Private promenades


Hitch

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Jan 6, 2006
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Hey everyone.

How many private promenades decks where there? And who did? I know Bruce Ismay had one, but who ells?


Thanks
-Carl
 
Jun 4, 2003
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what would one do in the private promenade apart from relaxing, having breakfast/lunch/dinner, reading and looking in the ocean? Were such services (dining etc.)provided in there? Just more courious: were these areas heated at all? I suspect it must have been rather cold at night! Thanks for your input!!!
 

Bob Godfrey

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The great thing about having a private promenade was that you could do whatever you wanted! Certainly meals could be brought there, but so could they be brought to any 1st Class passenger in their stateroom if requested. That was one of the many services available from the bedroom stewards, but since it was something of a departure from their normal duties they would generally get a much better than average tip at the end of the voyage is such service had been provided.

There were two electric heaters in each of the private promenade areas, somewhat larger than the standard models provided in the 1st Class staterooms.
 
Jun 4, 2003
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Thanks Bob, your input is much appreciated. What was this extra space used for in Olympic though? Greetings from a sunny and warm Greece!!!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Greetings, George, from a cold and wet UK!

On the Olympic (as built) those spaces formed part of the 'enclosed promenade' which ran along the full length of each side for use of (all) 1st Class passengers for most of its length, and 2nd Class at the after end.
 
Jun 4, 2003
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JUST ANOTHER QUESTION: YOU PAID SO MUCH MONEY IN FIRST CLASS IN OLYMPIC AND IF YOU WERE IN B-DECK YOU WOULD STILL HAVE TO BE SEEN BY STRANGERS IN THE PROMENADE OUTSIDE YOUR STATEROOM? COULD ONE BE "PROTECTED" AGAINST FOREIGN EYES? PERSONALLY, I WOULD LIKE MORE PRIVACY AND A BETTER VIEW OF THE OCEAN. THANKS ANYWAY ...
 

Bob Godfrey

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No need to shout, George, I'm not going deaf!
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Well, they didn't have television in those days, so taking a walk on B Deck was the next best thing. Seriously, if you had paid big money for one of the better suites then your windows had an inner sliding screen made of rippled 'cathedral glass', which admitted light but you can't see through it. The rest maybe had to rely on 'net' curtains. Mark Chirnside is the man who would know.
.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Er...George...hit the Caps lock please. ALL CAPS is considered to be shouting on the 'net and I know you didn't mean to shout.

As to the private promanade, the access to same was either by way of the cabin or a set of double doors from the 1st Class Entrance on the Titanic. Shutting out prying eyes wouldn't be much of a problem.

On the Olympic, prying eyes could have been shut out by the simple expediant of closing the curtains or the rippled glass screen that Bob mentioned. That and the fact that if you were caught playing the Peeping Tom game, you would be subject to some very pointed questions from the hotel staff and almost certainly the Master-At-Arms, and unlike the hotel staff, the MAA wouldn't bother being polite about it.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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Hi Bob,

Seriously, if you had paid big money for one of the better suites then your windows had an inner sliding screen made of rippled 'cathedral glass', which admitted light but you can't see through it. The rest maybe had to rely on 'net' curtains. Mark Chirnside is the man who would know.
Amidships, the B-deck staterooms or suites were fitted with 'vertical upward sliding windows made of teak' according to the Peskett report. These were modelled on Mauretania to an extent, and it's one of my 'favourite tales' as I discovered the extent of Bruce Ismay's involvement in this area: Cunard actually supplied drawings showing the working of Mauretania's windows to Harland & Wolff at Ismay's request, which struck me as an enormously cheeky request. I was surprised Cunard agreed to it, yet then again the tales of the cut-throat competition between companies sometimes overstate the case.

You're quite correct as regards the privacy issue: there was a mahogany jalousie and a 'cathedral glass vertical sliding window' fitted inside.

As regards the remainder of B-deck, such as the forward staterooms, it's frustrating as I am fairly sure I have these recorded at home. However, since my last university exam finished it's been one long drinking contest.
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I won't get a chance to look for at least a month as I am away from home. However, I entirely agree that passengers would not have been left at the mercy of prying eyes. I remember that the recent Cameron expedition posted an image of a privacy screen in one of the forward A-deck cabins, and my assumption at this stage would be to assume that these screens would have been used on Olympic in this area of A-deck as well as immediately beneath on B-deck.

I read an interesting rebuttal as to the profits on these suites. Apparently, around 1913 there had been concerns as to the profitability of reserving large areas of space to these enormous suites (such as the Kaiser suite on Imperator and the 'millionaires' suites on Titanic, or even Olympic's best 'parlour' suites). The concern was that if they were not filled, the companies would be forfitting a lot of passage money. However, in the event Imperator's (for instance) suites were booked every voyage in 1913 at a cost of (strictly from memory -- correct me if I am wrong) around $5,000 each. This equated to an enormous number of third, second or even first class bookings, and all from a group of perhaps as few as two super-rich people. While I can understand the suites amidships on B-deck remaining as they were, it's always been something of a puzzle to me as to why some promenade suites could not have been constructed forward of the grand staircase on B-deck in the late 1920s. After all, despite Titanic's and Britannic's arrangement, there was no law saying these suites had to be amidships. It's known that a number of entirely new suites were constructed on Olympic during this period, yet none had a private promenade or really resembled one of these 'millionaire suites.' One report stated that Olympic carried a record number of millionaires in 1928, as well as over 26,000 passengers, which makes me doubt that demand was not there -- as do her average first class passenger figures.

