Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
- Contrary to the belief that the ship was named after the multi-sport event Olympic Games, the Olympic series of ships Titanic, Olympic and Britannic (originally Gigantic) were named after Greek Mythological Characters Olympus, Titans and Giants. Gigantic was renamed Britannic after the sinking of Titanic.
Built for the White Star Line Company, the S.S. Olympic (or RMS Olympic) was a sister-ship to the ill-fated Titanic and Britannic. Unlike her sisters, Olympic served a long and illustrious career (1911-1935), coming to be known as "Old Reliable".
Olympic was built on the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. She was the first ship of the Olympic-class liners of the White Star Line Company built in that shipyard. With a gross tonnage of 45,324 (46,439 following repairs), she was 882 ft 9 in (269 m) long and could maintain a service speed of 21 knots (24mph).
One notable incident in the Olympic's record is a 1911 collision with a British warship, HMS Hawke . Immediately following the collision, which left two compartments filled, the Olympic was able to limp back to Southampton for repairs. At the helm during this incident was captain E. J. Smith, who would famously perish at the helm of the Titanic less than a year later. One crew member, Violet Jessop, survived not only the collision, but also the later sinking of the Titanic, and the sinking of the other of Olympic's sisters, Britannic (1916).
During World War I, the Olympic was converted into a troopship. On May 12, 1918, she rammed and sank a German U-boat, the only known sinking of a warship by a merchant vessel during World War I. In 1934, having resumed passenger service, she again struck a ship, this time the Nantucket Lightship , which broke apart and sank, killing 7, out of a crew of 11 aboard the smaller ship.
Some of the Olympic's fittings were auctioned off after she was scrapped; many of her furnishings (namely those of the First Class Lounge and the Grand Staircase) can be found in the White Swan Hotel, located in Alnwick, England.
In 2000, Celebrity Cruise Line purchased some of the Olympic's original wooden panels and created the RMS Olympic Restaurant on board their newest mega cruise ship, Millennium. According to Celebrity Cruise Line, this rare collection of wood paneling once graced the Olympic's premier a la carte dining room.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details