#55799, "RE: Campania canvas on Promenade deck." In response to In response to 6 Sun Feb-04-18 04:16 AMby Jason
Thanks a lot for that Eric.
Perhaps these canvasses had several functions then, including protecting the promenade from dust. The reason I think that is because the picture of Campania I posted was taken at sea, where there is no coaling. In addition, it's one of a series of photos that includes a snapshot of quite a rough ocean which may have brought wind, rain and spray onto the deck.
My guess is that as well as protecting from coal dust during coaling, the canvas was also used to protect from bad weather as Ralph suggested. I imagine that if there were a strong wind accompanied by rain blowing abeam, that could create unpleasant conditions for the passengers. Also, these earlier vessels like Campania had a low air draught, so the promenade deck was more vulnerable to waves. It was only about 25' above the waterline.
There seem to be very few images of Campania's lower promenade deck (labelled confusingly as as the "Upper Deck"). This deck was only about 16 - 18' above the waterline, although it was protected by a bulwark. Initially, when Campania had a forward well-deck, there were problems with flooding along this lower promenade when in high seas, so much so that the ship eventually had to go back to the builders to have the well-deck removed and the first part of the lower promenade plated in. This gave the front of the ship a unique appearance among its contempories; a design feature inherited several years later by Lusitania and Mauretania.