Coal Bunker's Return to Diagram
Titanic's coal bunkers held close to 7,000 long tons of coal allowing her to operate for approximately 8 days. (Due to a coal strike her bunkers were only half full) The trimmers would assure that the coal bunkers were unloaded evenly to keep a neutral balance of the ship. They were also responsible for bringing coal to the firemen from the coal bunkers by wheel barrels and removing ash from the furnaces. The coal ash was mixed with water and pumped out to sea. Titanic had 73 trimmers that disregarded their own safety in order to generate steam for the lights as Titanic was sinking and loading her lifeboats. Only 20 of the 73 trimmer's survived.
(Above), Steamships taking on coal from a coaling barge. On large ships this could take up to a day and a half to fill the bunkers. Loading coal on a ship was referred to as "bunkering" by the trimmers.
A ship's coal bunker (above left) and coal stoker's (above right) referred as "the black gang" due to coal dust on their faces.
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