I posted this on the ET list about a week and a half ago, and I hope it's some help.
"(Someone) asked whether any photos exist of the first-class Enquiry Office on "C" Deck. The answer is yes. There is only one that I've seen of it, though, and that is in Ken Marschall's collection. It was taken in the 1920's looking almost directly at the Enquiry Office Window.
The architrave from the office was sold at the Olympic auction in 1991. It was decorated in the same style as the staircase (acanthus leaves and berries) and looked nothing like the one in second class.
A little information about the Purser's Office. The office was actually a suite and there you could purchase tickets for the Turkish Baths, deck chairs, swimming pool, and electic baths. Also, one could fill out a form here to send a marconigram to someone on shore or on passing ships. After this was completed, the form would be sent to the Marconi Room via pneumatic tube system. They also provided tags for baggage that a passenger didn't want, which would then be transported to the cargo area.
The Second Class Purser's Office was located on E-deck opposite the Aft Staircase.
Mr Reginald L. Barker, was the Second Class Purser
King, Mr Ernest Waldron was the Purser's Clerk. First of all, many people believe the Purser's Office went down full of gold and jewels. This is false. At 12:05 am, most of the First Class Passengers headed to the Purser's Office to take out all the treasures they had stored there, these things then most likely leaving the ship with them. Dr. Washington Dodge said,"[The]Purser's office [was]surrounded by a crowd demanding their valuables which the purser and his assistant endeavoring to hand out as quickly as possible." Chief Purser Herbert McElroy then closed the Purser's Office and advised all the women not to worry about their valuables, but to put on their lifebelts and report to the lifeboats. Before the purser left his station, he most likely locked the safe, so no looters would take anything. When the Purser's safe was recovered in 1987, it was empty. Some say this was the second class safe. It is said that the Rubayiat of Omar Khayyam was stored in the first class safe but after the collision was transported into a bag to be taken off in a lifeboat, but when no space was found, was returned to the safe.
Shane N. Worthy
All Ahead Full!
The purser did not allow anyone to get there jewels from the safe in first class. There for when the purser found out that there was no room in the lifeboats for the bags he returned all of the jewel bags to the safe and the safe went down full with the Titanic.
Actually, Joshua, at least one purser safe was found on the ocean floor--and it was empty. I wouldn't go getting absolute on that. If you're referring to any safe in particular, please specify and provide a complete list of sources to substantiate your claim.
Also, please remember that quite a bit of commonly accepted Titanic information has been affirmed as myth and has no basis in reality. Many of those myths have been long since debunked. Make sure that what you speak/write is certified as fact. If your assertions are based on your opinion or belief, please clarify so.
By the way, most of the individuals here are far older than you are (myself, Shane, and Inger included) and have been studying Titanic for a long time. They know their stuff and require no correction, especially by way of vague or general assertions made without support. Please keep that in mind. It may serve more beneficial to you to read what has been posted and become familiar with the vast storehouse of knowledge available to you. You may find the information you need to answer your questions.
Well dah!!! Sheil if you would read the book A Night To Remember to would read a part in which it talks about how the purser turned down all request to retrieve items from the safe. The purser even brags on the Countess of Roths for not asking for her jewels and for being more concerned about her life jacket.
Thank you Mr. Hopkins for playing the part of my old english teacher and for telling me all that I did wrong. The safe that was found was from the third class. The first class safes have never been raised yet. My sources are from five different books I think you should read them. They are Titanic An Illustrated History,The Discovery of the Titanic,Titanic The Great Lakes Connections, and a Titanic Woman and Children First, A Night To Remember. Those are my sources. I know what I have read is true and you and the other people you listed are not the only poeple who have studied this for a long time I have studied this since I was eight years old. I know what is myth and what is not. You should not assume so. I know my stuff and do not need to be corrected like a little kid. I also did not make any assertions you exaggerate on people you have not met before. Most of what I have read that you have posted is nothing new. You yourself have made claims with out any source that can be proven only by what you have heard. Be sure to clean you nose it's become rather snootie.
Thank you Mr. Hopkins for playing the part of my old english teacher..
Although you are perfectly free to disagree with people, no matter what their degree of expertise, further responses like these will at least temporarily render you unable to do so, because you'll be suspended. Stick with facts and sources, not sarcastic insults.
To move on after that...
