There is certainly no person in the world right now that does not know the story of Titanic. Even if you did not watch the love story between Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet, you know what happened. When you put things into the equation, it is pretty simple. A huge boat versus an iceberg equals a huge boat that sank.
One could say that there really was not much to do, it was a simple example of man versus nature. However, what if there is something else that has not been told yet? Why did the “unsinkable” ship sail full steam straight in the known iceberg field? It sounds weird and it sounds suspicious. It is now 106 years later, and new evidence is slowly starting to surface. Evidence that might suggest that not everything is at it seems.
The RMS Titanic was really not one of its kind, but it was the first ever super cruise liner. It was quickly named the “Queen of the Ocean” and given the notorious title of being unsinkable. It was actually talked about being put on the list of the wonders of the world. The Titanic was very important back in its time and age, and it showed.
Truth be told, it was big to the point that another shipyard had to be assembled to make sure they could construct her. The site turned into the Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast and was about four city blocks big. The shipyard became the origin of both the RMS Titanic and her sister super cruiser RMS Olympic. Building ships this big was both hard and quite pricey.
White Star Line executive and overseeing chief J. Bruce Ismay was under huge strain to turn the voyage line company around. The White Star Line was attempting to rival other companies and were endeavoring to keep their heads above water as they put down their wagers in the transoceanic cruiser wars.
Their main opponents, for example, Cunard Line bragged and publicized how their boats were the quickest, and that their company had the best sea liner services on the planet. Ismay fumed. In spite of the fact that Cunard Line had speed, White Star Line decided to go in the other direction – size. Ismay’s thoughts were colossal. That plan, obviously, had its drawbacks and disadvantages.
Chief planner Thomas Andrews supervised the development and the construction of the RMS Titanic. As he revealed all of his arrangements for this rich, luxurious ship, Ismay conveyed the news that each planner fears hearing: they were to cut their spending.
Ismay was on a tight spending plan and it showed. The company was failing and needed these huge ships out on the water at the earliest opportunity. With as little expense as they could manage under the circumstances, of course. Andrews quickly pointed out the flaw in this plan. He contended that there would be corners Ismay just couldn’t cut, for example, steel quality and the number of lifeboats. Ismay just brushed it all off and said he was not worried about that. He was unaware that his negligence had just sunk the ship.
The National Coal Strike
The ship was finally built during a particular time in history. When the Titanic saw the sun for the first time the nation was under a furious coal strike. We now call it The National Coal Strike of 1912. A huge amount of workers started looking for jobs in the industrial sector.
Their strike was brought about when they were getting used for wages that could not provide them with a normal life. As the coal stocks took a dive, so did their wages. However, when the stock rose, there was next to zero change in remuneration. Because of the clashes, the White Star Line was under gigantic pressure yet again — and that tension would just rise.
It is no wonder that the progressively outstretching influence of the National Coal Strike of 1912 influenced the cost of coal. Strikes more often than not cause the value of items to increase, and with Ismay’s financial plan, it set the ground for a disaster. The 2017 documentary Titanic: The New Evidence speculated that one of the reasons that contributed to the sinking of the Titanic was fuel deficiency.
The documentary speculated that the main reason to push at full speed in an icy mass field was that they were trying to use as little fuel as possible. To back the ship off, just to speed it back up, consumed more coal than if a ship was running at a constant speed. The ship was, therefore, going full steam ahead because they didn’t have enough fuel to slow down and after that accelerate. The good old spending cuts.
The spending cuts did not finish there. Think about the Titanic as a banana. Outwardly, it would seem that the thickness of the strip would ensure that the delicate fruit inside was untouched. However, it is both simple to peel and similarly as simple to crush. That was basically what the Titanic was. Solid and imposing when looked at from the outside. Feeble and delicate on the inside. The verification of that statement came quick and solid— when the RMS Olympic struck the Royal Navy’s, HMS Hawk.
