Pirrie Ismay Carlisle and then Morgan

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Hello Everyone,

My name is Steve Krienke. I just registerd for ET, but I have been reading everyones posts for about two months now. I am a play writer. I am also a big Titanic researcher, I know a great deal about her, as do the rest of you.

I have wrote two Titanic plays. When refering to them, I call them the "small" play and the "big play." The small play is my schools play this year. It is being preformed Friday, Nov. 12th 2004..this week. The big one is going to be in Alexandria (I live in MN) Alexandria has to theatres I could use...I am still in the process of deciding which theatre to use.

Anyway! The first scene of the big play is that fateful Dinner Party...then were on to the 2nd Scene. I want to have Pirrie, Ismay, and Carlisle go to the bosses desk, Morgan. I want to show Pirrie and Ismay introducing the basic ideas of the ships, then have Carlisle show ideas such as the Grand Stair Case, the Gym, the Smoking room, etc. Now please keep in mind I am very anti 97' movie, I cannot stand how real people were pushed aside to make room for a naked women and a poor guy.

I do not know if the three men went to Morgan, but if they didnt, I do not think this scene would cause an uproar. Its not like I am lying about something, or making fake people (Everything and everyone in this play is real) I am just having them telling the boss things that we would find out later anyway (like the great attractions and stuff)

Please let me know your opionions on this, I would love to make this as historically accurate as possible.

Steve Krienke
[email protected]
I don't know if any of these people went directly to J.P. Morgan with the proposal, but I'm sure at some point, he would have been brought into the loop. I think it more likely that the proposals were discussed and at some point, a representative in America like P.A.S. Franklin was given the informtion who in turn passed it on to Morgan.

Bear in mind that this is speculation and I could have the sequence all wrong. I'm more the nuts and bolts techie/forensics type and not so hot on dates and the people. Perhaps somebody who's up on this can speak to the matter.
As I indicated, I'm your basic techie/forensics kind of guy. I have a passing familiarity with the ship, but then I've had some right good teachers in this forum who I've learned from.
Bruce Ismay was President of International Mercantile Marine, Morgan's big company that owned White Star and other lines. Ismay obviously would have told Morgan what he was doing, thought Morgan may not have been much concerned with the details. They are what he paid Pirrie to attend to. Morgan was certainly "in the loop", because he lent Harland & Wolff £150,000 to help preparations.

There's circumstantial evidence that the real originator of the Olympic class was Lord Pirrie, the big chief of H & W. By 1912 he was pretty much a dictator. As early as 1902, he persuaded the Belfast Harbour Commissioners to build the Thompson Graving Dock, in order to be ready for the big ships of the future. He may well have talked Ismay into the scheme. Pirrie could sell refrigerators to Inuit.

Alexander Carlisle was only an employee of H & W and would not have had a say in deciding to build the ships. Pirrie designed the hull form and the general layout of the ships. Carlisle did the interiors and other equipment. Andrews was more of an engineer, concerned with structure. Edward Wilding was the naval architect who did calculations of buoyancy and stability. The part of Andrews was much exaggerated after his death, as so often happens.
I believe the biggest player in the Olympic class ships was Lord Pirrie. From the time he got Morgan to takeover Oceanic Steam Navigation Company to the ships were built. Lord Pirrie used several years to carry out his plans for these ships although he never got to build the fourth ship he wanted.

As for Alexander Carlisle, he was bit more than an employee as he carried quite a bit of weigh in shipping. Don't lets forget the other Alexander Carlisle, he was an employee for 51 years!!

You caught me when I am out in the North sea. Pirrie had hoped that a fourth ship would be built in the 1920s. My Shipbuilders to the World book is at home otherwise I could have quoted the name of it.

Don't you have this wonderful book. It started with a H. I get home in 10days and will let you know.
>>Don't you have this wonderful book. <<

I'm afraid not. I may have to make a point of getting it if I can afford the price. I'm wondering if Lord Pierre was being realistic in hoping to get a forth ship built, be it an Olympic or an improved version. In 1912, there was only so much of a market base to go around even with the immigrant trade in full swing.
It was after the sinking of Titanic and Britannic that he hoped for a fourth ship. Remember the Olympic class ships should have been three in service as this was more profitable and economical than the two heavy fuel using Cunards.
Something I've found intriguing about the construction of the Olympic class is that two slipways were constructed. The nature of ship construction is staged, with the making of parts before the erecting of the hull, before launch, etc. With three ships on order, a single slipway would be most cost-effective ("profitable"). Two slipways make sense only if four ships were to be built in the shortest period of time possible.

My quick reckoning tells me it would take about six years to complete three Olympic class ships on a single slipway if nothing unusual occurred. With two slipways, the same crew of workers could be expected to finish a fourth ship in that same time span. I suggest that was the original plan--build four ships in six years.

Olympic had problems with HMS Hawke; Titanic sank; Britannic was heavily re-designed. The result was three ships launched. All we have of a fourth ship are vague comments after WW-I and the double slipway.

Given what we know, I can't help thinking that the Olympic class was to be four ships. In fact, White Star wound up paying as much for the three completions as for the full four-ship fleet. I think the fourth Olympic became the double sides in Olympic, the redesign/double sides of Britannic, and the monetary loss resulting from the loss of Titanic.

Just speculating!

-- David G. Brown
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