No first class safes have been recovered as of today, October 26, 2004. A few safes (I am not aware of the number, if you know, by all means help us out)have been recovered and have been announced as second and third class safes. Nothing was found in them, though many treasures have been found elsewhere in the debris field. This is what I think was the most logical explantaion for where these luxurious items are: a)They were taken by the owners back to their rooms, onto lifeboats, or down with the bodies b)were recovered or c)Sank in the safe, which may have broken open on its acsent down.
A,B, and C are my opinions...
All Ahead Full!
Shane N. Worthy
>>The safe that was found was from the third class. The first class safes have never been raised yet.<<
For one thing, as Paul said, the safe in reference was from second class. In addition, I am aware that not all the safes were retrieved, Mr. Tift. I was suggesting by what you had previously said that one shouldn't claim that all safes were left full to go down with the ship, because that isn't true. Even Mr. Worthy clarified that point. I was merely pointing that out to you. No all first-class valuables were retrieved from the safes, true, but some of them were. This is documented in many sources, primary and secondary, including the Inquiry testimonies.
>>My sources are from five different books I think you should read them. They are Titanic An Illustrated History,The Discovery of the Titanic,Titanic The Great Lakes Connections, and a Titanic Woman and Children First, A Night To Remember. Those are my sources.<<
Yes, I am familiar with these books, as I have read them. Most of them are in my own collection, and there are several others I don't have which I have also read. I have read approximately 40 books on Titanic, give or take a few, and also have a number of documentaries in my visual collection. However, I have found it prudent to remember that not all the information presented in these sources is necessarily true or up-to-date. There are many ways to collect data, some more significant than others. Inger, for example, has obtained much of her information from the family and friends of officers (her specialty). She has made countless phone calls and has been in email contact with relatives for some time. Furthermore, there are many other resources which you find useful, such as the International Maritime archives. The best place to start, though, is by looking into the primary sources, as most true accounts and factual information can be found, and verified, there. These primaries include: both Inquiry transcripts, ship manifests, Marconigrams, booking records, blueprints, the wreck site itself, just for starters. We may consider personal letters among primary sources, too. Most books--secondary accounts--are written through the perspective of the particular authors, so fact with be blended in with guesswork, unproven theories, beliefs, and opinion. Although these sources provide a vast and colorful foundation for the Titanic story, it's important to consider reading the primaries first.
>>You should not assume so.<<
I wasn't assuming; I was merely reminding you to remember that not all information presented in books is based on fact and therefore shouldn't be taken as such. It's important for everyone to remember this. Just friendly and helpful advice from one Titanic researcher to another.
>>I know my stuff and do not need to be corrected like a little kid.<<
It was not my intention to refer to you as a kid, Joshua. None of us know <i.everything[/i] about the Titanic, which is one reason that we're all here. Correcting another is not a response necessarily considered to be condescending, just helpful. Again, I was reminding you that there are plenty of individuals who have been doing research on Titanic for longer period of time than you have and therefore have a greater degree knowledge and awareness regarding certain aspects of Titanic. It is fine to disagree--you have that right--but it would also be prudent to utilize such resources to your benefit.
>>I also did not make any assertions you exaggerate on people you have not met before.<<
I wasn't really exaggerating. Although you had mentioned the first-class, your text sounded as if to assert the absolutist stance that all contents went down in the safe:
"...he returned all of the jewel bags to the safe and the safe went down full with the Titanic."
This, we know, is not true. It may have been your intention to affirm something other than this. If so, may I ask that you present it clearly and thoroughly supported. Mr. Worthy is correct in his affirmation that many first-class valuables had been retrieved by their owners, so not all first-class valuables went down in the safe.
>>Most of what I have read that you have posted is nothing new.<<
I know that, nor was it intended to be, but it was relevant to the discussion and to my point, so I threw it in.
>>You yourself have made claims with out any source that can be proven only by what you have heard.<<
How do you know this? The claim I made about the empty safe is well-documented, so it has been proven. You do not know what I have read or to which sources I have been privy, so there's no way that you could know where I found it. However, this information is in various secondary books, so it is likely that you have read some of the same sources that I have.
>>Be sure to clean you nose it's become rather snootie.<<
This is unnecessary, Joshua, as it was not my intention to be condescending toward you, although I can see how you may think that. Again, I was merely offering you some friendly and helpful advice, not only toward finding and interpreting data on the Titanic, but also how to interact on the forum. It's important for everyone to know how to conduct themselves accordingly when working both with Titanic resources and within forums - especially forums on which many Titanic authorities, including the authors of the books you have read, tend to congregate and interact and share themselves.
