Early ship design

RMSTitanic
11th October 2015, 03:43
Hello. I just googled this because I need somewhere to ask this so move it or whatever if it's in the wrong place.

I am wondering why most ships of the late 1800-1950(or whatever it was) era are designed the same way even though many are from different companies.

Here is a picture of the R.M.S Titanic(or possibly the Olympic) ordered by the White Star Line and built by Harland and Wolff.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/RMS_Titanic_3.jpg

Now the R.M.S Muritania by the Cunard Line:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/RMS_Mauretania.JPG/300px-RMS_Mauretania.JPG

Now they both have the same basic design of funnels, the same type of black hull or whatever and everything just looks so familiar despite them being designed by different companies, built at different shipyards and ordered by different passenger companies.

Any reason for this? It just amazes me how similar they are.

A.D.FROST
11th October 2015, 07:45
What about Cars and Aircraft.If it ain't broke don't fix it (in the eyes of the public the number of funnels meant speed.)

Barrie Youde
11th October 2015, 08:28
Another reason was surely the fact that until the development of international travel by air, a far higher proportion of ships carried fare-paying passengers than has been the case subsequently.

This development was well underway by the approximate date of "1950 or whatever it was". By the mid/late 1950s, with the advent particularly of the Comet jet airliner, the end of international sea travel as it had once catered for passengers was seen to be not far away. Thus the need for passenger accommodation as a major feature of any ship was no longer required.

Ron Stringer
11th October 2015, 10:55
By the mid/late 1950s, with the advent particularly of the Comet jet airliner, the end of international sea travel as it had once catered for passengers was seen to be not far away.

The Comet (about 100 built) although the first of the jet airliners, was perhaps less influential than the Boeing 707 of which there were more than 1,600 produced in various forms, some of which are still in service. Regardless of the model of aircraft involved, you are right - the jet airliner brought the end of the ocean going passenger-carrying liners of our youth.

Stephen J. Card
11th October 2015, 12:05
Hello. I just googled this because I need somewhere to ask this so move it or whatever if it's in the wrong place.

I am wondering why most ships of the late 1800-1950(or whatever it was) era are designed the same way even though many are from different companies.

Here is a picture of the R.M.S Titanic(or possibly the Olympic) ordered by the White Star Line and built by Harland and Wolff.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/RMS_Titanic_3.jpg

Now the R.M.S Muritania by the Cunard Line:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/RMS_Mauretania.JPG/300px-RMS_Mauretania.JPG

Now they both have the same basic design of funnels, the same type of black hull or whatever and everything just looks so familiar despite them being designed by different companies, built at different shipyards and ordered by different passenger companies.

Any reason for this? It just amazes me how similar they are.



I don't see the familiarity at all. Different yards, different designers, different owners, different era... and this different machinery and different boilers.... makes them quite different.

Even today, the cruise box ships might be said look the same, they don't, quite different from others. I guess it depends how much you 'study' the subject.

Barrie Youde
11th October 2015, 13:07
#5

Stephen is of course right.

His final sentence hits the nail on the head.

Nick Balls
11th October 2015, 13:29
The individual parts that make up a ship and how their construction changes over time shows the 'conservative' nature of naval architecture. Wooden frames and planking, gave way to iron frames and wooden planking, then replaced by riveted plates. The development of steel saw rivets replaced by welds and conventional 'ribs' replaced by framing incorporated into modular construction techniques with longitudinal framing.
All this takes time, so if you look at ships from a particular era, of a particular type, they will have similar construction.
Today the knowledge of stresses and strains in a vessel, along with the properties of different steels, means designs can be far more complex than those of a hundred years ago. The ability to utilise computer adied design and automated cutting techniques is a far cry from the work of a ship like the Cutty Sark's wrought iron frames and teak planks.

RMSTitanic
11th October 2015, 16:01
I don't see the familiarity at all. Different yards, different designers, different owners, different era... and this different machinery and different boilers.... makes them quite different.

Even today, the cruise box ships might be said look the same, they don't, quite different from others. I guess it depends how much you 'study' the subject.

I am not talking about their particular designs, just the general shape and whatever. Basically, the hull(or whatever it is called) look the same and seem to be black judging by the photo. The funnels are also in the same place; though different; along with others.

Another question: How did the White Star Line continue to operate for atleast 25 more years after this? They had just constructed a one-of-a-kind vessel that took years and millions of dollars to construct and sunk it in the first voyage, obviously this must've set them in financial ruins but wouldn't it by far bring less passengers? It seems like to me that it'd be a ruin both reputation and financial wise for the company. Any thoughts?

