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Construction Launch and Maiden Voyage
June 1911: Olympics's Maiden Voyage
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[QUOTE="Mark Baber, post: 40797, member: 79063"] [i]The New York Times, 22 June 1911[/i] [b]BIGGEST OF LINERS GETS NOISY WELCOME[/b] --- Giant Olympic Greeted Enthusiastically All the Way from Quarantine to Her Pier --- TWELVE TUGS BERTH HER --- Passengers Enjoyed Her Maiden Voyage and Found the Big Ship Just Like a Hotel --- Standing so high out of the water that the throng waiting on the pier could barely see the tops of her four smokestacks as she came alongside, the world’s biggest liner, the Olympic, was safely moored with the assistance of twelve tugs at 10 o’clock yesterday morning in her berth, Pier 59 North River. With the exception of a playful touch given to the stern of a tugboat, drawn under the counter of the Olympic by the suction of the tide, that carried away the flagstaff, the liner was made fast without accident to the newly extended pier. This was a delicate task for Pilot Julius Adler and Capt. E. J. Smith. The docking took the better part of an hour, as there was a delay in getting the ship far enough in to allow her gangways to be opened, and even then only one was available for the first-cabin passengers. The Olympic left Quarantine at 7:45, and was saluted on her way up the harbor by all kinds of craft, from tiny motor boats to the ferryboats plying on the North River and lower bay. The Cunarder Lusitania swung out into the river at 9 o’clock, just after the Olympic had passed and gave the small army of photographers on the piers a chance for a good picture of the two big ships. The Lusitania did not salute the latest addition to the Atlantic fleet as she passed either by whistle or dipping the ensign, which was generally done by other liners moored at their piers along the water front. It was thought that in the hurry of getting his ship under way ands receiving congratulations on his coronation honor of Commander of the Bath, Capt. Charles, skipper of the Lusitania, overlooked the Olympic as she passed the Cunard pier. [b]Looked a Real Monster[/b] The view of the liner at Quarantine as she loomed up off Staten Island gave an impression of immense bulk to observers. She looked to be a genuine sea monster. Two daring passengers emerged through the cloud of galley smoke coming up from the depth and waved their hats as they walked around the rim inside the top of the fourth funnel, which is devoted to the carrying off of the foul air exhausted by the electric ventilators and smoke of the kitchens and auxiliaries. A ladder inside led to a small circular platform at the top. The Olympic made the journey from Daunt’s Rock to the Ambrose Channel Lightship in 5 days 10 hours and 42 minutes, at an average speed of 21.17 knots without being forced, Chief Engineer John Bell said. With the exception of a strong northeast breeze with rough sea on June 17 the new liner experienced fine weather all the way across. Capt. Smith said she had done all that was expected of her, and behaved splendidly. There was no really bad weather to try her seagoing qualities, but he felt confident that the Olympic would be steady under stormy conditions of weather. “Will she ever dock on Tuesday? he was asked. “No,” he replied emphatically, “and there will be no attempt to bring her in on Tuesday. She was built for a Wednesday ship, and her run this first voyage has demonstrated that she will fulfill the expectations of the builders.” The ship brought over 489 first class, 263 second class, and 564 steerage passengers, a total of 1,316, with 2,500 bags of mail and about 2,000 tons of cargo. The impression of hugeness given by the external appearance of the Olympic is intensified on entering the interior of the ship where the amount of space on every deck cannot fail to impress the observer. The saloons, staterooms, bathrooms, swimming pool, smoking rooms, lounges, squash and racket courts, promenade decks, and dining saloon are so large that they resemble the rooms of a Summer hotel more than those of a ship. The alleyways are so wide that there is no danger of that peculiar jostling that passengers inflict as they pass each other in rough weather on smaller ships. It would not be very difficult for two elephants to walk abreast down the main alleyways on the Olympic. When passengers were asked for an expression of opinion about the accommodations on the liner they referred to her as “just a big hotel in which it was a hard task to imagine one’s self afloat, she was so steady.” One passenger said it was difficult to remember off-hand whether the barber’s shop was an E deck and the squash court on B deck or vice versa. [b]Miles and Miles[/b] Purser McElroy averred that the daily tour of inspection, which he made at 10:30 A. M. with Capt. Smith, Dr. O’Loughlin, and Chief Steward Latimer, was fully nine miles. The Captain computed the distance at one-third of that, while the surgeon insisted that it seemed like nine miles. The stewards all appeared to be good walkers and had ample opportunities for judging distances. The main dining saloon, with seating accommodations for 532 persons, has a width of ninety-two feet, being the widest part of the ship. To the onlooker standing in the reception room at the foot of the main companion, where hats and coats are checked, it looks like hanging one’s hat up in Times Square and walking down to Thirty-fourth Street and Broadway to eat. This is realized by the waiters, to whom an order for another slice of bread or a glass of water means a walk of 300 or 400 feet. Distance makes no difference to the service, passengers said. The most agile among the stewards is the night watchman, who has to cover alleyways 550 feet long with staterooms on either side. While he is going to answer a bell at one end another rings at the other end of the alleyway, and the watchman has to glide swiftly to keep up with his calls so that they do not get ahead of him. It was noticeable yesterday that there were no fat, comfortable-looking stewards on the Olympic. One of the difficult tasks for the second steward is to get his men together when there is some job to be done that requires a squad of stewards to handle it. When the Olympic left Quarantine for her pier, he started to find the delinquents who had not mustered on C deck to assist with the baggage, doing what is known aboard ship as “soldering.” After walking up and down the five decks the