Titanic and Olympic original design NY Times

>>Huge Vessels That will Soon Be in Transatlantic Service That Will Probably Represent the Limit, as Far as Size Is Concerned, for Many Years to Come.<<

Boy, was that a prophesy that didn't work out. Even as the Titanic was getting ready to make her crossing, the Germans were getting the Imperator ready to launch.
Hi Trent,

Very interesting. Have you seen: Birth of the Titanic, by Michael McCaughan? The inside covers contain partial deck plans and read: Original design drawings for the Olympic and Titanic, prepared by Harland & Wolff and approved in Belfast on 29 July 1908 by Bruce Ismay and other White Star Line directors. - There are 4 funnels and the length is given as 850 feet.
1st Class 600; 2nd Class 716.
3rd Class 1528 in enclosed rooms with 260 open berths = 1,788.
Seats in Saloon. First Class 598.
Unless double or triple stacked there are only 16 boats shown, all towards the after end of the boat deck. - None forward of the area of the Reading & Writing room.
Only the forward mast features.

I wonder where the New York Times obtained its informations?
Probably from the same source as provided an article published on 14 September 1907. I haven't the time or patience to copy it. Alexander Carlisle is said to have been working on a 14,000 GRT ship that would do 30 knots. It was to have quadruple expansion engines and a turbine. The press has a poor record on anything nautical. The local paper is trying to tell us that a certain 109,000 GRT cruise ship is bigger than the 98,000 displacement tons USS Nimitz.

By the way, the 850 feet shown in the drawing in Birth of the Titanic is correct. It's the length between perpendiculars, given in the way used by ship builders.
Hey Paul,

I don't have a scanner here with me at college, but I am going home for Thanksgiving and can try to scan it there. I am not too good with scanning and getting it on to the Internet, but I will try.

Hey Lester,

I have not seen the book, I will have to see if I can get a copy. I read somewhere else that there were two funnels and four mast, and was really confused by it. I will have to find it and post what was said. He may have gotten the faulty information from the NY Times.

I have figured it out.

In the picture they have a blocked out version of the Mauretania in front of the "Olympic/Titanic," it's sort of hard to see details, but after looking at the "Olympic/Titanic" some more, I realized the New York Times just took the blueprint of the Adriatic, or one of the "Big Four" and made it look larger than the Mauretania. I guess it was easier that way! Was Titanic supposed to have 4 masts in the rough plans for the ships? Hope that helps with some of the confusion.

Not to be a killjoy, but if this thing is in a book, then it's almost certainly protected by copyright. Unless you have permission from the copyright holder to post it publicly, please refrain from doing so.

Trent, you might want to consider sending the image by e-mail to any interested parties. Sorry if I seem a little gunshy about this, but I'd rather not get a summons to appear from Attila the Lawyer.

Thanks for the article. Pity most of the things mentioned in the newspaper article regarding the interior like the nusery, the grill rooms, private library and the tell-tale water-tight sign were cut out from the orignal design. But I guess you got to downscale a few things.

I saw a drawing at this website some time ago of a proposed Olympic and Titanic design except it has three funnels, not two. The problem is that its all in French.

Check it out anyway @ http://perso.club-internet.fr/philippe.melia/t_projet_02.jpg


Hi Michael,

Objections noted and understood. However, I thought that everything published in the US before the mid 1920's has now passed into the public domain? Obviously a 1909 copy of NYT would fit this category. Of course I could be, and probably am, wrong!


Sounds good Michael, Paul if you send me your address I can mail it to you.

Nigel, thanks for posting that picture, it looks so wierd to see Olympic like that!

Ahh I have found another New York Times article, this one from March 15, 1908. This one had a picture of the proposed ship with three funnels and four mast, like in the website Nigel posted. It also shows the ships with two anchors on each side. When I get the chance I will type it up.

New York Times March 15, 1908


Space Rather Than Increased Speed the Aim if the New Leviathans

At Present Rate of Progress Next Century Will See Ships a Mile Long

It is a rapid age in which we live. So new are the new Cunarders that one had not had time to lose wonder over these gigantic liners, to cease to marvel at their immensity of length and tremendous power. It looked as though the 790-foot steamships were to be the last word in marine construction and that their 68,000 horse power marked the limit of motive strength.

But now, while one is yet marveling at these new marvels, the cable bring announcement that the White Star Steamship Company has contracted for the construction of a steamship that is to have the amazing length of 1,000 feet, a length 210 feet greater than that of the Lusitania, and 820 feet more than was the length of Brunel’s great failure–the Great Eastern.

