Imperator

J

Jason Lesonick

Guest
It's funny. The more I look at Imperator's deck plans, the more she seems to intimidate me. Compared to Titanic anyway, Imperator strikes me as being more of a behemoth, similar to the description of Futility's Titan (space for three orchestras was it? And don't forget the theater company on board). Titanic's deck plans appear much more orderly; in other words, given any location on Titanic, you know what deck you're on. Imperator, on the other hand, is a labyrinth of staircases and domes, intersecting decks, and dead end cubbyholes, reminding me of something welded together post apocalypse. Don't get me wrong. I think she's incredible. But I'm just curious as to what you experts might have to say about this?
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,092
169
223
Imperator was not alone among the Hapag liners of the early 1900's in having four classes of accommodations. According to Bonsor's North Atlantic Seaway, the first Hapag liner with four classes was Amerika (1905), followed by Kaiserin Auguste Victoria, President Lincoln, President Grant, Cleveland, Cincinnati, Imperator and Vaterland. There may have been others; Hansen's Passenger Liners from Germany 1816-1990 specifically mentions Hamburg as well

NDL may or may not have followed Hapag's lead. Bonsor doesn't show four classes on any of the NDL prewar liners, but Hansen says that "the shipping lines [note the plural] began to offer a new third class along with the steerage, where the emigrants and lower bourgeois were housed no longer in large salons, but in the modest comfort of multibed cabins."
 

IanMcD

Member
Jun 9, 2013
47
8
38
Poulsbo, WA
Imperator / Berengaria

I want to add the German HAPAG ship, Imperator as a topic here. She was launched in the spring of 1912. Larger than the Titanic she was designed to carry as many as 5,000 passengers and crew. After World War I she handed over to Cunard as a war reparation and became the RMS Berengaria.

Note the rather odd figurehead:

1217408015.jpg

1217408015.jpg
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,092
169
223
After World War I she handed over to Cunard as a war reparation and became the RMS Berengaria.
Not quite "handed over to Cunard," Ian. She was handed over to the British war reparation authorities and then purchased jointly by Cunard and White Star together with Bismarck/Majestic II. The two ships were then operated under a profit splitting agreement until 1932, when, on Cunard's initiative, each line took full ownership of the ship operated by it.
 

IanMcD

Member
Jun 9, 2013
47
8
38
Poulsbo, WA
Anyone want to discuss the Imperator? She seems to be a largely forgotten ship which is a shame for she was a rather impressive ship.

USS_Imperator_World_War_I_SP-4080.jpg
 

milo hicks

Member
Dec 3, 2018
2
0
1
Hello Mike...I have a question about the Imperator. Have you ever come across any information about the design of her smoking room?

It was Tudor, of course, and attributed to Thornton-Smith. Arthur Davis (the co-designer - along with Charles Mewes - of the liner's interiors) no doubt spearheaded that contract. My question is whether or not an "amateur Architect" named George A Crawley (later to do the interiors for the Empresses of Asia and Russia, and Alsatian and Calgarian) had any invovement with the Imperator smoking room (or for that matter, with the Thorton-Smith designed smoking room on the Aquitania)? George A. Crawely had a knowledge of Tudor like no other - having spent three years renovating the old Tudor house called "Crowhurst." And if you compare the English Lounge and Tudor Smoking Room on the Empress of Asia with the Thornton-Smith Imperator and Aquitania spaces, comparisons can easily be made. Any thoughts? Many thanks. Milo Hicks, Vancouver