Original Sailing Date

John Clifford

John Clifford

Member
Actually, if the Titanic had sailed on March 20th, and made it to New York, she would have sailed out of New York on March 30th, which was a Saturday, as the ships could stay in port for a few days.

At that point she would have arrived in Southampton on April 6th, and would have sailed out on April 10th.

This way, Olympic would have been sailing in one direction, and Titanic in the other; they would have passed each other sometime on Monday, April 15th.

Somewhere there are copies of ship departures postings, from New York, which listed Titanic as scheduled to sail out on Saturday, April 20th, now listed as "The Voyage That Never Took Place".
 
Dave Gittins

Dave Gittins

Member
Looking at the ice records, I see Titanic would have easily made it safely to New York in March. Practically no ice reached the track to New York. The difference between March and April is quite remarkable.
 
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Paul Lee

Member
You're right Dave. I compiled the following list from Lloyds after speculation that the Olympic's somewhat slow speed for her westbound passage before the Titanic may have been due to ice warnings (none of which are explicitly stated in her PV for that period). I found the following:

April 8 - British Steamer Brinkburn reports lat 47 long 47 - encountered ice, field ice and numerous small bergs.
April 8 - British Steamer Lord Cromer - 150 miles east of St.Johns (N.F) encountered much field ice
April 6 - British steamer Strahfillan reports lat 49 N 48 W encountered ice
April 3 - Danish steamer [unreadable] lat 45 04 N, long 56 38 W saw drifting ice and ice fields
April 7 - Armenian reports lat 42 36 long 49 36 encountered field ice which extended for a distance of 50 miles
April 9 - Knutsford from New York reports a temperature drop in 40 56 N 47 56 W which was attributed to a huge iceberg seen 1.5 hours later
April 8 - British Steamer Royal Edwards reports from 42 5 N 49 39 W to 42 30 N 50 10 W passed thick and heavy loose field ice
42 48N 49 40W - saw a large iceberg
April 7 - British Steamer Rosalind ran into a strip of field ice 3 or 4 miles wide and extending north and south as far as could be seen in
45 10 N 56 40 W
April 8 - British Steamer Rio Pirahy reports in lat 42 44 long 49 34 - for 7 hours passed a large quantity of field ice and icebergs.


Before these dates, there were very few reports of field ice especially on the New York route. Before April it seems that ice wasn't a menace unless your port was sealed in! All these, apart from the rogue iceberg seen by the Knutsford, are well to the North, away from the Olympic's course to New York.

Paul

My ebook on the Titanic and the Californian is available at http://www.paullee.com/book_details.php
 
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tom blackburn

Member
I rechecked my White Star schedule and it does show the Titanic leaving for New York on the 20th of March and returning leaving from New York on the 30th of March.
 
Kaivara

Kaivara

Kevin Hicks II
Member
Ok, this is my first ever post on Encyclopedia Titanica. Bear with me, as I am still learning how this apparently MASSIVE website works, with the different threads, how to post, navigating, and whatnot.

Just as the title says. Quite some time ago, I remember coming across a little-known fact about the Titanic, in that her maiden voyage date was delayed not once, but twice. I'm aware that the original date for her to sail was March 20th, 1912, before it was changed to April 10th, due to Olympic needing repairs for her thrown propeller blade. However, we also know that before that, Olympic collided with the HMS Hawke, which saw her go into Belfast for repairs prior.

I don't remember what the alleged first scheduled sailing date for Titanic was supposed to be, but I believe it was sometime in early January to early February. I brought this up on a Reddit post in the official Titanic subreddit, which was a photo of Olympic leaving Belfast after getting her new propeller. In the comments I asked this question, and one member cited his copy of 'On a Sea of Glass' (which I have every intention of getting). It said that the official date of Titanic's maiden voyage was announced back in 1911 to be March 20th. However, after her launch and before this announcement, the maiden voyage was expected to be in January, specifically the 17th, 24th or 31st with White Star having Wednesday sailings. The first reason was due to her fitting out expected to be complete in about seven and a half months, the same as Olympic. Of course, it ended up taking longer due to the changes Titanic got from Olympic. The second was that, for Olympic, her provisions were delivered a month before her maiden voyage. For Titanic, these same provisions were ordered in December 1911, which could have meant her maiden voyage would take place a month later.

