Gates?


Dec 2, 2000
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>>Maybe someday we'll see a TV special dismantling some of the Titanic myths! <<

I'd love to see that happen. Some of the productions out there masquerading as "Documentaries" are laughable. Some are enough to have me leave the room or change the channel so I don't rip my own hair out. This locked gates thing is one of those legendary events that the press latched nto and it's taken on a life of it's own ever since. I don't know if it'll ever go away.

I wish you had been there when Cathy gave her presentation. She did a wonderful job of cutting through the B.S. that I wish we could see more of. It was about as thorough and well researched as they come. Maybe the 2006 Symposium?
 
Dec 7, 2000
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All,

I just wanted to add a few things. There is at least one confirmed bostwick gate in 3rd class on E deck, which was at the starboard fore 3rd class double staircase leading up to D deck. Why it was there I don't know, as there were two other staircases nearby which lead to D deck but no gate is indicated on them.

I wonder whether Cathy is right in questioning whether these gates were so common that they weren't normally mentioned on plans. Because it makes no sense to have a gate on that one set of stairs considering that two others (if the plans are to be taken literally) had free access.

Another thing. The G deck alternate 2nd or 3rd class accommodation I think was used for 3rd class on Titanic's voyage. This is the only possible place that Pickard could have had cabin 10 in the stern (the other cabin 10 was fore on E deck). In which case there would have to be some sort of barrier, be it locked or unlocked to prevent 3rd class freely wondering up the stairs to 2nd class F deck. Perhaps a bostwick gate was here.

However there was another staircase on the port side of the G deck section which allowed access to the 3rd class accommodation on the upper decks. When the G deck area was used for 2nd class, segregation would have been required at this set of stairs. Pickard mentioned a doorway that warned 2nd class not to go through there. Perhaps this is where another bostwick gate was and might have been the "movable" door that Pickard mentioned. On the other hand, this was no special area and in fact the only way up from G deck to the deck above and would have been part of Pickard's routine going to and from his cabin. In any case, it only led up to 3rd class.

These are just two further locations that may very well have had gates. They were probably never kept locked as Bruce mentioned, but at least they might have been there.

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I wonder whether Cathy is right in questioning whether these gates were so common that they weren't normally mentioned on plans<<

Perhaps because likewise, it makes no sense to mention the existance of two gates and hide the existance of the rest if they existed at all. I don't have any reason to suppose that they did. Sensational media reports and the legends that built up around them aside, I've seen no evidence from any primary source that they ever even existed.
 
Jul 7, 2002
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Michael, Daniel, and Bruce,

Thank you for your kind words about my presentation. And thank you, Michael, for posting the links!

I'm still researching the topic and hope to publish it as an article some day, but so far haven't found much new to add, just passenger stories about how hard it was to get around on Olympic, or similar situations on other ships.

>> After reading the BOT regulations pertaining to Immigration ships from 1911, I found that they did acknowledge emergency passages.<<

Bruce, I'd like to use this source for my article. Do you know where I could get a copy? BTW, I love your deck plans! I need to update my slides now that I know for sure where the aft B-deck gates were, thanks to your plans.

>>In which case there would have to be some sort of barrier, be it locked or unlocked to prevent 3rd class freely wondering up the stairs to 2nd class F deck. Perhaps a bostwick gate was here. <<

Daniel, don't you wish Berk Pickard had been more specific about the location of his cabin? Very frustrating.

Another thing that makes this a challenging topic is the terminology. The Inquiries, like Walter Lord, often use the terms "gates," "barriers," and "doors" interchangeably so sometimes it's hard to know exactly what the speaker means.

>>Sensational media reports and the legends that built up around them aside, I've seen no evidence from any primary source that they ever even existed.<<

I agree. For those who haven't read my presentation, the only references to gates I've found so far in primary sources refer to the waist-high gates on B-Deck and the Boat Deck. If I find anything new, you guys will be first to know!

Best wishes,
Cathy
 

rob scott

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I haven't seen this mentioned in this thread, so let me ask a couple things on 3rd and 2nd:
is it that 3rd was treated differently in terms of quaranteen and medical inspection? and that would be 'why' the gates?

but what about immigrants who paid 2nd class? they could not be separated from 'foreign travelers' in 2nd who are not immigrating? except by a rule, 'please report to... after...'?

and what about Ellis Is. ? many immigrants had to go there, but what about 3rd immigrants who sailed straight to the West side piers? inspected? quaranteened?

There were of course 2nd immigrants, business or trade types going to Canada or Florida or Seattle to invest their grubstake and make a successful life ...
 
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Bruce Beveridge

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Cathy,

Can you E-mail me privately, and I will scan the pages out of the BOT rules on Emigrant vessels, and send them via E-mail.

I do have to find them however, which is why I didn't post the section numbers here. Finding them is another problem.

