1Titanic 1st Class Ticket Cost
The most expensive first-class tickets on the Titanic were $4350 (or £870) in 1912 money. That equates to more than $125,000 (in 2023).
2. First-class meals on the Titanic consisted of up to 13 courses, each with a different wine pairing, and could last four or five hours.
3. There was a special restaurant on the Titanic that was provided for first-class passengers who wanted to avoid dining with other first-class passengers.
4. The Titanic crew had no binoculars, which may have helped them see the iceberg. They were inside a locker, and its key was lost.
5. The Titanic's coal stores had been burning for weeks before she set sail, damaging the ship's starboard side where the iceberg hit. They attempted to shovel the burning coal into the ovens, but one of the bulkheads overheated and spread the fire to the other side, where there was more coal. There was not only a cover-up but evidence that the fire damaged the hull enough to be a large contributing factor to why the iceberg caused such damage.
Latest FactRepublic Video:
15 Most Controversial & Costly Blunders in History
The Titanic's engines burned 600 tons of coal per day. 176 men worked around the clock to shovel it in by hand. 100 tons of ash was also ejected into the sea each day.
7. All 700 third-class passengers on the Titanic only had two bathtubs between them, one for men and one for women.
8. It's thought that the Titanic could have missed the iceberg by just a few feet if the ship's engines had not been reversed, as the lack of a reverse turbine for the central propeller caused the rudder to work ineffectively when compared to forward speed.
9. During the sinking of the Titanic, a drunken baker helped load women and children into the lifeboats, refused a seat for himself, threw deck chairs overboard for passengers to use as flotation devices, and somehow survived hours swimming in the freezing water until he was rescued at dawn.
10. American tennis player Richard Norris Williams survived the Titanic's sinking but spent too much time in freezing water. The rescue doctor recommended amputation of both his legs. He refused and proceeded to win his first tennis tournament a few months later, becoming Wimbledon doubles champion in 1920.
Frank Prentice, a survivor of the Titanic, stated that the scent of the iceberg was detectable before the collision occurred.
12. During the sinking of the Titanic, an order to evacuate women and children first by Captain Smith was misinterpreted to mean women and children only. As a result, men were prevented from entering lifeboats even when they had empty seats. Only 20% of the men survived.
13. During the Titanic's sinking, Lucile Carter and her children were separated from her husband, William. When she met him again on the rescue ship Carpathia, "All he said was that he had had a jolly good breakfast and that he never thought I would make it." They divorced less than two years later.
14. While the Titanic only had enough lifeboats to hold 1/3 of the passengers, she was actually carrying more lifeboats than were legally required. That's because lifeboats were intended to ferry survivors from a sinking ship to a rescuing ship-not keep all the passengers afloat.
15. The Titanic carried over 3000 mail sacks on its maiden voyage. When it began to flood, the five postal clerks on board tried to save as much mail as they could by hauling the sacks on deck. All five of the postal clerks died in the sinking.
16Half Empty Titanic Lifeboats
Some of the first lifeboats to leave the Titanic were only half full because many people chose to stay on the warm ship, thinking that other ships would come and save them.
17. As the Titanic sank, "someone decided to free the dogs from their kennels, leading to the surreal sight of a pack of excited dogs racing up and down the slanting deck."
18. There were 12 dogs on the Titanic; 3 survived, mostly because they were tiny. There was also supposed to be one cat with young kittens on board the ship to control the rat population, but she was seen disembarking in Southampton, retrieving one kitten at a time.
19. Father Byles, a priest on the Titanic, refused to board a lifeboat twice and instead stayed behind to hear confessions and give absolution to the people left on the ship.
20. A woman refused to board a lifeboat when the Titanic was sinking because she refused to be parted from her dog. Several days later, passengers on the SS Bremen passing by the wreckage in the water saw the body of a woman tightly holding a large, shaggy dog in her arms.
Jeremiah Burke was an Irish Titanic passenger who sent a good-bye message in a bottle during the sinking. It subsequently washed up a year later near his home, where his handwriting was recognized by his mother.
22. Benjamin Guggenheim, heir to mining magnate Meyer Guggenheim, dressed in his finest suit, had a glass of brandy and smoked a cigar as the Titanic sank. "Tell [my wife] I played the game out straight to the end." "No woman shall be left aboard this ship because Ben Guggenheim was a coward."
23. Thomas Andrews, the designer of the Titanic, was on board when it sank. His original design included features such as a double hull, more water-tight compartments, and twice as many lifeboats, but these ideas were overruled. He spent his last moments trying to evacuate passengers, and his body was never recovered.
24. William Murdoch was a crew member on the Titanic. In the movie, he shot a passenger and then killed himself, but in real life, he was last seen trying to fill as many lifeboats as possible and bravely went down with the ship.
25. Titanic crewman Herbert Pitman made an attempt to row his lifeboat over to rescue people in the water but was overruled by the other occupants of the boat, who were worried about people swarming them and duly complied. Pitman said that this haunted him throughout his life.
RE: Fact# 33 – Discovery of Titanic’s Last Lifeboat:
There was no extended drifting/dehydration/cannibalism scenario. The three people were dead the morning after the sinking. The living people on that lifeboat were rescued and the boat allowed to drift away with the bodies.
RE: Fact# 15 – Titanic’s Mail Sacks:
Related to that, the “RMS” stands for Royal Mail Steamer.
RE: Fact# 8 – Titanic Missed Iceberg?: Alright time travelers, you know what to do.
Franz Ferdinand doesn’t get assassinated if the Titanic doesn’t sink, so no WWI. Hitler goes to art school and becomes an accomplished painter rivaling even Picasso… However the world is eventually taken over by Prescott Bush using a private army in the first WW that actually takes place in the 50’s. A campaign bloodier than our two World Wars combined. Also, the internet was never invented so there’s no way your alert makes it to the time travelers in that timeline. Unfortunately, we gotta let it sink fam.
