Elevators (lifts) on the Titanic


T. Eric Brown

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Ah the gilded elevators, proudly displayed in paintings and postcards. Titanic had three. They had they're own light fixtures and operated between A Deck and E Deck. Were they all reserved for first class? Was Titanic the first ship to have elevators on board?
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Eric,

In addition to the 3 elevators in 1st Class 2nd Class also had an elevator. It ran from the Boat deck to F-deck.

The Lusitania and the Mauretania both had two elevators in 1st Class.
 

Bob Godfrey

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According to the Otis company, the first elevator ever installed on a ship was fitted to the Royal yacht Victoria and Albert in the year 1900. This was made and installed by the London-based Richard Waygood & Co, the same maker which later installed the elevators and lifts in the Titanic and her sisters. Otis now lay claim to all of these because Waygood became part of their organisation in 1914.
 
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May 7, 2005
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There were more than the three passenger elevators. If you inspect closely upon the Titanic's blueprints, you will notice that in addition to the passenger lifts there is a Hoist at the First and Second Class Galley as well as a Hoist at the Post Office. There may be more than those two hoists. I may have to check the blueprints some more.
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Cliff Johnson
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Clifton,

If you are including hoists as well as the two you mention [Mail Room to P.O. and 1st/2nd Class Galley to the Restaurant Galley] there was a Hoist from the 1st Class Pantry that went up to the Boat deck Pantry adjoining the Officer's Mess. There was also a Store's Hoist which came up from the Orlop deck to D-deck between the 2nd Class Dining Saloon Room and the 2nd Class Pantry.
 
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Noel F. Jones

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There was a hoist between the First Class pantry and the boat deck to serve the officers mess.

It was located inside the starboard after corner of the aftermost boiler casing.

Noel
 
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João Carlos Pereira Martins

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Did the lifts have big shinny mirrors in the sides, like Cameron showed in his film?

Regards, João
 
Apr 6, 2020
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Eric,

In addition to the 3 elevators in 1st Class 2nd Class also had an elevator. It ran from the Boat deck to F-deck.

The Lusitania and the Mauretania both had two elevators in 1st Class.

This is some 16 years after the original comment (!), but as a precision for anyone new who might stumble across this thread – the Second Class elevator did indeed run from the Boat Deck down to F Deck, but it skipped through A Deck. There was no landing for it there, since the entire deck was devoted to First Class.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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This is some 16 years after the original comment (!), but as a precision for anyone new who might stumble across this thread – the Second Class elevator did indeed run from the Boat Deck down to F Deck, but it skipped through A Deck. There was no landing for it there, since the entire deck was devoted to First Class.
Didn't know that. Thanks. A question if you know. The elevators for the mail room and galley..were they regular elevators or more like a dumbwaiter? I've seen different descriptions of them that don't jive with each other. Curious.
 
Apr 6, 2020
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Didn't know that. Thanks. A question if you know. The elevators for the mail room and galley..were they regular elevators or more like a dumbwaiter? I've seen different descriptions of them that don't jive with each other. Curious.
The short answer is no, I don't know. The hoist* up to the officers' mess is very small on the deckplans (with only room for an 'H' to annotate it!), strongly suggesting a dumb waiter – and in fact I'm pretty sure I've seen a reference to it as such on this site. The mail room hoist* looks larger (mailbags are more substantial than cutlery and crockery after all), and seems to have a more substantial casing around it, perhaps indicating a small freight elevator-type thing?

(*I'd call these 'hoists' rather than 'elevators', just to make a distinction from the passenger ones, as the deckplans list them.)

I'd definitely think the stores hoist (D Deck to Orlop Deck, just forward and to port of the Second Class elevator) was a small freight elevator affair, given the bulk nature of the provisions it had to carry. The fact it seems to be equipped with its own Bostwick gates puts me in mind of a similar lift at my workplace. Is that the one you mean when you say the galley elevator?

One point I noted while examining the deckplans for this reply is that the mail room hoist has a motor room beside it on its *bottom* deck (the Orlop Deck), in contrast to most (all?) of the other elevators/hoists which had their machinery at their top deck of operation. So it was 'driven' from below, not above, mechanically speaking. Definitely suggests a unique design for the mail room one.
 
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Nov 14, 2005
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The short answer is no, I don't know. The hoist* up to the officers' mess is very small on the deckplans (with only room for an 'H' to annotate it!), strongly suggesting a dumb waiter – and in fact I'm pretty sure I've seen a reference to it as such on this site. The mail room hoist* looks larger (mailbags are more substantial than cutlery and crockery after all), and seems to have a more substantial casing around it, perhaps indicating a small freight elevator-type thing?

(*I'd call these 'hoists' rather than 'elevators', just to make a distinction from the passenger ones, as the deckplans list them.)

