Contact the GG Archives

Atlanta, Georgia USA

Refrigeration and Provisions on the Titanic

One of the Refrigerating Machines on the 'Titanic,' Built by J & E Hall Ltd. in Dartford, England

One of the Refrigerating Machines on the 'Titanic,' Built by J & E Hall Ltd. in Dartford, England. Ice and Cold Storage (July 1911) p. 159. GGA Image ID # 104b2e00b9

The launch of the new White Star liner the Titanic, which, like her sister ship the Olympic, has a gross tonnage of 45,000 tons, took place most successfully on May 31st at the yard of Messrs. Harland and Wolff, Belfast. On the same day, the Olympic underwent her trials with equal success in Belfast Lough.

Both vessels have been fitted with a very complete refrigerating installation by Messrs. J. and E. Hall. Ltd. In addition to cooling the insulated cargo chambers and ship's provision chambers, there are a large number of cold lockers in pantries, larders, etc., to be cooled, and cooled drinking water has to be supplied at several points throughout the first, second, and third-class accommodation.

The insulated cargo chambers and the provision chambers are situated in the after' tween decks, the provision chambers being of a very elaborate character and fitted up following the standard requirements of the White Star Line. A separate set of rooms is provided for the restaurant.

The cooling duty is performed by two duplex C02 machines, each half of either device being capable of independent working so that there are actually four refrigerating units on each of these vessels. The plant has a total ice making capacity of eighty-four tons.

The machines are of Messrs. J. and E. Hall's standard horizontal marine type, each having a pair of CO2 compressors bored from solid blocks of high carbon steel and driven off the tail rods of a compound steam engine.

The crankshaft is in two pieces with flanged couplings, and the steam connections are arranged so that either half of the machine may be run independently of the other if necessary.

The CO2 condenser coils, of solid drawn copper tube, are contained in the cast-iron box bed which carries the compressors and the steam engine, a separate set of coils being provided for each half of the machine, and the box bed divided in the center to form two different condenser casings.

Each machine has its own steam surface condenser and a water-circulating pump of gun-metal, and air and feed pumps are driven off its crankshaft. A separate water-circulating pump of the duplex type is also provided as a stand-by for either machine. The two devices are arranged at the port side of the reciprocating engine room at the starting platform level.

The evaporators, which are divided into four units, are placed in an insulated room above the machine, at the orlop deck level, and three brine pumps of the vertical duplex type are also placed on this level. The brine return tanks are placed at a higher level immediately above the evaporators.

The brine circulation is on the open return system with separate flow and returns on each circuit. The brine pipes for cooling the insulated chambers and the various cold lockers, etc., are of wrought iron electrically welded into grid form and galvanized externally.

The circuits in the chambers are of moderate length and are interlaced to ensure an even distribution of the cooling effect, even in the remote contingency of one section becoming blocked. The brine connecting piping is also externally galvanized.

There are two ice-making tanks fitted with rocking gear driven by an electric motor. The cooling accessories consist of a large number of water coolers, bottle coolers, cold cupboards, and larders in the pantries, bars, etc., in different parts of the vessels.

Provisions on the Titanic

The complete arrangements made for refrigeration in the ship were necessary to solve the huge problem of catering for something like 3,500 persons daily, it is estimated that for every voyage to the United States 75,000 lbs. of meat alone will be carried, in addition to enormous quantities of other provisions.

And including 35,000 eggs. about 10,000 lbs. of wet fish. 7,500 lbs., dried fish, 20,000 head of poultry, 2,000 to 3,000 head of game, 2,000 lbs., hot-house grapes, 200 boxes of apples, 200 boxes oranges, and about 50 tons potatoes.

The dairy produce carried will consist of over 5,000 lbs. of butter, 1,500 gallons fresh milk, over 1,000 quarts of fresh cream, while of ices of various flavors over 1,000 quarts will be provided, the mineral water list totaling 120,000 bottles.

The White Star liner Titanic, which was launched at Belfast with so great éclat on May 31st, will have a very elaborate provision of rooms and equipment for accommodating the stores of food products which will be carried regularly to supply the wants of the large companies of passengers and of the vessel's own staff.

Water used for drinking and the wine and beer provided in the bars will, as far as may be requisite, be cooled by the appliances provided. Chambers for carrying beef as cargo have been fitted with systems of brine pipes. As primary refrigerating machines, two horizontal duplex C02 machines of J. and E. Hall's standard type have been installed.

Each device and its auxiliaries combine two complete units of independent working, four independent units of refrigerating machinery being in this way provided

The elaborate and adequate provision of means for cooling the large chambers on the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic, which are to be used for carrying beef as cargo, and the smaller rooms which will contain stores of food, are noteworthy.

It has emphasized the fact of the significant place which refrigeration now fills in the economy of the larger steamers of the principal passenger services of the United Kingdom.

"Refrigeration on the Titanic," and "Notes from the North," in Ice and Cold Storage: An Illustrated Review of the Ice-Making, Cold Storage, and Refrigerating Industries, London, Vol. XIV, No. 160, July 1911, p. 159-160

Return to Top of Page