Welcome To The Titanic Buff's Homepage!
for a ship so big, so grandeur, would be made. On March 31, 1909, Titanic's first
steel plating was to be assembled to form the world's most largest ship. Materials
from all across the world would be taken to Harland & Wolff in Belfast, Ireland to
erect this massive liner. Her massiveness, beauty, and fate, would be reconised
around the world for decades.... Welcome To Titanic.....
Originally the White Star Line planned to name its new trio of liners Olympic, Titanic, and Gigantic. After the sinking, the third name changed from Gigantic to Britannic. Why? Some thought it was
patriotic appeal for a Britain approaching World War One. Others thought White Star wanted nothing more to do with grandiloquent names. Moreover, the name Britannic was considered lucky to the line. It wasn't for the ship. The Britannic was sunk in World War One.
At least one romance came about as a direct result of the Titanic disaster. First-class passengers Mary Eloise Smith and Robert Daniel were both saved. Smith's husband, Lucien, however, died in
the sinking. The newly widowed lady met Daniel on the rescue ship Carpathia. They became friends and married within two years.
Of the 13 on board honeymooning couples onboard the Titanic, only three couples,Mr. and Mrs. George Harder, Mr. and Mrs. John Snyder, and Mr. and Mrs. Dickson Bishop; escaped together. The other men drowned, leaving their newlywed wives widows.
Edith Russell, a fashion journalist, carried a toy pig into her lifeboat. She considered it her good luck charm and it played the 'Maxime' when its tail was wound. Edith gave the pig to author
Walter Lord, who wrote A Night to Remember. He still has it.
Though there have been many film dramas about the sinking, the only one to boast an actual survivor in a major role was the first, Saved from the Titanic. The silent movie premiered on May 14, 1912, a month to the day the ship collided with the iceberg. It starred Dorothy Gibson, an actress who was on the real Titanic. She also co-wrote the production.
Many of the surviving men, such as J. Bruce Ismay, became social outcasts for leaving the Titanic. But not all. None of them had the foresight of first-class passenger Major Arthur Peuchen.
The Canadian yachtsman sought out Titanic Officer Lightoller onboard the Carpathia and asked him to sign an affidavit that stated Peuchen had been ordered by the officer to man a lifeboat.
Legend has it that the Titanic's band played the hymn "Nearer My God to Thee" as the ship sank. Others say it was the hymn "Autumn". The latter story is based on the reports of the surviving wireless operator Harold Bride. Author Walter Lord, in The Night Lives On, the sequel to A Night to Remember, the classic account of the sinking, posts that Bride was actually talking about "Songe d'Automne," a popular ragtime number that year. The subject is still open to dispute.
Though the White Star Line was a British company, it was controlled by the International Mercantile Marine, a shipping trust owned by J. P. Morgan, an American. Hence, the Titanic was
actually an American ship.
The Titanic carried professional gamblers. To outwit the ship's complement, the cardsharps traveled under assumed names. One of them gave his real name and the address of his sister to a
woman getting in a lifeboat and asked her to notify his sister if he were lost.
Not all the victims of the Titanic were people. Pet dogs of the first-class passengers perished too. Among them: an Airedale, an English bulldog, and a Pekinese.
Only one of the survivors got a good night's sleep on April 14. Roused from her cabin by a steward, an Armenian steerage passenger got into a lifeboat where she dozed throughout the sinking.
She boarded the Carpathia with aplomb. Never at sea before, the woman assumed it was normal to change ships in the middle of the ocean, the way one changed trains on land.
--------------------------------Fact or Fiction??-------------------------------------
It's widely believed that inside the Titanic's rusting hull lies a fortune in jewels and millions of dollars in gold bullion. But like other Titanic legends, this one is also false.
The Titanic's cargo manifest was actually rather nondescript. There were no gold or silver shipments, though there were two unusual items: a be-jeweled copy of
The Rubiyat of Omar Khayyam and a Renault automobile. Neither was saved. As for the jewels, most left with their owners. When the ship began to list, most of the ladies headed for the Purser's office to fetch their jewels. In fact, the Purser sent crew members to remind passengers to retrieve their valuables. Apparently, he was tying up loose ends. Successfully, too, it would seem. When his safe was salvaged and opened on a 1987 TV spectacular, it was empty.
