Pipe Organ Woes

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Maybe I am the only one, but I have my doubts as to the whole pipe organ thing. Or at least, in the way it was presented to me.

Problems with it:

I read it was to be steam powered. Now at first thought, this would be an absolutely awesome thing to hear. BUT... I want you to take a look at the artist's impression on the page below:


As we see, it is completely covered by paneling. There are problems with this. An organ's pipes should never be enclosed, or the pipes will mildew--especially with water present! (trust me, we have this problem at my Church)

Now, there is the possibility that the pipes are on either side of the panelling opposite of the staircase. This is not good either--there's nothing like walking past and having hot steam blown in your face, right? Lawsuit!

Finally, if the pipes are in fact covered by the panelling opposite the staircase, there's one more problem: Wood! Steam pipe organ + wood = mildew + warping. Not very desirable, is it?

The only thing that can make this plausible, to me anyway, is knowing that the steam was directed outside somehow, without ever coming into contact with wood. Now, if I may ask, what's your take on the whole thing?

Perhaps some turkey assumed that the organ was to be what is called a calliope. This contraption was an organ in which high pressure steam was blown through the pipes to produce a considerable din. They were used at fair grounds and on American river boats. A steam ship naturally had the necessary steam.

Britannic's organ would probably have been electrically blown, as was common at the time. Quite small electrically blown organs could be bought "off the shelf" for home use. Some were provided with paper rolls, like a player piano.
I thought that the panels of the Organ on the Boat Deck were not made of wood, but a fabric material that would allow the sound to filter throughout the ship...
Hello Steve,

Look closely at the two images which are present at HSB.com. The shadow and colouring of the images make it hard to see, but in my opinion the openings of the pipes can be vagely seen. The images actually give me the idea that, contrary to the coloured image, the organ's pipes are visible. The top part of the side facing the GSC (Boat-deck level) seems to have some decorations, and below that there seems to be a V-shaped row of openings. Hard to see on the leftside image, a bit better on the right one.
At the bottom part of the organ on the Boatdeck-level both images show a horizontal row of openings. It seems to me that the Boat-deck part of the pipeorgan facing the GSC consisted mostly of pipes, seperated by two double decorative wooden columns. The righthand side image on HSB shows this the best, with the piping being slightly lighter; possibly because the artist made it reflecting the light.

Steve, I've just noticed that on page 120 of Lost Liners there is a black and white version of the drawing you found.

It looks to me as if the artist has drawn the usual open lines of pipes of the organ, perhaps none too accurately. See what you think.
Hello Dave,
I believe it was John who originally posted the link to HospitalShipBritannic.com's copy of the Rendering, but thank you very much for reminding me. I had honestly forgotten that this was in here, and now that I am looking at a very crisp image, I have some new ideas, or maybe I am just finally understanding this....

I actually think that there are 3 screens created of Iron carvings with a fabric used behind it. If you look close at the design, You can see that all of these lines are connected. The 5 oval objects that are visible (there would actually be 7 total) would be the same gold medallion found on the staircase railings with the iron work branching out from them. (sorry if this is coming out as babble, I need to get to bed). I am going to enlarge this image tomorrow and study the screen more and post a CGI of what I believe this would look like. WOW I am excited now, as I can finally see this clearly and am almost 100 percent positive of how this would look in color.

The pipes would simply not be visible. They wanted it hidden.

This is the nearly complete iron panel that will be repeated another 6 times. The other iron panel is still a mess. More scroll work will be added to the bottom, as well as on the top. More gold gilt will be at the top of the panel.
>>>>Steve, do you think the vertical lines between the screens are meant to be organ pipes?<<<

Nope. There appears to be more iron work between the screen I posted above. Basically one large central panel with three of the above posted iron pieces, with two larger iron pieces separating the three. Flanking the large central panel are two smaller panels consisting of two of the above posted panels of iron work, with one of the larger pieces separating the two. Two sets of columns separate the central panel from the smaller Starboard and Port panels. With as detailed as this rendering in Lost Liners is, I believe if the Pipes were to have been visible, they would have been in this rendering and represented correctly. A large app. 20 feet of Iron panels would fit in with the original decor a lot better than a bunch of pipes. I think if the pipes were to have been exposed, they would have just placed the organ at the base of the stairs instead of hidden in that little app. 3' by 20' room.
I didn't want to post this just yet, as this is still a rough draft and alot of the finer detail at the bottom and top still needs to be addressed.

If you put it into black and white, you pretty much get the rendering!
Steve that is amazing! I have yet to master being able to do intricate scrollwork using a computer as you have done. How's the grand staircase section coming along? I look forward to seeing more of your work. Cheers
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