-known story of him standing before the smoking room painting is from "an assistant steward". Someone is even supposed to have seen him in the engineroom at the end. Still others have him throwing deck chairs overboard "a few minutes before the end".

If we look at the list of survivors and when they left the ship, some of Bullock's evidence looks rather weak. Precious few of those on board to the end survived.

Bullock's book is not widely known outside Titanic specialists and it's easy to lift passages from it and present them as your own work.
 
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philip whittick

Guest
Update On Charles Pellegrino

I now have a copy of “Her Name Titanic”, by Dr Pellegrino and it soons becomes apparent why some people have reservations about his work. This authors main focus appears to be on the emotional aspects of the disaster. Dr P likes to punctuate long silences with his own dialogue and employs the consistent tactic of combining known facts with assertions not found (to the best of my knowledge) elsewhere.
For example, on page 112 we have the following extract concerning the crewman who tries to slip the life jacket of Phillips back as he is tapping away on his wireless.

“Bride grabbed a length of steel and struck the man on the head. He dropped to the floor, and Bride clubbed him to death right where he fell”. The man doesn’t deserve to die a decent sailors death!” Bride explained. “Drownings too noble for him.”

That is stretching it a bit, isn’t it?

Regards

Phil
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Mar 16, 2000
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This is similar to what I mentioned concerning lifting things from Shan Bullock. This time it's a slightly adapted version of what Bride told The New York Times on arriving in New York. Bride is quoted as saying, among other things "I don't know what it was I got hold of". He didn't want the man to die "a decent sailor's death". "I wished he might have stretched rope or walked the plank." "I hope I finished him". Pellegrino has elaborated on this only a little. He quite ignores the fact that Bride gave at least three versions of the story.