Grand staircase of Titanic? or Olympic?


Bob Godfrey

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Scott, there are photographs of the staircases which are known beyond any doubt to have been taken on the Olympic. These structures didn't come off an assembly line, they were made by hand from natural materials, so when a 'new' photo comes to light this can be compared with the Olympic photos and from examination of small details like particular areas of wood grain patterning or irregularity it's possible to determine whether we are looking at another photograph of the same staircase rather than a different one. In the light of this, it's possible to say that no photographs of a 'Grand Staircase' other than those of the Olympic have yet been discovered and authenticated.
 

Scott Mills

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Bob, excellent. Thanks for clearing that up! As a follow up, is there any reason at all to believe photos of the grand staircase on Titanic would have been taken before her maiden voyage? Also, are there any color photographs taken of Olympic's grand staircase (not colorized) prior to her scraping in 35?
 

pipeorganest

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Um nobody asked for your opinion, and you are probably just saying that because there is no color picture of the staircase which of course there would not be, and that makes them look bad, these ships were indeed the Grandest, most lavish ships afloat, and still would be the most expensive, grandest ships afloat, with a 1st class ticket costing more than a QM2 ticket Today
 
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>>these ships were indeed the Grandest, most lavish ships afloat<<

Actually pipeorganist, they weren't. In fact, British flagged vessels were known to be rather pedestrian compared to their rivals from France and Germany.
 

Danishdane84

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All photo's of the grand staircase are in fact of Olympic's Grand Staircase. Olympic did have the Honor and Glory crowning time clock as well as Titanic and it is now currently on permanent display at Southampton Maritime museum (it's painted white following Olympic's refit where the entire Grand Staircase was painted Green in Art Deco style!). The museum obtained the clock's panel following the break up of Olympic in 1935. The photo's you refer to with a grand staircase with a basic clock are again from Olympic. Olympic and Titanic both had two Grand Staircases, the forward and the Aft, the Aft Grand Staircase was much smaller, less grand and was situated just forward of the First Class Smoke Room and A la Carte restaurant.
 
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Aaron_2016

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When I visited the Southampton maritime museum there was a notice beside the Grand staircase panel which said the famous clock on the Titanic was never installed and a mirror was placed there instead. The Titanic left Belfast before many fixtures and fittings could be delivered owing to the urgency to complete the Titanic for her maiden voyage following the delay repairing the Olympic, and the work was delayed further following the coal strike and delayed even further by the Easter holidays which meant the Titanic left Southampton with items missing and still sealed in crates. Wonder if the clock was left behind in Belfast or in Southampton. Perhaps there was time to install it 'during' the voyage? I recall several passengers who complained saying their rooms were not finished, carpets were missing, wires were exposed, toilet supplies were still sealed in crates, doors were jamming, room labels were missing, door buzzers were not working, and the heating was broken. Thomas Andrews and his team of workers were rarely seen off duty as the state of the ship was being inspected and tested during the maiden voyage. If they had more time I'm sure these problems would have been corrected before she left Belfast. I recall reading a letter from a dockworker in Southampton who was annoyed that the Titanic arrived in such a state with so little time to get her prepared and he actually said in his letter that he wished the ship would just sink and save him the bother because there was so much to do to get her ready for her maiden voyage.


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Skywatcher

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Hi all,

I wonder if anyone could help me clear two things up. I keep running into contradictory statements through my own research.

The first is the grand staircase on Olympic vs. Titanic. Some say that Olympic did not have "Honor and Glory crowning time" at all, and instead the forward grand staircase had this simpler time piece:

8ebc9ccaafc69bffdbf435d6dc9b5238.jpg


As we know, there are many images of the "Honor and Glory" staircase (all of which I assume were taken on board Olympic), so am I correct in assuming that the staircase shown in the picture is Olympic's aft grand staircase? And therefore am I right in assuming that Titanic had this same timepiece on her aft grand staircase?

The second issue is that of identifying Titanic and Olympic in photographs. It would seem that initially, Titanic was built to completely resemble Olympic, with the open A-deck promenade and evenly-spaced B-deck windows, etc. but at some point soon after the B-deck private promenades were added, necessitating the change in windows, as well as the addition of the enclosed A-deck promenade. My question is in what order these changes were made, and roughly when? At the moment I end up confusing myself when trying to identify some images (I have them in a book but not electronically) without knowing in what order the external changes to Titanic were made.

conspiracy_04.jpg


Any help would be greatly appreciated!
 

Kyle Naber

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Oct 5, 2016
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Hi all,

I wonder if anyone could help me clear two things up. I keep running into contradictory statements through my own research.

The first is the grand staircase on Olympic vs. Titanic. Some say that Olympic did not have "Honor and Glory crowning time" at all, and instead the forward grand staircase had this simpler time piece:

View attachment 39118

As we know, there are many images of the "Honor and Glory" staircase (all of which I assume were taken on board Olympic), so am I correct in assuming that the staircase shown in the picture is Olympic's aft grand staircase? And therefore am I right in assuming that Titanic had this same timepiece on her aft grand staircase?

