Royal Mail Ship


R

Rachel Walker

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I read in a book that RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship. Does that mean that one of the Titanic's primary uses (aside from carrying passengers) was to ship mail? I'm sure I'm the only idiot in the world who doesn't know, but I'm curious.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I wouldn't call the carrying of mails the ship's primary purpose, but it's not too far off the mark either. Mail contracts were highly sought after by shipping lines as they were a lucurative source of revenues. Lines which had such contracts with the British government were designated Royal Mail Steamships.
 

R. Fairhurst

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Feb 14, 2019
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Hello there Titanicans,
Like countless others before me, I've been fascinated by the Titanic for as long as I can remember but I'm new to the forum and have already learned so much new stuff about the Titanic and its sad demise it's just not true.

It's quite normal that newbies on any forum will always start by asking questions that have probably been asked hundreds of times before but here goes--
(I tried using the search facility but I was unable to persuade it to help me. Doubtless with time I will learn! :rolleyes:)
1. I have seen the Titanic usually referred to as RMS, I think I have always understood that (Royal Merchant Ship - am I right??) but 'SS Titanic' too.
I assume that SS stands for Steam Ship but why would it be refered to as such rather than RMS, if in the case of the Titanic it does mean Steam Ship?

2. I'm currently building my 2nd model of the Titanic and have a question regarding colours.
Is there a source of information regarding paint colours used throughout the Titanic, or at least a guide to general colours in use around 1912
One colour I'm specifically interested in is the colour of paint used on the inside surfaces of air vent openings on deck. I seem to remember that a dark red was not uncommon in navy/merchant ships but would be interested to know what others think or know.

3. Also on both sides of each funnel there appear to be tectangular section vents facing in opposite directions clearly visible on the commonly avaiable section view of the ship.If these are in fact vents, would their inside colour be identical to other on-deck vents?

4. Even my wife knows that the Titanic had four funnels (because I asked her!) but it was only a few days ago that I learned that it was planned she have three funnels but it was thought that a ship of these gigantic proportions should be fitted with four.
So far so good!
Now my question was simple. Which funnel was the 'fake'

I examined all the photos of Titanic available to me and online and came to the conclusion it was the rearmost, sorry, aftmost(?) funnel which also seems to have different inserts at the top to the other three as though anybody would be able to look down on it!
So once again am I right?

I'm not trying to be clever with my asumptions just genuinely interested in the answers and hope to be able to join in the conversations here from time to time.

Kind regards
Roger Fairhurst
 

Dave Gittins

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Mar 16, 2000
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First the easy bit. RMS means Royal Mail Steamer (or Ship). Shipping lines liked to use this title as it suggested speed and reliability. Normally, the ships were just SS, for Steam Ship.

For paint, you need the Titanic Research and Modelling Association. Its website is now defunct but you can get all you want via the Wayback Machine at Titanic Paint and Color Reference
 
Mar 18, 2008
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To question No. 1. RMS and SS Titanic were both used. RMS was only for ships carry mail. SS stands for steam ship which was also used. The passenger list for example had both printed, the US Inquiry had mention of SS Titanic.

To question No. 4, the 4th funnel was the so called dummy funnel. It is not quite right as it has is own function. While it was not connected to the boiler rooms it was used as a vent for the turbine engine room as well as for the pantries. It has also an exhaust pipe for the smoke of the pantries, kitchens and from the fireplace of the 1st class smoking room (which was the only full function one) so smoke did come out of the 4th funnel too.
That large ships should have 4 funnels is not quite right, the Imperator Class had all 3 funnels.

To No. 3, the inside was "white" but it would look dark from the distance.

I would recommend the book "Titanic the ship magnificent Vol. 1" which might have some details you need.
 

Mark Baber

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Jul 4, 2000
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Moderator's note: Later tonight NYC time, this thread will be copied from GT into three separate locations where discussion of the three subjects raised in the first message---RMS, model-making and funnels---are already addressed. Please don't post any additional responses while this is still in GT. Thanks.
 

R. Fairhurst

Member
Feb 14, 2019
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Thank you guys, I don't know where else I could have got this information so I'm really grateful to you.

I am still trying to understand the fluidics of the sinking..... first bulkhead, second... etc followed by the fact that the ship remained relatively vertically upright for so long in what turned out to be a reasonably slow sinking (2 hours plus).

I know the circumstances were very different, but the Britanic went down in around 10 minutes if what I have so far read is true.
German mine? U-Boat?
Whatever, how could either have caused such a rapid sinking?
I don't suppose there are as many theories as with the Titanic. I wonder why?
 
Dec 21, 2005
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Many of us know that Titanic began life as SS Titanic. She was soon awarded a Royal Mail contract and from that moment, whilst retaining the prefix SS the ship became known as RMS Titanic; but what was the date this change took place?
 
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Cam Houseman

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Jul 14, 2020
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Many of us know that Titanic began life as SS Titanic. She was soon awarded a Royal Mail contract and from that moment, whilst retaining the prefix SS the ship became known as RMS Titanic; but what was the date this change took place?
Hi!

I believe April 2nd, when the Mail Bags were loaded on, and they sailed for Southampton.
 
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Dave Gittins

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Titanic and Olympic were both labelled Royal Mail Steamers right from the start, as can be seen on signs in front of them in the H & W yard. There was nothing formal about the name. The shipping lines liked to use it because it suggested speed and reliability. There are also plenty of references to SS Titanic, such as the name of the British inquiry.
 
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Cam Houseman

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Oh,
Titanic and Olympic were both labelled Royal Mail Steamers right from the start, as can be seen on signs in front of them in the H & W yard. There was nothing formal about the name. The shipping lines liked to use it because it suggested speed and reliability. There are also plenty of references to SS Titanic, such as the name of the British inquiry.
oops, Sorry Clifford.
 
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Tim Gerard

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Feb 26, 2019
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Apparently there's still 3 ships in service today with the designation "RMS" (as according to Wikipedia). The RMS Segwun, built in 1887 is the only one of the three that's actually powered by steam. Today it does short sightseeing and lunch and sunset dinner cruises in the Muskoka Lakes in Ontario, Canada.

The Scillonian III is officially designated Royal Mail Vessel but has the Royal Mail Ship status, bringing mail and passengers back and forth between Cornwall, England and the Isles of Scilly.

The 2004 ocean liner Queen Mary II was given the status of Royal Mail Ship as a gesture to Cunard's history but doesn't actually carry any royal mail.

I thought it was interesting to look up.
 

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