There is a TITANIC GRAND STAIRCASE IMAGE


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Jamie Bryant

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Aug 30, 2003
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Dear All
I do recall seeing a photo of the Grand Staircase, but I noticed that on the clock that the carvings of Honour and Glory were absent. It was then that I read, on a previous thread, that there are rumours that the Titanic's GS clock had the carvings missing too. I am frantically searching every book or anything that may "jump start" my memory. I can asure you all that I DID see this image and hope to find it soon.
Jamie Bryant
 

Jamie Bryant

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HAVE JUST FOUND THE BOOK! It's the Grand Staircase all right without the clock carvings and it's not the aft staircase!
 
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Nicolas Roughol

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Let's face it, there's a 99.999% probability that we will never get to see a genuine picture of Titanic's GSC. It's been more than 91 years since she went down, one can assume it's a rather great amount of time to come up with any previously undisclosed photographs. One thing's for sure: we won't find any such picture in already released books, and I'm pretty sure I'll be dead before a genuine one surfaces (if it actually exists).

Speaking of the photograph Jamie refers to, one way to tell if it's the aft staircase would be to take a look at the cherub (if it is featured in that very photograph).
 
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Nicolas Roughol

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Looks to me like Mark is intrigued
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Well, you're not the only one Mark...

As for what Father Brown (who held a 1st class ticket) may or may have not photographed, I doubt very much that there are photographs of his that we have yet to see. Even the ones of lesser quality such as the one of the Marconi Room are known. Unless someone keeps such a picture of the GSC for his private interest (and any unknown picture of the Titanic, especially that one, would be of such historic and peculiar values that it is unlikely), I'm sorry Jamie but I do not share your optimism regarding that matter. But I do understand it of course...
 
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Brian R Peterson

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Hi Jamie!

I agree with Nicholas on this one. If a genuine Titanic GSC photo exists, and after 91 years of one not being found, I am skeptical one does, it would have to be unpublished. Just about every known Titanic interior photo has been published in books and newspapers at least once at one time or another, so surely someone would have recognized it for what it was, and it would now be a very famous and world renown photo.

Touching on your Second Class comment, there were a handful of First Class passengers transferred to Titanic from other ships who couldn’t make the sailing due to the coal strike, and through no fault of their own were placed in Second Class due to the extreme price gap between what they paid for First Class on other ships and what they would have to pay to remain in First Class on Titanic. Second Class passengers were also allowed to tour First Class before sailing, to sort of see what they were missing and it likely that passengers who had access to a camera would have used one. So hypothetically speaking, even if Father Brown was booked in Second Class, it is likely he would have still taken his famous photos.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Nicolas & all,

It has been mentioned previously here on ET, that there are still families of people (I think mainly crew members) who have photos of their loved ones on the Titanic. These are unpublished, and no one plans to publish them. There's probably plenty of Titanic photos around that no one plans to make public.

As for Fr. Browne, there was a very interesting article in the Irish Titanic Historical Society jounal by Fr. O'Donnell. He is as we all might know wrote and put together the book about Fr. Browne's Titanic and other photos. Having access to and having studied all of Fr. Browne's negatives and albums, O'Donnell says that Browne only used about one third of all the photos he took to compile his albums. Browne only included his best photos in the album and only historically significant photos (such as the marconi room). It is quite possible that originally there were more than twice as many photos than he ended up putting in his Titanic album in the 1920's.

While in the trunk were just about all the negatives of photos he took, all those of Titanic were positives. It is unknown where the Titanic photos may be, but since Fr. Browne sold the rights to his photos soon after the disaster, it is possible that all the original negatives of photos may still be in some archive somewhere.

Furthermore, photographers, specifically those working for newspapers take quite a few photos. They don't go and publish them all either, only a selection gets printed. This can be demonstrated by the known photos published in newspapers and journals at the time. There was a group of reporters taken around Titanic before she sailed. They probably all snapped photos of just about the same areas on the ship.

Taking the Cafe Parisin as an example, when examined, although all the views may look similar, they are in fact all taken by different photographers and thus the angles of the photos vary slightly, which is why you end up with 4 photos of the Cafe Parisien which at a quick glance look the same, but at closer examination are not. There are also at least 3 known variations of cabin B59 for that very reason. Then we have the different views altogether ....

