The big piece cabin

  • Thread starter Jenn Quaile (Jenn)
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Jenn Quaile (Jenn)

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is anyone sure of whom the cabin which is now being called the big piece belonged to ? i have heard a few different stories and would like to know for sure. i think that it was a great accomplishment for all titanic experts and fans that they have finally brung up an actual piece of the most famous ship ever. does anyone know where the big piece will finally be displayed permantly?
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Jenn: I heard that the porthole of Mr and Mrs Douglas' cabin (C-86) is part of the big piece. Other sources affirm that it was the porthole of theatre impressario Henry Harris (C-83). I personally believe it was C-86. Hope I helped you.

Charles
 

Lou Kerr

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Dec 13, 1999
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If memory still serves me (and occasionally it doesn't!), I thought the "big piece" was identified as being from the starboard side which would mean cabin C-83. I thought the cabin was originally identified as being unoccupied but in that same area (C-81 or C-85?). Regards, Lou
 
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Tracey McIntire

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Hi! I had the privilege of viewing the "Big Piece" when it was in Boston. They had a diagram indicating where on Titanic the piece was from. I don't remember exactly what cabin number it was, but it was definitely an unoccupied cabin. I also believe it was the starboard side. You also might try checking the RMS Titanic Inc. web site since they brought up the piece.

Tracey
 
Dec 13, 1999
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On RMS Titanic inc. site, it is mentioned that Mr Haas and other researchers concluded that the Big Piece come from the area of cabin C-83 and C-85, respectively occupied by Mr and Mrs Henry Harris and Mr and Mrs Cummings. The portholes were from the private bathrooms of this section of the ship. Regards,

Charles
 
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Tracey McIntire

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Thanks Charles!
I remember seeing some twisted pieces of pipe still attached, so those must have been from the bathroom plumbing.
 
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Daniel Rosenshine (Danielr)

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Hi!

Quite actually there was a lot of confusion about where the piece was from. Whilst still on the bottom, the piece was originally identified to be from cabins C82, 84, 86, 88 and 90. This is evidently not at all possible. The cabins were then thought to be from cabins C86 and 88 with the bathrooms in between.

Later when further research was done by Harland and Wolff experts, they concluded that the piece came from cabins C79 and C81 (with private bathroom facilities in between). Once the piece was actually recovered, that theory was confirmed. The piece actually came from the two cabins:
C79
C81

Hope this helps.

Daniel.
 
Dec 13, 1999
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Daniel: You're right in saying that the cabins were C79 and C81. I've just seen a web site on sea exploration and salvage expedition from the Titanic, and their experts had the same conclusion as Harland & Wolff's. Best regards,

Charles
 
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Vickie Lewis (Auzziern)

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I just found in a book of mine that it was confirmed to be part of the port side C-deck suite C-86. This suite was occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Walter Douglas of Minneapolis. They were returning from a vacation in Europe.
 
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mark bray

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I have been in contact with the Great- Neice of Mahala Douglas and she too says that the big piece was apart of Walter and Mahala's cabin. I will try to find out more information.

Mark
 
Jan 7, 2002
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The Big Piece was once part of unoccupied First class staterooms C-79 and C-81. Also attached was a D deck partition that was once part of a glass storeroom in the first class pantry. Whats fascinating is that when the piece arrived at the Titanic exhibit in Boston, it still had quite a bit of paint, mainly black paint on the rivetheads. When the piece was sprayed with a conserving solution, one could touch the outer hull portion, and find their hand coated with rust and black paint fragments. All that paint has still washed away. Visitors were allowed to touch the Big Piece..

The D deck partition had a perfectly intact length of white paint. Also caked to the inner walls of the Big Piece were rusticle fragments, that often fell at the feet of visitors, and what the concervator later revealed is that behind the rust was quite a bit of intact wood, though random fragments...


