The Titans of Greek mythology are the source of the moniker Titanic. RMS Titanic was the second of the three Olympic-class ocean liners. The first was RMS Olympic, and the third was HMHS Britannic, constructed in Belfast, Ireland, in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
Britannic was initially intended to be over 1,000 feet (300 meters) long and go by Gigantic. They were by far the biggest ships in the fleet of the British shipping firm White Star Line, which in 1912 consisted of 29 steamers and tenders.
The company looked to modernize its fleet in part as a response to the Cunard giants. However, they also wanted to replace their oldest pair of passenger ships still in operation, the RMS Teutonic and RMS Majestic, built in 1889 and 1890, respectively.
While Titanic replaced Majestic, Teutonic was supplanted by the Olympics. After Titanic’s demise, Majestic would be reinstated in her former position on White Star Line’s New York route.
Harland and Wolff, a Belfast-based shipyard with a history with the White Star Line that dates back to 1867, built the ships.
When designing ships for the White Star Line, Harland and Wolff had great creative freedom. Typically, the latter would sketch out a general idea, which the former would then take and transform into a ship design.
Cost concerns were not prioritized, and Harland and Wolff were given the go-ahead to spend what was necessary for the ships in addition to a 5% profit cushion.
For the Olympic-class ships, a price of £3 million (or about £310 million in 2019) for the first two ships was agreed upon in addition to “extras to contract” and the customary five percent charge.
Titanic had the greatest width of 92 feet 6 inches and a total length of 882 feet 9 inches (269.06 m). (28.19 m).
Her overall height was 104 feet, measured from the bottom of the keel to the top of the bridge. (32 m).
She had a displacement of 52,310 tons and dimensions of 46,329 GRT and 21,831 NRT with a depth of 34 feet 7 inches (10.54 m). Eight of the ten decks on each of the three ships in the Olympic class were used by passengers (the upper two decks were reserved for the officers’ quarters).
The lifeboats were kept on the boat deck. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic’s lifeboats were dropped into the North Atlantic from this location in the wee hours.
The bridge and wheelhouse were at the front of the ship, in front of the captain’s and officers’ cabins. The ship could be commanded while docking from the bridge, which protruded to either side and was 8 feet (2.4 m) above the deck. Within the superstructure was the wheelhouse.
Midships was the entry to the First Class Grand Staircase and gymnasium, as well as the raised roof of the First Class lounge. The Second Class entrance and the First Class smoke room were at the back of the deck.
There were four separate promenades on the wood-covered deck, one for officers, one for first-class passengers, one for engineers, and one for second-class people. Except for the First Class section, where there was a gap to preserve the view, lifeboats were lined up along the side of the platform.
The superstructure’s full 546 feet (166 meters) was covered by a Deck, also known as the Promenade Deck. It housed First Class cabins, the First Class lounge, a smoke room, reading and writing rooms, and Palm Court and was only available to First Class travelers.
The highest weight-bearing deck and top level of the hull were designated B Deck, also known as the Bridge Deck. Six opulent staterooms (cabins) with private promenades were situated here, providing additional First Class passenger accommodations.
A La Carte Restaurant and Café Parisien on the Titanic offered First Class travelers upscale dining options. Both were operated by contracted cooks and their employees, who perished in the catastrophe.
This deck housed the entrance lounge and smoking area for the Second Class.
Forward of the Bridge Deck, the raised forecastle of the ship housed the anchor housings, numerous pieces of machinery, and the Number 1 hatch, which was the primary hatch into the cargo holds.
The raised Poop Deck, 106 feet (32 m) long and used as a promenade by Third Class guests, was located behind the Bridge Deck. Numerous Titanic passengers and staff members made their last stand there as the ship sank. Decks were a barrier between the bridge platform and the forecastle and poop deck.
The highest deck that extended unbroken from stem to stern was C Deck, also known as the Shelter Deck. Both good platforms were present, with the aft acting as a Third Class promenade.