While the Illustrated London News published photos of the starboard Private Promenade, the Swimming Bath, A deck promenade, the Daily Sketch published a photo of the port Private Promenade and the Adams B51 sitting room, and the French publication L'Illustration published a photo of the Starboard Verandah Cafe and a different angle of the Gymnasium (the ILN published a Gym photo as well, but the view/angle was much more restricted). And so on ....

So my suggestion is that originally a much larger amount of Titanic photos were taken, quite a lot of which *possibly* still exist, collecting dust in some archive.

One further example. We all know of the Captain smith photo taken near the officers' quarters on the boat deck. We know it's Titanic because of the round skid lights. This photo is generally known to be from the Illustrated London News ... However, L'Illustration published a similar photo (not identical due to the reasons I've described above) which was probably taken by their own photographer.

Regards,

Daniel.

PS. To illustrate my example, below is a comparison of two photos from two different publications.

76299.jpg
 
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Steven Hall

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Aug 8, 2001
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Dan is correct about some images. If you look carefully some are taken from slightly different angles.
I have seen some 30 unpublished photographs of Titanic, but the Grand Staircase is not amongst them.
I would image there is at least one floating around someplace in an old shoebox.
If the ship had been open for public inspection at Belfast or Southampton there would I imagine have been a few.
 
Mar 18, 2000
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Due to Jamie's reluctance to post *the name of the book* that he found the Titanic's Grand Staircase in, while he is posting in other threads, I have to assume at this point, that Jamie has since found out that he did *not* correctly identify the staircase.

Jamie - last call. Either tell us which book has the photo you claim, or we'll just have to assume you were wrong in the first place.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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There definitely were once many more varied images of Titanic taken than those now available. Photographers from many news sources would have been assigned to record images of the ship and its interiors. I have no knowledge of what White Star public relations procedures would have been but I bet the company hosted a series of "press days" for reporters and photographers to come and freely roam about and take notes and pictures. It's possible Harland and Wolff or White Star attempted to control the images that were taken by commissioning photographers from select agencies rather than giving the media full run but that would have been bad PR, in my opinion.

These images that are so similar were probably taken by quite a large number of news agency photographers as well as newspaper staff photographers and even freelance or papparazi cameramen.

As a member of the press, I know we take many, many pictures that are ultimately discarded by editors. Only very narrow choices are ever made from submitted images and the rest are archived or destroyed.

I am sure this is what happened with the news photos of Titanic's interiors. Most unpublished original negatives (glass I assume)are likely long gone with only published images accessible to us now. Apart from those to be found in magazines and newspapers, as collectors know, wonderful gems of rare pictures turn up on postcards, the original negatives for which are probably no longer in existence.
 
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Brian R Peterson

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Hi Randy!

The only date I know of where the Titanic was open to the press was Saturday, March 30th 1912. In that time I am sure hundreds of photos were taken, many probably of the Titanic Grand Staircase.

However, if the Titanic Forward Grand Staircase was paneled the same as the Aft Grand Staircase as many believe it was, newspaper editors probably decided to substitute the more ornate Grand Staircase of the Olympic for publication, and in doing so lost and or destroyed the only authentic Titanic Grand Staircase images at a great cost to history no less!
cry.gif


Here is another example of carelessness destroying historical photographs:

During World War One the military needed a large number of gas masks for the troops. Instead of being bothered to make the large quantities of plate glass, the government instead used thousands of unused glass plate negatives from the U.S. Civil War and in doing so destroyed forever many valuable and unpublished photographs from that era!

Just shows us that most people don't know what they have when they throw it out or destroy it, and unfortunately that has a very serious impact on history as many priceless historical items, such as Titanic Grand Staircase negatives, were lost that way.