I am not certain as to whether or not I dreamt or hallucinated this supposed first scheduled sailing date, and I want to put this question to rest for good.
 
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Mark Chirnside

Mark Chirnside

Member
Quite some time ago, I remember coming across a little-known fact about the Titanic, in that her maiden voyage date was delayed not once, but twice. I'm aware that the original date for her to sail was March 20th, 1912, before it was changed to April 10th, due to Olympic needing repairs for her thrown propeller blade. However, we also know that before that, Olympic collided with the HMS Hawke, which saw her go into Belfast for repairs prior.

...I am not certain as to whether or not I dreamt or hallucinated this supposed first scheduled sailing date, and I want to put this question to rest for good.

Welcome to the forum!

I'm not aware that any maiden sailing date prior to 20 March 1912 was ever confirmed or advertised, whereas the 20 March 1912 sailing date had been confirmed by White Star in the autumn of 1911.

I think what is being referred to is an over-optimistic assessment of how long it would take to outfit Titanic, based on how long it took for Olympic. The Olympic outfitting time was actually pretty extraordinary, because it took about the same time as Oceanic (1899) - a far smaller ship. (Gunter Babler published a research article on this but I can't lay my hands on it right now.)

In all honestly, the winter months are really not great timing for a maiden voyage and passenger traffic was significantly lower than the high season.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
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Kaivara

Kaivara

Kevin Hicks II
Member
Thanks for the welcome Mr. Chirnside! I'm a big fan of you and your work, and while I don't have your books just yet, I plan to get them someday. Anyway, this is great! So, it basically sounds like that March 20th was the first date set in stone (before the delay to April 10th obviously), and that anything beforehand was along the lines of wishful thinking on White Star's part. Titanic setting sail in late 1911 is certainly never something I thought of. Anyway, thank you for the help once again, and you Mr. Tiller for providing the links. Before I go, just two more last-minute questions that I figured I may as well squeeze in here, rather than making separate posts.

The first is that, if Titanic never sank and everything went according to schedule, then come the completion of the Britannic, White Star would have had no need for the Oceanic in their three-ship Southampton-New York service. So, what would have become of her? Would she have gone back to the Liverpool-New York route? Maybe become a reserve ship? Or even be scrapped altogether? (although I very much doubt that last part)

The second is to solve a conspiracy theory which I hate to admit I have considered to be possibly true. In the articles Mr. Tiller provided, White Star were apparently very hopeful to get Titanic into service only a short time after Olympic. To cut straight to the chase, did the Titanic have a faulty construction because of this? Perhaps H&W used lesser quality steel for her plates and rivets, which would not have stood up well to the cold North Atlantic, thus being easily able to be punctured and popped off by the iceberg according to those who purport this theory? Frankly in my mind, even if this is true, I still fail to see what difference it would have made that night, considering that Titanic took an extreme amount of damage for any ship.
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
The second is to solve a conspiracy theory which I hate to admit I have considered to be possibly true. In the articles Mr. Tiller provided, White Star were apparently very hopeful to get Titanic into service only a short time after Olympic. To cut straight to the chase, did the Titanic have a faulty construction because of this? Perhaps H&W used lesser quality steel for her plates and rivets, which would not have stood up well to the cold North Atlantic, thus being easily able to be punctured and popped off by the iceberg according to those who purport this theory? Frankly in my mind, even if this is true, I still fail to see what difference it would have made that night, considering that Titanic took an extreme amount of damage for any ship.
That's an old one but it still comes up.

