Fourth Funnel a vent

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Parks Stephenson

Member
quote:

Check it out sometime when you have a moment.

Michael,

I'd like to, but I don't think that's going to happen. It's all a matter of priorities. There just isn't enough time in the day to do everything that I should be doing. All the time that I have for old steamship stuff is taken up by the Olympics. I've already given up most of my other hobbies (classic car restoration, WW2 re-enacting) to devote more time to Titanic. If I spend the time to learn about every liner ever built, then I would have to take away from my paying job, family, etc., and that's just not going to happen. In my opinion, there is more to life than ocean liners of the past, so there is only so much of the topic that I am willing to tackle. Instead, I depend on people like the experts in this thread who are more devoted to and knowledgeable about the entire history of passenger steamship service for the perspective I need to understand my own research. If I have a tidbit of information based on my experience and/or research that is relevant to your ongoing discussions, then I will contribute; otherwise, I defer to the experts.

Parks​
 
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Lucy Burkhill

Member
>>I'm sure I've seen a builder's model of Olympic with three funnels<<

Paul, I can't speak for Olympic, but you may be interested to know that the earliest design for Lusitania (from 1902), shows her with only three funnels, and, incidently, three screws. In the M Warren reprint of the 1907 "Engineering" (p4 if anyone has a copy), there is a photo of the prototype Lusitania which has only three funnels. In his introduction Mr Warren mentions that initially, proposals submitted by the major British shipbuilders for the new superliners showed three funnels, however, Cunard eventually decided on four because the German express liners were all four-stackers, and so the prestigious British ships could have no less! Also, the book states that before WW1, passengers equated the number of funnels with the speed and safety of the ship, and therefore booked passage in great numbers on the four-stackers. This would most likely have been another reason for White Star to give the Olympic class their fourth funnel.

Lucy
 
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Tarn Stephanos

Member
Speaking of funnels- does anyone know if all five funnels on Brunel's great 19th century liner 'Great Eastern' were utilized, or were any of her funnels just for ventilation?

What an unlucky ship- She once suffered a boliler explosion, and a funnel shattered like a grenade....
One of her funnels is still around- after she was scrapped- a funnel was used as some sort of underground pipe...

In the classic book 'Damned By Destiny', there were plans for a 5 funneled German liner (that was never built) in the 1890s- Imagine what influence that would have had on other liners of that time, had that 5 funneled liner been built...


regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Tarn,

The Great Eastern had five boiler rooms, one funnel and uptake for each so yes, all five were functional.

However, when she was commissioned as a cable layer, the forth funnel as well as the boilers it serviced were removed and the space made into a cable locker.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
Michael H. Standart

Michael H. Standart

Member
>>Does anybody have an authoritative source for the claim that the Olympic ships were originally to have three funnels? <<

I think I saw something in the endpieces of Birth of the Titanic, but I can't vouchsafe it's authenticity. The idea may have been kicked around in the early stages but this is typical of any ships design process, even today. Some quite fanciful "Artist's conceptions" show up in the media which seldom if ever bear any really close resemblance to what actually goes into the water. The idea of a three funneled ship may have been kicked around for the Olympics but if it was, it clearly didn't last long.

Parks, you may find http://www.greatoceanliners.net/index2.html to be of some interest. Personally, I'm wondering if the eighty lifeboats worked in to the design post Titanic served to aggravate the problems of an already tender ship. They couldn't have helped!
 
Stanley C Jenkins

Stanley C Jenkins

Member
The explosion aboard The Great Eastern in September 1859 was not a boiler explosion. It was caused by a build-up of pressure in a feedwater heating system, which caused one of the funnels to blow up. This unusual incident was fully reported in The Times.
 
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Tarn Stephanos

Member
Thank you for the correction Stanley-
This makes me wonder about 'funnel mishaps'- Have other funnels on different ships exploded, unexpectly fallen over or caught fire due to accumulation of soot? With the threat of chimney fires in ones home being real, im sure funnel fires on some of the older liners were commonplace....



regards


tarn Stephanos
 
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Brian R Peterson

Guest
Hi Tarn,

An interesting note about the feedwater pump explosion, aside from causing the death of I.K. Brunel when he learned of it, it also caused funnel No.1 to reportedly take off like a rocket.

Removed from the ship during repairs, the base of the damaged funnel was converted to act as a water strainer at a pumping station at Sutton Poyntz, near Weymouth, where until recently it formed an integral part of the system.

Donated by Wessex Water to the SS Great Britain Trust, the section is just over seven feet wide and over five feet tall and is the only remaining iron part still in existence of Brunel's third and final ship.

You can clearly see the base portion of one of the Great Eastern's funnels from this, the last photograph taken of I.K. Brunel just days before his death on September 15, 1859.

118864


Best Regards,

Brian
 
Stanley C Jenkins

Stanley C Jenkins

Member
Hello Tarn,
I was trying to amplify your comments, rather than "correct" them - the effects of the explosion would certainly have been similar to those of a boiler failure. The sudden eruption of the funnel caused a major blow-back and filled the forward boiler room with steam and hot gases. William Briscoe, "The junior engineer of the paddle engine department", threw himself down and covered himself with his coat to escape the steam, but the stokers and firemen ignored his orders to stay put and climbed upwards into the hottest steam, as a result of which they were literally boiled alive. William Briscoe, who escaped with scalded hands, had to shelter under his coat for no less than five minutes until the steam had dissipated - this must have been a terrifying experience!
 
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Paul Wilkinson

Member
Hi again Dave,

So much for my mind's eye! I think I've found the photo I was remembering of the builder's model. It shows the cowl vents (which I remembered after I'd posted above), but it certainly has four funnels. Ah well...

Cheers

Paul
 
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TitanicNerd

Member
The 4th Funnel

So, I know it was a fake, but it was ventilation for something.... people say it was the boilers but don't the 3 normal funnels do that? Some say it was ventilation for the kitchens, but what to ventilate? Did a little steam come out of the 4th funnel?

[Moderator's note: This message originally started a new thread even though there was an existing thread addressing the same subject. For the final time: USE THE SEARCH FUNCTION!!! MAB]
 
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Ioannis Georgiou

Member
The 4th funnel was not "a fake". It was used for ventilation of the turbine engine room and also for the smoke from the kitchens and 1st class smoking room, so yes, some steam was coming out of the 4th funnel.
 
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TitanicNerd

Member
So many people say it was a fake, sorry. But I believe you. Thanks for your answer!
 
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