The HMS Hawk left a vast opening in the ship’s bow. It even left splits past the impact zone. The steel was unsatisfactory, and any designer taking a glance at the damage done could without much of a stretch tell that metal was defective. There were even comparisons made as if you would build Fort Knox out of tissue paper. It would tear without much effort. The real question was: Did Ismay care? He did not. At that point, the steel companies exhorted Ismay that it’s ideal to utilize a special kind of steel for this job. He reacted snobby and educated the steel companies that « normal » steel would do the trick. He would soon regret those words.
Remember how it was advertised as a luxurious ship? Does it sound like one to you, now? It would now be considered an absolute scam if you were to board a ship, and lie about the safety. The defective materials were not even the peak of the problems, what was happening on the inside was.
Back in 2017, a photo album was found in an old attic that had pictures of the Titanic before it sailed on its maiden voyage. The photos were laid into the hands of the Titanic expert, Senan Molony who also appeared in the documentary Titanic: The New Evidence. When he had a look at the photos, he said, “…the Titanic equivalent of King Tutankhamen’s tomb.” Just as he was talking to the owner of the photos, Steve Raffield, Molony stumbled upon a photo that could provide a new insight into the Titanic’s history.
The Photo Album
It is safe to say that Raffield did not expect to shock the world when he got his hands on this photo album. As he was going through all the photos in the album, he stumbled upon something quite strange in one of them. He thought that it was a glare or simple damage on the photo, but upon further inspection, he found out that it was something more than that.
He could not be sure if he is seeing things or if something is there, so he blew up the photos. What he saw stunned him. He was looking at an about 30-foot scorch mark. He wanted to make sure that he was not seeing things yet again, so he went through all the other photographs, and sure enough, the mark was visible in every one of them. The mark was in the spot where one of the boilers was supposed to be on the inside, which would mean that there was most certainly a fire on the inside that caused a mark on the outside. What was the deal with that?
The Great Fire of Titanic
So the ship itself was gigantic, and there was only one was to power it. The coal bunkers had to be huge in order to sustain enough power to fuel the ship and keep it going.
According to the research done in Titanic: The New Evidence the bunkers were about three stories high. There was enough room to store about 1.5 tons of coal. Of course, this was standard procedure, and something quite normal. What was not normal, however, was the fact that something managed to heat up the reserve. Whether it was a spark or something else, the Titanic started to burn from the inside out.
One might think that this was a minor setback that had to be fixed. Just call a couple of firemen on board, and have them extinguish the fire, nothing special, right? Wrong. The fire was not extinguished before Titanic set sail on its maiden voyage. And the photos were proof of that.
They did mention the fire in the reports back that date to 1912, but that was it. Nobody called for any help, nobody cared. John Dilley was an engine room worker on the Titanic, and he saw the fire firsthand. What he wrote in his report is absolutely chilling and makes your blood freeze. He wrote, “There were hundreds of tons of coal stored there. We made no headway against it … we didn’t get the fire out … from the day we sailed, the Titanic was on fire …”
Fighting the Fire
There were eleven men tasked to extinguish the fire to no avail. As the Titanic was sailing from Belfast to Southampton, where it would pick up more than 2,200 passengers for their trip over the Atlantic, the fire was still burning and getting stronger day by day.
Of course, nobody told the passengers anything. It was all kept a secret, and Ismay made sure of that. He feared that the company’s reputation would be damaged. He was walking on thin ice as is, so he made sure that any other setbacks would be kept a secret. Ismay just had enough. He had numerous investors that needed to be convinced that the White Star Line was up to its job, and one setback after another was surely a bad way to show that. That is why he forced everyone to keep their mouth shut. Whether the Titanic was engulfed in flames or not, the maiden voyage was set on April 10, 1912, regardless.
Ismay was counting on making a great impression with the ship itself so that the investors would forget everything else. The first-class rooms were absolutely gorgeous and stacked with expensive equipment. The rooms were huge as well. He was hoping that everyone sailing in the first class would take their hat off in front of him.