The steel and rivets were absolutely fine. H&W did not cut any corners.

We know this because tests were performed on salvaged steel and rivets from the wreck during the nineties.

A theory then in vogue was that because of the large amount of slag in the steel and rivets (as was common in steel making of the era) then it would have been brittle.

However, when they were subjected to intense pressure tests (after having first been immersed in freezing seawater) under laboratory conditions, much to the astonishment of the scientists the steel and rivets withstood considerably more pressure than was expected of them.

The "brittle steel and rivets" theory was busted.
 
Kaivara

Kaivara

Kevin Hicks II
Member
That's an old one but it still comes up.

The steel and rivets were absolutely fine. H&W did not cut any corners.

We know this because tests were performed on salvaged steel and rivets from the wreck during the nineties.

A theory then in vogue was that because of the large amount of slag in the steel and rivets (as was common in steel making of the era) then it would have been brittle.

However, when they were subjected to intense pressure tests (after having first been immersed in freezing seawater) under laboratory conditions, much to the astonishment of the scientists the steel and rivets withstood considerably more pressure than was expected of them.

The "brittle steel and rivets" theory was busted.
Exactly what I was hoping and fully expected to hear. That's another one solved. Thanks. :)
 
Mark Chirnside

Mark Chirnside

Member
Thanks for the welcome Mr. Chirnside! I'm a big fan of you and your work, and while I don't have your books just yet, I plan to get them someday

I appreciate your kind comments - 'Mark' is fine. :)

The first is that, if Titanic never sank and everything went according to schedule, then come the completion of the Britannic, White Star would have had no need for the Oceanic in their three-ship Southampton-New York service. So, what would have become of her?

I assume she would have been used either in reserve or transferred to another route (as was Teutonic).

White Star were apparently very hopeful to get Titanic into service only a short time after Olympic. To cut straight to the chase, did the Titanic have a faulty construction because of this? Perhaps H&W used lesser quality steel for her plates and rivets

Conspiracy theorists suggesting that apparently don't have any idea of the extent to which the Board of Trade monitored construction! The steel was tested to Lloyd's classification society standards and passed accordingly, even though these ships were not classed at Lloyd's. Further, construction of Olympic and Titanic was so much in tandem that we are talking about the same materials ordered.

Titanic's hull was already fully framed by 6 April 1910 and then fully plated by 19 October 1910. Any delays in her completion, after Olympic entered service, were irrelevant in this context because her plating had already been completed.
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
That's an old one but it still comes up.

The steel and rivets were absolutely fine. H&W did not cut any corners.

We know this because tests were performed on salvaged steel and rivets from the wreck during the nineties.

A theory then in vogue was that because of the large amount of slag in the steel and rivets (as was common in steel making of the era) then it would have been brittle.

However, when they were subjected to intense pressure tests (after having first been immersed in freezing seawater) under laboratory conditions, much to the astonishment of the scientists the steel and rivets withstood considerably more pressure than was expected of them.

The "brittle steel and rivets" theory was busted.
I've seen and read a lot about the rivets but I was watching a documentary awhile back and they made a claim I hadn't heard before. In it it was said that because in certain areas of a ship where the riveting machine couldn't be used because of curves ect ect they would only use iron rivets that were eaiser to hammer in than steel ones. They claimed that was the case on Titanic. Sounded like bullsh*t to me because of where the seams came apart they would have used it. Anyway has anyone else heard that? Or did I just miss it before. I always thought the steel/iron rivet problem was a supply issue. As in some iron rivets were used because they were running out of the steel ones. Oh they also claimed that it took 3 times the hammering to seat a steel rivet as opposed to an iron one. Cheers.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
Interestingly while searching through old newspaper archives just now, I found two earlier references which mention Titanic being ready for use later in the year. One from June 11, 1911 and May 31, 1911 (Titanic's launching date). I will be submitting these articles to ET shortly.
 
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