Mount Temple

May 9, 2001
There is a website with good pictures of the Mount Temple.

The photo disclaimer on the website says most of the pics are copyrighted and shouldn't be copied without permission.

But I noticed that Mount Temple is larger than I expected. Maybe the four masts make it look larger than it is, but it looks larger than either Carpathia, or Californian. Also, I noticed the raised steering bridge right on the bow of the ship. Similar to the stern bridge on Titanic. I counted 14 lifeboat stations, so some must have served more than one boat apiece for Moore to state he had 20 lifeboats.

Worth mentioning that the story of the Mount Temple's destruction and special cargo is interesting in itself. The group is planning to salvage her cargo if possible.

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
The lengths of the ships were--

Titanic 852.5'
Carpathia 540'
Mount Temple 485'
Californian 447.6'

These are Length Between Perpendiculars from Lloyd's Register.

Some writers have played down the size of Carpathia. The "gallant little Cunarder" was not exactly a dinghy.

Paul Slish

Jan 18, 2006
I have a question for Sam Halpern based upon his post of January 13, 2006.

He wrote that the Mount Temple would normally sail (if there were no ice field to avoid) to the corner of 42 N 47 W and then take a rhumb line to Cape Sable Island. This agrees completely with what Captain Moore testified in Washington, DC, although Captain Moore said Cape Sable.

Perhaps you can give some greater explanation for this. Why would CPR order their ship bound for St. John, New Brunswick to steam all the way south to latitude 42 N?

Cape Sable has a latitude of 43 28.5 N. A ship would only need to go a few miles south of that to make it into the Bay of Fundy. Then she could head up north to St. John.

As an example, the White Star line Cymric was headed to Portland, Maine from Liverpool and arrived in Portland on April 19, 1912 (Portland Evening Express and Daily Advertiser, April 19,1912, p. 7). The latitude of Portland, Maine is 43 39.7 N, which is similar to Cape Sable, being only 11 minutes farther north.

Quoting from the newspaper article, "The trip of the Cymric was not without its exciting moments. When crossing the Grand Banks off Cape Race last Monday, three huge icebergs, the tallest standing about 200 feet above the water, and the two others about 150 feet high, were seen by those aboard the Cymric, and a number of photographs were taken. The three bergs were surrounded by an ice field extending nearly ten miles."

"The position of the Cymric, as given today when she encountered the ice off the Grand Banks, was 48 20 North and 42 43 West. They plowed through the ice for about four hours and the reason they were not where the Titanic went down was because the Cymric came over the northern route."

I can only conclude that CPR ordered their ships to take a more southern route to lessen the possibility of encountering ice. I have read that the northern route is less miles.

Any thoughts on this? I realize it is a little off topic, but I'm curious.
Mar 22, 2003
Chicago, IL, USA
Hi Paul, good hearing from you again. You said, "I can only conclude that CPR ordered their ships to take a more southern route to lessen the possibility of encountering ice. I have read that the northern route is less miles."

Yes, you are correct. The southern routes down to 42N, 47W were used by most steamship companies to avoid areas of known ice drift from the 15th of Jan to 23rd of Aug. That is also why the Parisian and Californian were heading for the same corner point as well. The northern routes were taken from the 24th Aug to the 14th of Jan. Moore was headed for the corner point and from there to a point south of Cape Sable Light and then into the Bay of Fundy and to St. John. Because of ice reports he continued on his last rumb line segment past the corner and headed down to 41° 15'N, 50° 00'W before heading toward Cape Sable. If the Titanic had done similarly, this forum would not exist.

Paul Slish

Jan 18, 2006
If anyone is interested I wrote an article that appeared in the recent issue of "Voyage" (Issue 59). It is about the Californian and the Mount Temple.

Mike Poirier

Dec 31, 2004
Hi Paul-
I read your excellent article. We have a non-TIS member who would like a copy. Could you email it to him if I gave you the email address.
Mike Poirier
Jan 28, 2003
Here in the UK we have a TV programme called Who Do You Think You Are which is about genealogy. Tonight's episode was about Sam Wanamaker, the American actor who emigrated to the UK in the wake of the McCarthy inquiries, and who subsequently built the Globe theatre in London, after a career as a director. The narrator of the programme is his daughter, Zoe. His family, however, emigrated to Chicago in 1910 on the Mount Temple and some of you may find this an interesting account of the fate and fortunes of early 20th Century European emigrants (they were Jewish and from the Ukraine). It's available on the BBC iPlayer service for 7 days from about 2 hours from now.
Mar 20, 2007
Yes, I saw that programme too, Monica, and picked up on the Mount Temple link. My primary interest in the field of Titanic studies now revolves around the lives and activities of the first-class passengers but the story of Zoe Wanamaker's family at precisely the same period provided me with much food for thought. It is vital, when seeking to understand the social conditions prevailing in 1912, to off-set the experiences of Eleanor Widener, with her $750,000 rope of Cartier pearls, and Charlotte Cardeza, with her mountain of luggage, against those of the hopeful immigrants in steerage, the dreams they were pursuing in the New World and the hardship they encountered when they got there. Although, from following the discussions on this board, it is equally important to recall that 'third-class' aboard the Titanic did not equate with 'steerage' aboard the Mount Temple!

Similar threads

Similar threads