Bruce
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Cathy,

There were only two 3rd class cabins with the number 10. One was on E deck fore (a large room on the port side) and the other was G10 which was in the stern of the ship in the alternate 2nd or 3rd class section. Pickard paid over 8 pounds for his ticket, which was a little more than other 3rd class passengers paid. Since the G deck section was basically the best of 3rd class, and he said he was in the stern, I feel there was no other place for him to be than in G10. Which was a smaller cabin. I don't remember him mentioning fellow occupants, so he may very well have been alone.

By "gates" are we literally taking that term to mean waist-high and 'can climb over' or would a 'bostwick gate' also qualify as a gate? In which case there are primary sources such as the NARA plan which shows a few of these gates (including 3rd class).

Whether Pickard was on G deck or not, I do think there should have been some sort of barrier, and most probably a bostwick gate (since no doors are indicated) on the two staircases I mentioned in my last post.

Regards,

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>is it that 3rd was treated differently in terms of quaranteen and medical inspection?<<

They were and not entirely without good reason. A lot of these people came from places were health and sanitation standards were abysmally poor even by the standards of the day. Since somebody might have caught something that takes awhile to incubate (They would not show symptoms until they were...say...halfway across the ocean.) the immigration authorities were not out of line in playing it safe. People in 1st and 2cnd class tended to have live in much more sanitary conditions so with them, this wasn't much of a problem.

>>and that would be 'why' the gates? <<

This would assume there were in fact gates in the sense so often portrayed in the popular mythos. There's little real credible evidence to support this, and on close inspection, a lot against it. It doesn't help that, as Cathy pointed out, the terms "gates," "barriers," and "doors" were in fact used interchangably so it's all too easy to get things confused.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Rob, the 3rd Class immigrants were ferried to Ellis Island no matter where they were first landed at the New York piers. And there were of course similar facilities at other ports of arrival. By the time the liners docked the 1st and 2nd Class 'aliens' had already received their more leisurely medical and legal checks onboard, but if any failed to satisfy the inspectors then they too were bound for Ellis Island and thorough examination, no matter how much they had paid for their tickets. Generally about 3% of those who arrived in 1st and 2nd Class ended their journeys at Ellis Island.

Although these procedures were partly intended to prevent the import of contagious diseases, their main function was to filter out individuals in any passenger Class who were likely to become more of a liability than an asset to the United States. As well as the sick and infirm, potential criminals, anarchists, lunatics and vagrants were not welcome.
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Jul 7, 2002
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Hi Daniel,

>>G10 which was in the stern of the ship in the alternate 2nd or 3rd class section. Pickard paid over 8 pounds for his ticket, which was a little more than other 3rd class passengers paid. Since the G deck section was basically the best of 3rd class, and he said he was in the stern, I feel there was no other place for him to be than in G10.<<

I agree! He even mentions going through a door into second class. I'm guessing he means on of the moveable doors used to separate the sections of cabins that could be second or third class.

>>By "gates" are we literally taking that term to mean waist-high and 'can climb over' or would a 'bostwick gate' also qualify as a gate? In which case there are primary sources such as the NARA plan which shows a few of these gates (including 3rd class).<<

Right. Although most of the passenger references I've found to "gates" refer to the waist-high gates on B Deck and the Boat Deck, which could easily be climbed over, the NARA deck plans and Bruce Beveridge's deck plans show at least two Bostwick Gates. These are the tall folding gates like you see in all the movies. The one on E Deck forward it most puzzling to me. Why put it on one set of stairs but not the others nearby? Not to be repetitive, but that's what made me wonder if Bostwick gates were so common no one felt the need to put them on the plans unless they were unusual in some way.

Best wishes,

Cathy
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Cathy,

Thats what I was thinking as well. Personally I don't think that bostwick gates are that much of a mystery, but as you pointed out, the vast majority of the gates that passengers encountered problems with were on the upper decks, and were waist-high. So even if bostwick gates were commonplace on Titanic, they didn't seem to pose any problems to passengers (at least not to those that survived to thell their tale).

The only Titanic-related primary source that I know of which shows the bostwick gates is the NARA plan, which only shows two locations. Aside from the stairs fore on E deck, the other location is the hoist access on E deck (aft port).

However we know from a photograph that the D deck hoist entrance also had one of these gates, which is not shown on the NARA plan. Out of the hoist's 4 entrances (which I assume all had boswick gates), only one is shown on the deck plan. All 4 of the passenger elevators also had these gates, but none are shown on plans.

These are just the known locations, I proposed two others that may have had bostwick gates, and aside from the E deck entrance to the potato wash place and quite possibly the other two E deck sets of stairs leading to D deck, there could have been yet more as well. Only two are indicated on a Titanic plan. This might suggest that they were fairly commonplace, and as Bruce pointed out regulations required them to be opened from the 3rd class area (obviously by crew -- if they were locked) and they may not have even been locked at all.

