News from 1929 Launch of Britannic III

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Mark Baber

The New York Times, 7 August 1929

Giant 27,000-Ton White Star Motorship Not Even Cheered by Watching Crowd
She Has Straight Stem, Cruiser Stern and Two Low Funnels---Luxuriously
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
BELFAST, Aug. 6---The great motor ship Britannic, which will be used by
the White Star Line on its Liverpool to New York service, was launched
here today.

This 27,000-ton twin-screw liner resembles the North German Lloyd liner
Bremen. She is modeled along the new lines with a straight stem, a
cruiser stern, and she has two low funnels that are characteristic of
motor ships. She can accommodate 1,500 passengers. The London Daily News
reports tonight that she is not designed for speed and will average only
about twenty knots an hour.

This Britannic is the third White Star ship to bear that name. She was
built at the Harland & Wolff shipyard.
She is 680 feet long, 82 feet beam, 43 feet 9 inches in depth and 27,340
gross tons. The ship is subdivided by watertight bulkheads into thirteen
water-tight compartments. Extending the whole length of the vessel is a
double bottom to carry fresh water, water ballast and oil.

Noteworthy features are the swimming pool and tennis courts in the cabin
class and the children's playrooms and elevators in the tourist and
third class.

An interesting feature is the call-bell system. Instead of the usual
bell indicators there is installed outside each stateroom two small
electric lights, one colored red for the steward and one colored green
for the stewardess. These are operated by similarly colored push buttons
in the staterooms. These lamps remain lit until the attending or
stewardess operates the push which is fixed outside each cabin door.

Lights are also placed in central positions throughout the vessel, not
only to indicate the deck on which the call is made but also to guide
the attendant to the stateroom. By this means it is anticipated that a
very efficient and silent service will be maintained.

The electrical supply is furnished by four Diesel-driven generators,
which have a combined capacity of 2,000 kilowatt, situated in a separate
compartment next to the main engine room, and a 75-kilowatt
Diesel-driven emergency generator. The propelling machinery consists of
two ten-cylinder double-acting four-cycle motor engines. The cylinders
are cooled by fresh water and the pistons are oil-cooled. All the
auxiliary machinery is electrically driven.

Four independent injection air compressors are fitted also to supply air
to four reservoirs for manoeuvering purposes, each of them being driven
by four-cylinder trunk-type motors. Four generators supply the necessary
electric power for engine room and ship's purposes. They are driven by
six-cylinder trunk motors of the same sort. Ventilation is furnished by
about 75 electrically-driven pressure fans, several of which are fitted
with heating elements which help the ship warm even in cold weather.

The deck machinery includes sixteen electrically driven winches,
steering gear, four large capstans and two large warping winches, each
of the fore capstans being driven by a 175-horsepower motor and each of
those aft by a 100-horsepower motor. There are also several service
motors which drive the dish-washers, elevators, dough mixers, potato
peelers and similar apparatus. The engine room auxiliaries, of which
there are more than sixty, are electrically operated, the individual
horsepower for driving the pumps varying from 100 to two and one-half.


Mark Baber

The Times, 7 August 1929


The twin-screw motor passenger liner Britannic, built by Messrs. Harland
and Wolff, Limited, for the White Star Line, was launched at Belfast
yesterday. The Britannic is intended for the Liverpool-New York service,
and, with a gross register of 27,000 tons, will be the largest British
motor-ship. She is modelled on the newest lines, with a straight stem
and cruiser stern, and is fitted with two of the low funnels
characteristic of most of the large motor liners recently built.

The accommodation provided for the 1,550 passengers (cabin, tourist
cabin, and third class) includes a swimming pool and tennis courts in
the cabin class, and elevators and children's play rooms in the tourist
cabin and third-class accommodation. The principal public rooms on the
promenade deck include a card room in late French Gothic, and the
lounge, in 18th-century English style, offers facilities for dancing and
cinematograph performances; from it a long gallery gives access to a
Tudor smoking room. The drawing room, which is in white and green, is
specially arranged to permit of its use as a chapel.

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