The journal Engineering reacts to the disaster, April 19, 1912:


In the loss of the Titanic and so many of her passengers and crew, to the number of between 1200 and 1300, the world is confronted, as the Prime Minister so eloquently expressed in the House of Commons on Tuesday, with "one of those terrible events in the order of Providence which baffle foresight, which appall the imagination, and which make us feel the inadequacy of words to do justice to what we feel." The Titanic was the product of the fullest experience, alike in design and construction, of one of the premier ship-owning companies and one of the most scientific and practical shipbuilding organisations in the world. She embodied all that judgment and knowledge could devise to make her immune from all disaster. Yet on her first voyage Nature, whose sovereign power seemed, through her, to be challenged by man, has triumphed with a sudden, unexpected, and forceful stroke..." (more)

The Shipbuilder reports on the wireless installations aboard RMS Olympic and Titanic, Midsummer issue, 1911:

Wireless Telegraphy

The wireless telegraphy installation consists of a Marconi 1-1/2 kilowatt standard ship's set. The house for the Marconi instruments is situated on the boat deck adjoining the officers' cabins; see Plate III. The two parallel aerial wires required for the system extend between the masts. They are kept as high as possible and are fastened to light booms, the latter being at attached to the masts, as indicated in Plate III.  From the aerial wires, connecting wires are led to the instruments in the house. There are two complete sets of apparatus, one for transmitting and one for receiving messages, the latter being placed in a sound-proof chamber built in one corner of the house.  It does not lie within the province of this work to describe in detail the Marconi apparatus; but to give some indication of its nature Fig. 138, showing the connections of a 1-1/2 kilowatt converter set, has been reproduced from an interesting article on the subject by Mr. W. W. Bradfield in a recent number of The Electrician, to which we refer readers desiring further information.

Painting by Nick Barnett, TH98Falcon@aol.com
Painting by Nick Barnett
Rudder for the "Olympic" at the Works of the Darlington Forge Company, Limited.

"The engineers of the ship have all been lost, and many will specially regret the chief, Mr. J. Bell, who was one of the most experienced of Atlantic sea-going engineers, excelling in courage, judgment, and tact. As with his staff and with all sea-going engineers, their claim to recognition is the simplest and best--that they did their duty to the end."

-- Engineering, April 19, 1912

Engineering, May 26, 1911


The second of the two White Star liners being built by Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Limited, Belfast, for the New York service, is to be launched on Wednesday next, and the first of the twin ships--the Olympic--will leave on her first voyage to New York on June 14. Both events are naturally regarded with considerable interest, because the vessels are the largest yet built. The arrangements for the launch of the Titanic will exactly correspond with those in the case of the Olympic, and as these were unexcelled in the completeness with which every possible contingency was provided against, success on Wednesday is practically ensured, although the task is a difficult one in view of the great launching weight of the ship--nearly 27,000 tons--and the comparatively small distance in which the vessel has subsequently to be brought to rest. As we described very completely the launch of the Olympic on October 20 last (see ENGINEERING, vol. xc. page 568), there is no need to enter into details here.

On the occasion of the launch of the first ship, too, we fully described the two vessels, giving numerous engravings of hull and machinery, with several two-page illustrations of the general arrangement of the boilers and the combination of reciprocating engine and low-pressure turbine. It was not, however, possible then to enter into detail regarding the arrangement of the decks, but we are enabled to give with this week's issue an elevation of the ship and plans of all the decks. These plans, which are common to both vessels, are reproduced on the two-page Plates XXXIX. and XI. and on page 679. They afford a splendid idea of the great height of the ship--104 ft. from keel to navigating bridge. (more)

Boat Deck

DECK Plans
A Deck
B Deck
C Deck
D Deck
G Deck
Click on any of the deck plan images above to get a full-resolution version.

For printing purposes, try these more printable versions (black & white, split into left and right halves):

Printable plans

Chief Designer Thos. Andrews

The Shipbuilder, Midsummer, 1911

The Electrical Equipment

Main Feeder Switchboard

ELECTRICITY, it need hardly be pointed out, is extensively employed in all the departments of the Olympic and Titanic. In addition to the large supply required for lighting purposes, electrical power is used for the deck cranes; cargo, boat, and engine room winches; passenger elevators ; stores, mail, and pantry lifts ; ventilating and stokehold fans ; cabin fans ; motors for the cylinder-lifting gear, turbine-turning and lifting gear, and condenser sluice valves ; the workshop machine tools ; conveyor for marconigrams ; gymnastic apparatus ; kitchen and pantry machinery, such as the ice-rocker, dough-mixers, potato-peelers, roasters, knife-cleaners, mincers, hot plates, and electric irons ; electric heaters ; electric baths ; main steam whistles; sounding machines; stoking indicators ; boiler room telegraphs; clocks ; watertight doors ; helm indicator; illuminated pictures; chimes bells ; loud-speaking and service telephones submarine signalling; and wireless telegraphy. The electrical installation, therefore, may virtually be termed the nerve system of the ship. (more)

