What happened to all the Titanic design resources?


CollinSearls

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Aug 20, 2018
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Throughout working on my 3D model, it feels like it's been a bit of a struggle to find more than some general documentation on the design of the ship. Every once in a while, I see a post from a few years ago saying something along the lines of "I got most of my info from -link-!" or "For more info on this topic, check out -link-!" and it seems more often than not that link leads to a dead/broken page. Are there just not as many resources for Titanic design knowledge anymore?
 

A. Gabriel

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Jun 13, 2018
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I think it has to do with the loss of the ‘old guard’, so to speak. The veterans of Titanica, the past generation of rivet counters, seems either to be dying out or otherwise sailing into fairer seas than the waters you encounter in the Titanic community. Two examples I can think of right off the bat include Roy Mengot (R.I.P.) and Bob Read (who has ceased operations for those incredibly useful Titanic CAD plans).

Titanic it seems does not give up her secrets easily, and there are so many different plans and resources I’m looking for myself that are proving irritatingly out of reach. Oh to have a source of income already...
 
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Mike Spooner

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Hi Collin,
Have you tried the Ulster Folk and Transport Museum Belfast.
It's thanks for Tom McCluskie whom work for H&W was to save the Titanic drawings from the skip! and had them transported to the museum.
 

A. Gabriel

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Are UFTM / NMNI the ones who currently have Titanic's original construction plans (the Harland & Wolff 'iron plans') in their archives? Those are essentially the holy grail of Titanica (second to the General Arrangement plans, whose originals I've heard were lost in the Blitz) and something I desperately long to acquire as soon as I have the money to spend for it. I was born in the wrong generation to become a Titanic-head, confound it!
 
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Where were they located when they were lost in the blitz? I've read and saw in a recent Titanic Channel docu where a lot of plans, records, ect. were lost by simply being tossed when White Star merged with Cunard. I don't know if that would have affected Harland & Wolff keeping their records. I would think not but don't know for sure.
 
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Doug Criner

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Somebody that would know more about the disposition of Harland and Wolf's original Titanic design documents is Tom McCluskie, MBE. ("MBE" means Member of the British Empire, or at least what's left of the British Empire :( - an honorary title awarded by the Queen.) Tom is a former employee of H&W and has written several books related to Titanic. He used to be a regular poster on this forum, but he seems to have gone inactive. You can Google him and find a list of his books that are available on Amazon, etc. He lives in Belfast and is on LinkedIn - where you might find his current contact information. Hope this helps.
 
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Doug Criner

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This thread prompted me to reread portions of Tom McCluskie's book, The Rise and Fall of Harland and Wolff. He wrote that H&W maintained secrecy in responding to any requests for information about Titanic, particularly after the publication of Walter Lord's book, The Night Lives On, which heightened public curiosity about Titanic. From p. 17 of McCluskie's book: "Any requests for information or plans of the ship were rebuffed with the simple explanation that all documentation had been destroyed in the bombings of Belfast during the Second World War. In reality, this was a bare-faced lie."
 
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I tried to find an answer but all I could come up with is that Belfast was hit by four major attacks from the Luftwaffe. Queens Island and the Harland&Wolff shipyards were hit hard from what I found. But nothing definitive about Titanic/Olympic/Britannic records being lost. Belfast did get hit pretty hard as the link below shows in pictures if anyone is interested.
Second World War in Northern Ireland
 
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A. Gabriel

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It seems I’ll have to gun for a three-pronged approach. With the TRMA site now very very dead, the Hahn plans (based off of the H&W iron plans) probably not available as of present, and Dr Read’s Titanic CAD plans definitely no longer available, there are three avenues left to consider when it comes to Titanic design resources.

1) Any information regarding the H&W plans, straight from their current custodians — NMNI / UFTM.
2) The NARA copies of Titanic’s plans, used during the American inquiry.
3) Secondhand information from fellow board members who are in possession of copies of H&W plans.
 
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Tbates

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Hi I contacted NMNI regarding what drawings they have, the only have general arrangement and some hull drawings. Sadly they dont have any piping, machinery or electrical plans. I am attaching the plan list they sent me.
 

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Tbates

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I wish you luck, let me know how you made out. I just wish they had the drawings for the engines, piping and electrical systems :)
 

A. Gabriel

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Alas, for I am in the Philippines and also do not have payment options for purchasing the requisite digital copies of the H&W drawings. Perhaps in another few years however...
 
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Cam Houseman

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Alas, for I am in the Philippines and also do not have payment options for purchasing the requisite digital copies of the H&W drawings. Perhaps in another few years however...
I'd be interested in finding drawings and diagrams for the Engines and Turbine Engine. I've been sent to some sites, but none had 3D sketches and diagrams. I wonder what happened to these?
 

Cam Houseman

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Hello There!
Very much so! For example, the 1933 deckplans, everything is extremely readable at maximum zoom, you can even see the texture of the plans themselves.


Mr. Weir, the man I emailed, said they are $15.00 per plan +VAT (not sure what that means)

And welcome aboard the message board, you'll love it here. Best of Luck!
Hi I contacted NMNI regarding what drawings they have, the only have general arrangement and some hull drawings. Sadly they dont have any piping, machinery or electrical plans. I am attaching the plan list they sent me.
He also sent me the spreadsheet which I opened with excel. They do have multiple machinery plans, such as the Turbine Seating as it was on Olympic and Titanic.
 
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Dec 27, 2017
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Hello There!
Very much so! For example, the 1933 deckplans, everything is extremely readable at maximum zoom, you can even see the texture of the plans themselves.


Mr. Weir, the man I emailed, said they are $15.00 per plan +VAT (not sure what that means)
Hello Cam,

In the United Kingdom, VAT stands for Value Added Tax (a strange concept in some cases) which is currently 20%.
 
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