Regards

Tarn Stephanos

click on my name, and youll see me hugging the Big Piece, at the Boston exhibit
 
Jan 7, 2002
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In addition to cabins C-79 and c-81, the portholes of the bathrooms between are present too. There **WERE*** 2 pipes , one above each small bathroom porthole when the piece was put on display, but one vanished by the time the Big Piece was treated and conserved by conservator Joe Sembrat at "Conservations Solutions Inc", down in VA. I hate to say it, but the Longshoremen in Boston, who offloaded the piece to the exhibit, and the construction men in St Paul, who dismantled the tank in which the Piece was sitting; took more than souvenires.I noticed changes in the Piece before and after those exhibits.Rivets were missing,a bit of glass from a porthole was gone, a pipe was missing,etc...
Plus after the Atlantic City exhibit, the Big Piece was covered with coins tossed upon it, many of which reacted in a corrosive fasion with the steel of the Big Piece. Some of those coins are still wedged in nooks the conservator has not been able to access...
In Boston the firemarshal told me several longshoremen were at Boston General, having ripped their hands open in attempts to pluck rivets...Is there no respect??????

Id like to have the whole lot of them keel hauled...


Regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
Jan 7, 2002
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The Big Piece is now in two sections...
There is "the Big Piece", consisting of the main C deck portion, and the "Mini Big Piece", consisting of the smaller D deck portion (including the D deck partition). It was cut at the end of the Boston Titanic exhibit, i think to make shipping it a bit easier. Since then, the two sections have been displayed in different cities-hopefully they will one day be reunited...

Joe Sembrat, the man who conserved the Big Piece did a stunning job. All that rust is gone, and the 2 halves of the Big Piece are covered with a protective black film. Sadly the once prominant white paint that survived on the D deck partition now looks dark brown under the protective coat.

Regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
Oct 22, 2001
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Tarn--

Thank you so much for all the information on "the big piece." I was thrilled when such a large portion of Titanic was raised to the surface and am happy that I now know more about it. When this artifact came to Chicago, I stood in front of it for about 20 minutes, absolutely mesmerized. I returned as often as I could, but six times wasn't enough. I searched for a postcard or photo of "the big piece" in the gift shop to no avail--I still haven't found any photos in recent Titanic books either--so I'm really glad you posted your photo of you and "the big piece" and I must say I am extremely jealous that I don't have a photo of me with this artifact. I was really sad to hear how it has been abused by all those workers. I sure hope that nasty behavior is a thing of the past. I hope in the future "the big piece" is treated with the respect and reverence it deserves.
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Hi Judith-
The unveiling of the newly conserved Big Piece in Chicago was a stunning change from her former rust caked appearance in the previous cities. Joe Sembrat brought the section of Titanic back to life, and it looked as if it were brand new. Only downside was the outboard paint was all gone.

I knew the steel beneath the rust was sound- as one day at the Boston exhibit, a hand sized sample was sawed off a corner of the aft porthole rim (where the outline of half a porthoe,remains). It took 10 minutes for the sample to be cut, which was sent on for tests to determine the strength of Titanic's steel. The steeel was not pitted or rusted, but solid, bright silver colored, looking good as new, and heavy as can be, The brittle steel theory is simply nonsense...
As for those transporting the piece who snagged souveniers-well,it really stinks. In the future there needs to be more security, and such a piece should not be on the road to begin with.Things have,and will break off.

I agree with you 100% regarding the hypnotic effect the piece had on people. In Boston, it was displayed upright,on a scaffolding,and the public could touch the metal. People lingered there for over an hour. Id spary the thing daily with a hose, and just stare at it, with my jaw agape...
I was mesmerised-there was no better way to explain it. One thing you missed out on with the Big Piece in Chicago was the smell- When the Piece was on display in Boston, it reeked somthing awful. It was the smell of dead bacteria,or dead rusticles. Truly the smell of death. The Big Piece has been thoroughly cleaned and preserved, to the point of being sanitised. Perhaps that stink of death should have been retained, as a reminder of where it came from..........
I havent seen the Big Piece since Chicago, and the mini Big Piece since Dallas...Hopefully, Ill see them again; reunited ,one day in a permanant home for the artifacts...

Peace

Regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

Bill Willard

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Mar 24, 2001
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Judith,

When I went to view the Big Piece in Chicago, I was herded into the exhibit.

I also had Kleenex with me, and I'm glad I did. Someone had left their gum as a souvenir. As you walked into the room with the Big Piece, it was on your left and you rounded the corner. It was on this end the gum had been stuck.

A young man working with the exhibit came up and asked me what I was doing, and I showed him, and he was awfully upset. He had just come on duty.

The first time I saw the Big Piece was on the back of the Abeille as it set out toward Tarn and the others in Bahstan. oops, Boston.
happy.gif


Tarn, here's one for you... Where did they walk the dogs on Titanic?

Bill
 
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