In photos of Titanic's starboard side 2nd class deck space, there apears to be some sort of square box structure by the door way for the 2nd class elevator house. This is a feature absent on the Olympic. Anyone know what the 'mystery box' was used for?
this 'mystery box' has been an object of speculation about identity and function for a few years by Titanic students. It remains a mystery, along with the 'object' on B-deck forward (outside cabin B-3) and located behind the bulkhead and starboard well deck crane.
Another 'mystery item' on Titanic I recently discovered is a junction box-like device with a pull handle jutting from its underside, with a conduit running from it to the deck below. One is located on the outboard wall just forward of the #4 hatches on both port and starboard sides.
Could that odd box by the 2nd class enterence have been a strange storage bin of some kind? It would be a very odd place for it to contain electrical equipment. Perhaps it held the ships various flags, or even lifejackets?
The BOX has a little conduit running up to it from the deck, and its port side is butted against the bulkhead of the 2nd class entrance. The raised base lent some credence to the electrical possibilities. But like Dan said, no one knows what the heck it is, although there have been many speculations. There was some talk of it on the TRMA forum many a month ago. Quite a few suggestions were tossed about. If memory serves, some of the suggestions were an ice bin for the palm court/smoke room, an air conditioner for the entrance, a vent for the palm court, and a storage bin for tools or line.
It's anyone's guess as to what the thing is, and unfortunately it's missing from the wreck.
Do the surviving Harland and Wolff Titanic deck plans indicate what this box might be, or could it have been like the enclosed private promenade, i.e a last minute addition that does not show up on the plans?
It must have had an important fuction. Could it have been a generator of some kind? No...there was no exhaust point. Mabe it contained some connection to the 2nd class elevator? Perhaps a fuse box of some kind? Mabey a battery for back up power in case the elevator stalled? Or mabey it was the ultimate no frills stateroom? The occupant crawls within and assumes the fetus position...
unfortunately, the 'BOX' does not show up on any know Titanic plans - ah, if it were that simple, it would solve the mystery
This object has been examined left and right by a lot of people. I have never seen the object installed on Olympic in any post-disaster pictures, so is there any difference between Titanic and Olympic in structure layout in this area? Not that I can see. Hence, the mystery deepens.
The conduit from the 'BOX' runs down to the deck, which immediately suggests that whatever the 'BOX' is, its purpose might serve something below decks, and it was necessary to place the device (a motor housing? a whatchamacallit? keyword: mystery) because below this area on A-deck, space is tight. Two bars, the palm court, the smoking room. Was the device intended for something in one of these rooms.
Is the device even supposed to be a permanent fixture? We know Titanic left Belfast with things here and there needing completion, from inserting the clock face on the forward GSC to installing handrails and trimming carpeting. Could it have been something that was never removed? Without a plan that shows the 'box', without something like Andrews' notebook (which went down with the ship), we'll probably never know.
There is no doubt of the purpose for that box. It was undoubtedly the same as the purpose for the box located at the forward end of B deck. The interiors of both are very clearly shown in the photographs which Fr. Browne should have taken. I have it on the best authority that Thomas Andrews was never overheard discussing the failure to install a third such box on Titanic's poop where it would have been available for Third Class passengers not to use. There has been discussion that the boxes did not live up to their designer's intent, but this has yet to be proven.
As I recall, the never-installed box that wasn't planned by Thomas Andrews should have contained a valuable vial of propeller wash. This was to have been used at the end of the trip as part of an overall cleanup. The box on B deck may not have contained the ship's anchor bearings because they were too large. I believe these were stored in the Johnson rod locker located under the overhead in C deck. I got this straight from Charley More, so its pure bilge.
Here's a shot in the dark: when I was in Brazil, I made several journeys on the Amazon River and noticed that the riverboats normally carry their water supplies in square tanks on the roof. This arrangement allows gravity to carry the water to the sinks, toilets, etc. I suspect Titanic's fresh water supplies were carried below (someone else can prove me right or wrong, I'm sure). If so, than the if the pump that carried water up to A deck failed (even for a few minutes) you would have some VERY unhappy first class passengers.
Perhaps the boxes were water tanks that would keep water going through the first class faucets in event of pump failure?