Riveters


Nov 14, 2005
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This is a Titanic Rivet, stamped with the ship number 401.
It measures about 4 inches long and is about 1 inch in diameter.
It weighs just about a pound.
Thousands of Irish Laborers worked in the Harland & Wolff Shipyards, in Belfast, building the Olypmic Class Vessels, including the RMS Titanic.
One of the hardest, thankless jobs, was being a riveter.
Each Rivet was heated up and hammered in by hand into the iron hull plates of the Great Ship..
The riveter worked at a height of 50- 70 feet up on wooden scaffolding.
Many men fell to their deaths or had items fall on them and kill them.
Here's how a rivet team worked.
One man tended the fire, if the fire went out he was in for an azz kicking.
The rivets were heated up, then tossed up to a catcher who placed the hot rivet in the hull, then the riveter hammered it in, forcefully as it was not an easy process, and man on the other side of the hull smashed it flat with another hammer.
When the work area was too high to toss up the rivets, a runner would physically run up the scaffolding with hot rivets-- usually a quick footed 15 or 16 year old boy.
Many of these boys, in their hurry, fell to their deaths.
Each team had a quota of rivets that had to be hammered in each day.
Usually well over a hundred.
This meant non stop labor.
If they didn't hit their quota their pay was docked.
They were also graded on the quality of how well the rivet was hammered in. If it was substandard, that rivet would not count against their quota.
There was no arguing with the grader or the counter-- If you did; you were fired on the spot and jobs were scarce.
The only break was for lunch.
The Irish were poor and many ate nothing more than boiled cabbage on bread.
Many men worked hurt and injured because if they went to the infirmary and were deemed unfit to work, they lost their job and were immediately replaced by the long line of men seeking work.
The men worked six days a week with Sundays to rest.
There was no such thing as an off day-- the entire rivet team depended upon each man.
If you showed up sick or hung over, you'd better not show it or you would be replaced.
These were the proud Irish men, laborers, who built the RMS Titanic.
There were over 3 million of these rivets used in constructing the Great Ship.
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This is going to be an off topic question sort of. And some will roll their eyes at it. But from what you wrote you might know. I've been told different things about it. But here in the U.S. every Saint Patty's Day a lot of us have a corned beef and cabbage dinner. I was told that's an american invention that they don't eat that in Ireland. Is that true? I ask because what you said about the poor eating boiled cabbage and bread. I've never seen someone make a cabbage sandwich. Just for the record some of my favorite foods involve cabbage but it seems a shipyard worker would fall apart pretty fast if that was their main diet. Not much calories there. Cheers.
 

William Oakes

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This is going to be an off topic question sort of. And some will roll their eyes at it. But from what you wrote you might know. I've been told different things about it. But here in the U.S. every Saint Patty's Day a lot of us have a corned beef and cabbage dinner. I was told that's an american invention that they don't eat that in Ireland. Is that true? I ask because what you said about the poor eating boiled cabbage and bread. I've never seen someone make a cabbage sandwich. Just for the record some of my favorite foods involve cabbage but it seems a shipyard worker would fall apart pretty fast if that was their main diet. Not much calories there. Cheers.
Agreed.
My source for the sandwich?
The book, The Riveters.
 
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Agreed.
My source for the sandwich?
The book, The Riveters.
Haven't read that book but it sounds good. I didn't doubt your statement. We are (well some of us) pretty spoiled when compared to people of the past especially concerning food. I remember reading about the Irish famine and because things at one point got so bad it changed the way how some cooked and consumed potatoes from times before. It was ingenious to say the least if the story/statements were true. Basically it was turning a potato into a food battery. Smart. I tucked that bit of trivia away in case the zombie apocalypse ever hits...:cool:
 
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Mike Spooner

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I learned from TTSM that they cut out the portholes into the hull with a machine, I thought they were pre fabricated!
A photo from TITANIC or OLYMPIC book of a cutting tool for port holes
Port hole cutting machine.JPG
 
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Mike Spooner

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The book is TITANIC or OLYMPIC Which Ship Sank? It well worth getting and puts to bed of the all conspiracy theories of the two ship swapped over. As many changes where made between the two ship. Time facture is number one enemy to do all those changes.
 
