The Relationship Between Ismay And Andrews


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steve b

Guest
Hi all, this is a subject ive been pondering as a result since an offline conversation with a fellow member. Before i had this conversation, i was trying to summize the relationship between one Thomas Andrews and Bruce Ismay. My naive mind thought that these gentleman would have a mutual respect for each other, and heres the simple reason why. Ismay was the man who dared to builkd Titanic, and Andrews was Titanics heart, for as is obvious, this work was a labor of love for him. It seemed natural to me that thse men would share a mutual respect because they both wanted the same thing: To see it built and be the marvel of its day. Where Andrews is concerned, i have a lot of unanswered questions, but the one i would love to know most it, what was going through the poor mans mind in the final fatal hour? The man had to be torn between his natural sense to help as many as could, but yet watching his dream work being destroyed, slowly but surely. Id like to get everyones thoughts on this, especially those in the know
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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We should remember, however, that Titanic was in no way more important to these men then any of her sisters. If anything, she was the least important of the three.
Titanic suffered from middle child syndrome. Olympic was the newsworthy one and the one with the most attention because she was first. Gigantic was to be the most publicized because she was the largest. Titanic was just their sister ship. It shows in the crowd that saw her off. Lawrence Beesley was amazed at how few people showed up to see the largest ship in the world depart on her maiden voyage. Photos of the departure show very few people were there compared to Olympic's send-off one year earlier.
As far as Ismay and Andrews are concerned, Ismay was merely an employer and Andrews was his employee. Everyone likes to paint Andrews as the man who single-handedly put Titanic together. Andrews was merely the head of a team of designers who created the plans for the OLYMPIC AND HER SISTERS. I would venture to say that Olympic was the true pride of the designers. Titanic was just an improved Olympic.
A good analogy:
Everyone remembers where they were when Apollo 11 landed, but can you even remember Apollo 15 taking place?
Titanic in a way was like Apollo 13. No one really cared about it till it turned into a disaster.

David
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Just a point, David. Andrews was not Ismay's employee. He was employed purely by H & W. Also, much of the design work was done by Lord Pirrie and Alexander Carlisle. Pirrie attended to the broad plans. Carlisle retired before Titanic was finished but she owed a lot to him.

As to the last hours of Andrews, we can only speculate. Many of the moving pictures that are familiar, such as him standing before the painting in the smoking room, come from Shan Bullock's 1912 book. Bullock seldom names sources and it's unlikely that anybody who saw some of Andrews' alleged actions survived.
 
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steve b

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Alleged actions Dave? Wjhat were they, can you sight the most serious charges?
 

Thomas Ford

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Jun 22, 2010
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The fact that Thomas andrews was standing trance like in the smoking room doesn't seem, to me anyway, to fit along with the other things he did during that night like helping passengers get into the lifeboats, i think he felt responsible and i believe he would try to save as many people as he could.
 
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steve b

Guest
Ok maybe im completely off on this thought, but hey, wouldnt bethe first time right?


I think people, especially builders, get a certain sense of attatchemtn to theyre work. I am sure this is the case with Andrews, especially during the time in the smoking room. The man was doing everything he could to save as many lies as possible. But im sure this was a moment to reflect on his entire life, slowlu slipping into the ocean, his basically heart and soul. All because of things so preventable. It had to be devastating to him. To me, it is a high compliment to the mans personality that he did as much as he could to save eeryone possible. Isnt the man allowed a certain period for reflection?


As far as the relationship with Ismay, id like to ask Teri her thoughts on this, since she has done extensive studies on him.
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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Steve, by "alleged actions" I don't mean Andrews did anything wrong. I merely mean that the actions are not verified by named witnesses. Apart from the episode with the picture, he's supposed to he been on deck throwing deck chairs overboard, down in the engineroom with Joseph Bell and pretty well everywhere else. Some of Bullock's story comes from Judith Sloan but mostly his sources are not named. In spite of that, they are often repeated as fact, usually without acknowledgement to Bullock.
 
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steve b

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Dave sorry for the misunderstanding, thats the reason i aksed, but what was speculated to have been doing in that final hour?
 
Apr 7, 2001
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Hi Steve,

The question running through my mind is how long had Andrews been on deck throwing deck chairs or otherwise. I'd be more inclined to think that he spent most of his final hours trying to save the ship. This makes for an interesting comparison to Mr. Ismay's actions of being on deck most of his last hours saving lives. Seems like one was more intent on saving ships, the other more intent on saving lives. Why would a man try to save a doomed ship would be something to speculate on. Perhaps Andrew's calculation was; to save the ship is to save the lives. But a doomed ship is a doomed ship, is it not?

You say Andrews did as much as he could to save everyone possible. Could be, but I have yet to read lengthy material on it. So far I am only familiar with the fact that he might have ordered the crewman to keep the lights going, but I wouldn't claim that to be 100 percent accurate, is only my estimated guess.

