Titanic Miscellany

Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
I still see it was not necessary to spend so much on that type of gantry, and to question the efficiency as building the Titanic hull took nearly four months longer than Olympic hull which at the time, they were both the same size.
I've read (forget the source now) that one of the reasons Titanic took longer to build was because there was no rush after Olympic was built. The wanted to get Olympic out as soon as possible for various reasons. The marketing and all that of the new class of ships. It was more Olympic was built quicker than Titanic was built was slower. If you want I can go hunt for the source of that. Cheers
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
Now before getting into an argument here with cost figures, I see to build the Arrol Gantry at H&W is quoted about £100,000 wither that is the true figure I cannot say for sure. As for Lusitania followed by Aquitania where the slipway was extended with more T tower cranes and cost quoted where about £30,000. So, if one can find out what was the true costs for both shipyards it may well be we have a case of the true costs.
Then we must study which type of gantry is the most cost effective to build commercial ships. As at that time I do not see other shipyards following on the same practical as H&W have done with the Arrol gantry to build Olympic class ships.
 
Mike Spooner

Mike Spooner

Member
Steven thanks for the pictures which I have seen before. But where are the cost figures to build such elaborate gantry. Then I question the lay out where I see all the heavy materials is feed in at one end via three cranes on the same track with less lifting capacity of three tons as against five tons with a T tower cranes. As I see the T tower cranes have greater movability where the heavy materials are stack both sides along the ship hull.
Then the cost of the different systems. Which I have book on the John Brown shipyard history which does give figures of the two different systems where the costs are considerable cheaper in the way John Brown build their ship hulls for Lusitania follow on by Aquitania. Which actually Aquitania was longer and wider than Titanic. Unfortunately, I have let the book to a Scottish friend who is a qualified engineer came from Glasglow and is most interested and quite surprise to learn so mush was going in Scotland on the history into the industrial side to. Now I have the problem to get the book back!
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
On the day that the Titanic was launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, 31st May 1911, Lord William James Pirrie, the Chairman of Harland & Wolff, and his wife Lady Margaret Montgomery Carlisle Pirrie, celebrated their birthdays. Not long after the death of her husband on 19th June 1924, Viscountess Pirrie was appointed President of Harland & Wolff, a new position specifically requested for his wife by Lord Pirrie before his death. On many occasions Lord Pirrie made it publicly known that he had consulted his wife on numerous important decisions concerning the Belfast shipyard. There are many reported accounts of Lady Pirrie arriving at the yard around 6.00pm every day in a chauffeur driven Rolls Royce to help her husband finish off the day’s business which sometimes lasted until 9.00pm. Lady Pirrie was a daughter of Professor John Carlisle of Belfast University and a sister of the Chief Naval Architect at Harland & Wolff in 1899, Sir Alexander Carlisle. Indeed, it was Sir Alexander Carlisle who designed RMS Oceanic, the largest ship in the world when she was launched at the Harland & Wolff shipyard on 14th January 1899. It was Lady Pirrie who was charged with the responsibility of informing her husband of the sinking of Titanic. Lord Pirrie was extremely proud of the Titanic and was due to sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York until he fell ill and allowed his nephew, Thomas Andrews, Titanic’s designer, to take his place. Thomas went down with the great ship.

Did You Know That?
In 1910, Hugh Dickson of the Royal Nurseries in Belfast bred a new rose: apricot - yellow, copper highlights. Reverse - coppery reddish salmon; moderate fragrance; large, double (17-25 petals) bloom form; blooms in flushes throughout the season. He named his creation “The Lady Pirrie Rose.”
 
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Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
In the novel “Murder On The Titanic” by James Walker, the fictional character Morgan Fairchild is handed a locked briefcase and a first-class ticket onboard Titanic’s maiden voyage. Inside the briefcase is a top secret message which Fairchild has to deliver to the USA’s War Department following the stabbing and murder of his father on the street who gave him the briefcase as he lay dying in his son’s arms. The documents are supposed to stop a World War taking place but are stolen shortly after the ship sets sail for New York. The theft is organised by Donald Delaney, a first-class passenger, who engaged the services of two accomplices, a crew member (a Steward named Fitzgerald) and Howie O'Conner, a third-class passenger. Delaney, a member of the Irish Republican Army (IRA), plants a bomb onboard the ship to strike a blow for the independence of Ireland. However, the plot is discovered and the bomb is found in time and safely defused.