The second issue is that of identifying Titanic and Olympic in photographs. It would seem that initially, Titanic was built to completely resemble Olympic, with the open A-deck promenade and evenly-spaced B-deck windows, etc. but at some point soon after the B-deck private promenades were added, necessitating the change in windows, as well as the addition of the enclosed A-deck promenade. My question is in what order these changes were made, and roughly when? At the moment I end up confusing myself when trying to identify some images (I have them in a book but not electronically) without knowing in what order the external changes to Titanic were made.

View attachment 39119

Any help would be greatly appreciated!
The first one is more simple to figure out at a first glance. There are no photographs, that we know of, of Titanic’s grand staircases. You guessed correctly that the one pictured was Olympic’s aft staircase. However, Olympic actually did have the “Honor and Glory” carvings, as this is a photograph of Olympic’s foward grand staircase:

7D9349A3-6892-4878-A253-2BBCFA6042AB.jpeg


The Titanic has been assumed to have identical, if not, extremely similar designs in these areas.

The second photograph is of the Titanic. Those windows and promenade decking, as you mentioned, in fact would later be altered by the finishing of the superstructure.

-Kyle
 
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Aaron_2016

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On a related note. I saw the original staircase panel from the Olympic at the old Southampton maritime museum about 10 years ago.



olympicsclock.jpg


olympicpanel.png


A notice beside the panel said there wasn't time to mount the clock on the Titanic and a mirror was placed instead for the maiden voyage. Not sure where this claim originated from.


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Harland Duzen

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The mirror was mentioned in the book ''Titanic Voices'':

"Charles Willson, who carved the central portion of the Honour and Glory Crowning Time panel...remembered that when the Titanic finally set sail from Belfast there had not been time to set a clock into the similar ornate carved panel over the First Class Staircase, and a mirror had to be substituted until the clock arrived."

It's interesting that Willson said "similar ornate carved panel" because that would imply they weren't the same.
 
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robert warren

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It seems strange that a major part of Titanic's interior would not have been in place already.I read about last minute activities like paint and carpeting being installed, dishes and crockery coming aboard in mounting piles waiting to be put away etc. This frenetic activity was going on during the days leading up to the voyage. Very interesting about the mirror though.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Would be interesting if they found the circular mirror inside the wreck or the debris field. (assuming the Titanic left Southampton with the mirror and not the clock).


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Harland Duzen

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Looking at the wreck photos, not only has the staircase itself gone, but also the banisters and wall panels showing the wall to the lifts behind it.
cf925622fc0973477f67ca04f7a311ea--titanic-wreck-titanic-ship.jpg


Also from this Ken Marschall painting (which might be outdated given it's was painted back in the 1990's), we see the roof and above the Grand Staircase has fallen in even with the boat deck support beams gone showing not just the dome broke but the roof literally opened up like a hinge or sardine can as the Staircase possibly popped out.
tumblr_m8k5dbJ0KF1rr91rqo1_500.jpg


Note: As a another point from Post 31, would't it be possible that Charles Wilson descendants might have the original plans for both Olympic and Titanic's Grand Stair Case Panels?
 
Mar 18, 2008
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The first is the grand staircase on Olympic vs. Titanic. Some say that Olympic did not have "Honor and Glory crowning time" at all, and instead the forward grand staircase had this simpler time piece:


As we know, there are many images of the "Honor and Glory" staircase (all of which I assume were taken on board Olympic), so am I correct in assuming that the staircase shown in the picture is Olympic's aft grand staircase? And therefore am I right in assuming that Titanic had this same timepiece on her aft grand staircase?

Don't know where and when this came up but have seen it often that the photograph of the aft staircase with the simple clock was said to be from Olympic and the other with Honor & Glory from Titanic. Both ships had the same staircase and clocks, Britannic was similar too. There might have been a few small differences but there are no known photographs from Titanic to say.


The second issue is that of identifying Titanic and Olympic in photographs. It would seem that initially, Titanic was built to completely resemble Olympic, with the open A-deck promenade and evenly-spaced B-deck windows, etc. but at some point soon after the B-deck private promenades were added, necessitating the change in windows, as well as the addition of the enclosed A-deck promenade. My question is in what order these changes were made, and roughly when? At the moment I end up confusing myself when trying to identify some images (I have them in a book but not electronically) without knowing in what order the external changes to Titanic were made.

View attachment 39119
Both images are from Titanic, the first at the day of her launch (31st May 1911) the other one before her maiden voyage (possibly April 8th?).
Work on B Deck started by late August or early September 1911, the work on the forward A Deck started by February 1912.
 
That's interesting, maybe they were considering the inclusion of deluxe suites for some time and changed the design with regards to that area soon after the launch? However, why waiting so much to enclose the forward Promenade, given that for that time Olympic had been in service for almost 8 months and the inconveniences of the un-enclosed promenade would have been obvious from the maiden voyage? Could it be that the disadvantages of the unenclosed promenade were only discovered in the winter months and therefore the the modifications were introduced in Titanic only in February?
 

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