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The Engine Room Hatch of the Cruiser OLYMPIA

By Patrick McSherry
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The engine room hatch, located on the OLYMPIA's centerline, is crowned by a large fidley, or operable hatch, which could be opened to allow for the heat from the engine rooms below to escape, and for access to the engines at times of major repairs or refitting. Peering down from the level of the berth deck, down the ladders to the catwalks below, the visitor can see the top of the forward portions of the two large vertical triple expansion engines. The  42 inch diameter high pressure and 59 inch diameter intermediate pressure cylinders are clearly seen as are the associated valves. The 92 inch diameter low pressure cylinder is hidden from view below the deck, aft. Centered high on the aft bulkhead of this space is the brass plate bearing the name of the vesselís maker. It reads "UNION IRON WORKS/Engineers and Shipbuilders/ SAN FRANCISCO/ 18 CAL. 93." The forward bulkhead of the Junior Officer's Wardroom has several portholes, which look out into the engine skylight and hatch.

The engine hatch aboard the Cruiser Olympia

This view is taken looking down on the starboard engine from the engine room hatch deck. At the top of the image is the high pressure piston. The intermediate pressure piston is shown at the bottom of the image. The low pressure piston, the largest of the three, extends under the deck and under the Junior Officers' Wardroom.

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