Barrie Youde
11th October 2015, 16:39
It is not difficult to quote a general principle and then identify particular examples.

But to quote one particular instance and then try to identify any general principle or reasoning therefrom, without considering anything else, is virtually impossible.

There are a thousand reasons why hull shapes have developed as they have done - and probably a thousand reasons why many (but no means all) hulls were painted black during the time-span mentioned.

At least instrumental in the later survival of White Star Line was the merger with Cunard Line.

RMSTitanic
11th October 2015, 17:28
Okay but I still am left confused as to how the White Star Line made it about 25 years before they merged without filing for bankruptcy.

They had just bought a gigantic new ship(atleast for the time) from Harland and Wolff which costed millions of dollars not to mention around 2 years to complete then on the maiden voyage the whole ship goes down not to mention the loss of life. Surely this must have made potential customers fretful to travel with them again and then there is the cost of the ship that only made it through 5 days before sinking to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Also the sister-ship Olympic had just been damaged and itself had to go through potentially expensive repairs: how did they make it through that long without crashing?

fred henderson
11th October 2015, 17:41
In the years before the WW1 there was a huge increase in transatlantic emigration to the USA and to a lesser extent Canada. To meet this demand the liner companies built progressively bigger ships.

Germany held the Blue Ribband and became the major carrier of emigrants and White Star had been taken over by the American company International Mercantile Marine. This led the British press to campaign for the restoration of the UKs pre-eminence in transatlantic shipping which was skilfully exploited by Cunard to obtain finance from the British Government to build the speed record breaking Mauretania and Lusitania using the new steam turbine technology. The coal fire boilers in these high speed ships needed four tall funnels.

Like almost all liner companies both White Star and Cunard had an operating subsidy, but as White Star was an American British company, the British Government was unwilling to also provide them with construction finance. As a result the three White Star ships were commercially designed and were appreciably bigger and slower than the Cunard pair. They had obsolescent steam reciprocating engines that only required three funnels the fourth was a dummy for marketing purposes.

Cunard self-financed the construction of its third turbine powered ship, Aquitania, which was the same size as the White Star ships. At the outbreak of war the Germans were building even bigger turbine powered ships with three funnels.

All these ships had coal fired boilers. Coaling ship before departure was a very messy operation and black hulls were a practical necessity.

You will find far more detail in my SN Directory Articles: _

https://www.shipsnostalgia.com/guides/TITANIC_AND_HER_SISTERS_-_Part_1

Stephen J. Card
11th October 2015, 18:53
Again, you need to a bit more study time on the subject.

All of those 'black' hulls are most definitely NOT the same.

Example.... the Titanic... standard about that time... vertical bar stem... came from 1912.... and similar... in basics from 10 years like the BALTIC, ADRIATIC, etc... and came from Harland &Wolff. Fast forward 15 years....reciprocating engines were almost finish for passengers.... instead geared turbines were the normal... and from 1925 the first large diesel driven ship and then we had all electric drives. The hull... less than TITANIC...the queens BREMEN and EUROPA and the REX and CONTI DI SAVOIA.... all with bulbous bows... cruiser stern... not counter stern. Funnels were different too. Tall funnels were for draught for coal fired boilers. Lower funnels.... difference force draught an oil fired boilers. It was all different. Every decade can show advances. Even right up to the present. Ships building today and quite from even ten... fifteen year ago.

If you want to learn about the subject... don't find some technical book... take a read like THE ONLY WAY TO CROSS by John Maxtoe-Graham. Best book you will ever to find what it was all about. The you can look into more technical books... if needed.

Stephen

Stephen J. Card
11th October 2015, 18:57
Okay but I still am left confused as to how the White Star Line made it about 25 years before they merged without filing for bankruptcy.
?



Titanic was the looser. No insurance. That was their way. What Star was not just three large ships... had a quite large fleet. Just about on par with Cunard. Any problem in WSL... could be found in any other fleet.

RMSTitanic
12th October 2015, 01:53
But still their reputation should surely atleast be a bit damaged, there seems to be the Cunard Lines and other ship companies that didn't waste millions of dollars just to sink the ship before completion of it's first ever voyage.

Also: do these types of ship "voyages" still exist or is it just cruises and cargo shipments now-a-days? And also; how accurately does the 1997 film titanic present the situation?

Stephen J. Card
12th October 2015, 03:21
But still their reputation should surely atleast be a bit damaged, there seems to be the Cunard Lines and other ship companies that didn't waste millions of dollars just to sink the ship before completion of it's first ever voyage.