second steward found a man sitting calmly in a quiet alleyway leading to the squash and racquet court, away from the busy throng. In an impressive manner he asked: “Why aren’t you working in that baggage with the rest of the gang? I am not going to try to round you up again as it would be impossible for me to keep track of you, but remember this. I may not see you again to-day, Mivvins, but I shall see you again some day, and if you don’t get to work on the baggage the meeting will be very interesting for you.” James [sic] Bruce Ismay, President of the International Mercantile Marine, which owns the White Star Line, was a passenger. He said he was greatly pleased with the ship and the satisfaction she had given to the passengers on her maiden voyage. There were a few minor details that might be corrected in the next ship, the Titanic, he said, but nothing of any importance. Mr. Ismay appeared to be especially interested in the squash and racquet court, which was so popular on the trip that the passengers were limited to half-hour games. [b]A Great Achievement[/b] H. P. Davison, a partner of J. P. Morgan, also a passenger, said that in his opinion, the Olympic is the achievement of the age. Mr. Morgan went to Southampton to see him off, and will return on the next westbound trip of the Olympic with Lord Pirrie, head of Harland & Wolff of Belfast, the builder of the ship. The decorations on the Olympic are an elaboration of the White Star liners of the Adriatic type, with the addition of carved mahogany panels in the spacious smoking room, bronze reliefs and tapestries in the companion ways and silken hangings in the lounges, but the most luxurious of them all in its appointments is the a la carte restaurant on the bridge deck, 60 by 45 feet, decorated in Louis XVI style, paneled in French walnut and hung with Arbbusson tapestries. The deck is covered with a fine rug of Rose de Bari tint. The big dining saloon with its double ports is decorated in the early Jacobian [sic] English, after Haddon Hall, in white instead of carved oak. Comfortable arm chairs, upholstered in green leather, are provided for the passengers, instead of the usual small seats, and they are not screwed down to the deck, as the Olympic is considered to be too steady a ship to cavort wildly in any sea. The principal attraction of her five decks in the first-class, is the promenade deck, which is 530 feet long and 30 feet wide. There are also two other promenade decks for the use of the passengers. The second-class, which has seven decks, is equally well appointed, and has numerous persons to look after the wants of the passengers. The majority of the first-class staterooms are fitted with brass bedsteads, and the upper berths are on hinges on the Pullman plan. The suites on B and C decks are decorated in the style of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The twelve most expensive ones consist of parlor, two bedrooms, two dressing rooms and bath. All the good rooms are fitted with wardrobes with full length mirrors. The swimming bath, which is 30 by 14 and 9 feet in depth, was popular on the voyage. It is free from 6 to 9 A. M., it was said, and can be used later as a plunge for the Turkish baths, which cost $1. Passengers said that there was very little vibration from the two reciprocating and the centre turbine engines, which develop 46,000 horse power to drive the ship through the water. The thud of the wing propellers, however, could be plainly felt in the after end of the dining saloon and in the smoking room, it was said. The Olympic will be open for inspection to-morrow and Saturday to the public at a charge of 50 cents, to be given to charity. [b]Mayors Exchange Greetings[/b] One of the passengers bore a special message to Mayor Gaynor from the Mayor of Southampton, Col. E. Bance. It read: The Mayor’s Parlor, Municipal Building, Southampton The Mayor and his fellow-townsmen of Southampton send greetings and congratulations to the Mayor and his fellow-citizens of New York upon the advent of the Olympic, another link in the chain of friendship binding our two countries together in terms of peace and amity. BANCE, Mayor. To this Mayor Gaynor replied by cable: Bance, Mayor of Southampton. The Olympic is arrived, and the Mayor of New York returns his congratulations and those of the people of New York to you and your people. Some day we will return the compliment by sending over to you a still bigger ship. W.J. GAYNOR, Mayor. One of the first persons to board the Olympic after she had made fast to her pier was Police Commissioner Waldo, who, with his wife, was there to meet Mrs. John W. Norton, his sister-in-law. After finding a seat for Mrs.. Waldo in the companion hall on the promenade deck the Commissioner started at a rapid gait to find their relative. The third time he came up the companion from the lower decks he murmured, “There’s an awful lot of space here on this ship.,” then he wiped the perspiration from under his Panama and ascended to another deck in his quest for Mrs. Norton. [b]Impressive Olympic Figures[/b] In length the Olympic overtops by 182 1/2 feet the tower of the Metropolitan Building, and by 132 1/2 feet the height of the new Woolworth Building. She is four times as long as the Bunker Hill Monument is high, and 327 feet longer than the height of the Washington Monument. Here are some other big things about her: Registered tonnage............. .................... .......45,000 Length, feet................ .................... ............... 882 From keel to boat deck, feet................ .......... 97 Funnels above casting, feet................ ............ 72 From keel to funnel tops, feet................ ........ 157 Number of steel decks............... .................... . 11 Watertight compartments........ .................... ... 15 Passenger capacity............ .................... ......... 2,500 Number of crew................ .................... ......... 860 Weight of electrically operated rudder, tons... 100 Weight of anchors, each, tons................ ........ 22 Each link in anchor chain, pounds.............. .... 175 She has also 2,000 sidelights and windows. Three million rivets, weighing in all about 1,200 tons, are used in her. Altogether she represents an investment of $10,000,000. -30- [/QUOTE]
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Other Ships and Shipwrecks
Construction Launch and Maiden Voyage
June 1911: Olympics's Maiden Voyage
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