Smoking Room Details Some New Questions


Apr 22, 2012
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Hello all,

I realize that we have beaten the question over the Titanic's first class smoking room decor to death. The last I heard it had been decided that the tiles were red and blue, and that the leather furniture was likely maroon. Makes sense. I now have some new questions that I would appreciate any input into:

1. In several pics of the Olympic's first class smoking room, you can see a series of small tables with three shelves lining the walls. Were these used by stewards to serve drinks or something? If you don't know what I'm talking about, then please see pg. 25 of Ballard's "Discovery of the Titanic." One of these table-type devices is setting against the wall to the right.

2. If the furniture were a different color, then would this make the fabric tabletops a different color? They are always depicted as being covered in green fabric, the traditional "card playing tabletop" color.

3. Were the stained glass figures supposed to represent Greek gods or something?

4. Was there an age limit on those who entered the room? For instance, could a young boy have entered the room? Also, were women allowed in?

5. I have heard about their being toilets located somewhere in the room. Have I been completely misinformed or something? I can't seem to find anywhere where a bathroom would be located.

6. Did the room have a cloak closet as the lounge did?

7. Could someone please describe the bar located behind the fireplace?


I hope this isn't too much to ask but I would really appreciate any input into these questions. Thank you very much in advance!

Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello David,

Thank you very much! This certainly did help. And looking at those stained figures more closely, I would definitely go with Greek myths as the theme.


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Also,

Does anyone know if the smoking room ever closed, or could it be accessed at anytime throughout the night?

I hate to continue to bombard everyone with questions, but the smoking room is perhaps my favorite room onboard the Titanic, and I am trying to learn more about it; and if anyone has any lesser-known facts about the room, I'm all ears.

Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 

Nigel Bryant

Member
Aug 1, 2010
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To Brandon,

Looking at the tabletops it looks like the material was some kind of marble. If a drink did get spilled it could be easily cleaned up if the table was marble but if it was spilt on a fabric table top, the type of drink would sink into the fabric and stain it. Look carefully at the large photograph of the Smoking room that features in Discovery of the Titanic.

For more information on the Smoking Room Colours look in the archive section. The thread is under "Smoking room tile colours" i think.

Regards Nigel
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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Nigel,

The "marbling" on the tabletops is actually leather. Dyed leather (appearently a burgundy or marron color) was better suited for cards. They are much harder to pick up on marble. I'm sure that the leather was treated (or at least the 1912 equivalent of leather treatment) for the occasional spilt drink.

Brandon,

No problem with the number of Smoking Room questions, it is also one of my favorite rooms.
happy.gif


Anyway, I don't have my sources with me, but I believe that the Smoking Room closed at 10:30 or 11:00 and the lights were extinguisted at 11:30. This is strange, however, because not only were the lights on at 11:40 that night, but the drinks were still flowing-on a Sunday no less!!!

On the stained glass, I would say Greek, but the masted ship doesn't appear to match the theme (but I'm no expert on Greek naval architecture).

The Olympic class Smoking Rooms were hardly original. White Star used the same decor in the 'Big Four.' If you look at any of their Smoking Rooms, you will recognize a lot of features, including the stained glass panels. Public rooms on White Star liners were known to be very similar to each other. The Olympic class Lounges were pretty much enlarged versions of the Oceanic's Lounge. White Star did this to create familiarity between thier ships. This is why the Olympic class were relativly identical, while their Cunard counterparts were not.

David
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hi Nigel and David,

Thanks for the additional input into the tabletops.

I also find it strange that, if the smoking room was supposed to close at the times you gave, that it was still occupied. Perhaps it had something to do with the Widener dinner party that was held that night; it might have broken up a little later than expected, and the men who attended wanted an after-dinner cigar.

Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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And on the subject of the stained glass images, that ship could represent the Greeks sailing to Troy. Just a thought.
 

Nigel Bryant

Member
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To Brandon,

Looking at the deck plans on a french site:

http://philippe.melia.free.fr/

Olympic's smoking room seemed to have a closet near the revolving door. This may of been a closet to store cloaks. You find some good decent photos of the smoking room under the history section. Just search around. I don't even know French. If it was in English I bet a lot of people on this board would use it.

Regards Nigel
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello Nigel,

Thanks for that link! It does appear that Olympic's first class smoking lounge did have a cloak closet, as I suspected the Olympic-class liners had.
 