Did You Know That?
On 28th July 2005, the IRA called for all of its volunteers to disarm, effectively bringing to an end 36 bloody years of “The Troubles” in Northern Ireland.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
The Titanic was not the first ship to meet her doom after colliding with an iceberg. On 11th May 1833, the Scottish brig, the Lady of the Lake, bound from Belfast to Quebec struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic about 250 miles off Capt St. Francis, Newfoundland, resulting in the death of 197 of the 231 people onboard her. Indeed, the Titanic was not even the first vessel to meet her doom following a collision with an iceberg off Newfoundland’s Grand Banks. The following vessels were presumed lost to icebergs off Newfoundland’s Grand Banks:
March 1841 - The steamer President crossing between New York and Liverpool, lost with 120 aboard.
March 1854 - The City of Glasgow left Liverpool bound for Philadelphia with 480 aboard: it vanished.
February 1856 - The Pacific bound for New York from Liverpool, 185 aboard.
May 1870 - The City of Boston left Boston bound for Liverpool, lost with 191 aboard.
February 1892 – The White Star Line’s Naronic from Liverpool bound for New York.
February 1896 - The steamer State of Georgia, from Aberdeen for Boston.
February 1899 - The steamer Allegheny, from New York bound for Dover.
February 1902 - The steamer Huronian, from Liverpool bound for St. Johns.
All of these vessels were presumed lost claiming the lives of everyone aboard, and none of them were equipped with wireless communication. Between February and May the Grand Banks are most populated with icebergs, and prior to 1901 no ships were fitted with wireless communications.
Did You Know That?
In Arthurian legend it is claimed that “The Lady of the Lake” offered King Arthur his legendary sword, Excalibur.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
On 3rd August 1849, Cobh was renamed Queenstown to commemorate a visit by the reigning British Sovereign at the time, Queen Victoria, and retained the new name until Irish Independence was created in 1922. Cobh formed part of the Irish Free State in 1922. Although famous for being Titanic’s final part of call on her doomed maiden voyage, the White Star Line leviathan stopping off at Ireland on Thursday 11th April 1912 en route to New York, Cobh itself has another famous maritime connection. In 1838, Cobh was the departure point for the inaugural crossing of the Atlantic by a steamship under steam only (as opposed to sail & steam). On 7th July 1998, The Irish Titanic Historical Society and The Titanic Historical Society unveiled a plaque in Pearse Square, Cobh commemorating those people who lost their lives in the Titanic disaster which reads: "R.M.S. Titanic and her last port of call on her maiden and final voyage. April 11, 1912. In special memory of the Irish emigrants and all those who lost their lives in this great tragedy." Also inscribed on the memorial is: "Ah dheis dé go raibh an anmacha," which when translated from the Irish language means: "At God's right hand are the souls."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oFOvs_HGoHA
Did You Know That?
Memorials can also be found in Cobh to the Cunard Line’s RMS Lusitania. The Lusitania sank on Friday 7th May 1915 after being torpedoed by the German U-Boat, U20, eight miles off the Old Head of Kinsale Lighthouse. The Lusitania Peace Memorial can be found in Cobh while many who lost their lives following the sinking of the Lusitania were buried in the local cemetery.
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
In 1912, US law specifically stipulated that all ships arriving at a port in the United States of America were responsible for ensuring that all non-US citizens onboard were admissible to the country under US law. If someone was deemed to be an “illegal alien” then he/she would be prevented from entering the USA while the owners of the ship he/she travelled to the USA on were fined and forced to take the person back at the expense of the shipping line. Needless to say the latter could prove to be quite costly to companies such as the White Star Line and therefore many shipping lines required their passengers to complete immigration forms at the time they were booking their passage to America. These “alien” passenger manifests contained various pieces of information about the passenger including: name, age, sex, marital status, occupation, nationality, last permanent address, destination, names and addresses of friends or relatives at both the past permanent address and the intended destination address. These forms along with the passenger manifest were then certified by a US Consul prior to embarkation from the foreign port and delivered to US immigration authorities prior to disembarkation at the US port. Before the passengers were permitted to set foot on American soil, the forms and passenger manifest would be examined by US Immigration Inspectors before being handed over to clerks to compile entry statistics. Accountants at the US Immigration Service would then use the passenger manifest as a basis for calculating the monthly “head tax” bills it sent to the various shipping companies or for handing out fines for any breaches of US Immigration Law. And finally, the US Naturalisation Service would use the passenger manifest to verify legal admissions to the country for naturalisation purposes. However, when the Carpathia arrived at Pier 54 in New York at 9.25pm on 18th April 1912, the US Immigration Authorities were posed with a major problem because Titanic’s passenger manifest and immigration forms lay at the bottom of the Atlantic. However, when the Carpathia was making her way to New York a solicitor acting for the White Star Line wrote to Daniel J. Keefe, the Commissioner-General of Immigration in Washington DC, asking him to make special arrangements for the survivors of the Titanic and help ease their smooth passage into the USA. Indeed, shortly after the Carpathia had aboard Titanic’s 705 survivors, the Purser of the Carpathia attempted to compile a passenger list detailing Titanic’s survivors as he knew only to well just how strict US Immigration Laws were at the time. Thankfully, for Titanic’s survivors the US Immigration Service looked favourably on the White Star Line’s request and when the Carpathia off-loaded the survivors, the Immigration Service's New York Commissioner of Immigration, William Williams, and his team of Immigration Inspectors, were on-hand at Pier 54 to look after them. As Ellis Island was closed for the night, the normally strict entry rules to the USA were not adhered to on this occasion as Commissioner Williams was under specific written instructions from Mr Keefe to construe the USA’s Immigration Laws as liberally as possible.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YE1xZ6aAPmw
Did You Know That?
The Statue of Liberty situated on Liberty Island in New York Harbour and passed by Titanic survivors onboard the Carpathia, has a bronze plaque which is located on the second floor of its pedestal. It is inscribed with Emma Lazarus’s famous sonnet “The New Colossus,” and includes the famous lines: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free.”
 
Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
The ravages of the First World War (1914-18) resulted in increased orders for ships at Harland & Wolff shipyard, Belfast with the company prospering from the carnage that unfolded on the high seas. The Admiralty became the Belfast shipyard’s best customer during this period, commissioning vessels to replace the tonnage lost during the four years of conflict. Harland & Wolff shipyard had not made a warship in 30 years when Winston Churchill, Lord of the Admiralty, ordered a fleet of 10 from the Belfast shipyard at the outbreak of the First World War. However, these were no ordinary warships; they were in fact ten cargo vessels with Churchill asking the yard to make them look like battleships by adding turrets and guns. The order for this “dummy fleet” was subsequently increased to fourteen. A total of 2,000 men at the yard worked on the conversion of the cargo ships which took just 10 weeks to complete. But the Germans were not fooled by these “sheep in wolves’ clothing” which were used by the Royal Navy as bait to lure the U-Boats out of hiding. By the end of 1915, the remaining ships of the dummy fleet were sent back to Belfast to be reconverted back to cargo vessels.

Did You Know That?
Winston Churchill was forced to step down as First Lord of the Admiralty from the War Cabinet following the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli (from 25th April 1915 – 9th January 1916) which resulted in the loss of 250,000 men from the allied forces with a similar number of lives lost on the Turkish side. Following his departure from the War Cabinet, Churchill volunteered for active service and went off to fight on the Western Front.
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
The ravages of the First World War (1914-18) resulted in increased orders for ships at Harland & Wolff shipyard, Belfast with the company prospering from the carnage that unfolded on the high seas. The Admiralty became the Belfast shipyard’s best customer during this period, commissioning vessels to replace the tonnage lost during the four years of conflict. Harland & Wolff shipyard had not made a warship in 30 years when Winston Churchill, Lord of the Admiralty, ordered a fleet of 10 from the Belfast shipyard at the outbreak of the First World War. However, these were no ordinary warships; they were in fact ten cargo vessels with Churchill asking the yard to make them look like battleships by adding turrets and guns. The order for this “dummy fleet” was subsequently increased to fourteen. A total of 2,000 men at the yard worked on the conversion of the cargo ships which took just 10 weeks to complete. But the Germans were not fooled by these “sheep in wolves’ clothing” which were used by the Royal Navy as bait to lure the U-Boats out of hiding. By the end of 1915, the remaining ships of the dummy fleet were sent back to Belfast to be reconverted back to cargo vessels.

