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OLYMPIC, GREATEST OF
HENRY R. JEVONS
OME day next July a skyscraper reckoning the height of a building.
Chelsea docks in New suites of offices if they were arranged York. For they are building sea-going for that purpose, for there are four of skyscrapers these days and they are them, each oval in shape, 24 feet 6 inches doing pretty well at it, considering. This in diameter the long way and 19 feet particular skyscraper, the Olympic, the wide. Placed end to end they would new White Star Liner, is only eleven make a tunnel 640 feet long with ample stories, to be sure, but measured from the room for two standard gauge railroad bottom of her keel to the top of her fun- trains to stand side by side. nels she lacks only twenty-five feet of Everything else about this latest coming up to the new proposed building prodigy of marine architecture is on the hcight limit in Chicago. Since the Olym- same stupendous scale. Unfortunately, pic's foundation is salt water which is descriptive writers of former days exmore unstable, if possible, than the quick hausted the entire stock of adjectives in sands which vex the builders in the Lake describing "leviathans of the deep" that Michigan metropolis this must be con- sometimes reached the enormous size of ceded to be a pretty fair height. Nor five or six thousand tons, so that now are those funnels to be lightly consid- when they are really needed to convey ered in computing the height. They are an idea of a craft of forty-five thousand very much more important than the or- tons there isn't a superlative left that is namental lantern sometimes included in fit to be seen in print. The only thing
that can be done is to fall back on com- East River and extend over the shore parative statistics, and let it go at that. one hundred feet on each side. In short
As a starter it may be said that the the Olympic is 97 feet 6 inches longer length of the Olympic, 882 feet 6 inches, than the Mauretania and Lusitania, is is 182 feet greater than the height of the 92 feet six inches wide over all, and 94 Metropolitan tower in New York, the feet wide over the boat deck. From the tallest structure on the continent, and boat deck to the bottom of the keel is four times the height of the Bunker Hill 97 feet; from the top of the Captain's monument; and yet any one who has house to the bottom of the keel is 105 toiled up the steps to the top of Bos- feet 6 inches, and from the top of the ton's proudest landmark will feelingly funnels to the bottom of the keel, 175 agree that it is not to be sneezed at. feet. There are eleven steel decks and Also, the length of the Olympic and her fifteen watertight bulkheads. sister ship, the Titanic, launched in Feb- The launching of the Olympic alone ruary, 1911, is twice the height of the cost more than enough to build a fine dome of St. Peter's in Rome and equals steamship. More than six hundred steers the total drop of the famous Bridal Veil died merely to make her path into the falls in Yosemite Valley. Placed end to _.water smooth. for twenty-two tons of end beside the Brooklyn Bridge these tallow were used to grease the ways. two ships would completely span the Many a Belfast waterman made a modest CLYMPIC GREATEST OF STEAMSHIPS
little fortune (judged by a Belfast had were converted into two for the waterman's standard) picking up the Olympic and Titanic. Over the berth a floating tallow after the launch. The double gantry had to be erected 840 feet tallow, however, was too trivial an item long, 105 feet wide and 220 feet high for serious consideration when com- and equipped with travelers and cranes pared with the rest of the bill.
capable of lifting from five to forty tons. It cost the Belfast Harbor Board, Besides this there was a floating crane which draws no share of the Olympic's to be provided at great cost to transfer earnings, $292,000 to get ready for the the boilers to the ships after they were launching. Of this sum $146,000 went afloat. Part of the works had to be ento deepen the channel to 32 feet. Oppo- tirely reconstructed, other parts were site the berth a pit fifty feet deep had to
altered and special equipment provided, be dredged in the bottom of the harbor making the outlay for the plant for buildto make room for the plunge of the stern ing these biggest ships more than two before the bow left the ways. Then million dollars. Harland and Wolff, the builders, had to From the time the keel was laid, Despend $48,670 to strengthen Victoria cember 15, 1908, to October 20, 1910, wharf opposite the berth lest the terrific the date of the launching, a fair sized commotion kicked up when the monster army
was steadily employed on the struck the water should cause the wharf Olympic. For weeks before, the launchto collapse. Still, that was but a be- ing two thousand five hundred men ginning. Three of the largest slips they toiled night and day making preparations
92 feet long. The after boss arm,
a sort of three pronged bracket for the great event. As the weight at that tags along to hold up the outer launching was twenty-seven thousand ends of the propellers, weighs 7272 tons. tons, much the largest mass of steel ever The rudder, a dainty creation in steel, is put in the water at once, a great deal 15 feet 3 inches wide with a stock 237/2 of careful planning and expert prepar- inches in diameter and weighs a hundred ation were required to make ready for tons, as much as a good sized locomothe sixty-two seconds occupied by the tive. Olympic in making the plunge. From But speaking of riveting, 3,000,000 the time the hydraulic triggers holding rivets weighing twelve hundred tons, are the vessel on the ways were released required to hold the Olympic together. until she was stationary in the water less All the shell plating up to the turn of the than two minutes elapsed.
bilge and much of the other work was Since the Olympic represents an in- done by power riveters, which in Belfast vestment of $7,500,000 it was necessary are very different things from the little that in addition to being the largest ship hand tool sprouting from the end of a the world has ever seen, a distinction she rubber hose, the blood-curdling, nerve will retain only until the Titanic is placed destroying r-r-r-r-r-r-r-at-at-at-at-tat of in service late this fall, when she will be which is so distressingly familiar to one of the largest two, she should also be American ears. The Irish riveter is a the heaviest and strongest. Five hun- ponderous affair weighing seven tons dred thousand rivets, weighing 270 tons, which has to be manipulated by means were used in the construction of the of a traveling crane. But it does its double bottom alone. The largest rivet work so easily and so silently that it was was 194 inches in diameter. This double considered quite the thing to invite ladies bottom is 5 feet 3 inches deep. The who visited the works during the buildlargest shell plates are 36 feet long and ing of the Olympic to step up and drive weigh 412 tons. The largest beams are a rivet.