Weird Titanic thoughts


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Jul 11, 2001
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So I was looking at the deck plans last night and noticed something odd.

If you were a First Class lady on board and enjoying a spot of Tea in the Palm court on A-deck when you realized that you needed to visit the Ladies Lavatory, you had a long walk to get to one!

A Gentleman could just duck into the Smoking room and use the Lav there. But a lady would have to make her way forward up the only ladies lav up past the elevators!

Things look far worse for some of the Steerage passengers who don't even have lavs on the same deck as their cabins!
 
Oct 28, 2000
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David -- You are right, it was a long way to go "to go," but at least the path was indoors. Remember, this was 1912.

-- David G. Brown
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>Remember, this was 1912.<<

And the point that David is making is that some of the standards for health, sanitation, habitability, and the expectations for same were very different from what they are today. The Titanic didn't have a lot of en suite bathrooms and most all of those were in 1st class. Even then, not all of the 1st class cabins had them. If you had to "send your fax to Congress or Parliment" you had to go to a public restroom to do so. Same thing with 2cnd and 3rd class. It's worth noting that on this latest and greatest technological marvel, chamberpots were still in use. Several have been found in the debris field.

This sort of thing would be unacceptable today, not only by passengers but by the law as well. In 1912 however, nobody gave it a lot of thought.
 

Dave Gittins

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The number of W/C's on an emigrant ship was laid down by the Board of Trade. There had to be four W/Cs for every hundred passengers up to 300, and two for each additional hundred beyond 300. It was left to the owner to divide the W/Cs between male and female as seemed right for the voyage.

The W/Cs had to be placed on passenger decks other than the lowest. The rules provided for them to be removable.

No wonder the passengers had to do some hiking!
 
Jul 11, 2001
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True. I can see how they didn't need to be as convenient in steerage, but in First class I'd think they'd at least be near the public rooms.

On a ship as large as the Titanic, you'd need to ring for a Steward to escort you to the nearest Lav in some cases! I'm sure the passengers dining in the main saloon on D-deck had no idea where the closest Lav was. They probably just ended up walking back to the one nearest their cabin. And if you were staying in a room forward on A-deck, it's a good thing there were three lifts to help get you there quicker!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I'm sure the passengers dining in the main saloon on D-deck had no idea where the closest Lav was. <<

If they didn't know, it wasn't as if they weren't offered the information. The passengers in 1st class at least were offered deck plans of the entire first class accomadation which detailed everything down to the location of the tables and chairs. The restrooms were clearly identified.

I wouldn't be all that surprised if passengers in the 2cnd and 3rd cabin were offered similar diagrams. Unfortunately, if any such existed, no copies have survived.
 
Jul 11, 2001
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I can't really picture John Jacob Astor or Molly Brown carrying around a set of deck plans. Must have been far easier to just ask the nearest Steward or lift operator where the nearest Lav was.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I can't really picture John Jacob Astor or Molly Brown carrying around a set of deck plans.<<

They probably didn't. More likely as not, once they were aboard, they took the time to look around and get the lay of the land. For anything else, asking that handy steward would have served as well.

It may not matter in the grand scheme of things, but one way or another, the information was available.
 
May 3, 2005
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Questions I came up with while looking at Deck Plans. ;-)

1.A-Deck - In "Titanic (1953)" (Which I will admit has its share of inaccuracies.) Astor's are shown coming out of a cabin opposite the Sturges'
cabin (A-54). Obviously in error as this would have been an inside cabin. Deck Plans show cabins on either side of the corridors only as high as C-Deck. A- and B-Deck cabins only on outboard side of the corridors.

2.E-Deck - This seems to be the only deck in the set of plans which shows individual cabin numbers.

3.G-Deck - In "Titanic (1997)" Jack and Fabrizio are shown looking for cabin "G-60". Would there have actually been such a cabin number and would ithave even had an outside porthole ?

4.Orlop Deck - A compartment is labeled "Cargo and Motor Cars". Would this have been the likely location of the Carter Renault ?
 
May 3, 2005
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>>I can't really picture John Jacob Astor or Molly Brown carrying around a set of deck plans.<<

When I visited RMS Queen Mary in port in New York in 1965 (when it was still sailing)...I carried around a set of deck plans.

We have stayed at Hotel Queen Mary at Long Beach in recent years and ....I still carried around a set of deck plans....On the last visit we stayed in A-129 which, to the best of my ability, I determined was former cabin A-85.

;-)
 
May 3, 2005
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>>I can't really picture John Jacob Astor or Molly Brown carrying around a set of deck plans.<<

PS- I also visited SS France the same year I visited RMS Queen Mary....also carried around a set of deck plans.

Bon Voyage ! ;-)
 
Oct 19, 2007
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But what's interesting here is that the men's washroom was close by while the lady's washroom was considered to be unnecessary in the vicinity. Could this possible have something to do with some kind of Edwardian idea that woman are somehow more (civilized? or dainty? or spiritual? or reserved?) that they would need the services of a washroom less often than the guys drinking and smoking in the smoking room? When today (at least here in the U.S.) women's rest rooms are always crowded while men's rest rooms are often not.
Andrea
 
May 27, 2007
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As a man I say that is not so if there is beer involved. Its just that men are faster getting in and out and out of the restroom. Women are more inclined to loiter and take their time while men get in do their business and wash their hands (I hope) and are on their way. But it can be just as crowded in the boys bathroom.
 

Bob Godfrey

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I don't find it at all surprising that the Smoke Room was provided with toilets while the Palm Court was not. Walk down any English village street and you'll find a pub, with toilets for sure. And maybe a tearoom, probably without. Patrons generally don't linger for hours at a time in a tearoom, but in pubs they do, and under the continuous diuretic influence of alcohol. In the Titanic 'village' the Palm Court was a tearoom, while the Smoke Room was the equivalent of a saloon bar in a pub where male patrons, especially the gamblers, often 'settled in for the night'.
 
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May 27, 2007
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Make perfect sense Bob. We might not have Pubs in Yankeeland but we have Bars and Saloons. Actually we probably even had Pubs that were called pubs. We aren't know as the melting pot for nothing.
 

Aly Jones

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How about this thought,in 1912 maybe women were not aloud to drink alchol at all,after all the pubs that serve achol were for men only back in 1912 era.So when Titanic was built ,there was no need to put ladies lavatory toilets close bye to the source of drink.I'm assuming you guys are talking about beer and alchol.
 

Bob Godfrey

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I don't know of any time in the UK that women were legally barred from frequenting pubs or consuming alcohol, though many women were (and still are) reluctant to go into a pub unaccompanied and in some establishments a woman alone was not welcome as her motives would be suspect.
 
Jun 11, 2000
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Well, that's the last time I wait alone in a pub for you, Bob Godfrey! The very idea ... but on the other hand, I quite like the idea of female suspect motives...
 

Bob Godfrey

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Now then, Mon, you know very well that the reason I always turn up late is to honour the old tradition that first one in buys the round. If you want to get there later than me try using the bus as I do, rather than your usual cab or limo. :)
 
Dec 29, 2006
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There were certainly no legal reasons why females should not have gone into a public house in 1912, but it is a well-known fact that, in those parts of Scotland which had adopted a strict brand of Protestantism, women would often be asked to leave the premises. This situation pertained until recent years in the Scottish "Bible belt".
 
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