Interior of Officers' Quarters


Apr 22, 2012
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Hey,

I am wondering: What did the interior of the Officers' Quarters look like? I've always just saw the exterior. I've always pictured the room as being an open area with several sets of bunks and a bathroom. I'm probably very incorrect, it's just my guess. Any thoughts?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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The top officers had individual staterooms with Captain Smith's being the largest. They wouldn't have been especially luxurious, but they at least had their privacy. The staterooms were located on the boatdeck level immidiately behind the bridge. The were located on the portside for the Cheif Officer as well as the 1st, 2cnd, 3rd, 5th and 6th Officers. The staterooms for the 4th Officer and the Captain were on the starboard side with the Cheif Officer and the skipper's quarters being closest to the bridge.

I couldn't see any bathrooms noted for any but the Captain in any of these cabins, although there was a head available just across from and to the portside from the wireless room.

The crews quarters were the ones where you had several dozen men bunking in the same space and they were located on the lower decks from C deck down to G deck forward.

Source, Eaton and Haas deckplans in "Titanic, Triumph and Tragedy."

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Dec 2, 2000
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No problem. try and get the Eaton and Haas book I mentioned if you can. Or for that matter, Birth of Titanic by Michael McCaughan.

Since the information I have is by no means complete, I hope some even more accomplished rivet counters will say something on this. I expect the officers staterooms were not that lavish, but I wonder what they looked like inside.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Nigel Bryant

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Aug 1, 2010
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To Brandon
I expect the interior of the officer quarters would be quite sterile. I guess the corridors would be painted white,with handrails on the walls.Note on pg 286 in Titanic and her sisters, you can see a officer door open just beside the winch that was used to re-raise the lifeboats. The floor coverings would be colored either in that dark red that is used in many parts of the ship especially in Third-Class. Or it may have been decking, in keeping with the wheelhouse.The interior of the Officer's cabins would probably follow the same decor. Looking at the Olympic plans on pg 103, the furniture suggests the layout of the rooms. There is a couch beside the windows that face outwards giving a view of the Boat-deck. Beside the couch there is a built in wardrobe. The bed is on the opposite side near the doorway into the hallway. There may be a desk or a dresser beside the bed. On the wall facing the dresser is a small sink. The layout of the furniture may differ in other rooms. I was looking in the room which would of been Third Officer Pitman's cabin if it was on the Titanic, this room faces the portside. The Captain's Sitting room I suspect would been the most elegant compared to the others. Its has a fireplace and many other countless items. I hope this helps.

Regards Nigel Bryant
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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There was at least one young officer who was a tad disgruntled with the size of his cabin (James Moody compared it to a closet). Small touches made a difference, though - they were pleased to have 'real windows' rather than portals, judging from correspondence I've seen. It's remarkable what a difference a comparatively minor detail can make - an electric lightbulb was a bit of a luxury in one of the earlier ships, and a proper icebox was heaven in the tropics.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Brandon, try Amazon.com or the Barnes & Noble on-line bookstore.

Their selection on the Titanic and on ships in general is phenomonal. I got my Knight's Modern Seamanship from Barnes & Noble. This one is expensive, but very worthwhile if you want to know anything about shiphandling.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Thanks Michael and Tracy. I will certainly give these places a try! The Eaton and Haas book sounds spectacular.
 
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Rolf Vonk

Guest
Hi Brandon,

You have to buy that book! It's a good one with lots of great pictures and informations. I ordered a month ago. I had to wait some time for the arrival, cause it had to come from England, but I finally have it now. When you decide to buy it, be sure that you will order the 2nd edition, cause that has some more pics than the 1st. I believe when you order it via the ISBN-number (it's a new one) you automatically get the 2nd edition.

Regards and succes with your search!

Rolf
 

Gary Watson

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Feb 17, 2008
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Inger,

You said James Moody was "disgruntled" with the size of his cabin. Could you tell me what source you read that in.