RE: Fact# 20 – Women with Her Dog: So most hurricane shelters in Florida do not accept pets. You’re supposed to leave them and save yourself. I have always said, well fuck that. I would no sooner leave my pets behind than any other family member. Because there have been several hurricanes where people put themselves and their families in danger because they refused to leave their animals, shelters started designating pet friendly. Unfortunately, the only pet friendly shelter in my city is on the other side of town. If I have to leave my house in the middle of a storm, I am not going to make it over there with a cat and an 80-pound dog in tow. I believe there’s also a size/weight limit and my dog is well over that.
I’m still willing to die for my dog.
RE: Fact# 12 – Captain Smith of Titanic:
There were a few factors at play here.
First of all, the public had immense faith in shipping at the time. Titanic and her contemporaries were the biggest and the best in the business. It’s no myth that Titanic was described as unsinkable, but that wasn’t unique – all the big liners with their watertight bulkheads were described as such in the media. To add to this, liner captains were the celebrities of the day – Smith was a much loved public figure. People clamoured to sail on a ship under his command. When the order to start filling the lifeboats was given, many passengers were unwilling to do so. Their imminent peril was not immediately obvious, and people genuinely thought they were safer on the ship than in tiny, exposed open-top lifeboats in the middle of the Atlantic.
But there was little time. Titanic took over 2 hours to sink, yet even in that time two of the lifeboats were swamped before they could be launched. There just wasn’t time for the crew to stand around waiting for more people to get into the lifeboats – if one was ready to go, it had to go so that the crew could move to prepare the next one. This is the main reason so many boats left with empty space.
The women and children first/only is a contentious point. Certainly plenty of men made it off the ship, but aside from crew (who were required to work the lifeboats) most of these escaped from Murdoch’s side of the ship. He at least was filling his boats with women and children, and then men when there was space. However there are several examples (like the Astors) of Lightoller preventing men from taking empty spots on his boats.
However, the issue of weight in the boats was certainly a concern to Titanic’s officers. There was doubt that the lifeboats could safely hold their full complement of 60 without buckling, so the idea was to half-fill them and then add more passengers once the boats were in the water. This plan was lost in the confusion of the sinking; “someone” was sent to open doors in the lower deck from which to load more passengers, which never happened, and the lifeboats rowed away from the ship as soon as they were in the water. This can be put down to a lack of training and lifeboat drills. After the disaster, three lifeboats were tested and found to be able to safely hold the weight of 130 men.
As to why women and children had priority, it’s simply an age-old and somewhat instinctual tradition. Children can’t fend for themselves, women must be saved, and the strong and hardy men must fend for themselves. Whether or not you agree, it’s just how things were done.
RE: Fact# 40 – Titanic Orphans:
The Navratil boys, it’s a bit of a sad story actually.
Michel Navratil and his wife, Marcelle, separated after both his business (he was a tailor) started to fail and he found evidence she was cheating on him. Marcelle gained custody of Michele and Edmond. Devastated to lose his sons, his wife, and almost his career- he took the opportunity for their Easter visit to take the boys and go to America.
Easter that year was April 7, and Titanic sailed April 10th, so Michele’s plan was incredibly last minute. They sailed from France, to Monte Carlo, to London where he booked last minute tickets on Titanic under the name “Hoffman”- the name of a friend.
Navratil didn’t actually know if he was going to be allowed into America, and while on board wrote a letter to his mother asking if she would take the boys should they be told to leave the country. Reportedly, he only left the boys out of his sight once on the journey to play a few hands of cards.
On April 15th, Michel Navratil put his sons in Boat D, telling his oldest to tell his mother he loved her and always had. He died, was picked up by the Mackay Bennet and because he was traveling under an assumed name, was buried in the Jewish cemetery in Halifax that held Titanic’s victims.
The boys, speaking no English and being toddlers, were dubbed “the Titanic Orphans” by the press as they were the only unclaimed children. They were taken in by first class passenger Margaret Hayes while the search for family was conducted. Thankfully, their mother recognized them in a newspaper and White Star Line paid for her voyage to and from New York to retrieve them.
Michele went on to live a long and happy life, becoming a professor. He finally visited his fathers grave in the mid-90’s
Edmond went on to fight in WW2 but died at the age of 43 after the treatment he suffered in a POW camp
RE: Fact# 6 – Titanic’s Engines:
How did this thing float with 600 tons of coal for every day of its trip in it’s hull
Its max weight (displacement) was 52K tons, so 600 tons was around 1% of its total weight. In other words, it was HUGE.
600 tons per day not the whole trip. SO what was the trip like 14 days?
Titanic had 6,611 tons of coal on board, or 12.64% of her total displacement at maximum depth (6,611/52,310). Yes, she would actually get noticeably lighter as the voyage continued. It’s also why you’d have to carefully consider how much coal is being used from which bunker as you can inadvertently affect the trim of the ship.
Titanic’s voyage was to take between 10 April and 17 April without refilling coal. Titanic would have 1,100 spare tons of coal upon the completion of her voyage according to point 7 of this article. If you notice any discrepancies in the math, know that 1,100 tons of coal would last you 3 1/2 days at 16 knots but less than 2 at 21 knots. Titanic was also constantly increasing her speed over the duration of the voyage.
RE: Fact# 2 – Titanic First-Class Meals:
It was not just the Titanic, either!
One of my favorite coffee table books at my public library is one that documents the age of the “fast Atlantic liners”, which lasted into the fifties, when jet airliners became available.
There were pictures of the meat locker of one, and it was full of all kinds of sides of beef and other large animals, as well as row upon row of various kinds of dead birdies. The menus had all kinds of fancy sounding dishes, that went on and on… incredible.
Furthermore, there was a second and third class, and even third was luxurious by most peoples’ standards.
And then there was steerage. The book said that for many if not most, the rows of bunk beds were the cleanest accommodations these passengers had ever had, and the food was better, too.
Most incredibly, the fares from steerage alone were usually enough to cover the “operating expenses” (whatever that means) of the voyage.
Some would be met by an airplane when they got within a day or three from their destination. It would drop mail and newspapers on the deck.
