TRMA Tech Feature of the Month
July 2005

As July is the hottest month of the year, this month we focus on a little-known aspect of Titanic's ventilation systems.  One of the more interesting means of providing air exchange below decks was accomplished through a number of ventilating bollards. These bollards, which can be identified by their mushroom caps, did double duty for securing mooring lines as well as providing passive airflow through their hollow-shaft centers.  Their use allowed ventilation in areas where more conventional ventilators might have been in the way of or at risk from damage through cargo or line handling. 

The diagram below is a general representation of a typical ventilating bollard in use at the time, although not specific to Titanic.  This drawing shows the bollard mounted on a ship with wooden decking over iron or steel deck beams; on Titanic, as on most oceangoing steamers, the decks were steel and sheathed in wood. The bitts, fairleads, etc. were mounted to the steel and bolted to the deck with the fasteners passing through reinforcements attached to the deck beams. Topside, teak margin boards surrounded the bollard and the pine deck planks were butted up to these.


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