Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Wonderings about The Titanic

Here's the awesome interactive diagram Mrs. Doyle gave us to build background knowledge about the Titanic.  Some of the most interesting things we learned:

The poop deck was a popular item to look at.  (Melike, Erin, Luke)
KNOW: Third class has to sleep by it; this is where third class passengers could hang out. You don't actually poop there.
WONDER: Why is it called the poop deck?
KNOW: The diagram shows us that the term comes from the Latin word "puppis," meaning "stern."

We were also interested in the hospital on board.  (Caidyn, Rowa, Emmalee)
KNOW: There were two doctors, but it was still known as a prestigious (well-known/well-respected) on-boat hospitals.  It was possible to have surgery done on board.
WONDER: If someone died in surgery, where would they put the body? In addition to the doctors, how many other people worked there? How often are there usually surgeries on transatlantic voyages?  Why didn't they have more doctors? What kind of illnesses were common on the ship?  Were there any labs for testing sample?

Here's a photo of the Grand Staircase.  We took this from the Britannica site, so we know it is a real picture -- we talked about reliable sites.
In the middle, we looked at the Grand Staircase. (Tatum)
KNOW: It was fancy.  One flight had twelve stairs (nice counting, Troy).
WONDER: What did the other staircases look like?  Why did they need a staircase like that -- a fancy staircase with a glass and iron dome?

Image from National Museums Northern Ireland - we checked the "About Us" tab for credibility 

The Turkish Baths caught our eyes. (Erin, Rowa, Melike)
KNOW: It had a sauna.  It sounds like a spa.  Only first class passengers could go there, but they still had to pay.
WONDER: Were there other spa services? Could you get your nails done there? Why is it called the Turkish Baths, as opposed to another country?  Why did it have to be just first class passengers? If second and third class passengers could pay the small fee, could they come use it? (We speculated that there seemed to be some class bias, so we are guessing maybe not)

We are also curious about the funnels. (Eric, Samia, Jacob, Cailyn)
KNOW: They were 22 feet in diameter.  Three of them were real, and one was fake -- it was added for the appearance.
WONDER: How tall are they?  Why was there a fourth- why bother with a fake one? Did the funnels also act as filters of the smoke, so it didn't pollute as much.  How much dirt, smoke, and dust did the funnels blow out each day?
KNOW: Some people thought that the more funnels you have, the safer the ship.

The boilers are obviously important, too. (Ed)
KNOW: They keep the ship running.  They used 600 tons of coal each day. There were 29 boilers with three or more furnaces each.
WONDER: Where do the workers keep the extra coal?
KNOW: It was kept in bunkers.

Here's a diagram with the crow's nest.  We found it at ... which does not sound reliable, but when we looked at the "About Us" tab, it actually really is.

The crow's nest has an interesting name. (Brigid)
KNOW: It had a telephone and a bell.  The lookout rang the bell three times when he saw the iceberg.
WONDER: Was the only time that they used the phone and the bell when they saw the iceberg? Would they use it for other obstacles or purposes?

We also looked at the mail room.
KNOW: The Titanic was built to be a mail ship -- the RMS Titanic.  There were five mail carriers, and none of them survived; they had been trying to save the mail. There were 3,400 sacks of mail; Joe calculated that there were about 2,000 pieces of mail in each sack.
WONDER: Why did the people care about saving the mail? How had they planned to distribute the mail after landing?  Did they ever recover any of the lost mail?


  1. I have a wonder for the mail room:
    How many people got mail on the ship?

    I have a know for the swimming pool:
    It was 32 by 13 feet.

    Ameesha Narang
    per. 8/9

    1. I got the sense that the mail on the ship was being delivered from Europe to the United States, rather than within the ship... but you've made me curious!

      I found this link:
      (The source is reliable, because it's linked to the Discovery Channel) I can't tell for sure if it answers my question. Hmm...

      And good info about the swimming pool -- for some reason, the photos make it look dark and creepy, so, even though I enjoy swimming, I don't think I would have gone in there :)

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