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7 'Riveting' Facts to Remember!

Fancy yourself as a shipyard worker? Test your knowledge with our top riveting facts from days gone by!

1. It was a 'Titanic' job...

3,000,000 rivets were used in the construction of Titanic - 2 million of which were done by hand and 1 million were completed using a hydraulic hammer.

2. Have you got an eye for riveting?

Visitors to SS Nomadic can spot the difference between riveting techniques! Machine beaten rivets are smooth, thin and wide whereas hand-beaten rivets were made of iron and were narrower and thicker.


3. It takes a team…

A team of 5 men made up the rivet crew – the heater boys to heat up the rivet who then passed it to a catch-boy who passed it to a holder-up and then was hammered in to place by 2 men. These men made a total of 1p between all 5 of them for a day’s work in the Harland & Wolff shipyard! They say the best team consisted of a left-handed man to help hammer the rivets in place as the job was done quicker!

4. Riveting Rightness!

At the end of a long workday in the Harland & Wolff shipyard a foreman tapped all of the rivets which had been completed to ensure that the work was up to standard. If the tap sounded hollow, the riveting had to be redone in the team's own time - unpaid!


5. Hefty Hammers...

The hammers used in riveting varied from 2lb to nearly 40lbs in weight depending on the type of work and the size of the rivets used! 

6. It was a noisy job, but someone had to do it!

Riveting was a hard, dangerous and noisy job – it wasn’t uncommon for riveters to go deaf due to the noise and confined spaces! You can experience this yourself on Titanic Belfast's Shipyard Ride!

7. Rosie the Riveter!

During WWII, the American government launched the “Rosie the Riveter” campaign encouraging women on the home front to take on roles such as labourers and engineers particularly in the aviation industry. 

Image: Alfred T. Palmer/Library of Congress

Now you know the facts about riveting, come and see some authentic maritime examples on board SS Nomadic today! Book your tickets now!