Pictures of the First Class Gyms on the Titanic and Cruise Liners From the Early 20th Century

Titanic’s gymnasium was a wonderful innovation for an ocean-going liner. It had an electric camel, an electric horse, cycling machines and a rowing machine.

Tickets, priced one shilling, were available from the purser and entitled first class passengers to one session in this facility, under the watchful eye of the physical educator, Mr Thomas McCauley.

On the fateful night of 14/15 April 1912, McCauley, remained at his post in the gymnasium and went down with the ship.

RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner, operated by the White Star Line, which sank in the North Atlantic Ocean on 15 April 1912 after striking an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton, UK, to New York City. Of the estimated 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died, which made the sinking possibly one of the deadliest for a single ship up to that time. It remains to this day the deadliest peacetime sinking of a superliner or cruise ship. The disaster drew much public attention, provided foundational material for the disaster film genre, and has inspired many artistic works.

RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time she entered service and the second of three Olympic-class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line. She was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, who was the chief naval architect of the shipyard at that time, died in the disaster.

Titanic was under the command of Captain Edward Smith, who went down with the ship. The ocean liner carried some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe, who were seeking a new life in the United States and Canada.

The first-class accommodation was designed to be the pinnacle of comfort and luxury, with a gymnasium, swimming pool, libraries, high-class restaurants, and opulent cabins. A high-powered radiotelegraph transmitter was available for sending passenger “marconigrams” and for the ship’s operational use. The Titanic had advanced safety features, such as watertight compartments and remotely activated watertight doors.

The ship was equipped with 16 lifeboat davits, each capable of lowering three lifeboats, for a total of 48 boats; the Titanic carried only 20 lifeboats, four of which were collapsible and proved hard to launch while the ship was sinking. Together, the 20 lifeboats were capable of holding 1,178 people—which was only about half the number of passengers on board, and only one-third of the number of passengers that the ship could have carried at full capacity (this was consistent with the maritime safety regulations of the era). In addition, when the ship sank, many of the lifeboats that had been lowered were only about half full. (Wikipedia)

Below is a collection of forgotten pictures of Titanic ship’s gym show how people worked out in the early 20th century.

March 1912. The first class gymnasium on board the Titanic. On the night of April 14, when the ship struck an iceberg, the physical instructor Mr. T. W. McCauley remained at his post and went down with the ship.
Passengers using “cycle racing machines” in the Titanic’s gymnasium. March 1912.
The gymnasium on the Titanic. Passengers could ride on a mechanical saddle or exercise “as if in a racing skiff.” 1912
Passengers working out in the gym of the Cunard cruise liner Franconia, which was destroyed by a U-boat in 1916. Amongst the equipment is a punchbag and an early cycling machine.
Feb. 21, 1911. Edwardians riding exercise bikes whilst wearing day clothes in a gymnasium on board the Cunard line liner, RMS Franconia.
Mid 1920s. A young woman passenger riding the electric horse in the gym on the liner SS Bermuda.
Two women using the cycle machine in the gym on board the Homeric Liner, taken over from the Germans by White Star. 1922.
The gym on the Victoria Motorship. 1930
Gym of the Neptunia Transatlantic Liner. 1930
A woman using an apparatus in the gymnasium of the ocean liner S.S. Bremen. 1930s
On the Victoria Motorship.1930
The gym of the Victoria Transatlantic. 1930
The first class gym on the Liner Vulcania. 1930
Passengers on the Canadian Pacific liner Duchess of Bedford keep fit in the ship’s gymnasium. Dec.1931.
Passengers on the Canadian Pacific liner Duchess of Bedford keep fit in the ship’s gymnasium, with the help of a riding machine. 1931
At the time of the installation of the English liner Queen Mary, workmen in the gymnasium of the ship are setting up exercise bikes, with an enormous meter indicating the distance covered. 1932

via National Museums Northern Ireland


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