The price was set rather high as well. If you wanted a first-class ticket on the Titanic, it would set you back around $2,560. If we convert it to today’s equivalent, it would be around $61,000 USD. Quite expensive, don’t you think? You got a three-bedroom room for that money, with two wardrobe rooms, a bath, and a drawing-room. The first-class meals were superb as well and of the best quality. Ismay was really trying hard to impress the people who chose to splash the money on such a room.
The Food Menu
If you want to know what was on the menu, you can. Back in 2012 the Titanic menu went on auction and was sold for $160,450. It was, however, split into two parts. The lunch menu was sold for $102,000 and the dinner menu was sold for $58,000. If you take a look at the menu, you will see that the items on there are still considered a delicacy to this day. For example, you have like foie gras-stuffed eggs, turtle soup, and a Sussex capon.
The Time reported that the dinner was made of ten courses including oysters, salmon, chicken, lamb, duckling, and squab, and beef. If you were a wealthy individual on the Titanic, you would be eating like one. However, nothing could hide the fact that the Titanic was in-fact still on fire, and it was slowly reaching its boiling point.
One might wonder what the big deal with the fire is. It has nothing to do with the sinking of the ship, right? Well, not exactly. Sure, the Titanic sank because it hit the iceberg, there is no denying that. However, it was not as simple as that. There were numerous things that happened throughout the journey that would influence that impact.
Senan Molony was also one of the skeptics. He also thought about the damage the fire could have done. He was no expert when it came to fires, but he knew someone who was. He contacted coal fire specialist Guillermo Rein. Guillermo actually gave him a horrifying answer. Supposedly, the coal had to be on fire even before someone spotted it. His explanation might give you insight and show you some aspect you have never thought of before.
Guillermo told Molony that the coal was not only of fire for days before anyone spotted it, but it was probably heated up already before the ship even left Southampton. According to him, it is fairly easy for coal to burn like that. It first heats up, spreading through the whole pile, and only then does it begin to smoke. As soon as that happens, it starts to burn. It is not only a matter of days, but it could be a matter of weeks before anyone would even notice that the coal was on fire.
The horrifying part is that by that time it is all over. Once coal starts to burn, especially in a huge pile, it is extraordinarily hard to put out. The temperatures in a huge pile like that could have easily reached between 1,000–2,000 degrees Fahrenheit. If we put that in perspective, it is the same as if you were dealing with molten lava. You do not have to be a scientist to figure out that temperatures like that can easily melt metal, including steel that the hull was built with.
Hell on Titanic
Now, let us connect all the pieces together. We have a fire that is burning anywhere between 1,000–2,000 degrees in a special bunker that stores the coal. Right next to that bunker was a bulkhead. A bulkhead is a water-tight room that would fill up with water in case there was a breach. The safety room was therefore there.
However, if you take a fire that is burning at a temperature as high as that, it will influence the steel around it. Steel particularly becomes extraordinarily brittle and weak when exposed to high temperatures. There is no way that it could hold its ground in case of an impact. It would simply shatter and give way. The bulkhead next to the bunker was obviously the most affected. It was also the last bulkhead that was protecting the bunker. That means that in case it did not hold, all the water would flow into the bunker. Then there is nothing left to do because the furnaces are underwater and the ship loses its power. The fire actually led to a disaster.
It is no secret that by the time the Titanic left Southampton, the fire was still in full effect. However, the brave workers managed to somehow slow it all down and actually keep it under control in a single pile, while they tried to repair the damage it had done at the same time.
The fire was now burning in the area very near to the bulkhead. The metal was starting to give way, and the workers quickly discovered the damage that was right in front of their eyes. A hole between the bulkhead and the bunker. There was nothing else to do but to patch it as best they could and cross their fingers.
Burning Through Coal
So, the only way one can get rid of coal that is on fire is by moving it. But if you have a huge coal supply, where do you move it? Well, the answer is really simple, actually. The workers were shoveling the burning coal into the furnaces.
