Question How long did the interior remain in good condition?


David Harris

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Jun 28, 2020
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Ever since I saw the interior photos as a youngster of the beautiful paneling, furniture, fireplace mantels, light fixtures, fabrics, etc. I have wondered how long after sinking would they have stayed in good conditon before disintegrating? I don't imagine it would take years, but, any ideas of how long things would have remained as they were, at least in the bow section?
 
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Cam Houseman

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Jul 14, 2020
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Ever since I saw the interior photos as a youngster of the beautiful paneling, furniture, fireplace mantels, light fixtures, fabrics, etc. I have wondered how long after sinking would they have stayed in good conditon before disintegrating? I don't imagine it would take years, but, any ideas of how long things would have remained as they were, at least in the bow section?
You mean as, before she was found?

Well, the paint on Titanic may have been there in perfect condition maybe until the 1920s, perhaps the '30s at best. The decks may have been eaten or in the process of being eaten, it'd depend when the Mollusks got to the wreck.

Strangely, the wreck didn't start collapsing until after 2000, even the Stern which was in unbelievably bad condition. Could that mean the rusticles are were new to the wreck, prior to 1985?
 

David Harris

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You mean as, before she was found?

Well, the paint on Titanic may have been there in perfect condition maybe until the 1920s, perhaps the '30s at best. The decks may have been eaten or in the process of being eaten, it'd depend when the Mollusks got to the wreck.

Strangely, the wreck didn't start collapsing until after 2000, even the Stern which was in unbelievably bad condition. Could that mean the rusticles are were new to the wreck, prior to 1985?
Yes, the condition as it was the night it sank. As a kid, I couldn't believe the beauty of the workmanship of the woods and how like a nice hotel it all was. I guess it was just hard to imagine all that luxury and style sinking on her first voyage and then laying underwater forever, where it didn't belong. I have seen the paneling from the Olympic which was re-used in the restaurant/hotel in Europe and how great the craftmanship was; it's still as beautiful as it was 100 years later. A kid's imagination I guess, but, thinking of the rich materials in the suites and common areas, I would imagine it all still there as it was but down in that cold dark. I know the paint is still visible even today, but, I was wondering about the 'soft' materials which would eventually rot away and don't know how long such things last at such a deep and cold depth. Had she not sunk, all those items would still be usuable today and therefore, how long did they last underwater. I've seen deep wrecks in the Great Lakes of old luxury steamers which are nearly perfect after 100 years due to the cold fresh water; so eerie to see those interiors frozen almost in time. Thanks for your thoughts Cam!
 
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Keith H

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One of the things people are not aware of is that when they built Titanic is that a lot of wooden panels are made from plaster casts,
It would have been so expensive and time consuming to make all panels from wood so they would make one of the panels from wood and then make a mould of it to reproduce it in plaster casts , so when you look at pictures of the interior you don't know what is wood or plaster which is why things may look so well preserved.
 
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David Harris

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One of the things people are not aware of is that when they built Titanic is that a lot of wooden panels are made from plaster casts,
It would have been so expensive and time consuming to make all panels from wood so they would make one of the panels from wood and then make a mould of it to reproduce it in plaster casts , so when you look at pictures of the interior you don't know what is wood or plaster which is why things may look so well preserved.
thank you Keith. I didn't know that. I could see them doing that for intricately 'carved' corniches or pediments which they do for houses and old stone finishes. Wouldn't the plaster dissolve quickly though? Again thank you!
 
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