The relationship between Ismay and Andrews would be the same as stated above, that he was not a direct employee of Mr. Ismay and therefore they shared more of business-like relationship than anything else. I could say a little bit more but I'm reluctant to post negative towards Thomas Andrews. Thomas Andrews though, wasn't the only man who put all he had into the building of Titanic. Throughout the many Titanic websites and Titanic books available, you will find pictures of thousands of workers who labored on Titanic to see her finished. I know you'd like to see that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews had a more personal relationship between them, but I just don't see this to be true.

Thomas Ford ~ You posted that Andrews assisted with the loading of lifeboats. May I kindly ask your source for this? I would like to research this, as I have not found this piece anywhere yet.

Sincerely,

Teri
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Teri wrote:

I know you'd like to see that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews had a more personal relationship between them, but I just don't see this to be true.

Stephen Cameron, author of Belfast's Own and a biography of Andrews that one hopes will be published soon, did see a certain warmth in their relationship. Belfast's Own has the following passage, which goes beyond the usual rhetoric of condolence letters:

"Helen Andrews, Thomas' wife, received a letter of condolence from the chairman of the White Star Line, Joseph Bruce Ismay. He had travelled on the Titanic, but survived having found a place in one of the last lifeboats to leave the sinking ship. In the letter, he wrote that he had known Thomas for many years and not only held him in the highest regard, but also looked on him as a friend. Ismay continued:

'No one who had the pleasure of knowing him could fail to realise and appreciate his numerous good qualities, and he will be sadly missed in his profession. Nobody did more for the White Star Line or was more loyal to its interests than your good husband, and I always placed the utmost reliance on his judgement.'"

It would be interesting to know the names of the crewmen David Galloway spoke with aboard the Lapland who claimed that they saw Andrews helping at the lifeboats.

~ Inger
 

Thomas Ford

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Jun 22, 2010
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i've read it a few times of andrews helping two women into the boats after they finished discussing which lifeboat was better looking and than andrews helping stewardess sloan into a boat.
 
Apr 7, 2001
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Inger,

I will agree that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews had a congenial friendship. Please, let's not confuse warmth with a certain respect. I'm sure that Mr. Ismay had a certain respect for the man. Afterall, Thomas Andrews did much work on the design of Titanic and deserves ultimate respect for that. But just because Mr. Ismay had respect for Thomas Andrews, doesn't mean they were the best of friends. I just don't see Mr. Ismay dining with Thomas Andrews in the First Class Dining Hall on a personal level. I only see Mr. Ismay dining with Thomas Andrews for meetings discussing matters of Titanic. I am wondering what Mr. Stephen Cameron has in mind that shows their relationship to be of a more personal nature. Yes, I am truly in wonder. Also, friends between two people could have many different meanings, some having more meaning than others.

The quote you posted where Mr. Ismay sent the message to one Helen Andrews does depict Mr. Ismay's thoughts for Thomas Andrews, for Mr. Ismay knew how hard Thomas Andrews had worked on Titanic and how much Titanic had meant to him. It would have characterized Mr. Ismay as being obdurate if he hadn't sent his condolences.

"Nobody did more for the White Star Line or was more loyal to its interests than your good husband, and I always placed the utmost reliance on his judgement."

IMHO, this is true, Mr. Ismay did rely on and trust H&W to the design and building of Titanic, and I stated this exact point on another thread entitled "Olympic's Speed." But again, reliance on someone's judgement doesn't assume a more personal relationship with a person.

Respectfully,

Teri
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Teri wrote:

I will agree that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews had a congenial friendship. Please, let's not confuse warmth with a certain respect.

I'm not confusing 'warmth' with 'a certain respect' (and the two are far from mutually exclusive anyway). I do, however, believe that one cannot profess friendship for an individual and not regard them with a degree of 'warmth'- and a friendship with Andrews is exactly what Ismay characterised their relationship as extending to in the letter he wrote to Helen Andrews. From the paraphrased extract prefacing the direct quote, Ismay actually specifically stated that their relationship went beyond the bounds of simply the professional, so much so that he regarded Andrews as a 'friend'.

But just because Mr. Ismay had respect for Thomas Andrews, doesn't mean they were the best of friends.

No one - certainly not Cameron or myself - has suggested that they were 'the best of friends.' Only that, according to Ismay's own words, they were 'friends.'

I am wondering what Mr. Stephen Cameron has in mind that shows their relationship to be of a more personal nature.

Actually, Cameron places very little subjective interpretation on Ismay's letter at all - he simply paraphrases Ismay's own statement that he had known Andrews for many years and held him not only in high regard, but also considered him a friend. Likewise, I have not offered any conjecture on the nature of their relationship beyond Ismay's professed regard and friendship with Andrews.