There are speculations that the Titanic was actually rather low on fuel, and that the whole ship was basically traveling on fumes. They were shoveling as much coal as possible into the furnaces so that the ship could reach its full speed. Remember how we said that it was easier to keep it at full speed than slow it down? Well, there you have it. They were burning through their supply that was already on fire, and they were traveling at 23 knots straight into a known iceberg field.
Ignoring the Warnings
The ship received quite a few serious warning that they are sailing into an ice patch. The crew decided that it would keep sailing because that was a much better choice than to be stuck in the middle of the ocean. According to rumors, Captain Edward John Smith was actually forced to keep the Titanic at full speed, even though he wanted to slow down or even stop.
He really did not have many options to choose from. Either he ignores the warning, sails full steam ahead, and hopes that nothing bad happens or slows down the ship, sails steadily, avoiding all damage, but burns all the reserves at the same time, getting the ship stranded. We all know what the choice was in the end.
The Unsinkable Sinks
It was on April 14, 1912, when all the hell finally broke loose. The ship hit an iceberg 400 miles off the coast of Newfoundland. It actually took 2 hours and 40 minutes for the whole ship to sink beneath the surface of the water. There were 2,200 passengers on board of the Titanic, and only 706 people made it out in one piece. One might think that almost three hours is more than enough time to evacuate the ship but it was, unfortunately, way too quick.
Yet again, we make our return to the fire. As soon as the Titanic hit the iceberg, the iceberg scraped along the hole. It opened the Titanic like a can of sardines, and it was taking on water very quickly. The water compartments filled up and thankfully held. Sadly not for long.
Patch it up
The last water compartment was the one right next to the bunker. The water was being kept out by weakened steel and quick patchwork. It was under immense pressure, and it was only a matter of time before it gave way.
The patch itself did its job and held just as long as it could, but it was like putting a band-aid on a ripped-off leg. It was a quick fix. It finally gave way, and the water starter breaching into the ship itself now. It was quickly filling up the engine room and sinking it.
According to Molony and his research, if the last compartment, the last bulkhead, held, the ship would sink at least twice as slow. It would leave them more than enough time to send out a distress signal, and inform RMS Carpathia that they are in need of a rescue mission.
Literally, hundreds of lives could have been saved if that was the fact. However, the reality was sadly the opposite. The news spread around the globe like a forest fire, and everyone knew that the biggest ship ever built sank. Do you want to know who was amongst the survivors? J. Bruce Ismay himself, of course.
What Happened After?
A few days after the disaster, most of the testimonies were given, and Ismay still walked away with no blame. Today his family are fighting to clean his name from all the rumors and speculations. It’s a hard fight, but they are trying. Back to the accident…
The sinking was deemed accidental, but the White Star Line still had to pay some repercussions. Most of the passengers that survived filed lawsuits against the company, particularly for compensation due to the loss of property. When the ship sank, so did their luggage. Most of the survivors were actually upper-class people and therefore had quite expensive stuff with them. Charlotte Drake Cardoza actually sued the company so that they would repay her lost wardrobe, for $177,000.00. That would be $4.2 million today. With all the lawsuits in place, we can say that there was at least some justice being done.
The Full Cost
J. Bruce Ismay made some terrible decisions to keep the White Star Line from going bankrupt. He knowingly risked the lives of over 2,200 people when he left the ship in an abysmal condition. There were not only men and women on the board, but children too.
Corners were cut from the very beginning. By using subpar steel, having way too little fuel on board, having a fire on board, not having enough lifeboats, and so on and so forth. Each and every shortcut that Ismay decided to take would eventually cause the tragedy.
The Crash Ignored
Nobody could actually pretend that this was unexpected. The collision between the RMS Olympic‘s and HMS Hawk was a clear sign that the hulls were way too fragile. All of the reports that were gathered from that particular collision suggested that the Titanic was to be improved, but nobody cared.
