Portholes


Dorothy

Member
Dec 13, 1999
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Hi does anyone have any ideas why on the portside of Titanic befor her fitting out there were 14 portholes along the white line on the forecastle deck and 16 after.The other 2 were added the bridge end ,you can see them on the 2 one 2 sequence.The Olypic was the same. Dot
 

Remco Hillen

Member
Dec 13, 1999
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That could depend on a lot of things, before fitting out Titanic also had the same A and B deck window configuration as Olympic.
The porthole(s, don't know that) belong to the lamproom, which was located there, it was long thought that only Olympic had that, but on wreck footage of the foreward wellldeck you can clearly see a hole(the door is gone) which should lead you to that room.
But on all the sisters the porthole config. was different, Britannic was again different from Titanic in that...

Remco:)
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 25, 2001
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Hey Everyone!

I've been bothered by this for quite a while and I just wanted to clear it up for myself. Forward on the Boat Deck, just beneath the officers' windows along the deck, are a number of small portholes. They are far too low to be for the crew quarters themselves. I'm sure that this isn't possible, but are they ventilation ports for the A Deck staterooms below?

David
 
Jul 20, 2000
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Hi David,

My understanding is that they are windows for the Inside Single-berth rooms on A-deck. The Shipbuilder refers to those rooms as being "Lighted from above".

Lester
 
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Scott R. Andrews

Guest
Hi David,

Yes, those are for admitting light and air into the inner staterooms on A-deck. They are called "skid lights". There was a sloping sheetmetal housing fitted into the outboard corner of the officer's quarters wall and the deck, which created a small shaft between the skid light and the cabin ceiling. In order to make use of the lost space in the officer's cabin, the bunk or some other piece of built-in furniture would have been installed over the enclosure. This is one more area where it is possible to tell deck photos of Olympic and Titanic apart. While Olympic's skid lights were oval in shape, Titanic's were circular.

Regards,

Scott Andrews
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 25, 2001
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Thanks a lot you guys! I thought that that may have been their purpose, but I figured that it would have made the ceiling in the Officers' Quarters too low. I see now.

Thanks,

David
 
Dec 7, 2000
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About these lights, I understand and know they are for admitting light but how does the air get through? What would the passengers have see when looking up at the ceiling? Surely they did not climb walls to open the ports for the air to get through. Was there a glass panel (I think the opening for these lights in the cabin ceilings were square, about 21") for these openings, or was this just an open space?

Daniel.
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 25, 2001
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Daniel,

That too had me wondering, but I didn't say anything for fear of an obvious and embarrasing answer
happy.gif
. Another question that goes along those lines is, would the outboard 2-3 feet of all those cabins have had a higher ceiling that abruptly cut off? Or was the higher ceiling in the center of the room?

David
 
Oct 28, 2000
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Think of the skid ports as at the end of small scuttles that extended the outboard walls of the cabins so equiped upward a few feet above the boat deck. The portlight at the end of the skid port would have been above the deckhead ("ceiling" in a house). In effect, skid ports created a miniature clerestory in each cabin for light and possibly ventilation. Only a basketball star could possibly have looked out one--and the view would have been of Captain Smith's ankles!

Skid ports probably benefitted White Star more than the occupants of the cabins. I'm sure the skid ports allowed the company to sell those cabins at "outside" rates rather than "inside."

The name "skid port" is interesting. I've not seen it used in any other context other than the Olympic class of vessels. It's not in any of my nautical dictionaries. Perhaps the term originated among the workers in the H&W yard who needed a way to differentiate them from other ports and windows.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Scott R. Andrews

Guest
David,

Thanks for elaborating on what this arrangement would have looked like inside the cabin. As for Daniel's question regarding how the air would get in, these ports open outward. In the photographs, the hinges and dogs are visible in both cases. When closed, they provide privacy due to the pebbled glass they are fitted with (also visible in the photos). As far as how a pasenger would open these ports, that's not a problem: you're in first class circa 1912 - that's what the steward's call button is for! ;-)

Regards,

Scott Andrews
 
Dec 21, 2005
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I have been giving presentations to schools in the UK for the last 2 years on the subject of the Titanic, White Star Line and of course the lives of Thomas Henry and J Bruce Ismay. These presentations make use of a laptop powered digital projector with sound files. The presentation lasts for 50 mins approx. and culminates with a 'Children's question time' often taking up around 1 hour.
There are questions which remain unanswered from time to time but there are 3 questions which are asked time after time.

1 How many rooms were there on the Titanic?
Now that's a conundrum which requires some thought. Take the engine room for example; there were many compartments and sub compartments so is the engine room officially classed as one room?
At the other end of the scale, there were many small storage rooms or closets which could possibly defy being classed as a room.
I try to limit the answer to 'cabins' but that's not acceptable for young inquisitive minds.

2 How many portholes did Titanic have?
Now that's a reasonable question and I hope someone out there will have the answer.

If anyone would like to debate or answer either of the above questions, please feel free, any help appreciated.

The third most frequently asked question is....
Mr Ismay, were you onboard the Titanic?
Well, being born in 1955 I think I can answer that one without any help! School kids, don't you just love 'em.

Cordially,
Cliff Ismay
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I've never counted but I'll bet Bruce Beveridge or Steve Hall could give you an answer to the first two questions. The gents are two of the top techies in the Titanic community.

[Moderator's note: This post and the one above it, were in another topic, but have been moved to here. JDT]
 
Dec 21, 2005
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Thanks Micheal for the input and thanks Jason for the link. My best guess had been 'just over 1600 rooms' but I see that Bill has not only a more accurate count of the 'inhabitable compatments' but he has also listed them according to the decks. Perhaps my answer for the children would be more accurate if I include the words 'inhabitable compatments'
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Perhaps my answer for the children would be more accurate if I include the words 'inhabitable compatments'<<

Watch the little nippers ask about uninhabitable compartments!
wink.gif
Short of that, Bill Sauder's count is most likely bang on the money. He knows his stuff!
 
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Diego Uriol

Guest
hello everybody!
I was wondering whether in those corridors which went directly to a porthole. This (the p.h.) would have had a stained glass window over the opening, like in many first class staterooms on C and D decks.

Best Regards,
Diego
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I'm not aware of any stained glass used on these fixtures, and I've never seen any photos of such used for a porthole on the Titanic. There would be little practical reason to do so, though aesthetic would be another matter. Perhaps Bruce Beveridge of Steve Hall have some better information.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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As I've dealt with the interior section of the new Titanic book, I went a little into the windows and stained glass windows. There weren't as many of those as one might think and they were predominantly used for practical purposes and only in very few places for decorative purposes. Stained glass windows were not used in the small corridors connecting to a sidelight.

Daniel.
 

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