Best wishes,

Mark.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>yet then again the tales of the cut-throat competition between companies sometimes overstate the case.<<

Well, it wasn't as if the shipping lines didn't co-operate on certain matters when they saw it in their best interests to do so. Especially when dealing with mutual cancers such as professional gamblers that they tended to share information on and even blacklist from passage on their ships. Still, it does come as something of a surprise to me that they would be willing to share design information on their fittings. I wonder what Cunard saw as an advantage on that?
 
Dec 7, 2000
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All,

Just a small correction. Although it depended on the period style of the cabin, the majority of the "cathedral glass" windows were flat glass panes which were bfrosted and coloured, which still allowed light in but provided the privacy. All 1st class cabins which looked out onto the promenade had these frosted glass panels. Many of the C deck suites had these as well, but they were mainly for decorative purposes.

Daniel.
 

Bob Godfrey

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It's surprising if frosted plate glass was used in staterooms. 'Cathedral glass' was the standard for domestic purposes because it cost very little more and didn't have a utilitarian 'toilet window' appearance. In case anyone is wondering, traditional 'cathedral glass' is made by a rolling process which delivers flat sheets but with an uneven, slightly rippled surface, so it is always translucent rather than transparent and doesn't need to be frosted. When used for privacy it's often coloured because otherwise it can be a little too transparent from outside if the room is brightly lit.

On the other hand, if the privacy screens were all of the type seen in Cameron's latest footage - with a decorative etched pattern or artwork rather than plain frosting - then the choice would be understandable, if rather costly.

Mark: I too have been on a continuous drinking spree since my last exams, which were in 1969.
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.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Bob,

Some of the period suites did use "cathedral glass" decorative/private screens, such as this:

112483.jpg
and
112484.jpg


But the majority of the cabins that needed these privacy screens had the frosted and colored glass, like this:

112485.jpg


In fact, the first two images are from cabins on C deck, and as can be seen, the glass provided far less privacy than the frosted and colored glass. The other known location such as Titanic's A deck cabins, the third image is from Olympic's B deck cabin, and for anyone that has seen the 1920's promotional Olympic movie where the Adams sitting room is shown ... also with a frosted glass panel. There's a photo of Olympic's port sitting room and adjoining stateroom ... with a frosted glass panel.

What I'm trying to get to, is that where the privacy was actually needed, where the cabins looked out onto the promenade, the frosted and colored glass was used as it provided more privacy.

None of the cabins looking out directly onto the ocean actually had a glass privacy screen, all they had is a wooden shutter (either solid or jalousie). So the C deck cabins that did have the glass panel were all period suites and had this panel for decorative purposes more than anything else.

Daniel.
 
Jan 5, 2001
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This is a very interesting discussion. I have seen the lower photo and the top left before, yet I think the other is new to me unless it's in one of my brochures.

As a matter of clarification, in my post of Thursday, June 1, 2006 - 11:23 am: my source referred to the suites amidships on B-deck, and my speculation and comments were also directed at the forward B-deck cabins. The specific quotes about the B-deck suites were reproduced in my Olympic book.

Daniel, can I ask if your C-deck information is mainly from the photographic record? Or does my source (copied to you in 2002) go into detail here as well? You always amaze me with your knowledge of Olympic interiors!

Best wishes,

Mark.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Thanks for posting the photos, Daniel. I wasn't sure before if the cathedral glass in staterooms was used 'plain' or made up into decorative 'stained glass' patterns as shown in the pics. We know that plain cathedral glass of the 'hammered' variety was used eg in the gymnasium windows, but aside from the decorative etched glass windows, was any use made of plain frosted (ie sand-blasted) glass - skylights perhaps?
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Mark,

The other window is from the Modern Dutch cabin on C deck, I'm sure you've seen this photo before, I think it was published in 'Anatomy' and possibly other books (Three Sisters etc.)

My information is mainly from photos and the source. I wonder if Peskett used the term "cathedral glass" loosely to describe a patterned, decorative glass panel ... like in a cathedral? Those etched glass windows must have been colourful & quite decorative.

It's just from all the known visual sources, the cabins that looked out onto the promenades seem to have had the etched glass panels. The two "cathedral" glass photos are the only ones I know from C deck.

Bob,

As for plain frosted glass, aside from the domes, I cannot think of anywhere else where it would have been used. Most likely there was no other plain frosted glass used on the ship.

Daniel.
 
May 3, 2005
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>>and JP had one too but as u know he did not go on the ship<<

There seems to be some discussion that J.Bruce occupied JP's private suite after JP cancelled out. Another source is of the opinion that the suite B-52/54/56 was not occupied at all during the voyage.

But Of course !....We all know that it was really occupied by Cal and Rose. :)
 

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