In the end, the White Star Line took a gamble. They took a gamble with money and they took a gamble with the lives of innocent people. They lost both of those. The historians are on the case right now, to see if the evidence recovered from the album is solid enough to support the claims that the fire was the major cause in the accident. If anything, the sinking of the Titanic put in place stricter laws when it comes to cruise ships, so nothing like that can happen ever again.
There were many changes made to the safety of the cruise ships after the Titanic sank. There are now much stricter ice patrols in the North Atlantic, and they are enforced. That means that the information about the icebergs is being updated on a regular basis.
The Titanic used a Morse code to signal the ships in the area that it was sinking. It was then put into the law that each ship has to have a radio from that point on. Those radios are to be strictly monitored by the crew, and the crew has to be present at the radios in case of an emergency. In 1914, just two years after the tragic event, the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea was formed. It became a global standard for each and every ship out there. Just a year later, in 1915, the rule of lifeboats was finally set in stone too. From that point onward, each boat has to have enough lifeboats for all of its passengers.
A Heavy Price to Pay
All in all, the sinking was a tragic event in naval history. It cost thousands of innocent people their lives. Most of them were actually immigrants who were on that ship to seek a better life in the United States. An American dream that would remain a dream forever.
Does it hurt less now, knowing the truth why the Titanic actually sank? Absolutely not. There is nothing we can do about it, and we cannot change the past. What we can do, however, is learn from those mistakes and not repeat them. Tragic events like these are a constant reminder that human life is much more valuable than a few tons of steel, and that we should always strive to improve the world around us and make it as safe and happy for everyone.
The best thing when telling a story is to start from the very beginning. Let us start at the name. Titanic is actually a word that was taken from Greek Mythology. If we translate it to English, it means “gigantic”. The first photo we present you with will give you an insight into just how huge the vessel really was. The RMS Titanic set on its maiden sail on April 10, 1912. There were over 2200 people on board at the time.
The whole construction of the vessel was actually quite well-publicized. All the eyes in the world stared in the direction of the $7,500,000 cruiser. It was deemed the largest ship in the world. It was also said that it would be the best in the field of technical innovations, and have amazing features on board itself. There was a serious buzz surrounding the Titanic and for a good reason.
The Luxurious Ship
It was only four days into its first and last voyage that the Titanic hit the bottom of the ocean. The whole event was deemed an accident due to a collision with an iceberg. Most of you are very familiar with the love story of Jack and Rose from the movie, but what was life on the Titanic actually like?
If you were in the first class, you were living in the most luxurious part of the ship. If you were in the third class, you were living in awful conditions. If you want to know more, make sure to read on, as we will reveal what life was like for the 325 first-class, 284 second-class, and the 709 third-class passengers on board.
The Famous Band
There were rumors and a legend surrounding the band on the Titanic. It was said that the band never stopped playing as the ship was sinking. The rumors were in-fact true. Looking at the photo it makes it even more terrifying knowing that they would be spending the last seconds of their life together as if playing on a normal evening.
When the photo was taken, none of them knew that they would play their last song in a matter of days. The leader of this eight-member band was Wallace Hartley. Just like any true leader, he decided that he would stay and play, to at least comfort the passengers and keep them calm in their time of despair. The other members refused to leave his side.
The Grand Staircase
If you think that we are showing you the staircase from the movie, you are wrong. However, it is not strange that you would assume that. The Grand Staircase connected multiple decks and was actually one of the best and most beautiful features on the ship.
There were many features on the Titanic, but one would not expect a gym there. There was one, however, and it was equipped with the state of the art fitness technology of the time. You could use an electric camel, electric horse, and cycling machines. As with every other quality feature, this too was only available for people of the first class.
It was following a strict schedule, however. From 9 am and up until noon, it was open for the ladies. From 2 pm and up until 6 pm, it was the time for the gentlemen to get their fair share of exercise in. Yet again, a picture that sends chills down your spine, knowing that the guy in the picture would soon be using his rowing skills in a lifeboat.
