Men Without Hats


Jay Roches

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Apr 14, 2012
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Having been a Titanic enthusiast for over thirty years, it was something of a surprise for me to see some photos posted recently of Captain Smith and 2nd Officer Lightoller without their hats/caps. (I think they're all caps, technically.) Unfortunately, I can't find those pictures now.

I thought it would be interesting to create a thread for photos of Titanic crewmen without headgear. This is that thread.
 

Aly Jones

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Dec 15, 2019
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Hi.

Not my images. Found on the internet. I have no idea who they belong too. There is no printed copy right name on these images. So I can't Name the owners.

Officer lightoller, officer murdoch and captain Smith.
 

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Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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I would have thought they wore uniform caps only whilst on duty ie in uniform. Why would they do so otherwise?

As for formal hats, I expect most, if not all men wore them with suits in those days. When more casually dressed they tended to wear flat caps.

But most of them wore neither while posing for photographs (except in uniform, of course). In fact, most suited men took their hats off for portraits although some kept them on for full length pictures, I suppose it was bit of a tradition.
 

Alex Clark

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Mar 24, 2012
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Boxhall is probably just coming aboard in that photo. The officers would not be in casual clothes whilst on duty. The hat is a straw boater. All the rage for summer punting on the river :).
 

Arun Vajpey

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Apr 21, 2009
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Here's one of officer Boxhall on the oceanic. He is in casual wear also wearing some sort of top hat. I didn't know an officer can wear casual clothes when he suppose to be working and on duty.
Obviously a ship's officer is not going to be on duty all the time.

What I want to know is, on a commercial liner like the Titanic, were off-duty officers still expected to don uniforms in public during a voyage? One issue is that unless they had several spares in their cabins, wearing the same uniform everyday would make it smell more than a little bit by the time they reached their destination.
 

Aly Jones

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Dec 15, 2019
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I asked the question on et FB three weeks ago on how many uniforms did the officers have during a 14 day voyage? I ask this question because titanic didn't have a luandary. Got plenty of answers but no one knew really on how many uniforms the officers had on those voyages. Got no official answer.

I actually thought officers were only allowed to explore titanics decks when on duty doing actually work duties but off duty they were only promitted in the officers quarters? I never really thought about ur question about the officers off duty walking around on public deck in casual clothes.

I'm going to ask your question on et FB since it's a great question to ask.
 

Aly Jones

Member
Dec 15, 2019
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Best answer I got, -

It depends upon the passenger liners policy. Each company has its own set of uniform regulations. Most of the case officers don't wear uniforms but rather normal civilian dress while off duty. Some
liner companies are stringent with their requirements that officers should leave their cabin with
well groomed uniforms same as for crew and other ratings (passenger ships) not unless an emergency situation arises.

The uniforms became part of the culture of Merchant Navy after the passenger ships introduced systems of stripes and badges to identify its crew members from travellers. The system also helped to identify officers from other crewmembers such as seamen or ratings. And it doesn't matter while on or off watch keeping duties. The successful implementation of this system abroad the passenger ships attracted the attention of merchant ship owners in Britain and other major countries in Europe.
 

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