Below the forecastle, crew quarters were, and the Third Class public areas were below the poop deck. The bulk of the First Class cabins and the Second Class library was in between.
The First Class Reception Room, the First Class Dining Saloon, and the Second Class Dining Saloon were the three largest public spaces on D Deck, also known as the Saloon Deck.
Passengers traveling in third class had access to an outdoor area. On this level, there were cabins for First, Second, and Third Class passengers and fireman berths in the bow.
It was the greatest point that the ship’s watertight bulkheads could reach. (though only by eight of the fifteen bulkheads).
In addition to berths for chefs, seamen, stewards, and trimmers, the E Deck, or Upper Deck, was primarily used for passenger accommodations for all three classes of passengers.
A long hallway that stretched the length of it was known as Scotland Road, after a well-known Liverpool street. Both Third Class passengers and crew personnel traveled on Scotland Road.
The Middle Deck, or F Deck, was the last fully finished deck and primarily housed passengers traveling in Second and Third Class and various crew divisions. Along with the swimming pool, Turkish bath, and kennels, this was where the Third Class dining hall was situated.
The Lower Deck, or G Deck, was the lowest full deck that could accommodate passengers. It also had the lowest portholes, situated just above the sea.
The traveling post office and squash court, where mail and packages were sorted and prepared for delivery when the ship docked, were situated here. Food was kept here as well. At various places, the deck was broken up by orlop (partial) decks over the boiler, engine, and turbine rooms.
The ship’s lowest deck, below the waterline, was where the Orlop Decks and the Tank Top were located. The Tank Top, the interior bottom of the ship’s hull, served as the platform for the boilers, engines, turbines, and electrical generators, while the orlop decks were used as cargo areas.
The engine and boiler rooms, off-limits to passengers, were located in this section of the ship. They had stairways leading up to the ship’s upper decks; twin spiral stairways near the bow led up to D Deck.
The Titanic’s three primary propulsion systems were two reciprocating, four-cylinder, triple-expansion steam engines and one low-pressure Parsons turbine, each driving a propeller.
The total output of the two reciprocating engines was 30,000 horsepower. (22,000 kW). The steam engine produced 16,000 horsepower. (12,000 kW).
On an earlier ship, Laurentic, the White Star Line had successfully utilized the same set of engines.
Reciprocating engines alone were not powerful enough to move an Olympic-class liner at the desired speeds, and turbines were powerful enough but produced uncomfortable vibrations. This problem affected the all-turbine Cunard liners Lusitania and Mauretania. It offered a good balance of performance and speed.
Utilizing the same amount of steam, reciprocating engines, and a turbine can boost motive power while using less fuel.
The two reciprocating engines measured 63 feet (19 meters) in length and weighed 720 tons, plus an additional 195 tons from their bedplates.
They were propelled by steam generated in 29 boilers, containing 159 burners, 24 double-ended boilers, and 5 single-ended boilers.
The boilers were 20 feet (6.1 m) long, 15 feet 9 inches (4.80 m) in diameter, and weighed 91.5 tons each. They could store 48.5 tons of water.
The Titanic’s holds could hold 6,611 tons of coal for heating, and Hold 3 could hold an additional 1,092 tons.
The furnaces needed 176 firemen to work around the clock to shovel over 600 tons of coal each day manually. Daily 100 tons of ash had to be thrown into the ocean for disposal.
Despite being paid reasonably well for their work, firefighters had a high suicide rate because the job was exhausting, filthy, and dangerous.
The Titanic sank on April 15, 1912, during her maiden journey from Southampton, England, to New York City, United States, after colliding with an iceberg.
It was the deadliest sinking of a single ship until that point because more than 1,500 of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew onboard perished.
It is still the bloodiest sinking of a superliner or cruise ship during peacetime. The catastrophe caught the public’s attention, served as the basis for the disaster movie subgenre, and inspired numerous creative creations.
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