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Cam Houseman

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The book is TITANIC or OLYMPIC Which Ship Sank? It well worth getting and puts to bed of the all conspiracy theories of the two ship swapped over. As many changes where made between the two ship. Time facture is number one enemy to do all those changes.
exactly. Many people don't know how much Olympic really changed after Titanic's sinking
 
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I learned from TTSM that they cut out the portholes into the hull with a machine, I thought they were pre fabricated!
My first thought was the same. But probably better to do it place after thinking about it. That high up on the ship they were most likely using the rivet guns which would have minimized it but beating on a plate could have deformed the plates more with a large hole in them. Harder to fit the portholes. But I'm just guessing on that.
 
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I enclose photo of the book cover. The editors are well know Titanic historians

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In a way it's kind of messed up that anyone would need to write that book. Not faulting the authors. Sure they a good job on it. But I never met anyone who actually believes the switch conspiracy. I've heard people spouting off on it but you could tell they were just trolling.
 
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I ran across this. A conspiracy theory I must have missed...at least the part about Titanic was sunk by the Vatican secret army...LOL. Anyway you don't need to watch the video. The title says it all. I only made thru a couple of minutes before I turned it off. But posting it in case somebody likes differenrt conspiracy theories. As least it was new to me. Cheers.
 
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Cam Houseman

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I ran across this. A conspiracy theory I must have missed...at least the part about Titanic was sunk by the Vatican secret army...LOL. Anyway you don't need to watch the video. The title says it all. I only made thru a couple of minutes before I turned it off. But posting it in case somebody likes differenrt conspiracy theories. As least it was new to me. Cheers.
LOL
The things people come up with
 

Seumas

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I ran across this. A conspiracy theory I must have missed...at least the part about Titanic was sunk by the Vatican secret army...LOL. Anyway you don't need to watch the video. The title says it all. I only made thru a couple of minutes before I turned it off. But posting it in case somebody likes differenrt conspiracy theories. As least it was new to me. Cheers.
Anti-Catholic conspiracies revolving around the Jesuit Order were wildly popular in 18th and 19th Century Europe.

Predictably the two other stupid conspiracy theories in circulation involve the usual targets of the braindead - the Jews and the Freemasons.

One is anti-Semitic and claims that the Rothschild banking dynasty wanting to eliminate American business rivals who were aboard in first class.

The second is anti-Masonic and involves Freemason's sinking the ship to eliminate "enemies" of theirs. Not only is it utterly preposterous but it ignores the fact that dozens of Titanic victims such as Henry Harris, Archie Butt, Alexander Thompson, William Turpin, Herbert Harvey, Edward Dodd, Oscar Woody, George Dodd, Arthur Lawrence, H. P. Hill, John Strugnell - to name just a handful, were themselves Freemasons.

Such conspiracy theories are of course vile to read and a sad reflection on the human race.
 
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Anti-Catholic conspiracies revolving around the Jesuit Order were wildly popular in 18th and 19th Century Europe.

Predictably the two other stupid conspiracy theories in circulation involve the usual targets of the braindead - the Jews and the Freemasons.

One is anti-Semitic and claims that the Rothschild banking dynasty wanting to eliminate American business rivals who were aboard in first class.

The second is anti-Masonic and involves Freemason's sinking the ship to eliminate "enemies" of theirs. Not only is it utterly preposterous but it ignores the fact that dozens of Titanic victims such as Henry Harris, Archie Butt, Alexander Thompson, William Turpin, Herbert Harvey, Edward Dodd, Oscar Woody, George Dodd, Arthur Lawrence, H. P. Hill, John Strugnell - to name just a handful, were themselves Freemasons.

Such conspiracy theories are of course vile to read and a sad reflection on the human race.
I never really looked in to all the conspiracy theories. Just when I run across them. Titanic hit an iceberg and sank. Nothing more complicated than that. But like Apollo, JFK, Pearl Harbor, 9-11 ect ect they do sell a lot of books. But that's just grifters making a buck. Problem today is the so called main stream media has joined with the grifters. Anything for a dollar.
 
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