Best Regards,

Brian
 
Dec 7, 2000
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Randy,

You make a good point regarding photographers. While WSL or H&W probably didn't commission photographers, they probably limited the amount of photographers allowed to roam the ship (which hasn't even been properly/offissially photographed by H&W). Some of the photographers were probably from newspapers, others were possibly independant photographers who then sold their photos to the various newspapers and journals. This may explain why various publications published some identical photos (eg. the Adams sitting room B51). The ILN credited their 10 Titanic photos to "Central News and Illustrations Bureau". In 1911 when Olympic collided with the Hawke, the ILN published 4 photos, and credited them to "Silk, G.P.U and Illustrations Bureau". I'm not familiar with those, but it seems that these were probably independant photographers or companies which were used by the ILN, and most likely provided photos for other publications as well.

Regards,

Daniel.

PS. Considering that Olympic was the 1st ship of the class, I have seen very few of her publicity photos from June/July 1911. I'm sure that many more photos were taken than on Titanic, and since Olympic never sank on her 1st voyage, these views were largely lost and not published.
 

Bob Godfrey

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Ironically, negatives from the glass plate era have greater longevity than the nitrate-based roll and sheet film used by Father Browne and others to photograph Titanic. When Browne's famous trunk full of negatives was unearthed the images were transferred to modern safety film as a matter of urgency. If any Titanic negatives from the period still exist they are likely to be in very poor condition and the images may be disappearing as fast as the ship itself.
 

Jamie Bryant

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Aug 30, 2003
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If you look at my earlier post it will inform you that it is probably an incorrect caption. As the cherub is holding the lamp in the wrong hand.This probably makes it the Aft Grandstaircase (although still Titanic's) I can't be held responsible for a printing error, but for the record the bookm is entitled:

Titanic Legacy Of World's Greatest Liner
By Susan Wells/Foreword By William F. Buckley, JR.

I am sorry for getting excited a little pre-maturely, but the photo combined with the caption next to it made me believe it. It was only when, at about 5 mins after my second post, that I realised the book's mistake.
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Hi Jamie,

It's only natural to have been excited. If I had been more thorough I'd have noticed that same caption and gotten excited myself, as that book is one of my favorites as far as lay-out and design.

So don't feel bad. It's nothing anyone should fault you for. As for the book's editors, well...

Best wishes,
Randy
 
Mar 20, 2000
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Brian,

Your theory as to what became of more Titanic grand staircase photos is likely correct. Also that's quite a horror story about the use of the civil war negatives!

Daniel,

Interesting about those credit lines. I hadn't noticed that. From what I have noticed the London News Agency and the Fleet Agency took many photos at that time but these fell more in the area of event and society coverage rather than transportation.

But since Olympic and Titanic sort of crossed the line into society and event news I'm surprised I haven't seen those companies cited with more pictures of the ships.

Randy
 
Oct 22, 2008
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Hi everyone, I have a pretty stupid question, and it's never been really answered for me. Okay here it goes: One of the most famous views of the grand staircase is the view of the whole thing, where you can see the clock, and the cherub, and the stairs, and tad bit of the dome. Its the photo that titanic enthusiasts like ourselves always associate the GS with. Now if one notices, the cherub in this photo is the color Black, showing that it was a dark shiny brown had the picture been color. This is the forward GS, and u can clearly see Honour and Glory carved around the clock. This is the Forward GS to my knowlege. Now my question is this: Another photo shows the aft GS, yet this one shows the cherub facing the opposite direction, and it looks GIGANTIC (no pun intented). Also, the color of the cherub looks the same as the color of the wooden railings, which would make one think that it was made of wood and therefore the same color as the wood. Why is it in the FGS the cherub is a dark black color, and in the AGS it looks so big and not black? This may be a stupid question, so sorry. I've included a link. Its of the FGS. Thanks. http://limitemaximo.files.wordpress.com/2008/08/01_grand_staircase.jpg

Also, I've included another link to a photo of the cherub they recovered. DOES THAT LOOK ANYTHING LIKE THE ONE IN THE AGS? It looks way too fat, and it's arms are short and stubby.
http://members.fortunecity.com/scufyboots/titanic/photo1.jpg
 
Nov 21, 2007
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Your second photo's link didn't work, but the recovered cherub could easily be different from the GS photo you linked. Since that is the Olympics grand staircase. Could you post the other GS photo you talked about, please?
 
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