The swimming bath


Ken hogan

Does anyone know if the Titanic's swimming bath was identical to the one on the Olympic? I want to know because i saw a photo of the Olympic's swimming bath and i want to know if it is the same
When I'm home I'll provide pictures, but technically the answer is yes. If you had to count the rivets you'll probably find that various things were in different locations, the mearure bars (whatever they were, the ones that showed depth) were slightly different, the clocks hung in different areas of the room, some of the piping near the portholes was different .... but other than that the decor of the room (not that there was any -- in my opinion it was a rather ugly room) was all the same.

One also has to be careful. Olympic's pool changed slightly throughout the years. But these were small changes. I think the decoration of the pool only changed in later life.

Here are the photos.

I also forgot to mention another thing (and probably others, but I thought of this one now). If you count the rows of tiles at the bottom of the pools on Titanic and Olympic, you'll find they're different. I'm not going to count again, but to elaborate on this, you can see dark tiles/lines running at the bottom of the pool. In between are white tiles. Now, there are something like 11 rows in the 1st section, 12 in the 2nd, then 11 then 12. On Olympic, this would have been the other way round. I could be wrong about the numbers, or order, but basically that was it.


PS. I might as well go on. Titanic's stairs were tiled at the sides whilst Olympic's were not.
My understanding is that the water used was seawater. Understandable as back then, a ships ability to distill fresh water from seawater was decidedly limited, even on the big transatlantic liners. As I recall, it was also heated.

Michael H. Standart
Thanks Michael. You know, I've installed tile in a bathroom before, and I really wonder how well the tile in the Titanic's swimming pool, or any liner of that age, would have held up over time with all the vibration, stretching, and other ship movement. I mean the grout would develop a lot of cracks I think. I wonder if that was a problem for the Olympic.
Also, I wonder if the tile in Titanic's pool broke up upon impact with the sea bottom? The pool, if ever photographed, may contain piles of broken tile at the bottom.
Just some thoughts.

One more thought. Swimming in heated sea water? This is luxury? Blah. Sounds more like passenger soup to me. I hope those changing stalls along the walls had fresh water showers in them.

Those showers probably did have fresh water. I don't know for sure. As to heating the water, I would call it a necessity. Can you imagine trying to swim in cold Atlantic seawater? Something like 1500 of the passengers and crew did exactly that!

The results were....unfortunate.

Michael H. Standart
There were apparently salt and fresh water sprays in the bath, according to a 1911 Olympic source that I have. (I'm quoting from memory.) One change on the ships was the marble stairs, changed on Olympic in late 1911. There were thirteen changing 'boxes,' a.k.a. 'cubicles.'

Possibly her pool was changed in later years (like Britannic's) but I have no proper evidence and Daniel told me he hasn't. It may have been the 1933 refit.

Best regards,


Ben Holme

The pool did indeed contain salt water, heated, according to Col. Gracie "to a refreshing temperature". Inidentally, the pool was not filled until the Titanic had left its last port of call and had made sufficient headway into open ocean. The English Channel was too dirty and if the crew had decided to "fill up" while anchored in Queesntown, the passengers would thereafter have to share their morning dip with half of Ireland's off-shore sea life, sucked up by accident along with other untold horrors!

Gives new meaning to the term: FLOATIES.

Ahem..anyway, just what did people of that age do while in the pool? STOP snickering out there! I mean, these days at hotels and resorts, people play water vollyball, practice scuba diving, or play around with little sinking models of Titanic. What was the purpose of the swimming pool for people of that age anyway? Just exercise?

And, was there a lifeguard provided?

As it has already been established, the pool was filled with salt water and it was heated. Mike is right, the water would otherwise be cold. When was the pool filled?

I'm not too sure, but as Titanic's photo shows (as well as other accounts and common knowledge) it was certainly not in port (for reasons pointed out in previous posts). Fr. Browne never actually travelled on the Olympic, but visited her and photographed her whilst she was in Queenstown. His photo of the pool shows that there was water in there. Thus the pool must have been filled up after it left Cherbourg and when it reached cleaner waters before Queenstown.

Chlorine or other water treatments were not invented or used by 1912, so to keep the water fresh, it was constantly being circulated. It would enter at the shallow end and leave the pool at the deep end. Below is a picture of the hole at the shallow end, that would pour the water into the pool.


This photo was taken in port at New York, so the pool was emptied by then and kept empty until once again in clean water.

Eileen Lenox-Conyngham, a young girl who went as as far as Cherbourg, was shown the empty pool and was told it would be filled 'right out at sea'. This might have meant on the way to Queenstown.

As to what was done in the pool, they apparently swam about in a limited sort of a way. Many people today have bigger pools at home. The 'pool' is an example of the way in which the wonders of Titanic have been exaggerated out of all proportion. Does anybody imagine that it would be discussed if the ship had not sunk?
Another example of Britannic's superiority, her pool was *enlarged* and the decor was far better. However, Aquitania's pool was not up to that much either (Britannic's was better than hers), I think we compare the pools unfavourably with the 'Imperator' class, which probably had the best pools fitted on liners, according to one account: 'before or since.'

Best regards,

Concerning the passenger's pool activities...

I had always thought that the pool, as it was part of the fancy bath complex on F-deck, was also part of the "Turkish Bath Experience." A person would spend some time lounging around the Turkish Baths, essentially a sauna from what I understand, hang around the cooling room a bit, then hop in the pool to get the sweat off, finally washing the salt off in the showers.

This is upheld a little by Mrs. Speddon's statement:
"I took a Turkish Bath this morning. It was my first and will be my last, I hope, for I never disliked anything in my life so before, though I enjoyed the final plunge in the pool."

Seems the novelty isn't all it's cracked up to be.

This is just my interpretation, mind you. I may be way off.

Though it would be interesting to see personalities such as Astor and Widener stumbling around the pool going "Marco!" "Polo!"

I fancy you are right about the pool being used after a Turkish bath, unless there was a small separate shallow pool.

A Turkish bath was actually not like a sauna, which uses moist heat. A Turkish bath used dry heat and sometimes very high temperatures were reached, way above those in a sauna. The Victorians were quite crazy about them and they were supposed to cure all sorts of things.