Land comforts while at sea: Before Titanic sailed (1911)

This is one of several articles that ran in the years while the Titanic was being built, touting the ship’s extravagance and amazing scope. Of course, what would have been merely an interesting insight into what were then considered the most luxurious ships ever takes on an entirely new meaning when looking back through the lens of history. Take one line in this story: “The Titanic will have a golf course of eighteen holes, with the hazard under the lifeboats.” It’s all but impossible to read that without thinking of those too-few lifeboats, all used on the ship’s maiden voyage — just eleven months after this story was published.



New Olympic and Titanic will have squash courts

Growing tendency to amuse the voyager and make him forget he’s at sea leads to construction of golf course of eighteen holes.

The announcement that a squash racket court will be one of the features of the great White Star line steamship Olympic, soon to be in service, and the Titanic, now building, calls attention to the constantly growing tendency to give the sea traveler every comfort and luxury that can be obtained ashore.

The squash racket court will be placed directly above the keel, five levels up from the skin of the ship, counting the bottom as one, double bottom as two, bed plates, lower orlop and orlop. The court, which will be available for tennis, handball, squash or rackets, will be on the lower deck, also designated as the “G” deck.

Court two stories high

The court will be 30 by 20 feet in size. It will extend up through the middle of “G” and “F” decks as high as the main, or “E” deck, for the Olympic and the Titanic are each fifteen stories high, as follows: Floor, double bottom, bed plates and lower orlop, orlop, lower, middle, main, saloon, upper, promenade, upper promenade, boat and sun docks and extra compass platform.

All the other ships of the line are to be fitted up with squash courts also. A coach will be engaged for each steamer.

Features put forth by different lines are nationally characteristic. The Rotterdam of the Holland-American line prides herself upon her baths. Nearly every third room on board the Rotterdam is a bathroom. Even each room of her swell suites has its own tub, with all kinds of water.

Besldes a smoke room, with a balcony running around it, a library and a social hall, the Rotterdam has also a palm court. The Rotterdam was first with a glass-enclosed deck. They are alll having them now.

The Russian-American line maintains a chapel upon each of its steamers, while ikons hang here and there and the sacred lamp is ever kept burning in the main cabin.

Furnish all kinds of baths

The White Star liner Adriatic now has a swimming pool, but the Olympic and the Titanic will have tanks 32 by 13 feet as well as Turkish and electric baths, with a hot room 16 by 20, a cooling room 20 by 32 and a gymnasium 46 by 18 feet.

All the North German Lloyd liners now have glass-enclosed decks, open air cafes and meals a la carte or table d’hote.

The Royal Mail Steam Packet company erects canvas tanks which are filled with salt water, running in and out, for swimming in the tropics. The Hamburg-American line also rigs the same kind of diving pools. On the Royal Mail you can purchase an entire suit of clothes from the barber, and the Lapland of the Red Star line runs a dry goods shop.

The Venezia of the Fabre line has a lovers’ seat, just small enough for two, on the boat deck looking aft.

The Titanic will have a golf course of eighteen holes, with the hazard under the lifeboats; also will the same kind of links be laid out on the sun deck of the Olympic. Roller skates will be available to all.

Adriatic has theater

The Adriatic has a theater, with a proscenium arch and several sets of scenery executed by the deck steward, Ernest Freeman, who paints in the baggage room after his charges have turned in.

The new Franconia of the Cunard line has a machine shop with a capacity for turning out a big job on a rolling sea. It has also a fresh water distilling plant.

It was not so very long ago that the Fabre liners carried cows that the babies might have fresh milk. The crews or the Royal Mail run an open game of the lottery style upon the after hatch every night under the tropics.

The Europa of the Hamburg line, to be the biggest ship in the world, and the Deutschlnud, to be renamed the Victoria Luise, a cruising steamer, are to have U-shaped tanks, within which water will swish back and forth, flopping every time a wave strikes the hull and counteracting the effect of the blow. These are the “no seasickness ships.”


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