The control rooms of some of them were just dazzling. I mean the engineer’s station below deck. A steampunk orgasm…
Then again, there were pictures of them in rough weather. There is no ship, and there will be no ship that’s too big to be subject to the whims of the mighty sea. At times, those ships were reeking with puke.
But what fantastic ships they were… what an era. The cruise ships of today are not even closely related in accommodation — or purpose. The primary purpose was to get people across the Atlantic as fast as possible — and it was a high stakes competition, with every new record being ballyhood in their port cities.
RE: Fact# 23 – Thomas Andrews:
I feel like anyone who saw the movie would know this. I can picture Victor Garber standing in front of that clock now…
Fun fact: That was exactly what he was doing during his last moment.
I think the wiki goes on to say:
“There were testimonies of sightings of Andrews after that moment. It appears that Andrews stayed in the smoking room for some time to gather his thoughts, then he continued assisting with the evacuation. At around 2:00 a.m., Andrews was seen back on the boat deck. The crowd had begun to stir, but there were still women reluctant to leave the ship. To be heard and to draw attention to himself, Andrews waved his arms and announced to them in a loud voice. Another reported sighting was of Andrews frantically throwing deck chairs into the ocean for passengers to use as floating devices.”
RE: Fact# 28 – Titanic Memorials:
The families were also charged for the uniforms of the lost crew members. Douchebag White Star Line.
RE: Fact# 8 – Titanic Missed Iceberg?: Possibly interesting fact. The Titanic had massive turbine engines that weighed several hundred tons. They were a second stage after the main piston engines.
At the time gears large enough for a ship did not exist, so it was direct driven at very slow RPM without a transmission. Because of this they could not be used with high pressure steam, and had to be use waste heat from the main engines. This both functioned to improve efficiency and improve top speed.
A few decades later steam turbines became standard on aircraft carriers, and the US was the only country capable of producing effective gearing. This gave their carriers a distinct speed advantage over carriers from other nations that had much less complex gearing.
The RN had capital ships capable of 32 knots in 1918. They invented the steam turbine….
It’s why Hood was in such demand that they didn’t have time to refit her. At that time in 1941, the ‘allies’, even if you include America, given that the allies consisted of just Britain at that point only had three non-CV capital ships capable of 24+ knots. All of them were British. It wasn’t until 1943 that more fast capital ships were available.
Yes, but could not maintain speeds like that because of poor gearing.
For instance, the Hood had almost half the range of US battleships at the same speed.
This meant the US ships could actually run faster because the Hood would have to slow down. If it had not been blown in half and sunk the first time it saw combat.
Titanic had one turbine engine, direct drive on the centre shaft, that could only operate ahead, not astern. The two wing shafts were each powered by a 4 cylinder triple expansion reciprocating engine. The turbine was fed by the exhaust from the other two engines.
The US Navy was relatively slow at adopting steam turbine propulsion. The Royal Navy decided on the universal adoption of turbines for all ships from 1906, with Dreadnought being the first capital ship so fitted, while the USN was still powering capital ships with reciprocating engines up to USS Oklahoma, launched in 1914. Starting with the Tennessee class that entered service shortly after the first world war, the US used turbo-electric drive for capital ships rather than geared turbines, with the same general effect of allowing smaller fast spinning turbines to power slower spinning propellers.
The US Aircraft carriers of the second world war were not appreciably faster than those of other navies. USS Wasp had the same top speed as HMS Ark Royal, both mid 1930s designs, and the Essex Class was 2 knots faster than the Illustrious Class, though the latter featured an armoured flight deck, so sacrificed a little speed for better survivability, because they were designed with European waters, in range of land based air attack, rather than Pacific waters in mind. The Shokaku and Zuikaku were both faster than any carriers in the US navy in the second world war.
The Essex could cruise at 25kts for 10,000 miles. The Japanese carriers could not even cruise at 20 for 8000. Many were closer to 15kts.
Top speed is not what gearing is about. Its about efficiency.
That’s more down to design choices based on strategic plans rather than a technological capability. The US planned around the expectation of fighting a war in the Western Pacific with resupply not available nearer than the US West Coast, so included very large fuel capacity and separate dedicated cruising turbines in addition to the main turbines in their ship designs. None of the other fleets had a strategic expectation for that sort of requirement, so designed their ships accordingly. Japan expected to operate within a closer range of the home islands, and Britain planned around Singapore and Darwin providing bases for operation in the Pacific, and generally ports in various parts of the empire providing for a global reach.
In terms of geared turbines, the RN adopted them earlier than the US Navy, with the Nelson class battleships of the 1920s and Ark Royal of the 1930s featuring them from new. The first US capital ships to feature geared turbines was the North Carolina class of the late 1930s, and for Aircraft carriers, the Yorktown class was the first to feature geared turbines, also in the late ‘30s.
RE: Fact# 10 – Richard Norris Williams:
Best part of this story.
Don’t forget the gripping climax!
RE: Fact# 24 – William Murdoch :
That movie portrayed a few of the crew as villains when in fact they died helping passengers to safety. The studio settled one, if not more, defamation suits stemming from inaccurate portrayals.
What bothers me is that Cameron went to all sorts of lengths to make sure he had the ship the correct way round when it was leaving port, or updating the stars so they appear correctly. But when it comes to making a heroic guy a man who shoots innocent people and then himself? He’s got no problem with that.
If he needed a villain in that role, why not create one? Why use a real person?
He later went on to say that he wishes he would have made a generic character perform those scenes. Not that it makes it better, but he himself is aware that he made a mistake.
RE: Fact# 1 – Titanic 1st Class Ticket Cost:
A mansion-like suite in a hotel can be upwards of $10k/night today, so $100k for an entire voyage doesn’t surprise me. The sort of customer paying that kind of money is going to demand a refund, though.