Nigel Bryant

Member
Aug 1, 2010
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Wellington, New Zealand
Hi all,

Looking at the background colour of the linoleum tiles that feature in the Smoking Room, they seem to be the same colour as the table tops.

So since Titanic's tiles background colour was a dark red, the tabletops looking at that concept above will follow suit, as what Daniel pointed out.

Looking at that closet that was mentioned above, I was looking at post-cards of the room and it looks like a writing desk with one those sliding tops that cover the workspace on the desk.

Just some thoughts....

Regards,

Nigel
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello Nigel,

It may very well be a slide-out writing table. Another small detail about the room I have wondered about was whether or not the tables, chairs, etc. were bolted to the floor. I always imagined they were, and have saw various published sources which also state this. What do you think?


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Judging from photos I have seen, the tables and chairs certainly had hinges in the legs, that looks like they were bolted to the floor. One thing I noticed in the dining room chairs, the hole that the bolt went through was long, thus allowing for movement of the chair, to slide back and forward, closer and further from the tables. This however does not appear to be the case with smoking room chairs.

Another point is, although these bolts existed, were the chairs actually bolted to the floor? I think someone once mentioned that they weren't. However if they were, then Cameron is wrong in showing how all the chairs in the dining room all floated up and forward. Severe storms on the Atlantic run were certainly far from rare, so my guess would be that most of the furniture was certainly secured to the floor and walls in one way or another.

Daniel.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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I've always personally imagined them secured to the floor by some means, mainly for the threat of violent weather. In a photo of the Olympic's first class smoking room seen in Bob Ballard's '87 book, you can see the large bolts on the chair legs, but was this feature added to Olympic later after she had experienced an Atlantic storm, or was it a standard feature on liners? I know that there were several other furnishings on Olympic that had been secured, including the statuette "Artemis of Versailles", in the first class lounge.


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
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Brandon,

Do you mean the photo on page 179 of the hardback edition? That photo must have been taken fairly early in Olympic's career due to the fact that the original tile design is still there. The tiles were changed later on in her career, and while I'm not sure of when, I believe that it was done in the twenties. The quality of the photo indicates that it was taken before WWI.

I would imagine that all public rooms on B Deck or above would have had bolted furniture. All decks below B would have been deep enough in the ship to prevent extreme rolling.


Hope this helps,

David
 

Dave Hudson

Member
Apr 15, 2011
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Also,

About the stained glass panels. After really looking at them, I'm moving away from the Greek theory. Some of the figures look Greek, but one of the aft ones look more like a Hawaiian hula-dancer! Also, the ships definitely aren't Greek. They are some sort of western European sailing ship. Who knows.

Brandon,

I have more info on the 3-tiered tables that you asked about a long time ago. On page 82 of An Illustrated History, there is a colored postcard of the room. The new tiles are in place, so it's probably from the twenties, but on of the tables is shown being used. The table itself is somewhat different. It is much longer and only has two tiers, but the use was probably similar. It is shown with ashtrays on the bottom and what looks like drinks on top.

Nigel,

Yes, those are writing desks, but they didn't fold out. The men needed someplace to write, and they certainly couldn't go to the R/W Room. @nd Class had a more coed solution to the problem. Their writing desks were all located in the Library.

David
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Hello David,

Thanks much for the wealth of information! I have never really examined the glass panels in detail, so the Greek idea was only a guess, and I'm definitely no expert on older sail-propelled ships.

I've probably saw that postcard in the book, but didn't remember it, as I don't own the book myself.

I had no idea Olympic's tiles were later changed, so that is some new info. to me!


Cheers,
happy.gif


-B.W.
 
Dec 7, 2000
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I'm not yet 100% sure when Olympic's tiles were changed, but it could have been as early as during the 1912 - 1913 refit! If not then it occurred when Olympic was fitted back to being a passenger liner after WWI.

The stained glass in the smoking room reminds me of a medievil theme rather than Greek or Hawaii dancers!
happy.gif
The medievil would probably go well with the Georgian style.

Daniel.
 

Nigel Bryant

Member
Aug 1, 2010
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Wellington, New Zealand
To all,

The chairs in the smoking room were not bolted on the floor, as can be seen in the link below.

I saw this unqique photo of the Olympic's smoking room which shows the area of the fireplace and the famous painting by Norman Wilkinson. Also can be seen is the large revolving door which enters the palm court.

The photo is at Roy Mengot's site at:

[Site no longer exists]

Hope this helps.

Regards,

Nigel
 

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