Olympic and Titanic's empty hulls have been under construction beneath the gantry for 2 years. They were the biggest ocean liners ever to be built side by side.
On October 20, 1910, Harland and Wolff and the White Star Line launched the Olympic into the Lagan river that runs beside the ship yard and into Belfast lough.
She was the first of the Olympic Class Liners to be launched and White Star expected a lot of publicity from just the launch alone.
Olympic's hull was painted light gray for photography reasons, so that every detail of the ship's hull could be seen in a photograph. The people of Belfast crowded the shipyard just to catch a glimpse of the launch. Watching the largest moving object at the time, slide down the slip way and into the water must have been an amazing sight. White Star did not christen the Olympic Class ships, because they thought the launch was impressive enough. As one ship worker remarked, "They just builds ' er and shoves ' er in."
Once Olympic came to a stop, the massive floating hull was towed to the fitting out basin for completion.