These were the most expensive rooms afloat in 1912, even exceeding Titanic‘s near identical sister that had been in service for 10 months at that time. There were only two rooms for that price, the next most expensive being half price and a deck lower. These two rooms were were less than half the space because they didn’t have the private deck and buying you the C-Deck Suites got you the Sitting Room (C62 Port or C55 Starboard) and the adjacent bedroom (C64 Port or C57 Starboard), but unless you also purchased the bedroom (C66 Port or C 59 Starboard) opposite a shared bathroom, you weren’t guaranteed to have a bathroom to yourself. With the B-Deck Millionaire Suites, you had to buy B52-54-56 Port or B51-53-55 Starboard as one package. Also the windows would have been portholes instead of the large, square windows in the Millionaire Suites. Here‘s Titanic Honor and Glory’s 3d model of them. In here, look at the bottom set of square windows under the 2nd funnel, between the doors. That’s B51-55. C55-57 is the 4 portholes going aft starting underneath the stern of the last lifeboat just underneath B51-55.
Here‘s a comparison of Olympic and Titanic‘s B-Decks as they were in April 1912.
Just as a side note if anyone else is interested, in the movies B52-54-56 are the ones Rose, her mother and Cal are travelling in, for reference on what they looked like.
I think it was substantially enlarged for the movie, but I’m not sure. Here‘s the most complete one-shot exploration of the Sitting Room and adjacent bedroom. Then the scene where Lovejoy enters the Sitting Room while Jack and Rose escape through the far end of the suite. I once took a ruler to the blueprints and determined the whole suite is 50 feet in length and 32 feet deep. That looks a lot bigger.
Cal walking on the deck.
In real life, none other than White Star Line chairman Joseph Bruce Ismay was in that suite.
RE: Fact# 27 – Unknown Child:
As a sliver lining with the entire family drowning nobody had to actually suffer the lose of their family members
One son was already in America and encouraged them to come. Talk about guilt. Jeez, how did he even go on.
RE: Fact# 7 – Bathtubs in Titanic:
People only took a bath once a week back then, so that’s one bath per person for the whole trip.
And there was a wash basin in each cabin that the passengers used for daily cleaning.
RE: Fact# 3 – Titanic’s A La Carte Restaurant:
This isn’t really true. 🙂 There were several reason for the A la cart restaurant, but it wasn’t for avoiding people.
The first was economics. The dining room was included in the price of your ticket, but could be refunded if you chose to. So if you weren’t a big eater, only ate one or two meals a day, didn’t like the menu, or any variety of reasons why you wouldn’t get your money’s worth paying for the dining room, you had the option for a rebate and to choose alternate dining options.
A first class ticket sans dining could be had for as low as £23, roughly £2500 today.
The second was fashion. It was a relatively new fad to have a restaurant on a ship, and it was incredibly fashionable and chic to dine at one. Tables were limited, fully booked for the whole voyage, and passengers were encourage to book for the entire week by being offered a discount on cabin tickets. Instead of being staffed by stewards and victualing crew, it was staffed by a team of handpicked Italian waiters whose only job was the the restaurant. The space itself was one of the most incredible areas on Titanic, complete with its own reception room, and was open for dining at your leisure as opposed to the strict meal times of the dining rooms.
Anyone wanting to avoid dining with other people would have made an error in choosing the Ala carte restaurant. It was was the place to see and be seen, and was booked throughout the voyage 🙂
On modern cruise ships, there is seated dining for dinner, but there were also other restaurants and buffets. If you didn’t want to sit at the dining table with strangers (you get seated at tables of like 10 people, there are no tables for two.) you can always just eat at the buffet.
$23 being equivalent to $2500 today was stated so casually I almost forgot to be horrified by it.
It is kind of true. The a la carte and cafe Parisien had its own musical trio (violin, cello, piano), that most first class passengers had never heard of, which had led to some confusion in the testimony of “the band’s” actions at the inquiries. There was a select social circle in the a la carte restaurant, along with the younger crowd in the cafe. These represent notable sub-groupings from those who would as a rule dine in the first class restaurant and while away the evening in the lounge.
RE: Fact# 13 – Lucile Carter Divorce:
I’m sorry, but i can’t stop laughing at that. It is like it is straight out of some Adult Swim cartoon.
He also stated, “the life boats were pleasant, and had plenty of leg room” and “the Titanic was not all that unsinkable as he originally thought”. Also went on to say “I didn’t see any good swimmers out there, they could have faired well with some lessons.”
RE: Fact# 11 – Frank Prentice:
Icebergs can have significant marine growth on them.
If you’ve been at sea for a while you can “smell the land” as you approach which is actually the smell of seaweed and other growth exposed on rocks and beaches. So it is with icebergs.
Its also how cold they are. The air’s just different when they’re close. You can smell the cold somehow.
Source: I fished in the North Atlantic, and Baffin’s Bay, for 10 years.
From Newfoundland, can confirm. the air feels different when there is ice in the harbour. It smells cold.
RE: Fact# 41 – The Unsinkable Mrs. Brown: When Gus Grissom went up on the second US space flight–a suborbital launch into the sea, the hatch on the capsule blew, the capsule started to sink, the helicopter tried to save the capsule, and Grissom’s suit zipper was open. He also was reputedly carrying rolls of coins that he intended to resell. Grissom very nearly drowned.
His next mission was the first two-man Gemini mission, with future space-legend John Young. They agreed to name the capsule, “Molly Brown.”
Molly Brown landed short, and there was smoke in the cabin from a malfunctioning thruster, and Grissom had cracked the faceplate of his helmet when the parachutes deployed, and they were over 30 miles away from their recovery carrier. Nevertheless, Grissom refused to open the hatch on Molly Brown. And it did not sink.
RE: Fact# 14 – Lifeboats on Titanic:
A ‘rescuing ship’ sounds pretty presumptuous when you’re crossing oceans, especially in 1912. I wonder who thought that was a good idea.
In 1912 a ship crossing the Atlantic would sight other ships on an almost hourly basis, with even more within radio distance.
To illustrate that point, the SS Californian was only a few miles away from the Titanic when she struck the iceberg. They most likely would have immediately come to the rescue, but for the fact that their radio operator switched off the wireless and went to bed at 11:30pm. The Titanic issued a distress radio call at 11:55, but the Californian’s other radio operator didn’t switch the wireless back on until after midnight. Later the crew of the Californian spotted rocket flares being sent up from the deck of the Titanic but were confused as to what they were signalling because different shipping companies had different signals.