I'd definitely think the stores hoist (D Deck to Orlop Deck, just forward and to port of the Second Class elevator) was a small freight elevator affair, given the bulk nature of the provisions it had to carry. The fact it seems to be equipped with its own Bostwick gates puts me in mind of a similar lift at my workplace. Is that the one you mean when you say the galley elevator?

One point I noted while examining the deckplans for this reply is that the mail room hoist has a motor room beside it on its *bottom* deck (the Orlop Deck), in contrast to most (all?) of the other elevators/hoists which had their machinery at their top deck of operation. So it was 'driven' from below, not above, mechanically speaking. Definitely suggests a unique design for the mail room one.
Ok thanks for the info. I will look around to see what I can find on them. I have found some pics of the machinery for the 1st and 2nd class elevators that say they are Titanic's but like almost all propeller pics they probably are of Olympic/Britannic. Thanks again.
 

Keith H

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the mail room hoist had the machine room at the bottom floor , there is nothing unique about this as "bottom drive " lifts are quite common.
There were four lift attendants on the Titanic and all perished and only three of their bodys were recovered interestingly is when looking at the vid of the elevator foyer in David Cameron exploration the ropes of one of the passenger lifts can clearly be seen indicating the car was on a lower deck when the ship sank , one wonders were any one trapped in the lift.
titanic goods lift.png
 
Nov 14, 2005
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the mail room hoist had the machine room at the bottom floor , there is nothing unique about this as "bottom drive " lifts are quite common.
There were four lift attendants on the Titanic and all perished and only three of their bodys were recovered interestingly is when looking at the vid of the elevator foyer in David Cameron exploration the ropes of one of the passenger lifts can clearly be seen indicating the car was on a lower deck when the ship sank , one wonders were any one trapped in the lift.View attachment 75858
I've never read anything where someone was trapped in a elevator. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen. I've seen that pic labeled as the 2nd class elevator. Seems they would have dressed it up a bit but maybe they didn't care about second class so much. Are you saying its the mail room lift? Don't know that much about it. But I have swapped out drive motors on all kinds of different elevators over the years. Thanks for the post.
 

Keith H

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I've never read anything where someone was trapped in a elevator. But that doesn't mean it didn't happen. I've seen that pic labeled as the 2nd class elevator. Seems they would have dressed it up a bit but maybe they didn't care about second class so much. Are you saying its the mail room lift? Don't know that much about it. But I have swapped out drive motors on all kinds of different elevators over the years. Thanks for the post.
Yes it is either the mail room hoist or another one on the Titanic ,
The latest pics I have included is the 2nd class elevator towards the rear of the ship , plus the machine room of it photo'd on the wreck.
 

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Keith H

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the mail room hoist had the machine room at the bottom floor , there is nothing unique about this as "bottom drive " lifts are quite common.
There were four lift attendants on the Titanic and all perished and only three of their bodys were recovered interestingly is when looking at the vid of the elevator foyer in David Cameron exploration the ropes of one of the passenger lifts can clearly be seen indicating the car was on a lower deck when the ship sank , one wonders were any one trapped in the lift.View attachment 75858
Here is a screen shot down the passenger lift shaft , then lift entrance with landing call button and remains of landing gates.
these are screen shots of a video of lift lobby on A deck.
 

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Mike Spooner

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According to a history Geoffrey Wheeler from Southampton on a sea trip SS Shieldhaul ship. He in form me there was a lift never fitted on to Titanic and where local business man brought it for hotel but could name the hotel. Half hoping I would know the answer? I said I did not any thing about it. So I ask out there does anybody heard of such a lift?
 

Mike Spooner

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According to a history Geoffrey Wheeler from Southampton on a sea trip SS Shieldhaul ship. He in form me there was a lift never fitted on to Titanic and where local business man brought it for hotel but could name the hotel. Half hoping I would know the answer? I said I did not any thing about it. So I ask out there does anybody heard of such a lift?
Sorry to say. I should of said but could NOT name the hotel.
 

Seumas

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According to a history Geoffrey Wheeler from Southampton on a sea trip SS Shieldhaul ship. He in form me there was a lift never fitted on to Titanic and where local business man brought it for hotel but could name the hotel. Half hoping I would know the answer? I said I did not any thing about it. So I ask out there does anybody heard of such a lift?
Such provinence is extremely dubious.

The lifts for the Titanic's first class and second class are there in black and white on the final approved deck plans and we know that they were all installed and running. There was simply no need to make any more.

Silly stories of "this was made for the Titanic you know, but they never installed it" are actually quite common. There are loads from years back archived on this forum.

There are dozens, perhaps even over one hundred, hotels, pubs, cafes, restaurants, club rooms, meeting rooms and private homes with claims to tables, chairs, shelves, windows and panelling that supposedly "was meant to be on the Titanic". 99% of such claims are complete and utter rubbish.

There are H&W experts alive today who can confirm whether something a) was made in their workshops and b) when it was made.
 
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