The framework for the D deck level grand staircase


Feb 14, 2011
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Even if the forward grand staircase did indeed float up an out of the dome during the sinking, I'm still inclined to believe the stairs from D deck on down went down with the ship...
The intact framework for the stairs on D deck suggest the stairs went down intact- had that not been the case, wount the framework have been horribly twisted?
What do you all think?

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 

Mark Draper

Member
Nov 9, 2004
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Probably so. Either one of your ideas might have been the case, though no one will no for sure what happened when the foward staircase tore out of the ship. If it did rip loose, there would be slight twisting or bends from the panels breaking free or bits of the screws that held the stairs to the frames.

Also where is the dome? My guess is, as Roy Mengot said, is the dome may be way down in the bottom of the staircase shaft. Under the D deck frame there may be remains of the frame for the dome with tons of shattered glass. Who knows, it might be there, though no one has ever gone below the D deck level to find out.
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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Apart from when James Cameron peeped down into E Deck, you mean?!

There's no glass/frame/ballustrades down there, guys- it's all...missing.
 

Mark Draper

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Nov 9, 2004
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Then it's probably buried under silt and debris. That's my guess.

The dome for the aft staircase was found in the debris field, so if, if the foward dome flew off, then it might be somewhere out there too, though it would be in many pieces, buried, or by now rusted away to nothing.
 
J

Jeffrey Word

Guest
I know this comes a little late as the last post on this thread was more than a year ago.

I did not know that they had found the Aft GSC's dome in the debris field? Is it totally intact? Can it be raised as a whole dome?

I really don't want to get into the discussion of salvage, grave robbing etc, as my opinions are very mixed on that one.

I've just never seen any pictures of the Aft dome and am curious about it's condition on the seabed. I'd love to see that brought up and put in exhibition. Heck, bring it up and stick it over one of the replica staircases that these exhibits are building. That'd be neat! However, I'm not getting my hopes up as far as the Aft Dome being fully intact as probability says, it's not so. But I'm no expert.

Another good point was brought up on this thread. IF things broke apart and started floating towards the dome as water was rushing in, all the wood and lighter materials probably took the forward dome with it as it rushed out of the ship. Isn't that a possiblity? Possibly leaving at least part of the forward dome in the debris field waiting to be found. *shrug* I hope I'm not making myself sound like an idiot here, just throwing around some ideas.
 

George Heiss

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Aug 1, 2005
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Hello Jeff, I have heard of them finding the dome as well, but I don't know in what condition. Also, I believe there reports at the time of the sinking that there were those that have seen or even floated on parts of 'A' staircase. But I would be more lead to believe that these were aft staircase parts rather than those of the Grand Staircase. But I am curious if these parts were ever collected. I doubt it though.

Geo
 
J

Jeffrey Word

Guest
>>But I am curious if these parts were ever collected<<

Hey George! I believe that the ship that went out looking for bodies a few days after collected some pieces of the staircase. Nothing big, just pieces of the ballustraid(?). (I'm not sure at all how to spell that)

One guy has a small piece of it in his private collection, I just can't recall the name of the guy right now. I think it's on the Ballard DVD 'Titanic Revealed'.

Seems like somebody retrieved a piece of something (could be staircase), a fairly large piece of wood, and turned it into a checker/chess board, or something like that. I think he cut what he found into little pieces and reworked them together to make this piece. It's in one of the exhibits I believe.

Who knows what else was probably picked up, played with, and eventually either thrown out as garbage or sold at a lawn sale.

I admit, at that time, I would have probably taken a deck chair if I found one floating out there. ;-) Who knows though?
 
May 7, 2005
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Hey Jeffrey,
It is actually spelled balustrade but that doesn't really matter. You are correct in the assumption that some pieces of wood from the staircase were recovered. The Minia recovered a newel post facing from one of the GSC's that can be seen on page 179 of Titanic An Illustrated History. I do also recall seeing a program where a guy had a piece of the GSC in his collection as well as other momentos. And I think I recall hearing something about the chessboard. I'll look into it.
Have A Nice Day
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Cliff Johnson
 

Dan Cherry

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Mar 3, 2000
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Jeffrey,

you asked:

"I did not know that they had found the Aft GSC's dome in the debris field? Is it totally intact? Can it be raised as a whole dome?"

No, it's only a small portion of the aft GSC upper framework, mainly the part that would have held the light fixture/chandelier. The book "Return to Titanic", put out by Ballard and National Geographic, has a photo of it across pages 146 and 147. If your local library has the book, you might wish to check out those pages. The piece of the framework is fragmented, and honestly looks quite fragile.

George,

you wrote:
"But I would be more lead [sic] to believe that these were aft staircase parts rather than those of the Grand Staircase. But I am curious if these parts were ever collected. I doubt it though."

Not too much woodwork was recovered from the disaster site. Most of the ships working the area had the task of bringing in bodies first and foremost, and that which was recovered woodwise included several deck chairs, pieces of woodwork from the GSC (be it aft or fore, most likely aft), part of a desk, and a portion of wood lounge carving, among other small pieces of wood which were used to create small ephemera, such as chess or cribbage boards. It does not appear the items were collected as an official duty, rather crews plucking things that were in reasonable reach for personal remembrances of the disaster.