Did You Know That?
Winston Churchill was forced to step down as First Lord of the Admiralty from the War Cabinet following the disastrous Battle of Gallipoli (from 25th April 1915 – 9th January 1916) which resulted in the loss of 250,000 men from the allied forces with a similar number of lives lost on the Turkish side. Following his departure from the War Cabinet, Churchill volunteered for active service and went off to fight on the Western Front.
The Admiralty became the Belfast shipyard’s best customer during this period, commissioning vessels to replace the tonnage lost during the four years of conflict.

Compared to other yards, H&W didn't build many warships during WW1.

Their orders were for small warships such Monitors (fifteen) and R-Class destroyers (six), a seaplane tender, a couple of patrol boats and some tugs. The exception to this being the cruiser Glorious (later converted into an aircraft carrier).

Most of the RN's submarines, destroyers, light cruisers, heavy cruisers, battlecruisers, battleships and RFA support ships built during WWI were built on the Clyde, Tyneside, Teeside, Barrow-in Furness or Devonport.

It would be a different story during WWII (although they had recommenced building warships in the mid thirties) where H&W did construct a lot of warships.

Harland & Wolff shipyard had not made a warship in 30 years


To be pedantic, twenty seven years - two small Bramble class gun boats delivered in 1887. Although they had also built a steam yacht for the RN in 1904.
 
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Chalkie

Chalkie

Member
A Disproportionate Loss of Life

One of the biggest aspects of the Titanic disaster was the fact that third-class passengers perished in far greater percentages than their first and second-class counterparts. Parts of the post-sinking American and British Inquiries focused on this issue and whether locked gates prevented third-class passengers from leaving their areas of the ship. There was no evidence of locked gates heard, nor is there any evidence for them today, but that in itself does not explain the disproportionate loss of life in third-class. Instead, there were several factors that contributed to the tragedy of the early hours of that fateful morning of Monday 15th April 1912.

Firstly, the typical third-class passenger would never presume to cross into a second or first-class area unbidden. A closed barrier, even one that was waist high and unlocked, signified “you are not permitted in this area” and it would have been understood as such and obeyed. Secondly, there was no direct access to the Boat Deck from third-class areas. Unless they had courage, were resourceful and possessed a good sense of direction, not many third-class passengers were going to find the way on their own, on top of which they would have to go through areas where they did not belong as noted above. Thirdly, many, if not most third-class passengers, obediently expected that they would be told what to do, and waited for help that never came. A great number of Stewards simply abandoned them: although each Steward was responsible for a certain number of cabins, that didn’t necessarily extend to ensuring that all the passengers in those cabins were assisted to the lifeboats. Unlike today, an organised system of crew members stationed at various points in corridors, cabin checks etc did not exist in 1912. However, some stewards such as John Hart displayed a laudable sense of decency in shepherding as many passengers up to the Boat Deck in the little time they had, but these were the exception. And finally, the lifeboats were closest to Titanic’s first-class areas. Consequently, those passengers arrived at the lifeboats first and got in first. And considering how so many of Titanic’s lifeboats were launched only partially filled, there really should not be any surprise that most third-class passengers got left behind.

Did You Know That?
Third-class passengers, although paying the lowest fares, provided a significant amount of revenue for the steamship companies and effectively subsidised the cost of building and operating such immense ships.
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
A Disproportionate Loss of Life

One of the biggest aspects of the Titanic disaster was the fact that third-class passengers perished in far greater percentages than their first and second-class counterparts. Parts of the post-sinking American and British Inquiries focused on this issue and whether locked gates prevented third-class passengers from leaving their areas of the ship. There was no evidence of locked gates heard, nor is there any evidence for them today, but that in itself does not explain the disproportionate loss of life in third-class. Instead, there were several factors that contributed to the tragedy of the early hours of that fateful morning of Monday 15th April 1912.