Again, Joshua, there is no need to get defensive or insulting, as such assertions tend to be presumptuous on your part. Please remember that everyone is here to share and that some, like Inger, who is a moderator here, have a greater knowledge than you do. She has thoroughly read ANTR, and then some. It's not only important to share, but also to respect.
>>Troll Alert big time<<
Perhaps he is just a young man who felt like he was being attacked and then responded in a defending manner. That in itself does not necessarily require reprimanding, just clarification.
Thanks Randy. Oh, by the way: Congratulations on your Dorothy Gibson find. It seems exciting. Does the movie run well?
>>Although you are perfectly free to disagree with people, no matter what their degree of expertise...Stick with facts and sources, not sarcastic insults.<<
I agree, Mark, and thank you. It's always important to share thoughts and beliefs, as long as those notions aren't asserted as fact without support. With sharing information comes responsibility. That is a consideration that we all must remember.
>>This is what I think was the most logical explantaion for where these luxurious items are: a)They were taken by the owners back to their rooms, onto lifeboats, or down with the bodies b)were recovered or c)Sank in the safe, which may have broken open on its acsent down. A,B, and C are my opinions...<<
One question that I have is: Has anyone attempted to access the purser's office on C-Deck? It would seem that since that part of the ship is still intact, the safes should be there. Considering that the office lies along the starboard hull just off the grand staircase, the office should be easy to access, although I remember reading that C-Deck in general is a bit compressed. One would figure that office to have been one of the first places explored and its contents retrieved.
Please drop the subject. I am very tired of it. I am tired of getting emails of people talking about what I have wrote and people talking like I am not even able to read what other people have wrote about me. If I am a Troll than so be it. This is the U.S. and I will speak my mind.
We will speak our minds as well, Mr. Tift. By whose appointment are you the "best and youngest TITANIC historians in the state of Missouri?" And what led you to annoint yourself "The Tsar?" The world-renown historians responding to your posts, whom you have arrogantly insulted, have shown you more grace than you have shown them, and frankly we're tired of it, too. How dare you insinuate yourself here in such manner? What books have you written on the subject that have withstood historic or scientific scrutiny? What documentaries have you filmed or participated in? What explorations have you taken to the Titanic? What libraries and state offices have you trekked to in search of documents pertaining to passengers or crew? What scientific experiments have you performed? What analysis of primary information have you done? In other words, who the hell are you to question people who have been researching Titanic much longer and certainly more professionally than yourself? You think you're the only one here who has studied Titanic since early childhood? Get a clue, college boy! Instead of attacking us, you should have tried getting to know us first and humbling yourself to see if there might be something new you could learn, instead of trying to shove your opinions down our throats.
To the rest of my colleagues, I apologize for my outburst, but I just cannot tolerate seeing this site abused.
And at this point, a suggestion: Mr Tift has already had a warning in this thread and there's no need to descend to his level. (See Mark Baber's post above.)
Mr Tift, should you not wish to receive email notifications of replies, you can de-select this option in your membership profile. If you can't work out how to do it, contact a moderator for assistance.
More importantly, as Mark Baber has already commented, you can choose to disagree with other members of this board, but you will do it civilly. This is an international board and we all agreed to abide by the board's guidelines as a condition of posting here. If you choose not to abide by the guidelines, the board's admin team also have the choice of suspending your membership.
Joshua, I'm quite familiar with Walter Lord's work. I was actually seeking primary sources for your characterisation of how the pursers handled the contents of the safes (i.e. that they turned down all requests for the items they held, that they loaded the items into bags, and then that they later returned these bags to the safes), not whether or not the Countess of Rothes asked for her jewels (and that is 'Rothes', by the way - not 'Roths'). As per discussion earlier in this thread, there are indications that at least some people were able to retrieve some items. I'm also curious as to your source for the pursers loading the items back into the safes. I'm not saying that it didn't happen - I'm just interested in what cites you have for this information.
Perhaps you should take a bit of a deep breath, calm down, and start again. There's no point in adopting an adversarial attitude when you join a discussion board - you gain nothing from rude and abusive responses, and you loose the respect of the participants. As for 'speaking your mind', you may want to review the rules for the board, and the instructions on civil discourse. This is a site owned and run by an Englishman, and is frequented by users from all over the world - speaking your mind is one thing (we all do that), but speaking it rudely, abrasively and even abusively is not permitted.
We're all here to discuss and learn, and we'd very much like you to join us - but as this is an open discussion board, you can expect to have folks ask you for clarification, sources, challenge your interpretation, debate your viewpoint etc etc. It's part of the discussion process through which we all learn and further our understanding of the events we're examining.