New Titanic Debris Field Found Grand Staircase Turkish Bath A La Carte Restaurant


Matthew Welsh

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For better or for worse, a recent expedition by R.M.S. Titanic Inc. found a new field of debris just south of the Titanic's stern and salvaged some 75 artifacts before returning.

"The field contained mostly remnants of the ship’s first-class A La Carte Restaurant, including the champagne bottle, a milk scalder and a wall sconce.

Other items recovered include decorative pieces of the grand staircase, Turkish bath tile, a crystal decanter, bed fragments and various unidentified pieces containing copper, bronze, brass, porcelain, wood and leather."

The discovery of pieces of the Turkish bath does somewhat dampen hopes of finding the room intact within the bow. The original article can be found at the following link:
 
Mar 3, 1998
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quote:

The discovery of pieces of the Turkish bath does somewhat dampen hopes of finding the room intact within the bow.
I wouldn't make that assumption. Titanic's tile lifted easily from the Litosilo underneath and moved about during the sinking. This particular tile, in addition, could have come from the corridor outside the Turkish bath itself. If so, then the recovered tile may also prove to be a clue that might help solve another mystery...whether or not the WTDs on F Deck were closed (I happen to think that they're open).

Parks​
 
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Wesley Burton

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Apr 22, 2004
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Well if tiles from the Turkish bath were found, then I see no other explanation as to how they got out of the bow. Other than an open WTD.
 
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Dec 6, 2000
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Is it possible that these tiles, though the same as what were in or by the Turkish Baths, were actually from another part of the ship? I would be surprised to see tiles from deep inside the intact part of the ship, found outside in a debris field.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Bill,

I have discussed that with others and the consensus is that nobody knows. With what we know about the ship, it doesn't seem likely that they would have used that pattern elsewhere in the ship, but we just don't know that for a fact. So, the possibility that you raise is definitely something to consider.

By the way, where I said "lifted" in my last post above, I should have said "separated." These linoleum tiles don't float (they can, of course, be carried a certain distance by underwater turbulence). However, a comparison between the Titanic and Britannic wrecks show that tiles remained in place better with the Veitchi flooring. The Litosilo flooring separated from the steel deck when Titanic sank, scattering tiles all over the place. The Veitchi flooring in Britannic, though, stayed mainly adhered to the deck. One can see virtually intact flooring in many interior spaces in Britannic and hardly any in Titanic.

Parks
 

Scott Newman

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What's interesting to me is the "pieces of the Grand Staircase" that were found in the debris field. This would support the seemingly more accepted idea that the staircase broke apart during the sinking rather than being eaten by micro-organisms during it's years on the ocean floor.
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Scott,

I agree..if the wood of the GSC had simply been eaten away, we should have found the iron balustrades down at the bottom of the void where the staircase once stood. To date, though, none of the balustrades have been found in the wreck. A number of them have been found outside the wreck, though.

Parks
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Many new details such as these, with the many others that have long puzzled us, may eventually lead us to reconsider the current consensus of how 'Titanic' came to grief. To believe that it broke up - effectively into 3 parts - at and near the surface (all within a depth of 200 feet to funnel-base) may one day be as scientific as it was 'scientific' to believe - in 1912 - that it had disappeared from our view forever - and while virtually intact.
 

Scott Newman

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Brad,

"Has it been definitely specified to be the forward Grand Staircase?"

I would suppose that amateur Titanic fans like me would probably not be able to tell the difference, but I'm sure a "rivet counter" would be able to tell you exactly what deck the bulastrades are from! And, as Parks says, none of the bulastrades have been seen laying on the bottom of the staircase like one might expect with a "deteriorated" staircase.
 

Dan Cherry

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I would like to see the tile they're identifying as coming from the Turkish bath. Things have been known to be mis-identified, mis-quoted and mis-labeled, before.
 

Brad Rousse

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Scott,
Don't worry about it; as Walter Lord said (and I know I'm paraphrasing here) "It is indeed a rash person who calls himself the definitive expert on the Titanic."

Dan,
I would agree with you; I wonder how tiles would be able to get all the way from deep inside the bow section to near the stern. I'd muse they may be from a Second or Third Class space, but those obviously would not be as ornate as a First Class area of the ship.

BTW, your model? All I can say is "Wow." I have the 1/350, but all I really did for extras was add Bruce and Duane's window/sign decals. But since it was my first model, I'm really proud of the result. And the decals, albeit tricky, really enhanced it.
 

Scott Newman

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Dan and Brad,

I'm glad you both had success with your models. My first attempt at the 1/350 was less than wonderful when it came to the decals. I'm making another attempt in a few months when I can get more time to work on it!

As far as the tiles go, the next expedition should perform a little experiment and drop items from the surface above the debris field and then see if they can find them! Using a GPS, they could probably get a pretty good idea at just how large the debris field is!
 
Jul 9, 2002
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As long as they had some way of tracking the "debris" as it sank that would seem to be a very feasible idea. However, just sinking stuff and looking for it would be too time and cost consuming. Good idea though.
 
Feb 14, 2011
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I don't see how any Turkish Bath tiles could possibly have been ejected from the wreck, as that area is quite sealed off...still waiting for a future exploration.
There must have been similar tiles fitted in other parts of the ship...

Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Feb 14, 2011
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If the balustrades that were last seen during the Ballard expedition have been relocated, its an exciting discovery to say the least....

However, without an established conservation facility at RMS Titanic Inc's disposal (LP3, Univ of Michigan and Ponsford are all out of the picture), I fear these artifacts will join the others in crates in an Atlanta warehouse.....

My money is on the balustrades being from the aft staircase...Aft staircase wreckwood that was recovered during the effort to recover bodies had the word 'Aft" stencilled on the back of one piece, so such is proof the contents of the aft grand stairway were spilled out into the sea...

Regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Jan 29, 2001
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In regards to 1st class staircase...check out RMSTI's updated web page:
ARTIFACTS - Ship Fittings G

BTW, RMSTI has finally released photographs of items that I have beckoned to see (i.e. Fairlead roller)

Michael A. Cundiff
USA
 

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