- About The Writing Of These Books -

Part 1


  Titanic - The Ship Magnificent has its origins in 2000, shortly after the Hall - Beveridge Conspiracy book was published. At that time, the two authors discussed writing a comprehensive photographic book (title: Titanic Photographic Compendium) with some of the original text that was cut from the final proof of the Conspiracy book. But due to personal commitments and lack of time, the project was shelved.
 
Then early in 2001, Bruce Beveridge was to be part of a research team headed by Steve Rigby of the British Titanic Society. Sponsored in part by a trust, a dive to Titanic was to generate information to be held within an archive that would be fully available to the general public to draw on with no restrictions, much like a research library. Beveridge wrote a detailed research proposition paper that outlined specific areas of the ship to be inspected and filmed. To provide a map of Titanic for use on the dive, he started creating the General Arrangement plan that is currently offered to the public through the Titanic Historical Society. Issues with the trust organizer and the subsequent events of September 11 summarily sunk the dive which would have taken place in 2002, and the Gen. Arrangement plan was also shelved for the time being.

  In late 2001 and early 2002, Beveridge decided to create a master collection of notes of Titanic’s specifications and fittings in order that a quick reference could be available to draw on when answering questions from the public and giving presentations. This project included taking all of the period information that was obtainable from publications such as The Engineer, Engineering, The Shipbuilder etc., and merging the information within them into a master data base. Bruce: “During the writing of these notes, I realized that I was

I was learning Titanic from a different angle - literally from the bottom up. My research had turned away from the mere exterior appearance of the ship and now dug into the intricacies of the engineering, the equipment and interior fittings.” Beveridge pulled the General Arrangement plan out of mothballs and started on it again, but this time in more detail then originally intended. “The GA plan was created as a learning tool, and an aid to better understand the ‘what’s and why’s’ of Titanic’s interior layouts and construction. The notes helped with creating the plan, while at the same time creating the plan helped with the detailed specification notes.”

  It quickly became apparent, however, that the information being collected would be beneficial to the general public and Titanic (and maritime) historians, and could be assembled into a book format. Contacting Olympic Class and White Star Line photographic specialist

Steve Hall, Beveridge outlined the potential of such a project to them. Bruce: “Steve then came up with the idea of taking the old Titanic Photographic Compendium out of mothballs, and merging the two book ideas together into one huge volume which included both the photographs and the technical data. It was agreed that this project would be done for the benefit of Titanic research and for researchers in generations to come. Never has, or will, a book of this magnitude be written on her again, and it needed to be done before the available information disappeared into oblivion. The original proposed title for the new book was Titanic Revealed". Another suggestion by Beveridge, with reference to Harland & Wolff Shipbuilder Thomas Andrews, was Mr. Andrew’s Guide to the Titanic and also, The Rivetcounters Guide to Titanic". This was influenced by Star Trek’s Mr. Scott’s Guide to the Enterprise, Beveridge being a dedicated Star Trek fan as well. Ultimately, Beveridge decided on using the catch phrase from a post-war Olympic advertisement, “The Ship Magnificent.” From that time on, this became the books official name.

Original Cover /  2nd Title - Titanic Revealed
Proposed Second Book Cover
Titanic The Ship Magnificent

  For much of the leg work, Beveridge utilized a personal friend who was a research librarian “He was very aggressive, and was able to secure most anything I asked for, including original copies of period advertisement catalogs and books.” The archives from many manufacturers involved with Titanic’s construction were tapped through china and cutlery collectors, antique radio experts, sanitaryware historians, an expert in Victorian steam and Turkish Baths, and so on. Also consulted were the trustees of the Titanic Research and Modeling Association, among them the late electrical engineer Larry Jibson, ocean liner historian Ray Lepien, structural engineer Roy Mengot, Jonathan Smith with his close ties to the history of some of Titanic’s suppliers and manufacturers in the U.K, and Scott Andrews for his knowledge of construction and propelling machinery. Bruce: “Given the technical level that the book would reach, Scott was indispensable. Instead of just asking him to proofread the material, I decided to ask him to actually write those chapters pertaining to the subject matter in his areas of expertise.” For the TTSM project, Andrews drew from his library of over 60 period books on marine engineering and naval architecture, as well as period engineering journals and dozens of H&W drawings and plans. Bruce: “This book could never have been written without Scott. The man’s knowledge of the auxiliary equipment, boilers and machinery is amazing - he knows how they were built and operated right down to the last nut and bolt.”

  As the TTSM project progressed, Beveridge and Hall kept an eye out for those people on the various Titanic discussion forums who were the shining lights in their areas of study and who had been unconditionally forthcoming with their research. They reached out to these individuals and asked if they would be willing to contribute to the project, which at the time was not yet made known to the general Titanic community. With Scott Andrews already part of the TTSM team, the authors next contacted Daniel Klistorner, who was the best interior researcher they had seen. Steve: "With his vast collection of Olympic and Titanic images, which includes over 250 (Olympic class) interior photos and the knowledge of what is shown in them, Daniel was the logical addition to our team as the TTSM’s interior specialist". Klistorner is widely recognized within the Titanic community as having an encyclopedic knowledge of Olympic and Titanic’s interior layouts, not only as to the various rooms and their period designs and arrangements, but also for their furnishings (and, for Olympic, across the various periods in her history.) His collection also includes period journals, maritime publications and other WSL ship accommodation plans and images.

Volume 1 Volume 2

  With the book taking shape, it was now expanding to 30-plus chapters, many of which had yet to be finalized. With the primary authors fully involved in their own research and writing, it was decided to bring on someone as an editor to oversee the text as a whole. For this job, Art Braunschweiger joined the team. Bruce: “Art actually volunteered for the job. I asked him to look into some technical details for part of a chapter, and when he came back with the answers he also suggested some changes to the way it was written and offered to take on the job of reviewing all the text. And who better to edit a technical book on Titanic but a Titanic enthusiast who’s a very persistent and detail-orientated researcher in his own right? In fact, Art actually wrote a good portion of the chapter on navigational equipment and several others, and took care of researching period information in several areas where I lacked the time needed.” [End Part 1 ]


Titanic The Ship Magnificent Copyright 2008 Beveridge, Andrews, Hall, Klistorner and Braunschweiger