Daily Archives: April 10, 2012

Blogging the Alphabet – T

Last week I said I might take the letters randomly as a thought or subject came to mind. Today I am jumping to the letter T.


I am not going to write about icebergs or cracks in the side of the ship. I want to take a different line altogether.

Have you ever been on a Cruise Ship?

I was. Many years ago, it was a Fly/Cruise. We flew from Dublin to Rimini in Italy and were transferred by coach to Ancona, where we joined our ship to sail round the Mediterranean. It was like a floating hotel, without the formality of the ‘Old Liners’. I actually liked that type of holiday, The countries came to us, The ship did most of the travelling while we slept, in fact we only had one full day at sea. We unpacked our bags following embarkation and never saw a case again until the final day.

Back to the Titanic.

She was heavy. VERY HEAVY!

She carried heavy fixtures & fittings.

Construction of the Titanic began in 1909 and she was launched in 1911. Weighing an amazing 46,328 Gross tonnage,  She carried heavy fixtures & fittings and  was the biggest passenger liner when she set off for her maiden voyage on April 10, 1912. After four days, she hit an iceberg and sank.

The Titanic was built to carry 3, 295 people: 2,435 passengers, and crew of 860. Passengers were separated into three classes: first, second and third respectively.

The first class grand staircase was over 60 feet from the lower landing to the glass skyline above, in William and Mary style with solid oak carved panelling running all the way around. The first class staterooms were sumptuously furnished while third class passengers remarked that their cabins were like second class cabins on any other ship. The Titanic was also the first ship to have a swimming pool, Turkish baths, squash courts and gymnasium.

The First class Lounge situated on the Promenade Deck was decorated in the French Louis XV style. The walls were covered with “boiseries” – elaborate wooden carving the real McCoy and not like the local DIY light Styrofoam mouldings you find today.  The walls of the first class Smoking Room were panelled in mahogany carved in the Georgian style and were inlaid with mother of pearl.

Their dining room was 114 foot long and spanned the full width of the ship. Seating 532 passengers at once, the tables and chairs were oak and designed to add luxury and comfort at all times. In those days dinner was considered a very important part of a voyage. It was well before the fast food days of plastic chairs, wipe down tables and milk shakes in a BAG!

The fixtures and fittings were a little lighter as it went down the classes. Teak was used in the third class.

Other facts about the weigh the Titanic carried on board:

900 tons of baggage and freight. Trunks were heavy and suitcases were usually made of leather. Clothes back then were not light ‘wash and wear’ with wicking fibres like we have today, they were long, multilayer natural fabrics, in other words they were heavy. The average weight of 3,295 people is quite something. I didn’t work it out, I’m guessing. 😉


Aprons: 4,000
Bath towels: 7,500
Bed covers: 3,600
Blankets: 7,500
Cook’s cloths: 3,500
Counterpanes: 3,000
Double sheets: 3,000
Eiderdown quilts: 800
Fine towels: 25,000
Glass cloths: 2,000
Lavatory towels: 8,000
Pantry towels: 6,500
Pillow slips: 15,000
Roller Towels: 3,500
Single sheets: 15,000
Table cloths: 6,000
Table napkins: 45,000
Miscellaneous items: 40,000

Phew! Ain’t I glad I didn’t have to wash, starch and iron that lot!

Tableware, Glassware and cutlery:

Asparagus tongs: 400
Beef tea cups: 3,000
Beef tea dishes: 3,000
Breakfast cups: 4,500
Breakfast plates: 2,500
Breakfast saucers: 4,500
Butter dishes: 400
Butter knives: 400
Celery glasses: 300
Champagne glasses: 1,500
Claret jugs: 300
Cocktail glasses: 1,500
Coffee cups: 1,500
Coffee pots: 1,200
Coffee saucers: 1,500
Cream jugs: 1,000
Crystal dishes: 1,500
Cut glass tumblers: 8,000
Dessert plates: 2,000
Dessert spoons: 3,000
Dinner forks: 8,000
Dinner plates: 12,000
Dinner spoons: 5,000
Egg spoons: 2,000
Entrée dishes: 400
Finger bowls: 1,000
Fish forks: 1,500
Fish knives: 1,500
Flower vases: 500
Fruit dishes: 400
Fruit forks: 1,500
Fruit knives: 1,500
Grape scissors: 100
Ice cream plates: 5,500
Liquor glasses: 1,200
Meat dishes: 400
Mustard spoons: 1,500
Nut crackers: 300
Oyster forks: 1,000
Pie dishes: 1,200
Pudding dishes: 1,200
Salad bowls: 500
Salt shakers: 2,000
Salt spoons: 1,500
Soufflé dishes: 1,500
Soup plates: 4,500
Sugar basins: 400
Sugar tongs: 400
Table & dessert knives: 8,000
Tea cups: 3,000
Tea pots: 1,200
Tea saucers: 3,000
Teaspoons: 6,000
Toast racks: 400
Vegetable dishes: 400
Water bottles: 2,500
Wine glasses: 2,000

I hope they had plenty of fairy liquid for that lot. 😉

Food and beverage Provisions:

Apples 180 boxes (36,000)
Bacon and ham: 7,500 lbs
Cereals: 10,000 lbs
Coffee: 2,200 lbs
Condensed milk: 600 gals
Flour: 200 barrels
Fresh asparagus: 800 bundles
Fresh butter: 6,000 lbs
Fresh cream: 1,200 qts
Fresh eggs: 40,000
Fresh fish: 11,000 lbs
Fresh green peas: 2,250 lbs
Fresh meat: 75,000 lbs
Fresh milk: 1,500 gals
Grapefruit: 50 boxes
Grapes: 1,000 lbs
Ice Cream: 1,750 qts
Jams and marmalades: 1,120 lbs
Lemons: 50 boxes (16,000)
Lettuce: 7,000 heads
Onions: 3,500 lbs
Oranges: 180 boxes (36,000)
Peas: 2,500 lbs
Potatoes: 40 tons
Poultry and game: 25,000 lbs
Rice, dried beans, etc: 10,000 lbs
Salt and dried fish: 4000 lbs
Sausages: 2,500 lbs
Sugar: 10,000 lbs
Sweetbreads: 1,000
Tea: 800 lbs
Tomatoes: 2.75 tons
Beer and stout: 20,000 bottles
Mineral waters: 15,000 bottles
Spirits: 850 bottles
Wines: 1,500 bottles

A little like the often misquoted first words said by man on the moon….
No one ever claimed that the Titanic was “unsinkable”. The quote, “practically unsinkable” was taken out of context. In 1911, Shipbuilder magazine published an article describing the construction of the Titanic. The article stated that when the watertight doors were closed, the ship would be “practically unsinkable”.

With all that weight… How did it ever float in the first place?