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Hi Bill,

I forgot to address this point earlier:

quote:

A dark room for the use of first class passengers was installed on Olympic for her first few voyages but was removed shortly afterwards...
I'm not aware of any surviving documentation as to why this facility was withdrawn on White Star...

Nor am I, but I do remember that the provision of cloakroom accommodation on the Olympic was considered very useful when she entered service. It won praise for being a convinient facility for passengers, and I would assume that the White Star Line felt that a cloak room was a better use of the space than a dark room (for the reasons you outlined above). I am sure I remember seeing some comment on this from 1911, but as to whether I can lay my hands on it is another matter...

As an aside, did you receive a short e-mail from me a few weeks back?

Best wishes,

Mark.​
 

Bill Sauder

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Hi Mark,

Thanks for your kind comments. I am not aware of any postwar relocation of Aquitania's dark room, but I also don't follow her too closely and I'm sure someone else on ET must have an inter-war commercial deck plan that might show it.

I do know the dark room was definitely installed at the location you describe, but the builder's plans I've seen from 1914 were done at 1:96 and the details were rather muted as I recall. (John Brown had apparently abandoned the lavish 1:48 scale for plans that were drafted for Lusitania a few years earlier)

All I can assume is that by 1914 the Cunard Board had reversed its original feelings in the matter (that happened a lot) decided in favor of a dark room for Aquitania.

All things being equal, I would suspect the dark room would have remained in its place after WWI, except the room might have been closed to the public after Cunard introduced staff photographers to make the whole business of ship's photos a paying proposition.

By the way, I'm curious who found the Olympic cloak rooms especially praiseworthy? Is it in the Peskett report? (It's been a while since I've read it).

.... and no, I don't recall seeing a letter from you in my mail box - my spam filter might have tossed it by mistake. If you would, send it again, and put my name in the Subject line so I spot it right away.

Bill Sauder
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Bill,

Thanks for the clarification. I suspect your assumption would be the most logical explanation. After all, minds change over a decade of steamship development. I do find Aquitania interesting -- I found some aspects of her first class accommodation surprising, compared to other vessels of the time. I guess that's another discussion.

quote:

By the way, I'm curious who found the Olympic cloak rooms especially praiseworthy?

As I recall, it wasn't the report you mentioned. That was the first, and major, source when I began this aspect of my research into the Olympic. However, I've got a whole host of seperate memos, etc., dealing with the Olympic and I think it was in one of them.

In addition, Olympic's cloak room accommodation on the promenade deck was reportedly increased during the 1912-13 refit -- something I don't think they would have done unless it was a valued feature. Right now, I only have a later set of plans to hand (1930s), which show two large cloakrooms on the promenade deck -- one on each side, aft of the first class lounge. Each one, of course, is bigger than the deck pantry. It's not something I've studied in depth, but clearly ample cloakroom accommodation was provided throughout Olympic's service life -- even when first class passenger lists had shrunk, on average, to a level where they could all have eaten in the a la carte restaurant.

Best wishes,

Mark.​
 
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