Those are plans for the staircase on the P&O liners Mooltan and Maloja, also built by Harland & Wolff. They were lent to Cameron for inspiration while working on his film. These plans were reproduced in Tom McClusky's "Anatomy of the Titanic."
The lack of photographs of the Titanics Grand Staircase is likely due to the fact that it never occured to anybody to take some. As the lead ship of the class, it was the Olympic that was the star. Nobody was betting on ending up in the limelight by striking ice and plummeting to the bottom. Had it been just a little bit different, I doubt anybody would care all that much.
In all likelyhood, there were some minor differences. This is common enough on ships of the same general class in series production. Especially when the shipping lines wanted to have some differences to point to. I wouldn't be surprised if some photos do exist in private collections. Hopefully, the day is not long in coming when these photos will see daylight.
Various pieces recovered from the aft staircase and the recent exploration of the staircase foyers on the wreck suggest that there were no major differences between the staircase on the Titanic and the Olympic. Of course the carvings of the columns would have differed (as they did on Olympic), but generally the style of both staircases was the same. The lack of photos may be due to the fact that little variation existed between Olympic's and Titanic's staircases, thus as there were plenty of Olympic's staircase photos, little new would be achieved by taking photos of Titanic's.
As I recall from reading Ken Marschall's report, there were a few additional columns added to the staircase on D-deck. Not sure about the other decks, but I would assume that was the most significant change between the two.
Stanley May had previously travelled on the Olympic and Titanic. He wrote a letter to his wife and said the ships are basically the same, only Titanic is a little larger and had extra state rooms.
It just seems that details like extra carpets on every step might be mentioned in letters. If they have been, I have not come across this at all. Perhaps these extra carpets is a misunderstood quote possibly referring to (blue?) rugs in the staircase foyers?
It seems that having carpet on the stairways would be inpractical, as there would be numberous amounts of scruff marks and wear from continious treading on by shoes. I would have to go with Daniel, the passenger proably meant the rugs on the foyers. Most people belive that the clock was eventually fitted before the ship left Southampton. The Grand Staircase without a clock I couldn't imagine it ;-)
I could be mistaken, but I think I recall reading that a passenger adjusted his watch by the clock from the grand staircase. I know there were other clocks on the B and C (possibly E) deck landings, but I mean they used the clock from the honour and glory panel. I think I also remember reading that a passenger stayed up to adjust their watch to the aft staircase clock.
The Grandstair case onboard Titanic had a fault!
Two of the carpenters cause a split on the rear of the staircase and were worried about having to pay for the material used. Instead they covered the split in with glue and sawdust! When Titanic sank after they shock, their mistake would never have been noticed,
except they told their families about several months later.
James -- mixing sawdust and glue to fix small imperfections is still commonly practiced. It works well with the hide glues of 1912 and even better when sawdust is mixed with varnish to make a paste. Todays "Plastic Wood" product is similar to the concoctions of those log-ago woodworkers.
If the men split a large panel because they were trying to force it into place, they might well have been charged for destruction of the company's property in 1912. However, that sort of event is so common with woodworking that I imagine the men embellished the story a bit in the retelling by putting an element of personal risk into it.
Another technique for fixing cracks is to cut a fine wedge of material. It is then coated with either glue or varnish and driven home. Later, when the glue dries, the strip is planed flush. I used this technique a few years ago on the caprail of Red Witch, a 74-foot schooner here on Lake Erie. We did not have time to carefully fit a new nibbed scarph joint to an existing one--the boat was due in the water. So, I cut as close to the old joint as possible and then filled the gap with a wedge. So far, nobody has noticed. (PS--don't tell.)
Those carpenters and joiners at H&W faced an unsual problem. Metal expands and contracts primarily with changes in temperature. Wood is not so affected by temperature, but expands and shriks with changes in humidty. Fastening two such different materials requires some creativity. Elongated screw holes and other transitional devices must be used to allow for the different movements of the materials. Knowing which way to elongate the hole takes some years of experience.
Woodwork created in a dry, heated shop will expand considerably when fitted into a hull where dampness is the rule. A panel which is "captive" on both sides will bow outward under such conditions and may develop cracks.
Another problem is arranging the brackets on the steelwork so that they are "flat" with regard to the wood. If one bracket extends out too far, it can cause a panel to crack when it is fixed in place.
So, while I have no knowledge of any problems with cracked panels in Titanic's main stairway, I would be more surprised if they did not exist than if there were a couple or three cracks. However, the difference between a professional "woodbutcher" and an amateur is that the pro knows how to cover up his mistakes. That's why I suspect James' story has some truth to it. Both the problem and the solution he describes are common.
The story about the crack was told to me by having a Grandfather who was a riveter, started as a riveter in Harland and Wolff, May 1909, first ship, Titanic, last ship Canberra. My Dad worked in the Yard for 41 years as a Driller. Both named Alexander (Alick) Carlisle and both like me born in Comber. So in our house all you heard about was ships and life in the Yard.
I'm interested to know what design was on the grand staircase clock. I have seen as number of pictures or drawings of the grand staircases clock but i'm confused with the one at the front of the ship and the one at the back. I'm not sure if i'm seeing the 'Olympic' ship of the stair case.