Sure, there were many things that were fun for the adults, but were the children overlooked? Of course not. There were exactly 126 on board of the Titanic. Less than a half, 60 children, did not survive the tragic event. Most of the children who did not survive came from the second or the third class.
As you can see in the photo, the boy is taking his time to play shuffleboard on the Promenade Deck. The children were even allowed in the gym, and their schedule was between 1 pm and up until 3 pm.
This is the first-class lounge. You can clearly see that the décor was something that was far from the norm, something special. The lounge was located on Deck A, and it was particularly popular for people to take a smoke and interact with each other. They would also eat their lunch here, play card games and some would even discuss business affairs.
If you are wondering what the price for the luxury was: $1700. The whole lounge was actually styled in accordance with the Palace of Versailles in France. This was the lounge that the band chose as their final resting spot.
Two Barber Shops
There were also barber shops on the Titanic. Two of them, to be exact. The barbers were mostly there to give the gentlemen an occasional trim of the beard. One of the barbers was for the first-class people, and the second one was for the second-class people. If you were a third-class person, you would not be getting a trim anytime soon.
The whole shop was actually built in a way that it would act as a souvenir shop as we know it today. As you can see, the shop sold dolls, hats, ribbons, trinkets, and tobacco.
The indoor lounge was popular, but if you were the type to take your life outside, you could drink your tea at the Café Parisien. It provided the passengers with the view of the Atlantic Ocean. It was actually the first café to be ever built on an ocean liner. It was, obviously, popular between the younger first-class people.
You could also grab a bite to it because it doubled as a restaurant too. You could enjoy foods like oysters, salmon, roast duckling, and vanilla éclairs.
The First-Class Cabins
We are providing you with a glimpse of how the first-class sleeping quarters looked like. It was luxurious and none of us would have anything against sleeping in such a room today. There was a section of elite rooms that even had their own private deck. Remember the rooms from the movie? Those were the ultra-private rooms.
All the first-class cabins were in the same spot. That spot was the B deck. Unfortunately, the B deck was also the spot that most of the passengers took as their final spot when the ship was sinking.
The Second-Class Cabins
The second-class rooms took quite a dive in the standard. There were bunks, a private bathroom, and a simple seating area. It was far from luxurious, but it was solid enough to enjoy it. Some of the second-class rooms were a bit more luxurious, in-case the Titanic ran out of the first-class rooms.
The cabin you see in the photo could have been anywhere near the C or the E deck. There is a false belief that the second-class people had it any better than those in the third-class. Sure, they had better rooms, but most of them were left to die just like the third-class.
The Third-Class Cabins
The third-class cabins were awful, to say the least. They were as basic as it could get, and they could double as a prison cell, honestly. There was barely any space in the cabins, so the third-class passengers roamed the Titanic as far as they were allowed. You found the third-class cabins from deck F and up to deck G. They were the lowest decks, and of course, the first ones to flood.
The Titanic hit the iceberg and started taking on the water in the early hours. That was when all of the passengers, including the ones in the third-class, were already at sleep. That meant that by the time they woke up, they had very little time to make their escape. Or they did not have it at all.
The Third-Class Lounge
So, we talked about the luxurious first-class lounge, but how about the third-class? Well, they had a dining area that was more of a cafeteria. Again, it looked more like a dining area in prison than on the biggest ship in the world. However, they did dine with the best silverware available at the time, and it was certainly the best silverware they ever had the chance to dine within their lives. It was certainly a highlight for most.
As far as the meals are concerned. They could choose between very basic meals, such as porridge, vegetable stew, baked potatoes, and occasionally, roast beef.
The Second-Class Lounge
We are now taking a look at the next lounge. If we did not show you the first-class one, you might have thought that this was in-fact their lounge. That was not the case. The upholstered chairs and lavish ceilings are something that the second-class could enjoy, but it was not fancy enough for the first-class at the same time. However, just like the first-class lounge, the second-class one was styled after the Palace of Versailles, too. However, the designer had to leave out the best details out, so that they would be available for the first-class.
