Funnel Face


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steve b

Guest
Just started into a new book, by Stephen Spignesi, called "The Complete Titanic", and have read a couple of interesting items so far, and id like to share a few for group consumption..."One odd story told about the Queenstown stop involved the ships 4th funnel-a nun functioning funnel used only as a vent for the kitchen. As passengers were awaiting titanics departure, many of them saw a soot blackened face peering out of the 4th funnel, looking down upon the ship. A stoker had climbed the ladder inside the funnel, and when he reached the top, he peered down upon the mingling passengers. The effect of a black face staring out of the giant funnel was diusturbing to many aboard, and some saw it as an omnious symbolic harbinger"..also interesting to me was that the author noted enroute to Queenstown from Cherbourg was the fact the Thomas Andrews ran a 10 minute test of emergency closing of the watertight doors, complete with ringing alarm bells sounding, and this was done according to the author to assure the rest of the crew that she was fully functional. Just wondering, but had any test of the closing been done prior??
 
Steve,

There is in fact a photograph of the ominous black face peering down from the fourth funnel. I have always somewhat doubted this story, though, since there was only one recollection of the occurrence and the "head" in the photo looks more like a scratch on the picture rather than a human. It is a minuscule dot with apparently no shoulders or neck. Besides, was there even access to the inside of the top of the fourth funnel? I doubt it was like in Adventure Out of Time!

David
 
It's interesting that when Olympic arrived in New York for the first time, two passengers were apparently spotted at the top of her fourth funnel, as well, but not stokers in this case; yet it wasn't a sign of bad luck for her. She proved very popular; Lusitania went by and did not sound her whistle in salute, because her master apparently didn't notice the massive Olympic, being saluted by every other ship and waved at by so many people!
 
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steve b

Guest
I guess if you go by what the author says, if you read his direct quote, it indicates many saw the face and apparently believed it. Heck i would be curious enough to climb the ladder and see the view, but then you all know im off center as is anyway
happy.gif
 
If it was a stoker at the top of the stack, he couldn't have climbed the ladder on the front of the funnel to get there. In the photo, his head is poking up just over the rim of the top. He was literally inside the funnel. The ladder on the front stopped at the whistles and did not go all the way to the top. He would have had to come up through the inside of the funnel to get to the top. I don't even think that that is possible, which leads me to my sceptism.

David
 
If you look at the photo, he's inside the funnel. As David said, he could have climbed the ladder on the front. I don't know how ladders and platforms were arranged inside the funnel, so I can't offer any explanation.

I took the photo and added a close-up for reference.

Man in the funnel photo

I had to put it in a webpage because all previews on ET wouldn't post the photo correctly, showing only the Angelfire logo.

Josh.
 
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steve b

Guest
Man thats so tough to tell anything based on the photo, i sure hope i wouldnt get called into court and be forced to testify about it lol. But the quote from the author did state the man climbed from inside the funnel, not outside. And heck yea i believe, theres people that just love doing goofy things in every generation. Heck i was reading about one crewman who hid in a mail sack and jumped out in either Cherbourg or Queenstown, just because he was looking for a free ride home. But based on what im hearing here, if this was done on other ships climbing the funnels, then it seems like it was a fairly common thing. Good job on the photo post Joshua, even if i cant really tell, its still a nice look at Tita
 
Steve,
The head shows up better in the books than the scan. I think that "Last Days of the Titanic" has a clearer version of it, but that's going on memory as I don't have the book.

Josh.
 
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Mac Smith

Guest
One of the funnels was a dummy, added for asthetic reasons, I have read. The fourth funnel, I believe.

Mac Smith
 
The new German liners had four funnels, Mauretania had four funnels. the public associated four funnels with speed, power, strength and safety. Pirrie thought four funnels would give the ships better lines than three funnels...
 
The newish 1890s/1900s German liners had four funnels, Mauretania had four funnels. the public associated four funnels with speed, power, strength and safety. Pirrie thought four funnels would give the ships better lines than three funnels...
 
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Philippe Delaunoy

Guest
Dear all,

There is a wonderful illustration of what you are talking about at the following adress : www.fatherbrowne.com
Choose "Gallery" and then "View stern of the Titanic".
The picture is very clear.

Bests regards.

Phil
 
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steve b

Guest
Phil-Thats an amazingly good pic, and it looks too good to be just a dot or glitch on the photo. Seems to lend credence to the story being real, for as passengers apparently have testified to seeing it and now there is a fairly clear view of something there. My best guess would be to go by what the passengers saw, for as they had the closest view. By the way, was there ever any claim amongst the stokers as to who it was up there? Did any of them claim to be the black face? Another nice job on a pic post, when i first started this thread i had no idea there was even a pic available about the incident. Then in less than 24 hours there are 2 on here. A remarkable tribute to you al
 
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