The Grand staircase clock


shelley hill

Hi everyone.

I am new to this site and message board, but I have a query I was hoping someone could help me with.

I have a number of books, and I have noticed a discrepancy between a couple of them. One book says that Olympic had a much less ornate clock than Titanic (and has a picture of the less ornate clock in situ). However, everything else I have read says that 'Honour and Glory Crowning Time' was carved for Olympic and then copied for Titanic.

Does anyone know which is correct and the reason for the discrepancy?

Thanks much!


Best sources indicate that "Honor and Glory" was identical on both Olympic and Titanic. I think I know the book that is confusing you and it's full of silly errors. I don't have a copy in front of me so I will do the author the curtesy of not mentioning it by name, but as I recall, the captions that shows a photo with a simple square clock is in fact the AFTER main staircase from the Olympic (Honor and Glory, of course, being in the forward stair well).

Lots of Titanic books are being printed, and I have served as technical editor on a few of them so I can speak as in insider. Do yourself a favor and take the newer ones (say, post Cameron Titanic) with a grain of salt.

Books are sold to make money. If they teach something; that's nice ... if the facts are correct in them; that's best of all ... but money comes FIRST.

Book publishers knew that there was a ground swell of interest coming in Titanic with the Cameron movie, and everybody and his brother needed to be selling a Titanic-related book before the parade passed by. Some are quite good. Most are just recycled versions of Walter Lord's book. And more than a few have the intellectual content of coloring books.

Caveat Emptor

Bill Sauder
Hey everyone.
Can someone please tell me something about the clock in the Grand staircase? Anything.
Who made it, what douse it shown, what sort of wood was it made of, anything.

Thank you so much.
The only "interesting" fact that I can recall is that, according to Titanic Voices, the Titanic was in such a state of incompleteness, that the clock had a mirror in place on the way from Belfast to Southampton.

Best wishes


Hi Carl and Paul,

I've moved this thread to here, where it's more appropriate.
Hello Carl
The Grand staircase was mostly made out of oak wood and oak was also used for the clock casing as well. As for the clock it self I do not know who made it or where it came from. Hope this helped.
- Oh, I'm sorry Jason. I thought it was in the right threat.

- Thank you so much Frank. Thats great. You sure helpt me. :)
I was scanning through my Titanic and her sisters Olympic and Britannic book 10,672th time, and I noticed that in one of the pictures of the Grand Staircase, everything is right except for one thing. The clock is a completely different version. I know that there has been some debates about all the Grand Staircase pictures being of the Olympic and none of the Titanic. It was also said that Titanic may have had a smaller clock, since it was her maiden voyage and her Honor and Glory may not have been finished. Is this a rare find? Can anyone help clarify?
All Ahead Full!

That's another one of this book's screwed-up photo captions. That is a picture of the top landing of the after 1st class staircase (the "Not-quite-so-Grand Staircase"?). The clock surround on this staircase was, as you can see, plainer than the one forward. On the Titanic, staterooms A-36 and A-37 were located respectively to the port and starboard sides of this landing.

Scott Andrews
Just for what it's worth, recently I posted a few observations regarding the pictures in that book, and for the sake of clarification, here was my cursory list:

More miscaptioned/unclearly captioned pictures in Titanic and Her Sisters Book:

Page 59 - illustration of the aft grand staircase
Page 113 - this is actually Britannic after launch
Page 118 - identified as Titanic; however, bow clearly says Olympic
Page 122 - lower left - this is actually Britannic's stern.
Page125 - this is Olympic, not Titanic
Page 134-135 - this is Olympic, not Titanic
Pages 142-143 - top is Britannic, bottom Titanic. Britannic was launched with an enclosed A-deck promenade, while Titanic's was launched with an open one. The enclosed portion was added in March 1912 before she sailed. The captioner apparently saw enclosed promenade and said, "Oh, this is Titanic then."

*most of the outfitting pictures in this book are of Olympic or Britannic, and do a good job illustrating how the Olympic-class vessel was constructed. However, I am only addressing the picture captions which mis-label those as being from Titanic.

Page 155 - these are of Olympic's GSC, 154 being D-deck forward, 155 being A/B deck aft.
Page 157 - Olympic's compass platform
Page 160 - Olympic's gym
Page 161 - top - Olympic's gym; bottom, indeed Titanic's gym.

The other confusing aspect of this book is that it compares olympic pre-refit pictures against post refit plans

Page 181 shows a furnished cabin similar to the unfurnished picture seen in page 173 that misidentifies it as a passageway.

Page 218 - this is not an Olympic-class dome

Page 246 - Titanic, although taken off the Isle of Wight, not Belfast

Page 251 - not J.J. Astor, but rather his cousin. The Astors boarded in Cherbourg. This picture was taken in Waterloo Station, London.

Page 298 - indeed this is Olympic's reading/writing room, BUT....
Page 307 this is identified as Titanic's reading room - note the same bump in the rug

Page 303 - I believe this "Captain Smith" figure could be actually Archie Butt walking aft. He was photographed earlier on the port side forward, wearing a long coat and cap. Captain Smith was gray haired, and this figure has dark hair.

Page 321 - These are Olympic's lifeboats. Titanic's never had white gunwales, while Olympic did in her first year of service.

Page 418-419 - this is not Britannic. I've heard it correctly IDed before, but it escapes memory - is it the Aquitania?

In the fitting out photos, it's sometimes easy to see which ship's parts are being photographed. Olympic's number was 400, Titanic's 401, and Britannic's 433.
Thank you, Dan!
I knew a few were mislabeled but this sure does fix it! It's such a shame for a book with such great pictures to be mislabeling them...some of the dates are wrong to. Thank you for clarifying the clock question. I guess I never thought that the aft staircase had a clock, just figuring that it was bare oak paneling!
Thank you for your welcome insight!
All Ahead Full!
Historians often confuse the two, I've lost count of the amount of times i've seen documentaries begin with footage of the Olympic leaving Southampton

The feeling is mutual Jamie,
I think that if something is shown, they should try as best as they can to get the ship right! I know the average person wouldn't notice and/or even care, but I guess we here aren't average!
All Ahead Full!
That book made me sooo mad. I was looking forward to finally reading it. I just got it today from my teacher, and I read like the first few pages, and everything was sooo screwed up. They mislabled everything. Even though there are no known photographs of Titanic's Grand Staircase, this book apparently has the only one!?!?! Oh, and Olympic apparently didnt have an ornate clock of Honour and Glory, just a simple square one?!?! The book is messed up. I'll admit it's good just to look at the pictures, but I was very upset.