Hazard for Women on the Grand Staircase?


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Aaron_2016

Guest
Is it true that passengers had to walk single file on the Grand staircase? Was this a hazard? Walking up and down the Grand staircase while at sea must have been very alarming for the women. I understand they wore clothing so tight that their skirts were known as 'hobble skirts' and they needed to hold onto a gentleman's arm or use a cane or umbrella just to stop themselves from falling over as they could only take small steps. They even had to be lifted up and carried into the lifeboats owing to their tight skirts. Imagine walking unescorted from the boat deck down to their cabins on E-deck and up again. Perhaps this is why the elevators were installed and invented in the first place? ;) Wonder how busy they were on the Titanic.

Mrs Harris fell down the staircase on Sunday afternoon. The Titanic was listing to port around that time. Did she misplace her footing owing to the list and fall? Were the stairs recently washed and she slipped? I have heard that she stepped on a cream slice of cake that someone had dropped on the staircase after four o'clock tea was over. A few questions - Why was nobody escorting her down the stairs? Did she feel she could manage on her own or was the staircase too small for a gentleman to help her down the stairs? Why did none of the stewards notice there was a dropped piece of cake on the stairs? When were the stairs washed and without a 'caution wet floor' notice was there any member of the crew at hand to alert the passengers that the floor was wet?

If the weather had been rough would the elevators be out of service owing to the swaying of the elevator cage and would there be extra hands of the crew at the top of the staircase and the foot of the staircase to help the passengers as the swaying lifted their feet all over the place as the ship battled the waves?


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Rob Lawes

Member
Jun 13, 2012
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:confused:

I've seen some funny questions on here but crikey Aaron, this post is going to take some beating.

I have no idea how you are going to find the answers to your cake question.

As for the lifts in rough weather I guess if it was very serious they probably would be out of use.
 
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Aaron_2016

Guest
Just researching health and safety aboard ship and if the staircase was pretty hazardous for its time. If the ship were to be rebuilt (Titanic 2) there might need to be extensive changes made owing to current health and safety polices.


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Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Hobble skirts were about history by 1912, though Edith Russell mentions wearing one. Remember that in those days people were used to using stairs at home and in public places. The staircase was wide enough for a woman to go down with a man beside her, though it was nowhere as grand as people make out. I believe the staircase in Cameron's flick was wider than the real thing, just to make it seem grander.

As to cake, watch where you put your feet is a good motto.
 

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