Olympic Promotional Movie

Sep 1, 2004
Do you know the Olympic Promotional Movie (”žContributed to Public Instruction by THE WHITE STAR LINE“)? I have some questions about it…

The play played on the raised roof over the first class lounge, is it ”žbull ball“? And is the play played by the first class entrance ”žquoits“?

I noticed that one of the stationary bicycles in the gymnasium was black and the other white and so were the indicators on the clock. So I supposed that the white one showed the distance made by the white bicycle and the black one of the black bicycle. Am I right? Does anybody know, how long the distance marked on the clock-face has been? There are four points visible, but I am not able to read them.

In the reading and writing scene you can see a box filled with something that looks like White Star Line stationery (envelopes and sheets of paper). Is it known what exactly has been in? And how did the inkwells and pens look like?

In the next scene, the dining room, some of the men wear tuxedo with a black tie, some a tailcoat and white tie. Was there any rule about the evening attire?

The stewards wear black (maybe it is an other colour?) jackets, the stewards in the first class smoking room as well. But then, when passengers disembark in Cherbourg, you can see stewards wearing white jackets again, as in the Cameron’s Titanic. And the steward taking the passenger’s coat in the first class stateroom wears also white Did the stewards change into black every evening? Or did just the saloon stewards wear black?

When was the dancing floor made in the middle of the dining room, between the funnels? And where has the band been placed?

Does anybody know the names of the pieces during the movie and to which year exactly is the movie dated?

Thank you very much for your help,
With best regards
Vitezslav Ivicic
Feb 4, 2007
Denver, Colorado, United States
Hi Vitazslav!

It appears to me that the game being played on the First Class Lounge roof is actually "Shuffleboard".

The game being played near the First Class Entrance looks like some form of "Frisbee" played with a circular rope ring and a net in between. I don't know if this game has on official name, but it is not "Quoits", since there is no pit with a pin, and the rings are obviously quite light in weight.

If I'm not mistaken, "bedroom stewards" wore white coats while "saloon stewards" wore black coats. Old photographs and promotional literature show this to be the trend.

The dance floor was not officially 'installed' in the Olympic's First Class Dining Saloon until her 1928 re-fit ~ the band had a platform built in the room at the 2nd funnel casing at that time. The film actually shows people dancing in the First Class Reception room.

I don't know about your other questions, but the film had to have been made for American promotion because the film begins with the Olympic departing NY City, and at the end, it refers to sailing "home" from Europe. It was made sometime between July 1920 - May 1922, since: a) Bertram Hayes is noted as the captain, b) the clothing suggests the very early 1920's, c) July 1920 was the earliest the newly re-fitted, post-war Olympic returned to the US, and d) May 1922 is when Bertram Hayes ceased to be captain of Olympic.
Sep 1, 2004
Thank you very much for your information!

Do you have any idea what quoits and bull ball are? I read that these two plays were played aboard Titanic (on the open deck space).

Thank you again,

Ralph Currell

Aug 5, 2007
Hello Vitezslav,

Regarding the stationary bicycles, the clock scale appears to go to 440 yards (with 110, 220 and 330 marked at the 3:00, 6:00 and 9:00 positions respectively). The machines were manufactured in Germany, and I assume the scales originally read 400 metres but were converted to imperial units for use on a British ship (one yard being approximately 0.9 metres).

Best regards,
Jun 13, 2006
Thanks for posting that link, great footage. I'd love to see a DVD compilation of all the Olympic footage over the years. Proper trainspotting anorak time!
Mar 15, 2011
Dear All,

I'm desperately trying to find out who owns the rights to the White Star line promotional film, offering a tour of the Olympic. I have the footage via a DVD release by Kino Video of the 1943 movie Titanic(Dir Herbert Selpin). I have contacted Kino, Transit Film, Bundes Archiv in Berlin, Carnival Lines and Cunard and no one seemed to know who owns the rights to this film.

Could anyone on here be of any help? It would be hugely appreciated!

Many thanks!

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