Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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How many 1st Class public rooms were open when the Titanic stuck the berg? We've gone over public room hours before, but published closing times contradict survivor accounts. The only rooms that I know of that were still catering to passengers are the Cafe Parisienne and the Smoking Room. The Dining Saloon still had its lights on but only stewards occupied it at 11:40. What about, say, the Reading and Writing Room? Was it open? If not, were the doors locked and the lights out? Or what about the Verandah Cafe? or the Lounge? Would the Gym have been closed? I know that it was later open during the sinking, but what use could a gym have had the passengers after dark? Certainly the spa complex was shut down for the night.

Can anyone shed some light on this?

David
 
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Nathan Lee Casteel

Guest
Nope the passengers went into the Gym to stay warm from the cold.
 
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Matthew O'Brien

Guest
Nathan,

I would guess that the Reception Room out side of the Cafe Parisienne was still occupied as the cafe was still open. Also, the Grand Reception room was probably still "open" because passenegers housed on D Deck would need to pass through it to get to their cabins, so we know that at the lights had to be on. I would imagine that the Verandah's may have been open because the Smoking Room was, and they ajoined that room. I am not sure about the lounge, but then I have never heard any accounts of it being used at the time of the collision, I think that it was re opened though when the evacuation procedures came under way.

Hope this helps,

Matt
 
M

Matthew O'Brien

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Sorry, I mean to direct that last post to David.

~Matt
 
Aug 5, 2005
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According to the "First Class Passage Rates" for the Olympic/Titanic, the following rooms were in use at the following times:

A la Carte Restaurant: 8a11p
Turkish Baths: (10a1p Ladies), (2p6p Gents)
Swimming Pool: (10a1p Ladies), (6a9a/2p6p Gents)
Gymnasium: same hours as the Turkish Baths/Pool
Lounge: closed at 1130p
D-Deck Reception Room: closed at 11p

There is no mention made of the Smoking Room, main Dining Room, the Cafe Parisien or the Verandah Cafes.

I do recall Dorothy Gibson's bridge party (consisting of herself, her mother, William Sloper and Fred Seward(?)) persuaded the Lounge attendant to keep the Lounge open a little longer than 1130p while they finished their game.

The Cafe Parisien also must have been open after 11p because I seem to recal Lucien Smith, Pierre Marechal and Ferdinand Omont playing brigde there during the collision.

Everyone knows that the smoking room still had visitors after 1130p. The Cafe Parisien could have as well, but I've never heard of anyone being in there during the collision.

I hope this is of some interest.

Jason
 
Jun 4, 2003
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Hi all! Just another question? I have read in many books and accounts that it was not "proper" for ladies in first class at least to be awake and about so late in the night aboard a ship! Was that true? Also, some women were dressed in evening clothes in the boats and I recall reading that it was far too strange for others to see them attired in that manner!!! (perhaps some other "explanations" are hidden there?) Any thoughts about it? Thank you !!!
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Lights in third class accommodation and in the forecastle were to be put out at 10 PM every evening. The Saloons, libraries, on deck and in companion ways at 11 PM except for emergency lights. Smoking room lights were put out at 12 AM. These according to WSL rules in effect at the time. Late at night the ship was not ablaze with light.
 

Tad G. Fitch

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Sam, this definitely happened as per routine that night. Eugene Daly and some others had been playing music and were forced to retire when they shut out the lights. They stayed up talking in their rooms for a time afterwards.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Well there were rules and then there were rules. It seems that some leeway was given at least in some 1st class rooms. Edith (Rosenbaum) Russell wrote that she went to the "drawing-room" (the reading & writing room by the 1st class lounge) at 9:30 to write some letters, and at 11:30 a steward called out, "Lights out, it is 11:30." She immediately left at that time with two borrowed books to go to her cabin A-11 which was right down the corridor forward. As soon as she got there and put on the light, the collision came. The smoking rooms were a popular place for men to hang out and set their watches to the correct ship's time which was adjusted every night at midnight. Going westward the clocks went back. Going eastward the clocks went ahead.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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My guess Vitezslav is that it wasn't. The order was given for everyone to put on lifebelts and get up to the boat deck. Many people however found warmer places to stay like in the 1st class entrance way or a few other places that offered some warmth. I don't think the crew would have turned the lights back on in places like reading and writing room when they were trying to get the boats filled. They had emergency lighting all over the ship in crew and passenger spaces, and at end of all the corridors, in stairways, etc. that were on all the time from dusk until dawn every night. So these places were not totally dark.
 
