Ship's name on the wreck [was: I just noticed this...]


Mar 9, 2018
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Were the letters of the nameplate simply painted on or were they raised letters that were welded or bolted onto the hull?

In theory, I suppose a submersible could go down to the wreck with a brush like the spinning ones you would see in a carwash to gently brush the rusticles to reveal the letters. Or is that a ridiculous idea? I think Robert Ballard has suggested doing something like that to help preserve the hull but it would be a time-consuming and costly venture.
They were inscribed into the plate and then painted
 

Brad Rousse

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Were the letters of the nameplate simply painted on or were they raised letters that were welded or bolted onto the hull?
They were carved into the hull plating.

In theory, I suppose a submersible could go down to the wreck with a brush like the spinning ones you would see in a carwash to gently brush the rusticles to reveal the letters
I believe one of the 80s expeditions did just this.
 

J Mathews

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Hello. I have been looking into the "Switch" theory for a while. First the "Switch" theory does have some merit. In 1912 in order for White Star to pass the safety inspection after the Olympic's collision with the HMS Hawke this would mean that the slight bend in her keel would have to be repaired in order to correct her lists. As many of you know this is nearly an impossible task. The logical conclusion there is that the Olympic would have never been given her safety papers and thus could no longer ferry passengers.

So the motivation here was not to defraud the Insurer but moreover to pull a fast one on the inspectors and get the Olympic's safety papers signed off thus returning her to ferry service and as such making money for the White Star Line. The true Titanic had already passed her inspection and was certified.

As for the "switch" itself, there had been discussion with the board members of White Star about upgrading Olympic's accommodations to that of the Titanic's or better. So IF they were going to "switch" the two ships, then carpet over Olympic's [Titanic's] tile floors and make the two look alike, then what better time to pull this off. They did after all fit out these ships from top to bottom in under 1 year. So putting a few thousand people and telling them a story makes sense and can easily be done with 24/7 shifts.

Here is where I think all other conspiracies die. I DON'T think they intended on sinking her the night of April 14th. I think that was quite literally the perfect storm of events. The calm water, the mirage effect concealing the iceberg (and the ship herself from the Californian) the speed of the ship, the binoculars being locked up and not in the hands of the lookouts and, of course, the iceberg damage to the ship. Had they intended to actually and intentionally sink her then Bruce Ismay would not have been aboard.

I think the true conspiracy here is that White Star fully intended to operate the "sisters" ferrying passengers and taking the business from their competitors. I think they were trying to emphasize luxury over speed and all the PR of the time supports this.

Now some of you are saying, 'well okay so what's your proof the Olympic and Titanic were switched?'. Simple. Look at the blueprints of the Titanic and the pictures of the "Titanic" on the floor of the Atlantic Ocean. The Titanic was fitted with a wing bridge or a floating bridge. This was adjacent to the bridge on both the port and starboard sides of the ship and was intended to aid the harbor pilots, today's cruise vessels have the same thing. If you look at the pictures of the "Titanic's" wreck, you will notice the floating bridge is flush against the hull. This is on the original Olympic Deck plans and was not implemented until the Titanic was built. You can clearly see this in the picture of the two sisters when they're side by side. So lettering aside, rustacles aside, window spacing aside, one has to point and say 'Hey, where's the wing bridge?' There's not even wreckage indicating that it tore off. It's simply not there. But the hull remains flush where it should be. The conclusion is that it IS the 'Olympic' sitting on the bottom of the Atlantic that sank that cold night in April of 1912.
 

Dave Gittins

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In other news, the Sydney Harbour bridge is to be removed, in order to allow large cruise ships to pass further up the harbour. I will have a very large quantity of scrap steel for sale and you are offered first choice of a selection. Don't miss this once in a lifetime opportunity!
 
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Harland Duzen

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Hello J Mathews.

While your theory is a bit more plausible than previous ones that suggest the Titanic (or Olympic in their eyes) was intended to be sunk or blown up in a complicated plan, There is one issue.

When Harland and Wolff began work on the ships (then unnamed) they numbered the Olympic-Class Hulls like below:

Olympic = Hull 400
Titanic = Hull 401
Britannic = Hull 433 (she was ordered later.)

When the ship's interiors were being fitted ( like wall panels, tiles etc) the carpenters or builders would write the number of the ship they would be fitted into on the back.

When Olympic was scrapped in 1935, a lot of her interior was sold off and on the back of multiple panels and furniture taken from various cabins and rooms around the ship say "S.S. 400".

If Titanic had been switched, all the panels should say "S.S. 401" and the switch would have been revealed decades ago.