Firstly, the typical third-class passenger would never presume to cross into a second or first-class area unbidden. A closed barrier, even one that was waist high and unlocked, signified “you are not permitted in this area” and it would have been understood as such and obeyed. Secondly, there was no direct access to the Boat Deck from third-class areas. Unless they had courage, were resourceful and possessed a good sense of direction, not many third-class passengers were going to find the way on their own, on top of which they would have to go through areas where they did not belong as noted above. Thirdly, many, if not most third-class passengers, obediently expected that they would be told what to do, and waited for help that never came. A great number of Stewards simply abandoned them: although each Steward was responsible for a certain number of cabins, that didn’t necessarily extend to ensuring that all the passengers in those cabins were assisted to the lifeboats. Unlike today, an organised system of crew members stationed at various points in corridors, cabin checks etc did not exist in 1912. However, some stewards such as John Hart displayed a laudable sense of decency in shepherding as many passengers up to the Boat Deck in the little time they had, but these were the exception. And finally, the lifeboats were closest to Titanic’s first-class areas. Consequently, those passengers arrived at the lifeboats first and got in first. And considering how so many of Titanic’s lifeboats were launched only partially filled, there really should not be any surprise that most third-class passengers got left behind.

Did You Know That?
Third-class passengers, although paying the lowest fares, provided a significant amount of revenue for the steamship companies and effectively subsidised the cost of building and operating such immense ships.
Not true. Evidence suggests otherwise.
 
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Chalkie

Chalkie

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Commander Smith or Commodore Smith?
Contrary to popular belief, Captain Smith of the Titanic never formally held the title of "Commodore of the White Star Line Fleet." Some reports claim that J. Bruce Ismay made his “Millionaires Captain,” Captain Smith, the company’s Commodore in 1904 when Smith was given command of the White Star Line’s new passenger liner, RMS Baltic, the largest ship in the world at the time. While there is no doubting the fact that Edward John Smith was the most senior Captain employed by the White Star Line at the turn of the 20th century, there is no evidence to suggest that he ever held the distinction of Commodore. Indeed, according to the memoirs written by Sir Bertram Hayes in 1925, the White Star Line had suspended the rank of “Commodore of the Fleet” as far back as 1882 after the resignation of Commodore Hamilton Perry. It is claimed that the White Star Line took this decision because Thomas Henry Ismay, the founder and Chairman of the company and the father of J. Bruce Ismay, was of the opinion that the position of Commodore gave the holder the impression that he could instruct the company directors how best to run the company. It is however more likely that people confused Smith’s rank of Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve with the White Star Line rank of Commodore, or perhaps some simply assumed that his position as senior captain of the fleet automatically accorded him that rank.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yaaglJNvgzE
Did You Know That?
The White Star Line re-introduced the rank of Commodore (and with it the flying of the Commodore’s flag) when SS Bismarck, which was launched in 1914, was given to the White Star Line and renamed RMS Majestic. Sir Bertram Hayes D.S.O., R.D., R.N.R., A.D.C. was made Commodore of the Majestic, the new flag ship of the White Star Line’s fleet and flew the Commodore flag for the first time on the occasion of Majestic’s maiden voyage on 10th May 1922.
 
Chad1234

Chad1234

Member
Captain Edward John Smith of the Titanic captained SS Adriatic from December 1890 - February 1891 and had a second spell in charge of this famous White Star Line passenger liner in June 1893. The Adriatic was built by the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast (Yard No. 77) and was launched in Belfast on 17th October 1871. The Adriatic held the coveted Blue Riband for the quickest Westbound Atlantic crossing from 1872-75. Although no misfortune ever befell the Adriatic or her crew under Captain Smith many sailors deemed her to be a jinxed ship. In October 1874, she collided with the Cunard Line’s Parthia; in March 1875, she rammed the Columbus in New York harbor causing the sinking of the American ship; in December 1875, the Adriatic ran down and sank the Harvest Queen resulting in the death of everyone onboard the sailing ship; on 19th July 1878, the Adriatic collided with the G. A. Pike resulting in the death of five crew members onboard the Pike.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uA7a-oHqDs4
Did You Know That?
The Adriatic (1871) was the first of two White Star Line vessels using this name. RMS Adriatic was also built by Harland & Wolff (Yard No. 358) and was launched on 20th September 1906. When she made her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York on 8th May 1907, the White Star Line gave the command of her to their “Millionaire’s Captain,” Captain Edward John Smith.
One minor mistake. Adriatic actually sailed from Liverpool on her maiden voyage. Her return trip was to Southampton. On June 5, Adriatic made the first White Star departure from Southampton.
 
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