Sep 1, 2004
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I though so too, but I wanted to be sure. I am searching for mistakes in the Cameron's movie, and this is another one. Thank you. And by the was, notice, that in most (if not all) Titanic movies are always all lights lit.
 

Blackwell

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Feb 27, 2014
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Gentlemen in first class smoking room at 11.40 PM

Multiple sources say there were eleven men in the first class smoking lounge when Titanic struck the iceberg. I count twenty-one. Any thoughts?


Algernon Henry Wilson Barkworth, 47, Justice of the Peace. (Decided to stay up until midnight in order to set his watch)
Mauritz Håkan Björnström-Steffansson, 28, Businessman. (Drinking hot lemonade with Woolner and Kent)
Henry Blank, 39, Jeweller. (Playing cards with Greenfield and Nourney)
George Andrew Brereton, 37, aka ‘Brayton’. Gambler. (Stalking a new victim)
Major Archibald Willingham Butt, 45, Military. (Playing cards with Carter, Moore and Widener)
William Ernest Carter, 36. (Playing cards with Butt, Moore and Widener)
Maximilian Josef Frölicher-Stehli, 61. (Playing cards with Simonius-Blumer and Stähelin-Maeglin)
Jacques Heath Futrelle, 37, Writer.
William Bertram Greenfield, 23. (Playing cards with Blank and Nourney)
Edward Austin Kent, 58, Architect. (With Björnström-Steffansson and Woolner)
Charles Melville Hays, 55, Businessman. (With Crosby???)
Harry ‘Kid’ Homer, 40, Gambler. (Playing auction bridge or eight-handed poker with Romaine and another man, maybe ‘Doc Owen’)
Clarence Bloomfield Moore, 47, Businessman. (Playing cards with Butt, Carter and Widener)
Alfred Nourney, 20, Gentleman. (Playing cards with Blank and Greenfield)
Charles Hallace Romaine, 45. Gambler. (Playing auction bridge or eight-handed poker with Homer and another man, maybe ‘Doc Owen’)
Adolphe Saalfeld, 47, Businessman.
Spencer Victor Silverthorne, 35. (Reading the Virginian)
Colonel (Oberst) Alfons Simonius-Blumer, 56, Banker. (Playing cards with Frölicher-Stehli and Stähelin-Maeglin)
Dr. Max Stähelin-Maeglin, 32, Lawyer. (Playing cards with Frölicher-Stehli and Simonius-Blumer)
George Dunton Widener, 50, Banker. (Playing cards with Butt, Carter and Moore)
Hugh Woolner, 45, Businessman. (With Björnström-Steffansson and Kent)
 
Mar 22, 2003
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This is a pretty old thread, but a good question that I'll come back to in a moment.

With regard to closing times of public spaces, I did find a reference to a WSL brochure for passengers which stated:
Breakfast from 8 until 10 o'clock, Luncheon at 1pm, Dinner at 7 o'clock.
Bars open at 8am and close at 11:30pm.
Lights are extinguished in the Saloon at 11:00pm, Lounge at 11:30pm, and Smoke rooms at midnight.
Devine Service held in the Saloon on Sunday at 10:30am.

At midnight the clocks were put back in public spaces on westbound trips (forward on eastbound trips) and some men like Barkworth stayed up in the smoking rooms to set their personal timepieces to the new time. The lights would then be put out as the room cleared out.

Now according to Barkworth, he was in the smoking room late that night talking to Arthur H. Gee and Charles Cresson Jones about the science of road building when he decided to retire. As he started to leave someone said they were going to set the clock back at midnight, so Barkworth decided to stay up for that. Some time after that the ship struck. In another account he said "I was sitting in the smoking room with my friends when we heard a grinding sound which caused the ship to tremble." He did not mention Gee or Jones by name in that account, but they may have been the friends he was referring to when the crash came. If so, they decided to stay in smoking room until midnight as well. Barkworth did mention that he was with Gee and Jones on deck later on after all the boats had gone. Arthur Gee and Charles Jones did not survive.

Maybe others can shed more light as to who was there or not at the time of the crash.
 

Jay Roches

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Apr 14, 2012
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The survivor testimonies are consistent with the closing times of the various public spaces as given by Sam Halpern above. I searched the inquiries for the public rooms on the Boat Deck and A Deck and no one mentions being in any public rooms except the 1st class smoking room, the gymnasium and the grand staircase areas. There were some other small rooms on the Boat Deck, like the officer's mess, that I searched for, and I found no evidence that anyone entered those rooms. For people on the Boat Deck, the gymnasium and the forward grand staircase were the only sheltered areas available. I seem to remember some source saying people were in the lounge after the incident, but no one explicitly testified that they were there at the inquiries.
 

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