On this date in 1910 RMS Olympic was launched. RMS Olympic was a transatlantic ocean liner, the lead ship and namesake of the White Star Line’s trio of Olympic-class liners. Unlike her younger sister ships, the Olympic enjoyed a long and illustrious career, spanning 24 years from 1911 to 1935. This included service as a troopship during World War I, which gained her the nickname “Old Reliable”. Olympic returned to civilian service after the war and served successfully as an ocean liner throughout the 1920s and into the first half of the 1930s, although increased competition, and the slump in trade during the Great Depression after 1930, made her operation increasingly unprofitable.
She was the largest ocean liner in the world for two periods during 1911–13, interrupted only by the brief career of the slightly larger Titanic. Olympic also retained the title of the largest British-built liner until the RMS Queen Mary was launched in 1934, interrupted only by the short careers of her slightly larger sister ships.
By contrast with Olympic, the other ships in the class, Titanic and Britannic, did not have long service lives. On 15 April 1912, Titanic famously collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sank, claiming 1,500 lives; Britannic struck a mine and sank in the Kea Channel on 21 November 1916, killing 30 people.
I doubt any of my readers have heard of Olympic. We tend to remember tragedy more than success. Here’s a recreation of the last meal on the Titanic by the Herald-Chronicle. I will have to say it does not look very appetizing.
An entree of chicken Lyonnaise, roast sirloin of beef forestiere, potatoes Anna, minted green peas timbales and creamed carrots.