Powering a Giant

Video highlights from Rebuilding Titanic

What did it take to power the Titanic?

•    Titanic had the most advanced electrics ever seen on board a ship, including elevators and electric gym equipment.
•    Titanic’s four massive steam-driven generators pumped more current than most land-based power stations of the day.
•    Massive boilers were heated by burning coal and the steam drove electric generators.
•    Over 320 kilometres of cabling delivered current to every room.
•    Harland and Wolff, the shipyard that built Titanic, they installed their own generating station in 1904, and electrified all major tools in 1905. From the huge gantry cranes and hydraulic riveters, to the drills and workshop lathes, everything was electrically powered.
•    In her day, Titanic's 10,000 electric lights helped make her a pinnacle of industrial achievement.

Catering and Dining on the Titanic
•    Titanic's enormous catering operation was spread across seven decks.
•    Titanic had six separate dining rooms and cafes, three bakeries, a butcher’s shop, and two rooms just for washing potatoes.
•    Titanic’s staff prepared 6000 meals a day.
•    Titanic’s jewel kitchen equipment was the Bake House electrical oven. The oven’s even heat allowed it to churn out perfectly baked bread around the clock.
•    Every object on Titanic was painstakingly hand finished by craftsmen.
•    There were 123 stewards on board who were paid a basic wage, topped up by generous tips from the wealthy passengers.
•    Head Chef Charles Procter ensured the smooth running of Titanic’s galleys. After Captain Smith, Procter was the best-paid crewmember aboard the ship.
•    In Titanic's first class galleys, an unseen army worked 24 hours to provide the finest meals at sea including a 'Hebrew cook' preparing kosher meals for Jewish passengers.
•    Titanic employed 36 assistants to help the galley workers.
•    Titanic’s first class dining saloon mirrored fashionable London and Paris restaurants with partitions and alcoves providing intimacy and light bulbs created a glowing ambience. There were 115 tables for 554 guests, who were waited on by over 100 stewards.
•    Titanic's finest crockery was made by Royal Crown Derby.

Titanic’s Gym and Dressing Etiquette
•    The electric horse was part of Titanic's fully-equipped gym.
•    Typical gyms were the preserve of men, but Titanic offered women exclusive access from 10 AM until 1 PM, so long as they were properly dressed.
•    A hundred years ago, upper class dress code demanded that women wore different outfits, morning, afternoon and evening.
•    A hundred years ago, an extreme hourglass figure was in fashion and that meant a sturdy corset had to be worn at all times, including during exercise.

Discuss this article


Never miss a Nat Geo moment

Your email address
We use our own and third-party cookies to improve our services, personalise your advertising and remember your preferences. If you continue browsing, or click on the accept button on this banner, we understand that you accept the use of cookies on our website. For more information visit our Cookies Policy AcceptClose cookie policy overlay