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Updated: Nov. 24th, 2007

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Enquiry Office on Olympic. Daniel Klistorner collection.

Olympic’s Regency (formerly spelled “Regence”) sitting room on C Deck as photographed in the early 1920s; C 55 on Titanic would have been virtually the same.
Daniel Klistorner collection

Olympic’s forward Well Deck and Forecastle Deck. Library of Congress / Author’s collection.

This image of Olympic’s forward Well Deck and Forecastle Deck was taken shortly after her arrival at New York on her maiden voyage in 1911.
Library of Congress / Author’s collection

Olympic’s 3rd Class companionway on C Deck aft. Daniel Klistorner collection.

Olympic’s 3rd Class companionway on C Deck aft. The stairs led down to the 3rd Class accommodations below. Daniel Klistorner collection

1st Class Entrance Foyer. Illustration by Bruce Beveridge.

   Area beneath Forecastle Deck - The C Deck space at the very forward end of the ship was a large compartment termed the “windlass space,” with the deck sheathed in teak. At the prow was the 700-lb cast-steel hawsepipe fitted into the stem. Located approximately 23 feet abaft the stem was the pillar supporting the center anchor crane, and aft of that, the large warping windlass that held the 175-fathom GSWR hawser. When this hawser was used for towing, mooring or anchoring it would be belayed to a bitt secured to the deck just forward and to port of the reel. In the center of the compartment were the two steam engines and gear for driving the anchor windlasses, the center warping windlass and the foremost pair of warping capstans . . . (continued)

Image above, 1st Class Entrance Foyer.
Illustration by Bruce Beveridge

   1st Class accommodations forward - On the outboard sides of the main corridors were 30 three-berth staterooms, 15 on each side. These were arranged in groups of three, with each group consisting of two adjoining the side of the ship and one inboard. The inboard rooms were arranged on the Bibby, or “tandem,” principle wherein a narrow corridor within each room communicated with a sidelight in the hull of the ship. The corridor of each “tandem” stateroom ran between the outer two staterooms, and had a chest of drawers fitted beneath the sidelight. Interconnecting doors allowed an en suite arrangement in which two or all three rooms could be let together by a family or friends. Multimillionaire John Jacob Astor and his bride occupied one such suite of rooms on the starboard side. Although the Astors could afford far more luxurious accommodations (such as those they enjoyed on their eastbound trip aboard Olympic three months earlier), they may have chosen these rooms to ensure sufficient privacy to avoid unwanted attention . . . (continued)

   Enquiry Office and Purser’s Office - The Purser’s Office was located on the starboard side of the ship, directly adjacent to the Enquiry Office. These two offices operated together, the latter effectively acting as an extension of the former, and was the office through which passengers transacted their onboard business. The Purser’s Office was fitted with two pedestal-style desks, each supplied with a chair. Olympic’s general arrangement plans also indicate an additional desk which was apparently the “Safe Desk;” this may have held a two-drawer safe, 36" x 27" x 26" overall. An additional 4'-9"-wide oak chest of ten drawers was also supplied; this had a locker base and was fitted with locking pillars.

   The Enquiry Office was entered through the Purser’s Office adjacent. The façade of the Enquiry Office was 16'-11" long and consisted of a large opening flanked by two arched and louvered panels. A deep counter extended the full length of the façade, the front edge extending past the opening on either side. A large roller shutter was fitted for use when the office was closed.

   Parlour Suites - On the starboard side, sitting room C 55 was decorated in the opulent and palatial Regency style. The paneling was of carved and polished mahogany, with gilt decorations, moldings and cornice. The decorative molded ceiling was painted white. The light fittings included gilt French-style three-light wall appliqués with imitation candles, and a ceiling light with ormolu frame and glass-bead bowl shade. This room had the same types of furnishings and fittings as the sitting rooms on B Deck, except the fireplace was positioned against the outer wall between the two sidelights. Inside the fireplace was an 18" wrought-iron basket grate, fitted with an electric heater to imitate a coal fire. And, unique to C 55, an Aubusson tapestry graced the wall above the mantelpiece in the location where a mirror was usually fitted in the sitting rooms; the one on Olympic was described as a Regency scene of a man and woman.

   This sitting room was part of the suite occupied by Mr. & Mrs. Isidor Straus; on the day of Titanic’s sailing from Southampton, Ida Straus took a moment to write a letter to a friend and thank her for a bon voyage gift of the exquisite basket of roses and carnations that had been arranged in the sitting room. In her letter, Mrs. Straus marveled at the luxury of their accommodations and wrote, “What a ship! So huge and so magnificently appointed. Our rooms are furnished in the best of taste and most luxuriously, and they are really rooms, not cabins.” Over a decade later, His Royal Highness, the Prince of Wales, was to occupy the identical suite on Olympic
. . . (continued)

Other topics in this chapter include:

Forward Well Deck - Overview of 1st Class accommodations amidships - “Special staterooms” and other 1st Class accommodations amidships - Maids’ and Valets’ Saloon; Post Office Officials’ and Marconi Operators’ saloon - 1st Class Barber Shop - After 1st Class entrance foyer - Crew accommodations and Surgery - 2nd Class covered promenade and 2nd Class entrances - 2nd Class Library - After Well Deck - 3rd Class General Room and 3rd Class Smoke Room - Steering engine space - plus Dimensions and Specifications

Copyright © 2007 Beveridge, Hall, Andrews, Klistorner and Braunschweiger.

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