The big lesson learned from the Titanic was less about having enough lifeboats and more about establishing a universal distress signal so that any ship could understand when another was in distress.
They also made it mandatory that Atlantic crossing vessels have their radios on and manned 24/7 as well as a result of the Titanic sinking.
RE: Fact# 16 – Half Empty Titanic Lifeboats:
I think what’s important to add to this is that Titanic’s sinking was actually pretty, dare I say, boring until the last 5-10 minutes. She sank slowly- so much so that even when she was finally noticeably down by the head, there was still no real worry that she wouldn’t float, or at least take days to sink. Reality didn’t settle in for everyone for quite a while. Add to this, that Smith didn’t order an abandon ship until the very end. It may have made people reluctant, but it was certainly better than a panicking mob.
Lifeboat launching was dangerous and rarely perfect in emergency conditions.
Weirdly, it was design and management that made Titanic so safe. If she wasn’t as well built, the event would have been a debacle. Instead, Titanic sank very calmly, with little panic, getting off her boats with only one tiny hiccup- until collapsing all at once.
All true, and it is another reason the lifeboats went out half empty at the start – people assumed it was like a fire drill – required by regulation but not actually demanded by the circumstances, and that everyone would come back to the ship when the danger was contained.
When it became clear the ship was actually going to sink, they had no trouble whatsoever filling the boats.
There was also another ship, the Mount Temple, whose lights were visible to both crew and passengers on the Titanic. Many thought that it would come to the rescue, although it did not (probably because she couldn’t risk her own passengers in the ice field).
This is an interesting piece of testimony but it falls apart pretty quickly. Mt temple was 50 miles away from Titanic on the other side of an ice field, she would never have made it. There was no way she would have been seen by Titanic.
It’s another attempt by Lord-apologists to find a way to excuse his negligence. The problem of course is that Californian was north of Titanic and Mt Temple was far west of her and heading that way.
This is a bit of a big answer so I won’t bore people with the history too much, but the Temple debate seems to be a lot of much ado about nothing. The one piece of testimony you’re referring to is very interesting, and a bit of a sticking point. It hangs around because we can only guess why it exists, but no proof that we are correct 🙂
RE: Fact# 22 – Benjamin Guggenheim: I feel this part of the story shouldn’t be missed;
As [his mistress & aid] reluctantly entered Lifeboat No. 9, Guggenheim spoke to the maid in German, saying, “We will soon see each other again! It’s just a repair. Tomorrow the Titanic will go on again.” Realizing that the situation was much more serious than he had implied, as well as realizing he was not going to be rescued, he then returned to his cabin with [his valet] and the two men changed into evening wear. Rose Amelie Icard wrote in a letter, “The billionaire Benjamin Guggenheim after having helped the rescue of women and children got dressed, a rose at his buttonhole, to die.” The two were seen heading into the Grand staircase closing the door behind them. He was heard to remark, “We’ve dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.”
Say what you will, but IMHO, he went down like a boss.
This was an actual scene in the James Cameron movie. Down to the dialogue.
The reason why this story resonated so much with people then and now, is because the owner of the Titanic J Bruce Ismay actually took a seat in one of the lifeboats (this is also in the movie) instead of giving it up to someone else. People couldn’t believe it. While the Captain, the ship builder, and pretty much every powerful man onboard gave up their seats to women and children, the man who had spent more on luxury than in lifeboats was taking advantage of that flawed system, and fuck everyone else. He was wildly condemned in America and the press turned him into a villain. So people shared the story of all the gentlemen who gave their lives that night to save others.
This movie gets tons of shit, but so many of the situations and interactions seen among the different random characters and extras outside of the main characters did happen. Cameron paid close attention to every single detail and recreated it flawlessly, and a lot of the interactions we see in the movie were directly lifted from real stories shared by survivors. The band playing until the very end, the elderly couple embracing together (they are said to be the founders of Macy’s). There is a scene where Ismay is trying to convince the Captain to increase the speed of the machines to make it to NY earlier and surprise everybody. It is said that this bad decision contributed to the accident. Well, watch the scene again and you’ll see a fancy lady behind them listening to the conversation. This scene was based on a story shared by the women who overheard this very discussion.
The movie is not bad at all when you realize how so much of what really happened is actually represented so accurately and for that alone it’s worth watching.
RE: Fact# 26 – Dead Bodies of Titanic Disaster:
How did they determine which bodies were first class passengers?
By clothing and jewelry. Clothing was typically monogrammed as well. (Made it easier to identify when using laundry services.)
All bodies were logged, regardless of class. There are websites where you can view the logs.
This was actually a small financial mercy for third class families. Burials, plots, headstones and embalming are and were expensive and would have been a hardship for many steerage survivors to afford, especially after losing everything.
RE: Fact# 9 – Charles Joughin :
They also reckon it’s because he rode the ship down and just stepped into the water, keeping his head mostly dry. You lose ALOT of heat through your head so keeping his hair dry probably also played a part in keeping him alive
RE: Fact# 19 – Father Byles:
I imagine you have a really quick existential crisis in moments like that.
Am I actually a priest? Or am I a guy named Thomas who’s been priesting for a living?
Turns out he was a priest.
I’m studying to be a chaplain. At least in my experience and talking with others on my path, those thoughts are fairly constant. While it may have come up then, it wasn’t the first time he thought that.
I thought about studying for the ministry, and trained as a chaplain’s assistant in the army as my secondary MOS, although I never got a chaplain’s assistant slot.
I can’t imagine how you manage to keep your faith. Yes, there are people like me who show up on church on an average Sunday, when there’s no particular crisis.
But people turn to religion when their spouses and parents and children are killed. They turn to religion when they find out they have cancer when they’re only 30 years old and have toddlers they’re trying to raise. They turn to faith during every crisis there is, and your faith has to be challenged again and again and again to support these people in need, when life looks at its darkest.
God bless you. I’m not meant to walk your path, but I admire every step of yours.