~ Inger
 
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steve b

Guest
Ok, i hate using this as a centerpiece for making a point, but its still one worth making i feel. In the 97 film, one of the first images we get is of a group of people seated along Andrews and Ismay at the dinner table. Now if memory serves me right, these two were very congenial at the dinner table, where as Andrews lauded Ismay ("but the idea, was Mr Ismays", and notice it was said with a distinct smile on his face). Meanwhile before that, Ismay did some lauding of his own when he respectfully said "he knows every rivet in her, dont you Thomas?". Now the reason i bring that up is simply for the fact that while i hate using the movie to make my point, it is noteworthy that Cameron only tried to use exsisting exchanges between crew memebers, or what he beleived he had on very solid evidence that the exchanges he used actually happened. And this particular exchange seemed quite respective of one another. Indeed from the film, one would get the impression there was a much more voliatile relationship between Smith and Ismay. The appearences i got from that scene was one of 2 men in mutual respect of each other, because both went through a lot, in reaching a common goal: The reality that is known as Titanic
 
Apr 7, 2001
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Inger,

It looks to be that I have made my point here. I just didn't want to mislead Steve B or anyone else of the fact that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews were the "best of friends," is all.

I will fully agree with you though, that one cannot profess friendship for an individual and not regard them with some degree of warmth. The key word here is "degree." Degrees of friendship, degrees of love, degrees of hate, degrees of like.

Also, I'd like to add that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews knew each other for many years only because H&W were the shipbuilders for White Star for many years.


Steve,

While we know some of Cameron's movie depicts some facts, the one reason I refrain from quoting anything from Cameron's movie is because he doesn't use a bibliography in the movie. And rightly so, as the movie is not a book. As I have stated, I agree with the fact that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews had some sort of congenial friendship with some degree of respect involved.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Teri wrote:

It looks to be that I have made my point here. I just didn't want to mislead Steve B or anyone else of the fact that Mr. Ismay and Thomas Andrews were the "best of friends," is all.

What point was that - that Ismay and Andrews were not the closest of buddies? No one had brought up the suggestion that Ismay and Andrews were the "best of friends", although you went to some pains to refute it. Steve said only that he "thought that these gentleman would have a mutual respect for each other" - not that they were boon companions (and it seems that his observation is borne out at least on Ismay's part, by Ismay's own words). I said that Ismay's own comments and reference to his friendship with Ismay were indicative of "a certain warmth in their relationship" - hardly a characterisation of them as best mates. While no one has overstated the warmth of their friendship, it is possible to understate it. And Ismay, judging from his correspondence, seems to have felt that it extended beyond the impersonal professional level.

~ Inger
 
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steve b

Guest
Inger i agree. I think what often gets overlooked here is the desire of 2 men to reach a common goal. Ismay obviously envisioned a line of luxurious steamers. It had to be somewhat of a dreamwork for him too, i think, not just mere business on his part. Imagine what it must have been like to be a man in his position, and dream up something so beautiful. Now we bring Andrews into the mix. Where as Ismay had the dream, here was Andrews given the task to create it into reality. Ismay did simply not have the design capabilites Andrews did. So i guess the best way i can describe it is, imagine you just had all the money in the world to make your dream home come to life. You have it all perfectly envisioned in your mind. But you cannot build it. So you hire a contractor who you think will be the most truest and faithful to your dream. Then, day by day, week by week, month by month, you watch the gradual steps take place. The fundation is layed. The first pieseces of wood goes up. Theres a finished room, the lawn takes shape. And as all of these events happen, you take time to have friendly conversations with your contractor, the man who is putting your dreams together. Dont you think it might go beyond the level a bit of just mere business, when you are entrusting someone with the responsibility for making your dream reality? Would it be out of line to think maybe in years to come this person may be a guest for dinner now and then? Now if you can see the paralel im trying to draw here, you may understand how i feel about Ismay and Andrews. Both wanted the same thing. And i think theyre desire to see it into reality spawned at the least mutual respect. How much the lessening of that respect lowered because of the lifeboat reduction, we may never know. But i have no reason to believe that if Titanic had survived, theyre level of friendship would have been on a good level
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Never built a steamship, but I have built boats for clients. The relationship starts out almost overly friendly, but grows colder as the work progresses. The customer always demands changes that entails taking out work that has just been completed. This delays things, but the customer does not change his expected delivery date. Sometimes you want to put your Porter Cable where the sun don't shine...but as builder you remain cordial, almost to a fault. Eventually, the project is done and the owner steps aboard. Suddenly, you are a genius and the work is "fantastic." Then, you hear from his lawyer.

Business put the men into contact with one another. Business made them cordial. But, the workaday appearance says nothing about their personal opinions of one another.

-- David G. Brown
 
Jul 22, 2001
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I think that Ismay was close to Andrews Uncle Lord Pirre because at the very least the two had a common goal, beating rival shipbuilders. Why would this relationship not have extended to Lord Pirre's nephew? The two families must have known each other for years as H & W not only built Titanic and Olympic but also Adriatic years before.Surely some sort of friendship must have built up?
 

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