Olympic & Titanic Opinion


Nigel Bryant

Member
Aug 1, 2010
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Good Afternoon,

I have asked others this question but I decided to pose the question to the whole E.T community. It's opinion time! Olympic vs. Titanic.

In all the books I have read they always congratulate the Olympic as having the nicest lines, but kind of neglect Titanic. I know this sounds strange when in recorded history people hear more about Titanic because of that famous night, than Olympic but in detailed books like "The Only way to Cross" they congratulate Olympic's design. I have really never heard anything about Titanic's design since it had been altered from Olympic's design.

Not to take any recognition of the Olympic, she was indeed beautiful with a well balanced look compared to her rival four stackers, Lusitania, Mauretania, Aquatania, Kaiser Wilhelm Der Gross etc. But no one has really stated in books or articles that I have read that the Titanic had a nice design as well, not as much as the Olympic. What are your guys views?

We know that Titanic received an enclosed deck and irregular spaced windows on B-deck, but there has really never been any comment with these changes about Titanic's overall look. From an exterior point of view do you think the "Ismay Screen" enhanced Titanic's design in looks over the Olympic or vice versa? Do you think Carsile's designed Olympic was "a better looker" than the slightly alerted Titanic? In your opinion which ship has the best looks different looks? Do you like the changes they made to Titanic or prefer the original designed plan (open promenade, even spaced windows, longer open B-deck) of the Olympic?

All the best,

Nigel.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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I thought the enclosed promanade was a nice touch myself. It gave the ship a sleeker look, but that's a matter of rather subjective opinion. I think overall, the Olympics were a nice well balanced design. Hardly revolutionary as sometimes claimed, more like evolutionary in that they refined and improved on what had been done befor.

That they didn't go to the excesses of grandly huge public rooms with marble, wrought iron decor, etc, meant that they avoided some of the topweight problems of the Lusitania, Mauritania, and the German liners.
 
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Brigitta Lienhard

Guest
With the enclosed forward A deck - Titanic would have looked brilliant with 3 funnels.
The Olympic class was designed for visual impact with her open A deck and 4 funnels. Adding the screens changed the orginal profile.
Ismay had to stick his peak in someplace. He was already a 5th wheel in the organisation.
Fat lot of good he did on Olympic's maiden voyage. He did not present anything better on Titanic's.
I somehow doubt the A deck screens was even his idea. Someone must have mentioned it and he jumped at the suggestion to big note himself with the WSL. The screens were as usefull as an ashtray on a motorcycle.
Either way, which ship looked better. Olympic.
 
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Ismay had to stick his peak in someplace. He was already a 5th wheel in the organisation.
Fat lot of good he did on Olympic's maiden voyage. He did not present anything better on Titanic's.
I somehow doubt the A deck screens was even his idea. Someone must have mentioned it and he jumped at the suggestion to big note himself with the WSL. The screens were as usefull as an ashtray on a motorcycle.

Es tut mir Leid...Would you care to explain the reasons behind your conclusions? Not a single word of this agrees with what I have found in my research.

Parks
 
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Nathan Good

Guest
In terms of appearance, I would have to give the nod to the Olympic, just becuase I feel her lines were more evenly balanced. However, the Titanic, I believe due to the enclosed promenade, did look mightier in my opinion. If I was going to book passage on either one, the Titanic would also have been my pick. The interior of the ship was improved above and beyond that of the Olympic. No doubt that the Titanic was the Olympic's superior when it came to the accomodations. Overall, becuase of improvements over and above her sister, the Titanic was the better ship. And she certainly wasn't an unattractive ship by any stretch. I couldn't even imagine these vessels with only three funnels. Four funnels was a timeless design of prewar liners, and the Olympics were epitomy of pre WW1 vessels in my opinion. I wouldn't change a thing.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Brigitta, the screens were added in because of passenger complaints about seaspray on the Olympic. Shipping lines that want to keep their trade tend to listen to complaints like that and proactively do something about it.

We can never know for certain why they were never added to the Olympic. There may have been a sentiment at the time to avoid making her look too much like her ill fated sister. They were however included into the Britannic's design and were in place when the ship was launched. I can only infer from that that White Star must have found it to be a good idea. Otherwise, why spend the money on it?

>>Ismay had to stick his peak in someplace. <<

Well, he was the chairman and managing director after all. He was expected to do rather more then just sit in his office and look pretty.
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Dec 7, 2000
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Titanic was an improvement on the Olympic. It was observed on at least the first few of Olympic's voyages (that I know of for sure) that Olympic's B deck was largely deserted throughout the entire voyage. This of course proved to be a waste of space.

On Titanic, this space was utilised for better suites. This also resulted in the loss of enclosed promenade space. If the weather ever got rough and wet, Olympic always had B deck to shelter her passengers. Titanic’s B Deck, offered 33ft of public promenade ... certainly not enough if a couple of hundred passengers decided to seek the deck in bad weather.

So Titanic's A deck was a balance, and more of a necessity than any great attempt at aesthetic improvement. A deck offered not only open promenade for good weather, but a sheltered space for the more wet crossings.

After Titanic’s sinking, Olympic’s A deck promenade became the congregating place where all passengers gathered to board lifeboats. Olympic’s boat deck became too crowded to accommodate hundreds, or even thousands of people to board boats, which is why A deck became the main deck for boat loading. Perhaps with Titanic’s experience of the screen windows proving to be difficult for boat loading, a screen was never installed on Olympic’s A deck … also why should it be when there’s plenty of enclosed B deck promenade.