I’m studying to be a hospital chaplain, though I’m early enough out that I can still choose police chaplaincy or military or whatever.
I’ve been sick my whole life and lost loved ones to sickness so I’ve experienced something like what the people I serve are experiencing. As far as my faith being challenged by what I see, it happens. It has to happen. It’s natural and I don’t think it counts as loving God if the choice to do so isn’t difficult. I’ve come to believe that God lets bad things happen, but He absolutely doesn’t like it. He mourns with us and His heart aches when we hurt. Bad things happen because sin exists. Sin exists because we have free will and God wants us to have free will so that we can choose to love Him if we’d like. That’s a very simplified explanation and honestly not good enough for some people, and I understand that.
It’s not always fun work, but it’s good. I like to think that I’m not religious, but rather that I have a relationship with God. But I think that a personal belief system and a claim to a religion (any religion) can be good for a person. If it helps heal and comfort in terrible situations, I’m glad it’s there. I’m trying to say (and I apologize for rambling) that while it may shake my faith, it makes me see religion as a good thing, because I see the comfort it brings.
Thank you and God bless you as well 🙂
RE: Fact# 28 – Titanic Memorials:
Southamptoner reporting in. We have a museum about the Titanic here, and there’s a room where the floor is a map of the town at the time of the Titanic. There is a red dot on each home that lost someone in the disaster. I had no idea of the impact on my city before, it was shocking.
RE: Fact# 32 – John Jacob Astor IV:
“They divorced on July 21, 1933, in Reno, Nevada. Four months later, on November 27, 1933, Madeleine married Italian actor/boxer Enzo Fiermonte (1908–1993) in a civil ceremony in New York City, New York. They honeymooned in Palm Beach, Florida. They eventually moved there. They had no children together and divorced on June 11, 1938, in West Palm Beach, Florida.”
She remarried twice, does that mean she got the inheritance back?
Married a rich guy. Could have had his wealth if she followed his will, but didn’t by marrying an actor. I ain’t saying she’s a gold digge…yea, I am.
RE: Fact# 4 – Titanic’s Binoculars:
You don’t need binoculars if you can smell ice.
Funny because in the movie I’m pretty sure the two watchmen mention something about smelling ice while using binoculars.
They didn’t have the binoculars in the movie. It kept pretty accurate to the event. Did say that line though.
RE: Fact# 6 – Titanic’s Engines:
Stoking was a hard job but it did pay very well compared to a lot of industrial jobs for the time. There’s a bit of an art to firing a boiler. It’s not just throwing coal into a hole. You have to know how to load it so the boiler is heated evenly, safely, and efficiently. So skilled firemen and trimmers were in high demand, and the wages reflected that. Suicide rate was high though due to the extreme working conditions in the hot, dark boiler rooms. Wasn’t long after Titanic sank that newer ships began transitioning from hand fed coal furnaces to automatic heavy oil burners.
RE: Fact# 5 – Titanic’s coal stores:
According to an article I read last time, due to the fire, they moved the coal to the opposing side, causing a list of like 3-5°. When the hole opened, the water fixed the list and kept going to something like 7° to the empty side. Had the coal not been moved the ship would have listed 12°, making it a 5-6 foot jump to the lifeboats on one side, and a drag along the side for the other.
There’s a lot of really interesting eye witness accounts of the entire thing, and the documentary mentions something about the speed of it sinking, and how there’s an account of one of the fire men saying the hull was fine for about an hour. Then it burst open and let the water in – the bulkheads were holding until then.
And! I looked up a source, and it seems this may be at least part of it – an article about the fire from a newspaper at the time.
RE: Fact# 47 – Imanita Parrish Shelley:
Her autobiography was later sold to Hollywood, where it became a Marx Brothers film.
“And two hard boiled eggs.”
RE: Fact# 5 – Titanic’s coal stores:
This is so completely insane! how could they allow that? we have a coal mine here near where i live that has been smoldering for decades that they cannot put out… but a coal store on a ship?! surely that can be dealt with! after all it is not underground!
Coal fires on ships were actually a fairly common occurrence at the time. It wasn’t uncommon for ships to set sail in such a fashion. The article linked to above is rather dishonest, trying to turn this into some giant conspiracy that explains the sinking of the Titanic, when the fire has been known about for a long time, and has surfaced every decade or so in the media as “the true reason the Titanic sunk!”, ignoring the five times they announced the same thing in the past. It’s old news, very old news, and the idea that the fire weakened the hull has been generally rejected by historians when this popped up in the past.
According to the video, which I found really fascinating, they tried to shovel the burning coal into the ovens, but one of the bulkheads super heated and spread the fire to the other side, to coal they didn’t get to.
Also, it answers (possibly) the question about why the decision was made to go full steam into an ice field. There was a coal strike at the time, and Titanic only took as much coal as it would take to get to New York. This meant that all that burning left a very real threat of being stranded in the Atlantic, so they gambled by trying to go faster. They clearly lost, but it puts an interesting light on it – it wasn’t so much to prove how fast the ship was, it was to avoid humiliation.
RE: Fact# 43 – Annie Robinson:
That sucks. But also before she was on the titanic:
“On 6 May 1909, she was onboard the Lake Champlain en route from Liverpool to Montreal carrying 1,000 passengers when it struck an iceberg. The damaged vessel limped to St John’s for repairs.”
So the last two ships she’d been on had struck icebergs. When the fog came down it must have been an “awe shit here we go again” moment.
RE: Fact# 48 – Titanic’s Survival Stats:
That’s a very interesting table.
Additional information about the pets. There were twelve pets on board, of whom three had survived.
It’s a little ironic because when the SS Atlantic went down (also a white star ship), only one child and zero women survived.
“Women and children first” was a romanticized idea that wasn’t often put into practice. For most maritime disasters, it was every person for themselves and men had a higher survival rate.
RE: Fact# 30 – Macy’s Owner on Titanic:
In the 1997 movie they are shown laying in their bed while their room floods.