Also: do these types of ship "voyages" still exist or is it just cruises and cargo shipments now-a-days? And also; how accurately does the 1997 film titanic present the situation?


I think best way is to some spend reading the book like I suggested. All of your answers would be found... in that one Maxton-Graham book... and more. Sure you will find in your book in the local library.

A lot of the answers you are looking for are not one short answers.... a bit more reading is required. Have fun.

reefrat
12th October 2015, 03:39
Interesting question posed by an outsider,, the answer is of course that we as "experts" look at ships in a diferent way to a lay person, in the same way that my show jumper friend looks at horses, there are a thousand differences between what to me look like exactly similiar horses.

Stephen J. Card
12th October 2015, 03:52
Horses? Isn't that some kind of cat food?

For RMS TITANIC...

Here is another one where you will find lots of information into TITANIC. Try this one. There is another in the UK and another one in the USA called TITANIC HISTORIAL SOCIETY.


British Titanic Society

www.britishtitanicsociety.com/
British Titanic Society home page with video introduction to the Society and membership.
Convention
Meet fellow Titanoracks at the annual convention in April.
Officers
Biographies and information on the British Titanic Society's ...
Membership
17.00 for UK membership; 24.00 for EU membership; 29.00 for ...

Notices & News
Remembering the Empress of Ireland - Canada's Titanic ...
Contact Us
Please e-mail us at: For General Enquiries info ...
Honorary BTS Members who ...
Honorary BTS Members who were ... Some Titanic survivors ...

More results from britishtitanicsociety.com

fred henderson
12th October 2015, 13:48
Also: do these types of ship "voyages" still exist or is it just cruises and cargo shipments now-a-days? And also; how accurately does the 1997 film titanic present the situation?

Cunard still operate line voyages between Southampton and New York with the Queen Mary 2

The 1997 film Titanic was a little more accurate than previous films on the subject, but it was still a Holywood production and therefore concerned to tell a story rather than be bothered with boring facts.

Scelerat
12th October 2015, 13:58
I am not talking about their particular designs, just the general shape and whatever. Basically, the hull(or whatever it is called) look the same and seem to be black judging by the photo. The funnels are also in the same place; though different; along with others.

Another question: How did the White Star Line continue to operate for atleast 25 more years after this? They had just constructed a one-of-a-kind vessel that took years and millions of dollars to construct and sunk it in the first voyage, obviously this must've set them in financial ruins but wouldn't it by far bring less passengers? It seems like to me that it'd be a ruin both reputation and financial wise for the company. Any thoughts?

They built three sisters, hardly a "one-of-a-kind".

Farmer John
13th October 2015, 16:47
All this talk of design and look made me think back to the ships I used to draw as a very young child. You added more and more funnels to make it look more powerful. If I asked my Grandson to draw a ship, I think I would just get a blank look. The lots of funnel ships have gone, but he would probably have a bash at painting some Superhero, but he won't be wearing a naval uniform.

Split
17th October 2015, 19:20
Hello. I just googled this because I need somewhere to ask this so move it or whatever if it's in the wrong place.

I am wondering why most ships of the late 1800-1950(or whatever it was) era are designed the same way even though many are from different companies.

Here is a picture of the R.M.S Titanic(or possibly the Olympic) ordered by the White Star Line and built by Harland and Wolff.
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/f/fd/RMS_Titanic_3.jpg

Now the R.M.S Muritania by the Cunard Line:
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/6/62/RMS_Mauretania.JPG/300px-RMS_Mauretania.JPG

Now they both have the same basic design of funnels, the same type of black hull or whatever and everything just looks so familiar despite them being designed by different companies, built at different shipyards and ordered by different passenger companies.

Any reason for this? It just amazes me how similar they are.

Natural draught made for taller funnels and coal burners needed to blow tubes every watch. They were passenger ships, too, so that influenced design, I suppose.

umtali
19th October 2015, 08:53
My thoughts are thus:- If you look at the R class ships that Oceania and P&O have, and compare them with the new larger Oceania, it is the same design, and outline but bigger. Passenger ships now have all very similar silhouette. Let's go back to the heady days of the 50's and 60's, the outlines of the Strath. ships from P&O compared with Orient Lines biscuit coloured ships.

Then we had the revolutionary designs of 'Southern Cross' for Shaw Savills, and 'Canberra' the 'great white whale', and not to be left out Orients 'Oriana'.

All individual in there design and appearance.

I think that is what the start of this blog may have been getting at, different shipping companies, but a very basic design in the actual appearance of the finished product. Long and low with as many funnels as you can justify using.