Daniel.
 
Jul 7, 2002
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Hi Daniel,

>>So even if bostwick gates were commonplace on Titanic, they didn't seem to pose any problems to passengers (at least not to those that survived to thell their tale).<<

That's the real question, isn't it? I can't prove that it didn't happen because it's possible that it did, which means that's why I can't find any passenger accounts about passengers trapped by Boswick gates.

>>However we know from a photograph that the D deck hoist entrance also had one of these gates, which is not shown on the NARA plan.<<

I'm not sure where you are referring to -- and where did you find a photo?

>>All 4 of the passenger elevators also had these gates, but none are shown on plans.<<

Good point! I hadn't considered that as part of my gates research because the elevators were probably shut down before anyone could be trapped there, unlike Lusitania. (Pardon while have a severe case of the willies.)

Cathy
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>I'm not sure where you are referring to -- and where did you find a photo?<<

Cathy, try Ghosts Of The Abyss. If I recall correctly, a photo was published there. There were also some images in the documentary itself. I suspect it was there for safety reasons. (Like to keep somebody from doing something silly...like trying to open the things at sea.)
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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A couple more sources for a photo of the safety gate (or rather a safety gate) for the hoist are 'Titanic and her Sisters' (page 153) and the 'Shipbuilder' special edition of 1911 on the Olympic Class ships.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Cathy,

Try page 118 of Titanic Triumph and Tragedy for the photo of the hoist and the surrounding area. It was also published in the Shipbuilder fig.131. This photo is of the very aft port corner in the 2nd class galley and pantry areas.

Every hoist entrance would have loked like that. The gate was there to prevent people from falling in while the cage was traveling or on another deck, however E deck was the only deck where this gate was indicated on the NARA plan.

The elevator gates don't exactly pose a problem, it's not like they blocked off a section of a ship or a certain area to prevent people going from one place to another. And like you said, the elevators were out of operation anyway. My point was that there's enough *known* bostwick gates which are not indicated on plans.

Regards,

Daniel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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They may not have been indicated on the plans but the trick is to prove that they actually existed when nobody even testifies to it. Given the sheer numbers of 3rd class seen swelling on up topside near the end, even if they existed, they don't seem to have been much of a barrier to getting out on deck.
 
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Michael said:

>> I suspect it was there for safety reasons. (Like to keep somebody from doing something silly...like trying to open the things at sea.)<<

Oh, *those* gates! Yes, I know what you mean now. Very pretty -- and practical.

Daniel said:

>>Try page 118 of Titanic Triumph and Tragedy for the photo of the hoist and the surrounding area. It was also published in the Shipbuilder fig.131. This photo is of the very aft port corner in the 2nd class galley and pantry areas.<<

I see what you mean!

>>The elevator gates don't exactly pose a problem, it's not like they blocked off a section of a ship or a certain area to prevent people going from one place to another. And like you said, the elevators were out of operation anyway. My point was that there's enough *known* bostwick gates which are not indicated on plans.<<

Right. We don't always remember the gates over gangway doors or elevators -- and I should explain in my article that these would not prevent passengers from reaching the Boat Deck.

Michael said:

>>They may not have been indicated on the plans but the trick is to prove that they actually existed when nobody even testifies to it. Given the sheer numbers of 3rd class seen swelling on up topside near the end, even if they existed, they don't seem to have been much of a barrier to getting out on deck.<<

Excellent point, Michael!

Best wishes,

Cathy
 
Dec 6, 2000
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I have just come across this:

"Above [picture omitted] is the third class stairs. There were two of these stairs on Titanic and her sisters. These were the only ways 3rd class passengers could get to the well decks. Also, what you can't see in this picture is the gates at the foot of the stair well that locked 3rd classers in. However, Olympic and Britannic had these gates taken out when they entered war service."

on: http://members.aol.com/WakkoW5/FAQ.html
 
Dec 2, 2000
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That's interesting, Lester. Did the webmaster indicate what his sources are for that?

I've seen that photo before, only much larger and even in that one, you can see the bulkhead and the opening on the lower deck level...minus any sort of gate. Since the Well Deck as well as the poop deck were supposed to be the Third Class's promanade area, there seems to be little point in barricades to an area they were entitled to go to.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Michael is correct. No gates. That particular photo was taken on C deck inside the 3rd class entrance just under the poop deck looking aft. (See attached plan view.) The door on the right of the stairs in the photo referred to above is access to the 3rd class smoke room, that on the left of the stairs is access to the 3rd class general room. Going down the stairs gave access to 3rd class space on lower decks below. Going forward is access to the well deck. There were 2 doors, on on each side of cargo hatch 6. To get on the poop deck, you could go up stairs from the well deck on either side. Directly below from where the photographer was standing was the 3rd class surgery and waiting rooms on D deck.
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