What I hate about this movie is that stupid old lady. This crew has the decency of bringing her along and listening to her story. She knows that they spent every cent on this expedition, partly to find that famous diamond. Then she chucks it into the ocean. You bitch, they spent their life savings to find that thing!
RE: Fact# 29 – Fate of Engineers on Titanic:
My great-grandfather was a fireman on the titanic. Off duty when it hit the iceberg – got his ass on the last lifeboat (no doubt elbowing some women and children out of the way) and thanks to that, here I am!!
Lots of male crewmembers survived because they were assigned to get into the lifeboats to help navigate them.
Perhaps he was one of the men assigned?
RE: Fact# 49 – Halomonas Titanicae:
Some parts of the Titanic will be there forever, essentially. Long enough to be dragged into a subduction zone anyways. The bronze propeller blades, the brass telegraph equipment, any gold jewelry or decorations all should survive hundreds of thousands of years.
RE: Fact# 7 – Bathtubs in Titanic:
Even in first class, only the two most expensive suites had their own bathtub.
Correct. En-suite bathrooms were not standard even in 1st class. You had a cabin with a sink cabinet and area to wash up, but no bath, shower, or toilet. There were communal bathrooms designated for where your cabin was located, or you had an adjoining bathroom with the cabin next to you.
For third class this voyage was the first time they were experiencing indoor plumbing!
RE: Fact# 28 – Titanic Memorials: This is so odd, I’m just watching the Titanica documentary on Netflix! There are so many examples of bad humans surrounding this particular disaster. I know this documentary is old (’92), but I don’t think it screened in Australia at the time of release so I’m only just getting to see it now.
The White Star Line really suffered a lot in the years after the Titanic sunk, rightly so. Not sure how the Captain of The Californian managed to sleep at night thereafter either. So many people could have survived had he decided to attend when they received the distress call. The Captain of the Carparthia saved a lot of lives by deciding to turn the ship around and go back to assist. What a guy.
Check out the book “The Other Side of the Night”, by Daniel Allen Butler. It’s a fascinating account of the actions of the Californian and the Carpathia, and an investigation of their captains. It’s a bit sensationalist in tone, and very damning of Captain Lord of the Californian (going so far as to label him a sociopath), but a great read nonetheless. IIRC it also includes information about the other ships involved in the rescue and recovery (other liners who arrived hours later, and were instructed to search for any chance survivors, as well as the ships sent out days later, with cargoes of coffins and shrouds and instructions to attempt to recover and catalogue the dead). The classic “A Night To Remember” covers the rescue and other ships as well, but not in as great detail.
Captain Rostron of the Carpathia demonstrated brilliant seamanship and leadership that night – his actions and preparation read like a manual for rescue at sea, and it’s quite telling of his character that he ordered the Carpathia to charge course toward the Titanic’s coordinates before even waiting for confirmation that the call for assistance was genuine.
RE: Fact# 35 – Picture of Titanic’s Iceberg: There are a few candidates for the iceberg Titanic struck, not helped by contradicting eyewitness accounts from passengers and crew of Titanic regarding size and shape. More than one had “red paint” on it, but it could have been red algae they saw.
There’s always the distinct possibility it wasn’t photographed.
RE: Fact# 38 – Charles Lightoller: I wonder how many he tried to rescue.
Charles: “I’m Charles Lightoller, I’m here to rescue you!”
Dunkirk soldier: “I’ve heard that name before, where do I know you?”
Charles: “I was second in command of the Titannic.”
Dunkirk soldier: “Well thanks for stopping, but we’re good. I think I fancy a little swim anyways.”
Lightoller was actually a very competent and experienced seaman. Before the disaster, he was on a career track to be a captain of a ocean liner like the
Titanic himself. And the sinking of the Titanic was not in any way his fault and he was correctly considered to have acted heroicly during the sinking.
On the other hand…
Your little imaginary dialogue rather perfectly sums up Lightoller’s post-Titanic career. His job interviews all came down to “Very impressive resumé, but what’s this bit about the Titanic?” He was never given command of a ship other than during WW1. He had difficulty finding work at sea. Other, less competent and less experienced, officers were promoted to positions over him. Eventually he gave up, retired, and opened a seaside hotel with his wife.
RE: Fact# 45 – Violin Played on Titanic:
Minor nerd rant/history lesson ahead-
The story of this violin is massively frustrating. It was given to Wallace Hartley as an engagement present by his fiancé. It was the one he played as Titanic sank, and it was recovered when they pulled his body out of the water- kept afloat by his life jacket even as his body decayed for two weeks until he was found.
That means that 33 year old Wallace Hartley took stock of his situation, decided to play the last song for those who knew they were going to die, grabbed the engraved gift from the woman he was going to marry, and tried to survive.
And now… it sits in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, where tourists can get their pictures taken with Santa Clause on a replica of the Grand Staircase. Then they can go to Applebees or something.
Nerd rant about tackiness aside, confirming it as the violin was huge news. The fact that it has survived is incredible 🙂
More interesting history! A big reason this took so long to confirm was because Hartley’s body, when pulled from the water, was not listed with his violin or case among his belongings- which is very unusual. The coroners report listed his description, his clothing, and the small items he had in his pockets but not this… rather obvious thing. A bit dubious right?!
However! We have other, rather fantastic sources, that show us the crew of the Mackay-Bennet made a mistake (as incredible as that sounds). We have four newspapers all describing the return of Hartley’s body with “his music case”, and we have letters from his fiancé to the secretary of Halifax, NS thanking him for return the violin with the rest of Hartley’s belongings. One of those newspapers reporting was a Halifax paper. Halifax was the epicenter of dealing with Titanic’s dead – including Wallace Hartley.
But what about the note? Couldn’t it have been forged? They covered that too- Hartley’s fiancé misspelled the name of the Halifax Secretary and she also, in the same, listed the name and address of a friend who a review of 1911 census records indicated was a match. The letter was original!
The story of the violin is long, but documented. The mystery is why it wasn’t listed. There’s only two explanations. First is that the coroner simply made a mistake or second, that against all odds, they not only found Hartley’s body but his music case floating separately two weeks after Titanic sank. The odds of this are astronomical, so it’s safe to assume it was just an oversight, but you never know!