Illustrated History carries photos of most of these items; refer to pages 56, 178, 179...
 

Damon Hill

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Jun 13, 2004
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AS far as I know the only bits of woodwork from the GSC that were recovered were the newel post as mentioned above and also the outboard side of the starboard handrail from the reception room. It is pictured in a THS Commutator from 1989 (I think). They identified it as being that particular piece as they matched the carving of the leaves etc on it (which apparently always pointed up the stairs), so they knew it was from the Starboard side, and it was unique in shape, in that it wasnt like the flights on the higher decks which just fanned out, rather this one fanned out and then curved back slightly again (For want of a better explanantion) if you look at Titanic plans you'll notice that the D deck flight is slightly differently shaped, hence they surmised that this piece could only have come from the Reception Room. As far as I know it is kept in Nova Scotia, along with the newel post and the panelling from above the forward door of the Lounge.
 
May 7, 2005
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Ha. I knew that I had read somewhere about a piece of wreckage being changed. Bertram T. King served on the Minia during the victim recovery mission that the Minia was sent on. He recovered a piece of mahogany wreckage that was floating and carved it into a cribbage board. The carpenter of the Minia also carved the wreckage, but King also made small boxes and picture frames out of wreckage.
 
May 22, 2006
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Would it be possible for the foreward dome to simply tear off during the decent and be somewhere miles away from the wreck site in some undiscivered part of the ocean? How close is the wreck to Titanic canyon? If it's close enough I would check for wreckage down there. Who knows maybe even the compass platform might be down there.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Would it be possible for the foreward dome to simply tear off during the decent and be somewhere miles away from the wreck site in some undiscivered part of the ocean? <<

No way to know. It's not outside the realm of possibility that it was shredded piecemeal on the way down. It would depend on how quickly the ship went down and what sort of debris was slammed into it. I don't think that it simply popped off.
 
May 22, 2006
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Well I didn't mean simply pop off in one big piece. I meant water sweeping over the roof of the bow could have swept it away in pieces. We'll never know but one thing I am curious about is why is the hole square and not round? Dosen't that imply that the base of the weather cover could have torn off in a big sheet taking the dome with it, or could it be when the ship buckled water coming out like Roy Mengot said about what probably caused the hole in the starboard side have possibly blown the dome off on impact?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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It may have been a combination of both, or perhaps something we haven't even thought of. There's the slipstream to deal with...and water flowing over a structure at between 25 to 30 knots is going to have a lot of power...and air being expelled from the wreck or water flowing through and out the easiest way to escape. Make no mistake about it, a sinking is as dynamic as it is a violent event that's filled with variables.
 
Oct 22, 2008
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Hello, I'm new to this site. I was just able to get a membership but I've been reading a lot of the conversations you all have been having, and have been dying to participate. Now as far as the grand staircase incident is concerned, I simply don't know what to say. Again the grandstaircase today is shown as just an empty whole, with only the D-Deck frame-work still in place. As to what happened to it, I don't believe that it simply floated out of the ship while sinking. The iron boulestrades would have wieghted it down, and the few pieces that were on the surface were merely from the AFT Grand Staircase. I'm partial to the theory being that when the ship hit the bottom, the staitcase was blown by the force of the water all the way down in E deck up and out infront of the ship, similar to what happened with the forward hatch cover. Someone else on this thread said something similar I believe. I just dont see how the whole staircase could have floated out, it seems unlikely. Can anyone fill me in on any information about this, as this subject really intrigues me?
 
Nov 26, 2005
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Hello Anthony and welcome to the forum! If you have Titanic questions, comments or concerns, you've sure come to the right place.

The staircase being obliterated upon the hull's impact with the bottom is a decent theory, in my opinion, but I'd be more apt to believe it was a combination of your theory and the water rushing in through the dome. The water coming in through the dome at a rate like is shown in the film would rip apart the A-Deck - B-Deck landings at least, I would think. That would explain some stairs rising out of the ship and breaking up while the lower (C, D, E-Deck) stairs could have collapsed upon impact with the bottom.

I've always had a hard time believing that the entire grand staircase (Boat Deck - E Deck) simply lifted out of the ship without leaving a trace; but until someone goes down to E Deck and digs under all that mess, we'll probably never know for sure.

Incidently, do we even KNOW for sure that there was a dome implosion to begin with? As far as I know it's only been shown in a Marschall painting and Cameron's movie. It would make sense that a wave from the first funnel falling would cause something like what was shown, but how do we know for sure the entire room in question wasn't already under before the funnel fell? Do we have any eyewitness accounts from anyone who was in the Grand Staircase at the time of supposed "implosion or dome collapse"? I don't know of any, but please let me know if I'm wrong.

Just asking because it had occured to me that anything could have caused that dome to break, and not necessarily in the grand, theatrical fashion we saw in the movie. The 2nd funnel could have hit it as it was falling, for all I know anyway.
 

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