The second-class lounge worked pretty much like the first one. They would use it for social interactions. However, the second-class lounge was something that most of the third-class passengers tried to sneak into.
The Boiler Rooms
And we are moving on to the boiler rooms. This is what the life of the workers there looked like 24/7. Keeping the ship moving was no easy task, and it was rather dirty as well. There were six boiler rooms altogether. Together they provided the ship with 29 boilers. There were 176 employees working in these boiler rooms every day and night and were burning through 600 tonnes of coal each and every single day.
It was a hard job, but they were paid well for their services. Unfortunately, many of them died while being heroes. It is believed that their actions kept the ship afloat for another hour. They never left their post until the very end. It is believed that 48 of these boiler room workers, called firemen, survived.
Moving on, we can see an Irish woman who was trying to sell some lace on the second-class deck. There were actually no rules on the Titanic that would prohibit such activity. Therefore, the traveling salesmen and women would buy the tickets in hopes to double or even triple their profits by selling their items on the ship itself. They were unknowingly taking an even bigger risk than that of loss of profit.
This Irish woman was obviously going for as much profit as possible so that she could start living the American dream as best as possible.
Four decks were above water, those decks were from A to D. Passengers could use those decks to get some fresh air. Every each and one of those decks were kept in pristine condition day after day. It did not matter whether there were first-class people using it, or the third-class people. Those decks had to be perfect. This was mostly due to the fact that the decks did not belong to one class, and they all had to be taken care of in case a first-classer stumbled onto it.
The crew really did put their attention into the slightest detail when it came to the decks, even the lower ones. Therefore the third-class passengers could enjoy it too, and it was certainly close to living a dream for them.
This photo was one of the first to be taken on board the Titanic. You can see a second ship stationed near it. The job of this second ship was to transport luggage onboard the Titanic. You can see all the passengers gathering to see their personal belonging brought onboard. Just a couple of days later, these same belongings would end up at the bottom of the ocean.
At the time, it was common for the passengers to bring their own luggage onboard with them. The Titanic was actually first to introduce such a service, leaving the passengers without a grain of worry, and leaving them to enjoy the cruise as stress-free as possible.
The vessel had huge propellers to maneuver with. There were three altogether, one in the center and two on the sides. The side propellers were 23 feet long and weighed about 38 tonnes. That is 38 tonnes each.
If you think that is huge, you are correct. They were not only larger than what we use on ships today, but they were also the largest ever built. You can use the people standing in the background as a rough measurement on just how big they actually were. It makes it even harder to believe that the ship that boasted with such amazing power would sink in a matter of hours.
The Propellers Defy Time
The search of the Titanic began with underwater searches. And as soon as it was discovered so were the items that were on it. There is nothing more glorious to look at than the propellers. It has been over a century since they were submerged, and yet they remain in a top condition.
There are a few items that are missing to this day. The lounge chairs, bags, and fitness equipment were never found. It is speculated that the currents took them miles away, and it would be ludicrous to go after them.
The Reading Room
There were a reading and a writing room on the ship too. It was available to those in the first-class. It was meant for the ladies to use after dinner. The designer kept the feminine influence in the design and had the room decorated with pink curtains.
It became clear after the first day that it was the most useless room on the ship. Ladies decided to stay at their dinner tables and socialize even after their husbands were gone. The designer saw that it was useless, and made a note that he will not include it in the next design.
The Boat Deck
As with most of the ships, the only deck that was fully open to the outside was the top deck. It is also known as the Boat Deck because it is the deck where the lifeboats are usually held. The top deck was split into four sections: officers, engineers, first-class, and second-class.
Yes, you are correct. The third-class passengers could not access it and therefore did not have a way to see the world from the top deck. If we recall back to the movie, this was a major flaw, because Jack would never be able to scream that he was the « king of the world! » in reality.
