In its dry dock in Belfast, Northern Ireland, the Titanic was transformed from an empty hull into a fully equipped floating palace in little more than eight months. No expense was spared in making the Titanic the most luxurious liner afloat. Close attention was paid to every single detail from the design of the large public rooms and open decks to the individual light fixtures and faucets in the cabins. Everything on board was bought brand-new or specially made for the ship; and everything was designed to make the passengers comfortable and to entertain them during the voyage.
PROUD TO SUPPLY
The Titanic was so prestigious that suppliers were proud to announce they supplied the ship with certain goods. The message in this advertisement was clear: you too can share in some of the Titanic’s luxury, even if you cannot afford to sail on it.
Some of the thousands of white dishes on board ship survived the crash, remaining in neat rows just as they were originally stacked. An army of crew members filled these dishes with food and served meals to the passengers.
Some indication of the care and attention to detail taken in equipping the Titanic can be seen in this photograph of plasterers and decorators at work on its sister ship, the Olympic. Period detail was lovingly recreated by expert craftsmen in the many first-class rooms and cabins.
Leading from the first-class dining room on D deck up to the first-class promenade deck, the grand staircase was one of the most stunning features on board. The staircase was lit from above by natural light through a wrought iron and glass dome and illuminated at night by gold-plated crystal lights. First-class passengers, dressed in all their finery, swept down the staircase on their way to dinner.
Every cabin or suite had running water, a luxury few of the third-class passengers would have enjoyed at home. However, there were only two bathtubs for the 700 thirdclass passengers. Located at the very back of D deck, it was a long walk for those sleeping in the bow.
The white-paneled reading room was a favorite retreat for women, who were forbidden to join the men in the smoking room. With its comfortable chairs and plentiful space, the reading room was the ideal place to write a letter or read a book, a selection of which was available from the ship’s large library.
ON THE VERANDA
One of the most popular rooms on board, especially among the younger passengers, was the veranda café. The café was light and airy with white wicker furniture, a checkered floor, and ivy growing up trellises on the walls.
The light fixtures in the first-class lounge matched the Louis XVI style of the room. Elsewhere, crystal chandeliers and ceiling lights glittered over the assembled passengers.
Located just forward of the grand staircase, three elevators took first-class passengers from the promenade deck down five decks to their cabins, passing the staterooms, the dining room, and other cabins on their way. The elevators were magnificently decorated and well-disguised behind classical pillars. One elevator near the stern of the ship served second-class passengers.