Source: The Olympic Switch Theory: Did the Titanic Really Sink? | William Murdoch
(go to reason 15.)
 
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J Mathews

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Yes you are correct. I did look into the fitting issue. There is a hotel called the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland, England. This hotel was the main 'bid winner' of Olympic's many high end fittings (like the 1st class Aft staircase, 1st class dining supports and doors, etc). Many people who have worked on the hotel said they saw a mix of 400 and 401 on the fittings.

This can only happen one of two ways:

1. The fittings were sitting in storage and whichever ship was 'ready' for them, they were installed. This happens on construction sites all the time especially when multiple buildings are going up. Since many of the fittings were standard White Star issue, as it is, then it would not make a difference.

2. During the switch only some of the paneling were swapped out. There were minor differences between the two ships and the most superficial changes had to be swapped. You don't want your inspectors going, "Say...wasn't there a support here just a month ago?"

This evidence is still around today. Surviving panels have been removed from the Titanic and some say 400 and others say 401. This would support #1.
 

Rob Lawes

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I love the thought of a dock worker coming to work one morning at the H and W yard. The conversation goes like this:

Foreman "Where do you think you're going?"

Worker "Titanic sir"

Foreman "She's over there"

Worker "No she's not, she's over there"

Foreman "No that's the Olympic"

Worker "Well that was where the Titanic was last night and I can see my tool bag by the gangway door where I left it"

Foreman "Well go and pick your tool bag up off the cough cough Olympic and proceed over to the cough cough Titanic"

Now imagine that conversation playing out hundreds of times.
 
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Harland Duzen

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Yes you are correct. I did look into the fitting issue. There is a hotel called the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland, England. This hotel was the main 'bid winner' of Olympic's many high end fittings (like the 1st class Aft staircase, 1st class dining supports and doors, etc). Many people who have worked on the hotel said they saw a mix of 400 and 401 on the fittings.

This can only happen one of two ways:

1. The fittings were sitting in storage and whichever ship was 'ready' for them, they were installed. This happens on construction sites all the time especially when multiple buildings are going up. Since many of the fittings were standard White Star issue, as it is, then it would not make a difference.

2. During the switch only some of the paneling were swapped out. There were minor differences between the two ships and the most superficial changes had to be swapped. You don't want your inspectors going, "Say...wasn't there a support here just a month ago?"

This evidence is still around today. Surviving panels have been removed from the Titanic and some say 400 and others say 401. This would support #1.

But Olympic had been in service for roughly 4 months by that point and had been already fitted out.

Out of interest, do you have / know where I can see any photos that show "S.S. 401" on a wall panel from Olympic? Also who at the Hotel is credited for saying that the panels had different numbers on them?
 
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Yes you are correct. I did look into the fitting issue. There is a hotel called the White Swan Hotel in Alnwick, Northumberland, England. This hotel was the main 'bid winner' of Olympic's many high end fittings (like the 1st class Aft staircase, 1st class dining supports and doors, etc). Many people who have worked on the hotel said they saw a mix of 400 and 401 on the fittings.

On which ones? Who said that? Where is the proof for it?

This can only happen one of two ways:

1. The fittings were sitting in storage and whichever ship was 'ready' for them, they were installed. This happens on construction sites all the time especially when multiple buildings are going up. Since many of the fittings were standard White Star issue, as it is, then it would not make a difference.

This evidence is still around today. Surviving panels have been removed from the Titanic and some say 400 and others say 401. This would support #1.

Olympic was first, she was already fitted out at May 31st, 1911 when Titanic was launched as a empty hull.
There was a good reason the panels had the yard number as well as the place noted where it belongs. Other ships build by H&W for other companies had similar interior, in all that does not make sense.
 

Mark Baber

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In other news, the Sydney Harbour bridge is to be removed, in order to allow large cruise ships to pass further up the harbour.
But Dave, the solution for the Bayonne Bridge (which I can see from my bedroom window and is a near twin to the Harbour Bridge) to accommodate the new Panama Canal-sized freighters was to raise the roadway, not remove the bridge. There was still plenty of reusable steel generated, though.

Navigational Clearance Project - Bayonne Bridge - The Port Authority of NY & NJ
 

Harland Duzen

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There was a good reason the panels had the yard number as well as the place noted where it belongs. Other ships build by H&W for other companies had similar interior, in all that does not make sense.

Off topic, but Harland and Wolff actually had a showroom containing cabin furniture and panels in various styles that shipping companies could visit and choose for their ordered ship's cabins.

Just a fact for anyone who didn't know. Back to Topic!
 

Rob Lawes

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That was probably a good way to save money for smaller shipping companies. Since the designs would have been standard it would mean all the plans, patterns, jigs and tooling could be re-used.