Sometime after the sinking several New York newspapers revealed the truth behind the Titanic's demise. The real reason for the disaster, they claimed, lay within Titanic's hold. There, inside a sarcophagus, was a mummified body of an Egyptian pharaoh being shipped to America for a private collector. The mummy was cursed, and when the
unthinkable happened, the collector bribed the crew to put the mummy in a lifeboat. Safely in America, the mummy brought such bad luck to the collector that he shipped it back to Europe on the ship Empress of Ireland--which sank with the loss of hundreds of lives. Somehow, the mummy was saved again. The owner now decided to return it to Egypt on a third ship, the Lusitania, which was torpedoed by a German submarine. Presumably, the pharaoh is now sleeping undisturbed at the
bottom of the Irish Channel.
But no mummy sailed on the Titanic. Nor was it onboard the other ships. The story, no doubt, reassured people seeking a reason for such a senseless disaster, and though it adds allure to the
Titanic legend, the mummy's curse remains fiction.
What a Drag
The legend of a man dressing up as a woman to get on one of the Titanic's lifeboats is untrue. The story was concocted by reporters about survivor William T. Sloper, who had spurned their request for an interview. After disembarking from the Carpathia, a tired Sloper was in no mood to talk to the press, and he forcibly ejected several newsmen from his room at the Waldorf Astoria. The journalists took their revenge by printing a story that had Sloper dressing up in women's clothes to get off the Titanic. Convinced a libel suit would be more profitable for his lawyers than himself, Sloper never sued. Instead he spent the rest of his life debunking the allegation.
English writer Morgan Robertson wrote Futility, an imaginary account of a collision between a large trans-Atlantic oceanliner and an iceberg on her maiden voyage to New York. He called his ship the Titan. Many other things were similar. The Titan was 800 feet and the Titanic was around 800 feet too. The Titan also didn't have enough lifeboats. Did he cash in on the disaster? Hardly. Robertson published his book in 1898--14 years before the Titanic sank.
Robertson later wrote a book, Beyond the Spectrum, that described a future war fought with aircraft that carried "sun bombs". Incredibly powerful, one bomb could destroy a city, erupting in a flash of
light that blinds all who look at it. The war begins in December, started by the Japanese with a sneak attack on Hawaii. . . .
Molly? Who's Molly?
"Molly" Brown is the famous woman-hero that sailed on Titanic. She saved many people from Hypothermia in the lifeboats because she made sure that everyone got a chance to row, and keep warm. However, no body ever called her Molly, they knew her as Margaret. It wasn't until many years after her death when people started calling her Molly because of the broadway show, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown".
Iceberg Cocktails? Not Very Likely
According to several witnesses, when the Titanic hit the iceberg, chunks of ice fell onto well deck C (between forecastle and bridge). As dramatized in the film A Night to
Remember, passengers saved pieces as souvenirs and, in fun, dropped it in their drinks.
However, it's unlikely the ice came from the iceberg. Emergency lifeboat #1 would have certainly been destroyed if the berg was that close. Instead, it was launched in perfect condition and showed
no damage. The ice probably came from the ship's rigging when jolted by the collision.
Moreover, many survivors told of the iceberg's foul odor. Icebergs often reek of freshly thawed and decaying vegetable and animal matter--a funk not at all suitable for Scotch on the rocks.
Was Inferior Steel to Blame?
In 1994 metallurgists gathered pieces of the Titanic's hull retrieved from the wreck site. The steel edges appeared jagged with no evidence of bending. Upon testing, the metal proved far more brittle than modern steel.
When the Titanic was built, shipbuilders tested only for tensile strength, not flexibility. Scientists speculate that if the builders had been concerned with embrittlement, the hull would have absorbed
more shock and suffered less damage. The Titanic might have remained afloat long enough for the Carpathia to rescue her.
Adding to the brittleness was the water temperature of 28 degrees Fahrenheit. For high-quality modern steel to shatter as the Titanic's hull did, the water temperature must reach 130 degrees below zero.
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