Olympic, Titanic & Britannic: An Issue of Finance (January 2021) (External Link)
It's widely believed that construction of the three 'Olympic' class ships was made possible by the use of American money - resources from either J. P. Morgan or IMM. The truth is the opposite. White Star was not supported by IMM's resources. IMM was supported by White Star. Construction was financed through capital raised in the United Kingdom. This article explains in detail how:
- White Star financed the ‘Olympic’ class ships and others by borrowing the money from largely United Kingdom-based investors, mortgaging its own fleet;
- White Star borrowed the money, rather than IMM, to take advantage of its stronger financial position and lower borrowing costs;
- The new ships provided additional security underlying IMM’s own debt, without increasing the money IMM itself borrowed;
- Dividends paid by White Star from 1908 to 1912 helped IMM meet its debt interest payments.
It was first published in the Titanic International Society’s Voyage July 2020: Pages 135-39.
Titanic's Centre Propeller: The Stephen Pigott Evidence (November 2020) (External Link)
This article analysed a discovery by researcher Joao Goncalves of a notebook in the papers of Stephen Pigott, a turbine engine specialist who worked for John Brown & Co. The Clyde shipbuilder was subcontracted by Harland & Wolff to work on the low pressure turbines for Olympic and Titanic. The notebook in Pigott's papers includes two proposed centre propeller configurations for the two White Star liners: a three-bladed and a four-bladed one. These are identical to the centre propeller configurations for each ship in the Harland & Wolff records, in terms of the propeller diameters and the area of the propeller blades. (The sole difference is that the pitch of the propeller blades was changed on the completed ship). It is worth reading in conjunction with this dossier.
Olympic & Titanic: Refining A Design (April 2020)
An article discussing several minor refinements to Titanic's design based on experience with Olympic (similar changes were then incorporated into Olympic and Britannic). It is a greatly expanded version of an article originally made available on the Titanic Research & Modelling Association (TRMA) website in 2005, which published information about these changes for the first time. This expanded article appeared in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in December 2019.
Titanic: 'She Sailed Only Half Full?' (August 2019)
It's not unusual for people to express surprise when they learn Titanic was little more than half full on her maiden voyage. However, there's no reason to assume she would have been fully booked - she sailed outside of the high season. The article was published in the Titanic Historical Society's Titanic Commutator journal in April 2019.
Titanic's Lifeboats: Fact & Fiction (May 2019)
A television programme made a number of false claims about Titanic's lifeboats, claiming that the ship's original design had included enough lifeboats for all the passengers and crew but that this had been changed. The programme showed viewers primary source documentation which purported to support these claims, but an examination of their source shows the programme completely misrepresented the contents. The article was published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in March 2019.
Titanic's Lifeboats: An Increased Capacity(January 2019)
Titanic's lifeboats are one of the most talked about features of the ship, but a lot of information about them is inaccurate. This short article draws a contrast between the shipbuilder's original design proposals in July 1908 and Titanic's lifeboat configuration when she was completed in April 1912, demonstrating that her total lifeboat capacity (measured as a proportion of the total passengers and crew she could carry) actually increased about 39 percent. It was published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in September 2018.
Titanic Fire & Ice (Or What You Will) (April 2017)
First published in January 2017, in response to yet another popular Titanic conspiracy theory, ‘Titanic Fire & Ice (or What You Will)’ explores in detail many of the false claims that were made in a recent TV programme and addresses them by examining the evidence point by point. This paper is a co-authored effort by (in alphabetical order) Bruce Beveridge, Mark Chirnside, Tad Fitch, Ioannis Georgiou, Steve Hall, J. Kent Layton and Bill Wormstedt with editing by Cathy Akers-Jordan. It is a comprehensive analytical paper complete with detailed references and acknowledgements, but has a single page summary of our conclusions on page 45.
Titanic's Centre Propeller Dossier (November 2016)
This dossier collates all the evidence we have available about Titanic's centre propeller configuration and links to various sources, documenting the information that has become available since 2008 to support further the argument that Titanic was actually fitted with a three-bladed centre propeller.
Titanic: Allegations & Evidence (August 2016)
This article discusses a number of questionable claims made about Titanic in recent years, including unsubstantiated claims of deliberately flawed construction It was published originally in the Titanic International Society journal Voyage in December 2015.
The Enclosure of Titanic's Forward A-deck Promenade: Popular Myth (April 2016)
This article examines a last-minute change to Titanic's design: the enclosure of the fore end of the ship's promenade deck, A. It proved to be one of the most obvious external features to distinguish Olympic and Titanic at a distance, but a lot of claims have been made about the reason for the change which do not stand up to scrutiny. The article looks at them in detail and provides little-known evidence from Olympic's career. It was first published in the British Titanic Society journal Atlantic Daily Bulletin in March 2016.
General Arrangement ‘Design “D”’ Concept for Yard Nos. 400 and 401 (Olympic and Titanic) July 1908 (January 2012)
The original ‘Design “D”’ concept, presented by Harland & Wolff to a party of directors from the White Star Line on July 29th 1908, is displayed today at the Ulster Folk & Transport Museum (National Museums Northern Ireland). It has also been published in Michael McCaughan's wonderful The Birth of the Titanic (Blackstaff Press, 1998). Lionel Codus has drawn these plans to reflect the original concept.
Dossier: Titanic: Time and Speed (March 2008)
This dossier groups together material relating to Titanic, the ship’s local time, and her speed.
Dossier: Titanic ‘Conspiracy’ (March 2008)
However absurd they are, it seems there is always interest in far-fetched conspiracy theories. Fantasy seems more interesting than reality to some people.
Olympic’s Expansion Joints (January 2008)
First published in the Titanic Historical Society’s Titanic Commutator in September 2007, this article takes a short look at Olympic’s expansion joints and the progressive philosophy of continuous improvement that Harland & Wolff practised. It argues that changes made to Britannic’s expansion joints were probably the usual lessons learned from her older sister, and not a conspiracy to cover up any defect supposedly brought to light by Titanic’s loss.
The 66,000 ton Myth (December 2007)
In an article first published by the Irish Titanic Historical Society’s White Star Journal, the myth that Titanic displaced 66,000 tons is addressed and refuted. Although the figure is often repeated, it has no basis in reality. The article does not address a new discovery - rather it brings together information that was previously known.
‘To The Editor…’ (July 2007)
A listing of letters that have been published in various maritime journals. This page will be updated as additional letters are written and published.
Olympic and Titanic: Maiden Voyage Mysteries (April 2007) (External Link)
An article co-authored by Mark Chirnside and Sam Halpern explores some of the navigational aspects of the maiden voyage of Olympic and her ill-fated sister. In 2006, it was discovered that there was an error in the time calculation on Olympic’s maiden voyage log card, which meant that Olympic’s average speed was understated and that the new liner performed better than anyone realised at the time.
Olympic & Titanic An Analysis Of The Robin Gardiner Conspiracy Theory (July 2006)
This is the most extensive critical analysis available online, prepared to academic standards and endorsed accordingly. It concludes that the conspiracy theory does not stand up to scrutiny, and is unsupported by reliable evidence.