Kind regards,
Gary
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo, Gary -

Correspondence from James Moody, March-April 1912. For an accesible source look to Geoffrey Marcus' book 'The Maiden Voyage'. Marcus paraphrases fairly accurately when he says "and at last, Moody might reflect with satisfaction, he had got a room to himself (though it was only about the size of a cupboard, he told his sister)". I might add that Moody at least said it was a 'decent sized' cupboard!

All the best,

Inger
 
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Daniel Rosenshine

Guest
Hi,

That's a good thing that Moody was at least satisfied with his 'decent sized' cupboard, as it was the smallest cupboard out of all the other officers'. Also his cabin had a "dent" in it, simply to accommodate the bed from the next-door first class cabin (X). The bed just had to be 6'9", and 9" too long to fit into the 6' wide cabin. Moody's cabin was also 6' wide (narrowed where the walls had to be extended in the first class cabin for the bed) and his bed was only 6' long! ......... If only he was a higher-ranking officer.

Daniel.
 

Tracy Smith

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Apr 20, 2012
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Just think if they'd been on a smaller ship!

I read that Stanley Lord thought that the captain's accommodations aboard Californian were the worst he'd ever had as a captain, both before and after the Californian. There wasn't any private sitting room or bathroom for him, unless he could have called the chartroom his "sitting room".

From the drawing in "The Ship That Stood Still", his cabin couldn't have been much bigger than Moody's. He was nearly six feet tall, so it was rather cramped quarters, indeed.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I've been on some smaller ships. The Star Of India is an iron hulled sailing merchent vessel which is on display in San Diego and the officers quarters are something to the left of a broom closet sizewise. You literally had to step outside to change your mind.

There's a liberty ship in San Francisco that I toured which had cabins for officers which were barely large enough to be considered jail cells.

Merchent vessels were never much on creature comforts for the crew. With freighters, the maximum of space and weight was allocated to the cargo and anything which didn't earn money had to be kept down to a minimum. Likewise with the Titanic, only since people were the cargo, they got the best of the space available with the crew being shoehorned in wherever they could be. Not much has changed since then either.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 
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I. M. McVey

Guest
Michael,

Hey, the Officer cabins on the 'Jeremiah O'Brien' are indeed small, but they're =private=, and had enough comfort for me! ;-) Whilst Moody's cabin may have been a 'cupboard' (a 'closet' to Americans), it still had all the basics to make a home from home, and it was all his. Only shared thing was the loo and the bathroom down the passage!

My first cabin (as a non-Officer in a passenger ship) was a shared, windowless tiny box below the waterline, with noisy 6 and 12-man 'glory holes' as neighbours. People came and went at all hours, parties were held with no account of the watch of the poor sods next door, etc.

My first cabin to myself, whilst tiny, was a lovely luxury, and I exulted in it! I suppose all things are relative, though. Mr Moody's cabin may have been a bit of a 'come-down' from his prior ships, yet at the same time, there would have been crew aplenty who would have looked upon it as heavenly -- especially if they had cabin mates on another schedule, or who liked to talk endlessly, socialise a lot, etc!

Cheers! Ilya M
 
Dec 2, 2000
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G'Day shipmate and do I ever know where you're coming from about noisy chums in the crews quarters! As an enlisted guy, I had to rack out in bearthings with as few as forty and as many as 105 people, some of whom like to turn on the radio at oh dark thirty in the morning. Talk about an urge to kill!

Hope everything is going allright in school.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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As poor Moody was just a shade under the 6ft mark he had some cause for complaint - don't want to give the wrong impression here, though, as he was a bloke who believed in making the best of a situation.

I'm afraid to admit that all my cabins at sea have been extremely comfortable if compact rooms in the small dive livaboards - last two even had a double bunk and private bathrooms (the 'Sundancer II' in Palau and the 'Spirit of the Solomons' in the Solomon Islands). While the dive industry is somewhat different from the cruise industry, I know that few who travel on the cruise ships know/care about the accomodation for crews. Many exist below the 'sightline' of passengers. Not all cruise lines are guilty of the same treatment, but I do understand that there is a dark underbelly to the cruise industry, with many unskilled labourers from third-world countries subjected to poor wages and conditions.

And we won't even go into the other aspects of the industry...flags of convenience, etc....

All the best,

Inger
 

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