Monday, October 12, 2015

My View #123 - Why Portholes?

This is another of my "why" questions. I don't know an answer to this one. Why do nearly all boats and ships have round port-holes? What does the shape matter, round or square? Every ship I've been on, the round port-holes were used. I have a few questions:

1. Are they easier to install?

2. Are they a good escape window?

3. Can a grown man get through one?

4. Who designed the round style?

5. Captains' quarters and main Officers deck usually have square ones - why?

6. Some ships, like M.V. Georgic (the ship on which our family sailed from Britain to Canada in 1953) had 3 bars on and we very well could never escape, if needed. That bothered me a lot for the eight days we were on board.
An antique porthole. It has a hinge to open, and two screws to shut it tight.

So who do I turn to for answers? It would be good to find out. I never did like being on the water.

June 12, 2008

Later: I think I know. It might be safer and better to make a port-hole watertight, as a round window than a square window. Jam jar lids are round, not square, and are watertight. Voila!!! Bob laughed and said, "You can't cut threads on a square, only round objects." Old smart me!

A glance at Wikipedia adds that porthole frames are brass or bronze to resist corrosion and the strength of the waves. Anyone who has been on a cruise knows that modern cruise ships have portholes on the lower decks where the crew's quarters are; however, the passengers are treated to panoramic windows since they are high above the waves.

I wrote this after watching a shipwreck and rescue on TV.

Your very intelligent Mother.