Such was the word the cables brought the other day. Mr. Bruce Ismay, the General Manager if the White Star Line, who arrived from England a few days ago, not only confirmed the report, but added still further interest to it by the statement that the company was planning to build not one but two of these giant vessels; to send one down the way six months after the other had gone overboard, and to place both these giant vessels in the New York-Southampton service.

“These two steamships,” said Mr. Ismay, “are intended to be far ahead of anything yet designed. They are to be approximately 1,000 feet in length; perhaps a few feet more, perhaps a few feet less. But if not exactly of 1,000 feet it will be but a trifling difference from that figure, one way or the other. That length will make them considerably greater than any vessel yet projected. I do not know what beam had been decided upon, but this will naturally be commensurate with their lengths.”

Will Need Longer Piers

“This is the first time in its history that the White Star Line has been able to enter the field of ship construction without a handicap. Hitherto we have been restricted by the limitations of our former home terminal–that of Liverpool; and in planning for new ships it had always been necessary for us to keep in mind the fact that are vessels must be kept within certain limitations. But now that we have moved our terminal to Southampton, that restriction no longer exists, and so, for the first time, we are not bale to enter the field without any handicap of this nature. Southampton being a spacious harbor and its waters so wide and deep that so far as the port so concerned we may build ships of any size. It is true that docking facilities on this side must be considered. The longest piers on the North River, where out vessels now dock are but 850 feet in length; but we are quite sure that longer one’s will be constructed.”

Mr. Ismay would not commit himself to any further statement about New York piers, but since his company had definitely planned to bring out two 1,000-feet ships, with the intention of putting them in the New York service, it is fair to assume that the White Star Line has received definite assurance that the city will have suitable piers ready when the ships make their first appearance here in the Spring on 1911.

“What new and unusual features will these new vessel’s have?” Mr. Ismay was asked.

“I may not tell you that,” he replied, “for if I did all of our competitors will know, but I will repeat what I have just said that they will be far ahead of anything that has yet been projected.”

But there were some feature that Mr. Ismay felt free to discuss. The new Cunarders, as all the world knows, are fitted with turbine engines. Mr. Ismay said that the new White Star vessels would be equipped with both turbine and reciprocating engines. These will operate triple screws, the two wing screws being propelled by engines of reciprocating type, the central one being driven by a turbine.

The company already has under construction two other vessels whose motive power is of this combination type. But these are very much smaller. They are the Albert and the Albany, which are now under construction in the Belfast yards of Harland & Wolff. These two are to be placed in the Canadian service of the company in the coming Spring, but they are of relatively small size, their displacement being only 14,000 tons.

“Extraordinary speed,” Mr. Ismay continued, “will not be sought for in these larger vessels. About twenty knots and hour, I should say, with their gait. We have some very good reasons for not filling them up with engines and coal bunkers. There is always a certain percentage of people who are always in a hurry, but we do not believe that that percentage is large, nor is there any reason to believe that it is considerably increasing. To the ordinary voyager a day more or less is not a matter of extreme importance, but two or three additional knots is a matter of extreme importance to operating company. That the vast majority of ocean travelers are not insistent on high speed seems to be proved by the popularity of such vessels as the Amerika of the Hamburg-American Line and our Adriatic.”

The two vessels which Mr. Ismay has selected as an example have no pretension to extraordinary speed, but it is a well-known fact that these two and the type which they represent are exceedingly popular with the traveling public. The patrons of this class know of the many features which by the sacrifice of a knot or two of speed it was found possible to install in them. One therefore wonders about the many unknown features which the White Star Company can place in these tremendously big vessels of a relatively slow speed. Elevators are already a familiar feature. Will these roomy new leviathans have trolleys or moving sidewalks to carry passengers up and down their far-fetching decks? Will they have theaters and shopping arcades? When the bow reaches port will it be necessary to telephone the fact to the other end?

Where, anyhow, is this era by era increase in the size of ships to end? In a comparison that was made when the new Cunarders were first contracted for some interesting calculations were made. These showed that if the rate of increase in steamship dimensions should be maintained for the next hundred years at the same ratio that they increased from 1807 to 1907 the ships launched at the end of next century would have a speed of 6,527 knots a day, and would be able to cross from New York to England in about thirteen hours. The vessels would be nearly a mile in length and would have accommodations for 33,000 passengers.

Of course, no name has been assigned to either of the projected vessels. But the White Star Line will undoubtedly follow its old system of nomenclature, and when these two come out the names given them will in all probability end with the clicking “ic” which had so long distinguished the vessels of this fleet.
>>However, I thought that everything published in the US before the mid 1920's has now passed into the public domain? Obviously a 1909 copy of NYT would fit this category. Of course I could be, and probably am, wrong!<<

I wasn't worried about a period copy of the New York Times and if that's where it is, it shouldn't be a problem. I wouldn't mind seeing it myself.