Lowe's height

Julie Goebel

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How tall was HG Lowe? He seemed to me to be like string bean but from what I have seen even tall men were much shorter then men are today.
 

Bob Godfrey

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According to records at Ellis Island dating from around 1920, Lowe was 5'9". His weight at that time was recorded as 155lb. Lightoller was the same height and weighed a stone (14 lbs) more. Boxhall was an inch shorter at 5' 8* and weighed 154 lbs. Tallest of the surviving officers was Pitman, at 5' 10" and 185 lbs.
 

Inger Sheil

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I'd be cautious of the 5'9" figure, Bob. 5'8" is on his BOT applications (with slight shrinkage on one occasion, when he was recorded as being 5'7.5"). I think I have some confirmation from other records as well. In group shots, he does not appear overly tall and usually stands slightly shorter than his colleagues. I'd be cautious of the other heights too, as they don't concur with other records I've seen. Pitman in particular seems to 'fluctuate' in height.

Wilde was the tallest - I need to check, but I believe he attained a height of 6'1". Again, I need to check documents, but I believe that Lightoller and Moody followed. The rest tended to range between 5'7" - 5'9". I think the shortest was Blair.

Lowe was certainly sinewy, Julie - and as an elderly man seemed to be made of lean muscle.
 

Julie Goebel

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Feb 24, 2007
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Thank you both for your input...It is so hard to tell how tall someone is, I was just curious.

This was the picture that made me think Pitman was shorter than Lightoller. The picture is about 1/2 way down the page.

http://www.kolumbus.fi/titanic/miehisto.htm

This is another picture of the surviving officers that show Lowe and Lightoller being the same height.

http://www.titanic-whitestarships.com/survoff.gif

I wonder when and why these pictures were taken? Again thank you for your help.
 

Inger Sheil

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'Sno worries, Julie.

Those photographs were taken in a London studio - I believe at the time of the British Inquiry.

I do believe both Pitman and Lowe were shorter than Lightoller - if I get a chance I'll give you the measurements from his BOT certification applications.
 

Bob Godfrey

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It's notoriously difficult to get accurate information of this kind. I had assumed the Ellis data would be fairly accurate as it was collected for security reasons, but looking again at the various entries for Lightoller in 1919, I find that during the year he grows by 3 inches and loses 60 pounds. Somehow I don't think that's a reflection on the quality of White Star catering!

Even where height has actually been measured, there can be considerable variations due to factors like rounding up or down to the nearest half inch, measurement with or without shoes, etc. Group photographs also can be difficult to assess as the smallest change in camera angle/perspective can create dramatic changes in apparent relative heights.

Did the BOT applications require a medical examination? If so, an accurate height measurement might have been included, and those figures would then be by far the most reliable.
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Inger Sheil

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Off hand, I don't know if it's a self-assessment or medical assessment, Bob - just forms that indicate height, complexion and any identifying marks or peculiarities (e.g. tattoos). And some do vary - Pitman, for example, had a few different figures over the years. Lowe remained fairly consistently at 5'8" (with the odd half an inch loss), and I believe I have another corroborating source...which could, of course, be invalid if he was providing the figure himself. Agreed on the variations possible - even time of day can make a difference, depending on how soon measurements are taken after sleep!

Speaking in general terms, I believe Lowe had a slight, sinewy build, and was no taller than average height. I stand a shade under 5'10", and when I tried his RNR bicorn on, it didn't come anywhere near fitting (of course, he might have been fine boned, or I could just be big-headed!). I've also seen quite a few group shots taken throughout his life, and while I agree that these can be deceptive, I think there is a definite tendency for him to be one of the more average, even smaller, sized figures in the group. In one of his WWI photographs, a formal portrait of the officers on one of the cruisers he served aboard, it looks almost as if the photographer has deliberately placed him in the midst of group of men who look in comparision as if they're built like footballers.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Sounds like the BOT figures are at least more consistent than the Ellis Island data, Ing. I think people tend to assume that Lowe 'stood tall' because it fits the character of the man. I'm reminded of Audie Murphy, B-movie actor and, of all American servicemen in WW2, the one with the most decorations for valour. He was 5'7" in his socks. When Murphy was selected to play himself in a biopic of his wartime exploits, Eisenhower didn't approve. He felt that the man was too small to convincingly play himself!
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Inger Sheil

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That's true, Bob - Rene Harris described Lowe as being about 6ft, and in a sense I suspect that he always remained 6ft tall to her...