TITANIC-TITANIC.com | Titanic's Gymnasium
Titanic's Gymnasium was located on the starboard side of the Boat deck, immediately adjacent to funnel No. 2. It contained many novel items of equipment for an oceangoing liner of the era, including an electric camel, an electric horse, cycles and a rowing machine.
Titanic's Gymnasium complemented the Turkish Bath, the Squash Court, and the Swimming Pool nicely, after all, the highlight of any day for the wealthy passengers in First Class was the food, which brings with it its own dangers! That said, I doubt if any of Titanic's passengers took any of the exercise facilities that were provided seriously, they were probably just a fun way to pass an hour so aboard the ship.
The Gymnasium was open for ladies between 9 a.m. and noon, and for gentlemen from 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Children were allowed in between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. Tickets, priced at a shilling each, were purchased from the Purser and entitled the user to one session in the Gymnasium.
The Gymnasium was presided over by the mustachioed Thomas W. McCawley, seen here in the picture on the left, who, in his white flannels and white plimsolls, looked every inch the gallant Edwardian fitness instructor!
The Gymnasium was of course the place where John Jacob Astor, and his pregnant eighteen-year old wife Madeleine Talmage Astor, spent their last tearful minutes together. Astor tried to re-assure his wife about his chances of his own survival by cutting-open a lifejacket and showing her the pieces of cork inside it. But in the end, Madeline's worst fears were confirmed when her husband was lost in the sinking.
Dr. Robert Ballard's 1986 expedition to the wreck using Alvin managed to take some excellent photographs through the Gymnasium windows, and much of the exercise equipment was still in evidence.
However, since then, the roof of the Gymnasium has sadly collapsed.
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