I expect the Olympic class interiors were designed from scratch.
 
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I expect the Olympic class interiors were designed from scratch.

Not really, most interior (mainly public spaces) had been already on other ships of the White Star Line. Similar 1st class lounge as Oceanic, 1st class smoking room similar to Adriatic, same dome over 1st class staircase as Laurentic etc. Other companies (Red Star Line) had similar interior as White Star (like 1st Class Dining room on Belgenland).
1st class suites (especially on Titanic) were something "new" so to say.
 
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J Mathews

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Hello, Someone asked if I remembered where I say the 401 stamp on the pictures. I don't remember off hand but I will look.

Like he said many, the vast majority, of these fixtures were White Star Standard issue. It would not surprise me to learn that the Britannic had fixtures from one or BOTH of her sisters. After all a 20 x 20 x 10 veneer wood wall was the same wall on all three vessels. I am in no way saying that ALL the fixtures in the London hotel had 401 stamped on them. In fact they don't, the majority have 400 on them. I did see a picture of a panel or two that has 401 stamped on it.

As I outlined before, some could had said, "F-it, get THAT panel and get on with it." or perhaps a standard panel was in the wrong pile but since it was the same the contractors and carpenters didn't really care.

As for the guy showing up for work, well remember conspiracies only work if there are as few as possible involved. Thousands and thousands of works are going to talk. But if they're paid a little money or told the ships were moved or even informed of the swap and fed a BS but valid enough reason no one is going to care. They will just keep-on trucking.

Yes the ship calling itself Titanic did sink on April 14th 1912. Yes over 1500 people lost their lives due to the regulations of the day being woefully inadequate for HUGE passenger ships. Sure the rivets may have had too much slag in them and sure the drafters, naval engineers and metallurgists of the time felt the ship was strong enough (even nigh unsinkable) but ALL were proven wrong.

My point was to simply point at the Starboard wing bridge of the ship sitting on the bottom of the ocean, the one with the unevenly spaced windows?, and then say, "Umm where is Titanic's wing bridge and why is that ship's flush? Say....the Olympic's was flush...hrmm."
 
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I can assure you that nobody mixes things intended for one ship with fittings destined for another. The result would be shipbuilding chaos. The numbers are intended to make sure that when a man swings a hammer there is a nail in the board in the ship to hit. The same procedure is followed even by modern boat companies producing fishing craft 1/3rd the size of a lifeboat in Titanic. Good ideas are simply good ideas and that's why they stick around. But, yard hull numbers are not the official number of the ship.

There is one thing about the switch theory -- the ship's official number. This number is unique to each ship and is government issued. All of the paperwork connected with that ship carries the official number just to prevent the sort of nonsense claimed by the switch theory. Official numbers must be "carved into the main beam" so as to be difficult to alter or remove. From what I have found, Titanic's registration number was 131428. The number assigned to Olympic was 131346. How would it be possible to alter Olympic's to Titanic's and vice-versa. Re-chiseling the numbers would be instantly revealed and replacing two main structural beams a herculean task. To quote Second Officer Lightoller, "Not damned likely."

-- David G. Brown
 

J Mathews

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So ... in order to prove or disprove the switch theory, all we need is a good close up detailed shot of Titanic's main beam number. I have no idea if this number still survives or was destroyed in the sinking. Since either ship is no longer around this may just be an endless debate.
 

Rob Lawes

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As for the guy showing up for work, well remember conspiracies only work if there are as few as possible involved. Thousands and thousands of works are going to talk. But if they're paid a little money or told the ships were moved or even informed of the swap and fed a BS but valid enough reason no one is going to care. They will just keep-on trucking.

There's no way on this green earth a secret like that would last 5 minutes. There's no way a company would pay thousands of dockers to keep quiet. Dockyards and the population around them, couldn't keep a secret like that if they were threatened at gun point. I know as I've worked in and around military dockyards for over 20 years. If a military dockyard can't keep things secret then what chance has a civilian yard got in peace time? And what about all those retired workers or workers who were laid off with an axe to grind. Not one of those told their stories to the papers? There wasn't a single person making this claim or telling the switch story until Robin Gardiner published his book in the mid-90's. When you think of all the other myths and legends surrounding the ship, there's no way a story this unprecedented would have gone under the radar for a century.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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My point was to simply point at the Starboard wing bridge of the ship sitting on the bottom of the ocean, the one with the unevenly spaced windows?, and then say, "Umm where is Titanic's wing bridge and why is that ship's flush? Say....the Olympic's was flush...hrmm."

Actually the wreck proof you are wrong.
second.jpg
 

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