The Shipbuilder, Midsummer, 1911


Altogether there are twenty-four double-ended and five single-ended boilers in each vessel, designed for a working pressure of 215 lb., which it is anticipated will be maintained under natural draught conditions.  The aftermost, or No. 1 boiler room contains the five single-ended boilers, boiler rooms 2, 3, 4 and 5 contain five double-ended, and the foremost, or No. 6 boiler room contains four double-ended boilers.  Owing to the great width of the ships, it was found possible to arrange five boilers abreast, as shown in [the section plan], except in No. 6 boiler room, where, owing to increased fineness, only four abreast could be fitted.

Each of the double-ended boilers is 15 ft. 9 in. diameter and 20 ft. long, and contains six furnaces; while the single-ended boilers, which are of the same diameter as the double-ended but are 11 ft. 9 in. long, contain three furnaces, so that the total number of furnaces is 159.  The latter are all of the Morison type, 3 ft. 9 in. inside diameter, and are provided with fronts of the Downie "boltless" pattern.  The firebars are of the Campbell type, supplied by Messrs.  Railton, Campbell & Crawford, of Liverpool.  The shells of the single-ended boilers are formed in one strake, the double-ended boilers having, as usual, three strakes.  All the shell plates are of mild steel 1-11/16. thick.

The arrangement of uptakes, by which the smoke and waste gases are conveyed to the funnels, is necessarily of a very elaborate nature, no less than twenty branches being required to one funnel in the case of boiler rooms 3 and 4. The branches from adjoining boiler rooms are united immediately above the watertight bulkhead separating the rooms, the bulkhead thus forming a valuable support to the uptakes and funnel above.  One set of uptakes is shown [below] and well illustrates their numerous ramifications. (more)

The Shipbuilder, Midsummer, 1911

The Refrigerating Installation

THE refrigerating installation on board the Olympic and Titanic embodies all the latest facilities for efficient cold storage.  The ship's provision rooms, situated aft on the lower and orlop decks (see Plate V.), are most extensive, and include separate cold chambers for beef, mutton, poultry and game, fish, vegetables, fruit, milk and butter, bacon and cheese, flowers, mineral waters, wine and spirits, and champagne, which can thus be kept at the temperatures most suitable for preservation in each case.

A large insulated compartment for the carriage of perishable cargo occupies an adjacent space to the provision stores.  The installation also comprises a number of cold larders in the bars and pantries in different parts of the ship, and arrangements for making ice and cooling the drinking water which is supplied at various points in the first, second, and third-class accommodation.

The refrigerating engines, which, with their accessories, have been supplied by Messrs. J. & E. Hall, Limited, of Dartford, are situated on the port side of the reciprocating engine room at the floor level; see Plates V. and VIII.  The engines (Fig. 72) consist of two horizontal duplex CO2 machines. each of which combines two complete units capable of independent working, so that actually four refrigerating units are provided. 

Fig. 72--One of the Refrigerating Engines

The machines are of the makers' standard type, having compressors bored from solid blocks of high-carbon steel, and condenser coils of solid drawn copper contained in the base casting.  Each machine has its own surface condenser, brass circulating pumps, and air and feed pumps.  A duplex brass-ended water pump is provided as a stand-by.

The evaporators, likewise divided into four units, are placed in an insulated recess above the machines at the orlop deck level, at which level the brine pumps--three in number, with interchangeable connections--are also placed.  The brine return tanks are situated at the lower deck level, immediately above the evaporators; see Plate V.

The brine circulation is on the open return system, with separate flow and return on each circuit.  All brine pipes throughout are externally galvanized.  The various circuits are of moderate length, and are interlaced in the chambers to ensure even distribution of the cooling effect, even in the remote contingency of one section becoming blocked.

The Shipbuilder, Midsummer, 1911


THE whistles are the largest ever made. Each set consists of three bell domes grouped together with a suitable branch plate, as shown in Fig. 71.

click on the image above to sound the whistle (requires RealPlayer)

The three domes are 9in., 15in., and 12in. in diameter. The total height from the base of the branch piece to the top of the centre dome is 4ft. 2½in., and the extreme width over the outer dome is 3ft. 6in. The total weight of the three domes and branch pieces is about 6¾cwt. [675 pounds]. One set has been fitted on each of the two foremost funnels. The whistles are electrically operated, the officer on the bridge having merely to close a switch to give the blast, and there is also an electric time-control arrangement, fitted on the Willett-Bruce system, whereby the whistles are automatically blown for 8 to 10 seconds every minute during thick weather. (more)

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