To be fair, even though the museum is in Redneck Vegas, the place is well done. Probably the best place I have seen for Titanic artifacts, and the thing at the beginning where they give you a passenger card to see if you made it or not is cool, the guy I got ended up being buried in the same cemetery in Massachusetts as my great grandma of all things.
But yeah I agree with Pigeon Forge, the Smokies are beautiful and it sucks Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge is there…but you can eat dinner with hologram Jesus!
RE: Fact# 39 – Frank Goldsmith, Jr.:
Morbid truth: I have a friend who served in Desert Storm and he still has a visceral reaction to the smell of cooking pork because of the pyres of bodies.
Smell is the sense strongest linked to memory. This can work in good ways (old smells of childhood, nostalgia) and bad ways (ptsd)
I have a friend who is a genius when it comes to diesel engines but had to quit being a mechanic because he was a diesel mechanic in Iraq. Said the smells caused him to quit because of traumatic memories.
I once was with this pretty vegan, earthy girl who had this beautiful smell to her that was super unique.
Now I work with Ed, who is 49 and has the same smell. I sit at my desk looking at his dumb bald head while fighting my conflicting thoughts.
RE: Fact# 50 – Titanic survivor Jack Thayer:
“In his privately published 1940 account of the sinking, Thayer recalled what life was like before the Titanic sank, “There was peace and the world had an even tenor to its way. Nothing was revealed in the morning the trend of which was not known the night before. It seems to me that the disaster about to occur was the event that not only made the world rub its eyes and awake but woke it with a start keeping it moving at a rapidly accelerating pace ever since with less and less peace, satisfaction and happiness. To my mind the world of today awoke April 15th, 1912”.
Damn. Change the date to 9/11/2001 and you could say the same thing today.
RE: Fact# 36 – Berthe Mayne:
To anyone curious, she was traveling as “Madame Francoise de Villiers,” under which name she is mentioned in Walter Lord’s seminal A Night to Remember (which I highly, highly recommend). She escaped in the same lifeboat as “The Unsinkable” Margaret “Molly” Brown.
RE: Fact# 42 – Masabumi Hosono:
I think a lot of men who survived were looked down upon because they men were supposed to let the women and children on the life rafts first. I am pretty sure J. Bruce Ismay was the most hated Titanic survivor…
RE: Fact# 43 – Annie Robinson:
A big, and always forgotten part of Titanic’s story, is the aftermath and subsequent trauma from those who survived the night. Lifelong terror, anxiety, PTSD, depression, divorce, poverty, suicides … there were plenty who never truly recovered from the event.
Annie Robertson was called to testify at the British Inquiry, and while her testimony is short both in length and in answers, her remarkable attention to detail during the chaos is not only super impressive, but also massively helpful. She’s a direct witness to the immediate aftermath of the collision, testifying to see Smith, Andrews, and (probably) John Maxwell surveying the damage and sounding Titanic. She also gives exact detail of the incoming water level, which helps us trace the rate of flooding as well as get a clearer picture of what the iceberg actually did to Titanic. When I say exact, I mean exact – she testifies that from the top of the stairs she was on at the exact time, the water had reached the 6th stair. Not a bad eye!
Lastly, her sense of detail and time is so dead on (she testifies Titanic sank about 45 minutes after her boat left – actual time was 40 minutes) that we can pretty confidently trust her information is correct.
It’s all very key because we have so few glimpses of the minutes after collision, and even fewer of those players involved. But Annie Robinson saw it and them!
And also those who lost their loved-ones. A while ago I read about a Finnish farmer named Juho Panula, who had a ridiculously tragic life. In 1892 Juho married a woman named Maria, and they went on to have eight children. At the time infant mortality was high, and two of the children died in infancy. Then in 1910 nine-year-old Emma Panula drowned in a lake.
In 1912 the family decided to emigrate to the U.S. in search of a better life. Juho travelled ahead to arrange things. Later Maria followed with the surviving five children: Ernesti (16), Jaakko (15), Juha (7), Urho (2) and Eino (1). They travelled on the Titanic in the third class. Later a Finnish survivor recounted, that when the ship began to sink, Maria cried: “One of my children has drowned already, and now we’ll all drown!” She and her younger sons were offered a place on a lifeboat, but she refused to leave her teenage boys.
When Juho Panula heard of the disaster, he traveled to New York, to look for his family. He heard that there were two unidentified foreign boys among the survivors, and he through they might be Urho and Eino, but it was proven that they were the not his sons. A week after the accident the corpse of a little baby boy was found floating in the sea, and for a long time he was thought to be Eino Panula, but later genetic testing revealed him to be was Irish.
It was said that after the accident, Juho Panula was never himself. However, he did eventually remarry woman named Sanni, and had a daughter named Signe. Unfortunately Juha’s sorrows were not over, for little Signe died of meningitis at the age of 16 months. The couple had three more children, who all lived until old age: John (1917-1979), Violet (1918-2006) and Ethel (1926-2017).
RE: Fact# 47 – Imanita Parrish Shelley:
“Throughout the entire period from the striking of the icebergs and taking to the boats the ship’s crew behaved in an ideal manner. Not a man tried to get I into a boat unless ordered to, and many were seen to strip off their clothing and wrap around the women and children who came up half clad from their beds. Mrs. Shelley feels confident that she speaks the truth when she says that with he exception of those few men ordered to man boat all other sailors saved had gone down with the ship and were miraculously saved afterwards. Mrs. Shelley says that no crew could have behaved in a more perfect manner and that they proved themselves men in every sense of the word.”
RE: Fact# 47 – Imanita Parrish Shelley:
So glad to see this posted!
Imanita Shelley is one of my favorite passengers. Lots of reasons mentioned in the document but my personal high point is her behavior once pulled aboard “Carpathia”, where the first thing she did among the grief and chaos was to head down to where the third class survivors were kept and start interrogating them as to whether they had had heat in their rooms.
She sounds….lovely 🙂