Daniel.
 
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Brigitta Lienhard

Guest
I would imagine that if the screens had been deemed a necessity, they would have been fitted to Olympic regardless of the boatdeck being later fitted with the additional lifeboats.
I have a problem with the reasoning behind the screens having been more practical than aesthetic. Make no mistake about it, they absolutely impacted on Titanic’s appearance in the positive.
Oh yes, a few individuals no doubt may have got their expensive outfits slightly damp from sea spray on the Olympic’s forward A deck, though I’m somewhat dubious about the expense and fitting of several hundred feet of screening on A deck on a ship who’s timetable for completion was already tight even before the Olympic / Hawke collision. In the end, there actual fitting only took place at the 11th hour to me indicates acceptance of the arrangement by the yard simply based on client appeasement.
{Mike said,] ‘Well, he was the chairman and managing director after all. He was expected to do rather more then just sit in his office and look pretty.’
I would imagine that identifying the need for cigar holders above the urinals tells us how much he had to worry about. LOL.
I’m left wondering how many other pearls of wisdom he passed onto Harland & Wolf regarding changes to Titanic.
I have the impression that after IMM consumed the WSL, he was just a puppet with the strings being pulled by Pirrie, Sanderson and Morgan.
I do whoever bow to the more learned individuals on this board.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>{Mike said,] ‘Well, he was the chairman and managing director after all. He was expected to do rather more then just sit in his office and look pretty.’
I would imagine that identifying the need for cigar holders above the urinals tells us how much he had to worry about. LOL. <<

Which invalidates my points...how???

And I'm sure anyone who actually had to clean the restrooms was probably grateful that the cigar holders were there, thus confining the mess, regardless of who made the decision to put them there. Cleaning is a time and labour intensive evolution on a ship, and if this feature could eliminate a nuisence, I would certainly take it as worthwhile.

>>I would imagine that if the screens had been deemed a necessity, they would have been fitted to Olympic regardless of the boatdeck being later fitted with the additional lifeboats. <<

And what does one have to do with the other, topweight issues notwithstanding? The decision to leave them off the Olympic might have been cosmetic, or it may have been to avoid having her look too much like Titanic at a time when Titanic's loss was a little too fresh on the public's mind.

>>I have the impression that after IMM consumed the WSL, he was just a puppet with the strings being pulled by Pirrie, Sanderson and Morgan.<<

Supported by what?
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Dec 7, 2000
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All,

Britannic had the forward A deck installed from the very start. If the White Star Line was avoiding another Titanic look-a-like, then Britannic is a bad example. So is Olympic.

The expansion of the Restaurant, addition of the Cafe Parisien, changing the D deck reception room, and rearranging cabins to have the same layout as Titanic's, was certainly not avoiding a Titanic look-a-like. Titanic had a lot going for her, and some excellent ideas, which were incorporated into later ships (i.e. Olympic and Britannic).

When Olympic's A deck became the main emergency deck and the deck for loading lifeboats, the screen would have been highly impractical. Since B deck was already screened and offered ample promenade space, no one had to worry about where the passengers would go if the weather got rough. Also, why on earth would you screen A deck, if there was plenty of screened promenade on B deck? Sounds like a waste of money to me.

Also, Titanic's A deck screen was not added at the 11th hour. There's a notation for the screen on some H&W plans dated 14 Feb. 1912. That's when it was decided for the screen to be added. It was manufactured and added later in March.

Daniel.
 
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Brigitta Lienhard

Guest
Daniel’s comments are agreeable with what I would respond. The thought or expressed said concern of making Olympic more closely resemble Titanic precluded the forward A deck screens being attached is not worth lengthy thought.
Dan, what a meant was that the A deck screen had been fitted in the last few weeks, not when the idea was conceived.
The cigar holders above the urinals had nothing to do with the cleaning of the restrooms. Gentleman’s trousers had buttons not zippers, so both hands had to be active to unbutton the fly and remove their organ to pass water. Thus cigar holders would have been handy.
It would have been healthier to not encourage smoking in the toilet.
 
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Alyson Jones

Guest
I know i'm a bit late here LOL.
I also heard that captain Smith while being on the olympic for a whole year was so use to the open A-deck,that when the Titanic accident happened, captain Smith ordered passenger's to A- Deck to climb through the opening of A-Deck to get to the life boats.
A couple of passenger's had to remind Captain Smith that he was on the Titanic and not the Olympic!
I heard it before,but i can't remember where!

I think 4 funnels made the ships look not that tough.I think that one huge funnel in the middle would of made the ships better looking.
If the olympic sunk than the olympic would of been the fame ship,just the way it goes.
 
Alyson - The reasoning behind four funnels is that, at the time, the power of ships was measured by the number of funnels. Therefore, they had 3 working funnels and a 4th dummy funnel.

1 funnel would have made the ship feel wimpy by Edwardian standards.

Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 

Nigel Bryant

Member
Aug 1, 2010
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Wellington, New Zealand
In terms of exterior design, I think both Titanic and Olympic were beautiful. I like them both. Titanic had more of a modern appearance with her partial enclosed promenade while Olympic had a more traditional design with her open promenade. They both were well balanced and beautiful liners.
Nigel
 

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