Rotterdam of 1908

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
643
1
146
Does it seem possible to anyone that the staterooms shown on the website below were on the Rotterdam IV, and not the Olympic or Titanic?

To view them, please go to the following link and scroll down to the bottom:
http://www.dkb.nl/mutters/geschmutters_US.htm

(For the sake of avoiding confusion, the Rotterdam IV was definitely the Rotterdam of 1908. Contrary to the title of another thread, the ship now known as the Rembrandt was the Rotterdam V)

The website is on the history of HP Mutters & Son, the Dutch furniture-manufacturing company contracted to decorate some of the first-class staterooms and public rooms of the Olympic/Titanic and various Holland-America liners. The photos - in spite of the site's claim - are almost certainly NOT of Titanic cabins, but they might well feature Olympic cabins.

There are a few reasons why I think they might be photos of the Rotterdam's interiors instead. The first is that - if they were photos of the Olympic-class liners - then it seems like they would be much more widely circulated than they have been (copyright issues aside).

Photos that we know to be of Olympic-Titanic staterooms reveal that, even in the choicest B Deck cabins, the beds tended to be up against the wall, and not freestanding in the center of the room like the beds in these cabins.

When the Rotterdam docked in New York on her maiden voyage in 1909, the New York Times reported that her staterooms were at least as large as those on the Lusitania and Mauretania. And according to John P. Eaton's research article (https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/canceled-titanic-passages.html), at least two parties of first-class passengers (a Colonel Hitchens and the J. Clifford Wilson family) changed their bookings to the Rotterdam because they thought the accommodation would be superior to that which they had been assigned on the Titanic.

The photos on the website below reveal that Rotterdam's public rooms, at least, were certainly on par with those on the finest German and British liners: http://www.halpostcards.com/unofficial/rot4p.html

Unfortunately, I have yet to find any photos online identified as Rotterdam IV staterooms. If anyone has any pictures or links to share, I would greatly appreciate it.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,109
12
198
Hey, Brian: The 1908 Rotterdam had a lavish deckplan cum brochure issued, which had large views of all the public rooms and over a dozen 3-D effect cabin representations, keyed to each class of cabin shown on the deckplan. None of the cabins resembled those in the photos.
 

Mark Baber

Moderator
Member
Dec 29, 2000
6,103
174
223
Contrary to the title of another thread, the ship now known as the Rembrandt was the Rotterdam V

That's correct, and the title of that thread has now been changed to reflect that.
 
Feb 4, 2007
1,646
2
108
40
Denver, Colorado, United States
Hi Brian,

Very interesting theory, but I think it is safe to assume that the photos at the bottom of the dkb.nl site are of Olympic's staterooms. Unlike the Titanic, B-Deck on the Olympic had a lengthy promenade which shortened the cabin lengths on this deck. The cabins on this deck that were designed by H.P. Mutters & Zoon were basically identical on both the Titanic and the Olympic except that on the Titanic, the cabins were longer, and the second beds were up against the wall. On the Olympic, for whatever reason, the second beds were positioned in the middle of the room.

I highly highly doubt these photos are of the Rotterdam IV. The photos mesh beautifully with the early deck plans of the Olympic.
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
643
1
146
Thanks, Jason.

I've accessed a Dutch-English dictionary to see if Googling "passagiersschip" and other liner-related words in Dutch proves more fruitful. I've tried this before without much luck, though I have got good results researching German and French liners by Googling in those languages. Good thing I like a challenge!
 
Feb 4, 2007
1,646
2
108
40
Denver, Colorado, United States
Hey Brian,

Speaking of German sites, take a look here at the deck plan for the Olympic:

http://www.titanicmuseum.de/Olympic/Deck_Plan___Innenansichten_Int/B_Deck/b_deck.html

Just aft of the two "Millionaire Suites" off the forward Grand Staircase on B-Deck, you can see the suites done by H.P. Mutters & Zoon. The beds are in the middle of the room as opposed to against the wall. I've always wondered why the beds were like this, since all the other staterooms on that deck have their beds against the wall.
 

Brian Ahern

Member
Dec 19, 2002
643
1
146
Interesting, Jason! I confess it's been a long time since I studied deck plans - I don't think I realized they were so detailed as to accurately map out staterooms' furniture.
Thanks, once again.