Can you identify this equipment?

This photo is taken aboard Titanic’s sister ship Olympic in 1912. I am trying to identify the equipment stowed on the side of a weather cover over a domed skylight. It is my opinion that these are utility scaffolds which would be suspended by ropes when rigged for use. The thing that has caused some question is that there appear to be curved “stiffeners” on the sides. Can anyone positively identify this equipment.image

The look like boiler grate bars stacked side by side in different lengths but the stack would be a bit heavy to store them that way, plus, why store them on deck instead of in the fire room?

Bottom line, BTFOM.

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Stages for working over the side?

According to my partner, there is still something hugely suspicious about the sinking of the Titanic.
She is still convinced that it was not the Titanic.
How do I proceed from here?

Hi Lee: That was my thought. The objection raised was that they had never seen the the curved boards on the edges which I thought were a form of “stiffener” which would resist sagging in the middle leading to possible failure. Does that make sense?
Bob Read

Hi Hornblower: Unless your partner just has an affinity for conspiracy theories, here are the facts proving there was NO switch. I am friends with both authors and they are bona fide Titanic experts.

You smile politely and move on. There’ll probably be something that you actually want later, instead of an argument now with no prize.


Tell them that nobody is allowed into the center of Antarctica, there are no flights permitted over the center of Antarctica, and numerous world religious and political leaders have made unannounced and unscheduled visits there over the past few years

Sun Tzu

They look like they’d be too heavy to be stages for working over the side.

It would be alot easier to identify if the photo was of higher resolution but since they might not be three complete pieces but rather each unit might contain several pieces all stacked like Pringles Chips and if so, they being stowed where they are on the boat deck would quite possibly make them louver covers for on the sides of the stacks. All about the same radius of curvature but for different sized louvers.


The Olympic class ship’s funnels had no louvers.

well they sure as hell ain’t utility scaffolds either

now, I get to ask you a question. why do you care to know what they are? seriously?

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Put her in touch with Heiwa.

EDIT: Alternately, if you don’t fancy her coming back convinced that the Titanic was retrofitted as a ropax and sailed happily on until she was torpedoed by the Russians enroute to Stockholm in '94, you can give her this link:

As for the question posed by @Bob_Read, the curvature must be central in the function of said equipment, because it sure didn’t come cheap. For scaffolding and the like, you just use a board, plane as that. I think you’re looking at hatch beams.


Notice the curved underside. These are early experimental stand-up paddle-boards. Little known fact: “paddle-board” is a corruption of the original term:“paddy-bhorth.” Also a fact: Titanic sailed from Ireland. There are no coincidences.



I can’t tell the scale from the photo but if they’re relatively small they could be exercise tools for the rich to work out on the deck where they would balance on top.

Shoots for coaling?

It doesn’t look like a ''authorized" stowage position for much of any ship board equip. I’m thinking it might be left over from the last inport, or hauled aboard while underway?

This was very much an “authorized” location for this equipment which was used aboard ship and was not just “picked up”. Here is another photo showing one of these stowed on the port side of the weather cover over the staircase dome.

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Because in each photo the equipment is stowed on the coaming of what is essentially a skylight, and the skylight has many windows forming a slightly peaked roof, I would say these boards are meant for window cleaning.

The boards would straddle the skylight from the strongback running down the middle to the coaming/sides. The deckhand would kneel on them and move along half the width of the skylight, cleaning the window panes. A daily task on a coal burning ship.

(In this model the skylight is the grid thing in the middle).

The window washing boards are curved for stiffening. If you used a flat board to kneel on, it would bow down, putting pressure on the windows. So the edges of these window washing boards are straight on lower side and curved on the upper, with cross boards attached to the curved side.

You would only need a couple, the deckhands moving them as needed.