Fitting Out

After her launch, Titanic was towed to Harland and Wolff's fitting out basin. At the time of launching, she was little more than a shell of steel. She would eventually acquire her four trademark funnels (the fourth of which was in fact cosmetic) and the appointments that would result in her being labeled a "floating palace."

Specifications for Titanic were almost identical to those of Olympic. However, while White Star and Harland and Wolff were learning about Olympic during her transatlantic service, they took advantage of their knowledge by improving upon the plans for Titanic. One late modification on Titanic was due to complaints by passengers of being splashed by bow spray while walking on the A deck promenade of Olympic. On Titanic this problem was resolved by enclosing the forward portion of the A deck with sliding windows. The inclusion of the Café Parisien, a restaurant with the character of a French sidewalk café, was another distinguishing addition that set Titanic apart.

Titanic's refinement and excellence could be found in all aspects of her construction. Safety was of the utmost importance, reflected by Titanic's double-bottomed hull and complex system of watertight compartments. With the watertight doors closed, Titanic could remain afloat with any two of her sixteen compartments flooded. Moreover, she could remain afloat with any three of the first five compartments flooded, and even with the first four full. Such features prompted the periodical The Shipbuilder to deem Titanic "practically unsinkable."

Furnished with twenty lifeboats and capable Welin Quadrant davits, Titanic also exceeded the legally required number of lifeboats, despite the need for over three times this number to accommodate all of her passengers. Then there was the Marconi wireless, a somewhat new communication device for the time period. It was an important safety feature however, allowing operators to transmit distress calls in the event of an emergency. The Marconi radio aboard Titanic was the most powerful of any passenger vessel of the day.

Accommodations for all classes were a cut above the rest. Third Class on Titanic was like Second Class on other ships. Titanic featured individual chairs for example in the Third Class dining saloons, routinely furnished with benches. Somewhat simple, yet comfortable could be considered the philosophy that applied to Third Class. Like Third Class, Titanic's Second Class raised the standard with accommodations that were superior to First Class on many ships of only a few years earlier. Titanic offered much to please her Second Class passengers, including generously appointed public rooms and cabins, with no fewer than five types of wood throughout her decks. A periodical of the day commented, "Indeed, as in the case of the first-class, everything has been done to make the accommodation superior to anything previously seen afloat."

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