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Courtesy of Ulster Folk and Transport Museum

RMS Titanic

Titanic was over 880ft long and 92 feet 6 inches (28 m) at the beam (6 inches longer than twin ship RMS Olympic). She had a Gross Register Tonnage of 46,328 tons, and a height from the water line to the boat deck of 60 feet (18 m). She contained two reciprocating four-cylinder, triple-expansion, inverted steam engines and one low-pressure Parsons turbine. These powered three propellers. There were 25 double-ended and 4 single-ended Scotch-type boilers fired by 159 coal burning furnaces that made possible a top speed of 23 knots (43 km/h). Only three of the four 63 foot (19 m) tall funnels were functional; the fourth, which served only as a vent, was added to make the ship look more impressive. Titanic could carry a total of 3,547 passengers and crew and, because she carried mail, her name was given the prefix RMS (Royal Mail Steamer) as well as SS (Steam Ship).


The Titanic was considered a pinnacle of naval architecture and technological achievement, and was thought by The Shipbuilder magazine to be "practically unsinkable". Titanic had a double-bottom hull, containing 44 tanks for boiler water and ballast to keep the ship safely balanced at sea[4] (later ships also had a double-walled hull). Titanic exceeded the lifeboat standard, with 20 lifeboats (though not enough for all passengers). Titanic was divided into 16 compartments by doors held up, i.e. in the open position, by electro-magnetic latches and which could be closed by a switch on the ship's bridge.


For her time, Titanic was unsurpassed in luxury and opulence. She offered an onboard swimming pool, a gymnasium, a Turkish bath, libraries for each passenger class, and a squash court. First-class common rooms were adorned with elaborate wood panelling, expensive furniture and other elegant decorations. In addition, the Café Parisien offered superb cuisine for the first-class passengers with a delightful sunlit veranda fitted with trellis decorations.


The ship was technologically advanced for the period. She had an extensive electrical subsystem with steam-powered generators and ship-wide electrical wiring feeding electric lights. She also boasted two wireless Marconi radio sets manned by operators who worked in shifts, allowing constant radio contact and the transmission of many passenger messages.
Even third-class accommodation and common rooms were considered to be as opulent as those in the first-class sections of many other ships of the day. Titanic had three lifts (i.e. elevators) for use of first-class passengers and, as an innovation, offered one lift for second-class passengers.


The crown jewel of the ship's interior was undoubtedly her forward first class Grand Staircase, between the forward and second funnels. Extending down to E-Deck and decorated with oak paneling and gilded balustrades, it was topped by an ornate wrought-iron and glass dome which brought in natural light. On the uppermost landing was a large panel containing a clock flanked by the allegorical figures of Honour and Glory crowning Time. A similar but less ornate staircase, complete with matching dome, was located between the third and fourth funnels.

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