The Indoor Swimming Pool
They were surrounded by water all the time, obviously. However, the Titanic was the first ever cruiser that also featured a pool on the ship. It is not like something you see on today’s cruisers, however. It was part of the gym and a Turkish bath complex. Yes, you have guessed it, it was for first-class passengers only.
The pool itself was made of salt water. They would then heat up that water, and you would go into the pool to relax. Because there was water in that room, it was also the most waterproof room. So if it were to spill, it would not reach any other rooms. That is why it was the last room to take on water when the ship sank.
Teatime or Liquor?
We have reached the first in the series of colorized photos. You can see a group of ladies enjoying their tea and socializing while the famous band is playing in the background. As far as the food is concerned, buttered toast and small sandwiches were served on a regular, and it was usually enough to keep the ladies full until dinner.
This place, in particular, was known for being heaven if you loved alcohol. It started serving it at 8 am each day. You could even choose between great amounts of liqueurs, ranging between chocolate and up to different fruit flavors. This is the same room that was portrayed in the movie when they are discussing Rose’s wedding plans.
Every Staircase Decorated
You really did not even have to catch a glimpse of the Grand Staircase to make it feel like you were living in a dream if you were a third-class passenger. As you can see in the photo, there was a green velvet carpet laid over the simplest staircases and was a simple sign of just how luxurious the ship was.
There were a few parts of the ship that were left undecorated. Those were the working stations. If, for example, you took a step into the boiler rooms, only barren steel would welcome you.
The Massive Cross Beam
You can see a man standing next to a massive metal cross brace. This is what we could consider the main part of the Titanic. It was the middle of the Titanic, and it held it all together. The construction of the Titanic began on March 31, 1909, at a shipyard in Belfast.
It actually did not take very long to build the ship, all things considered. Only 26 months from start to the first launch. Around 3000 employees were working on the ship day and night for those two years. There were a few deaths that surrounded the construction, particularly workers losing footing and falling to their death.
The Radio Station
We have reached the radio room. There was only one operator that worked in the radio room, and he is seen in the picture. He was a young individual that worked in the radio room during the day and only had time off during the night, so that he could sleep. He woke up immediately when the Titanic hit the iceberg, and sent out distress signals right until his very end. Were it not for his sacrifice, no distress signal would have gone out, and nobody would have been rescued.
Sometime after the tragic event, laws were put into place that made it mandatory to have more than one person in the radio room and to have them rotate and work shifts. From that point forward it was mandatory that one person is at the station at all times, in order to send out distress signals.
The Titanic’s Captain
This photo was taken one year before the Titanic set sail, and in it, you can see Captain Edward John Smith and Lord James Pirrie, Chairman of the Belfast Shipyard. Smith was a very experienced captain and sailed as a captain on many of White Star Line ships. He was honored that the company chose him to be the captain of the Titanic.
He was actually asleep when the ship hit the iceberg. He jumped out of the bed immediately and did everything in his power to get as many people off the boat as possible. His final moments are unknown. There are several different reports. He either drowned or shot himself.
It is a well-known fact that most of the lifeboats made their way off the ship only half full. However, it would not make much of a difference even if they were full. There was simply not enough for everybody. There were only 20 lifeboats in total, which means that in ideal conditions only half, that means 1100 people, would have been able to make it off the ship.
The existing lifeboat launcher was actually awful. It was slow and faulty. The crew actually did not even have the proper training, so they had to improvise on how to get the lifeboats off the ship.
Lifeboat Filled With Survivors
The first lifeboat was released at about 11:45 p.m. Just to give you an insight on how long it took from the first until the last. Remember, there were only 20 lifeboats to be released, and the last one made it off at 2:15 a.m. Horrifically slow. The first lifeboat managed to reach the RMS Carpathia at about 4 a.m. It was at 8:30 a.m. that the crew of the RMS Carpathia managed to rescue the last survivor.
This is the actual photo of a lifeboat, and you can clearly see that it is loaded by women. So that fact remained, women and children were put on the lifeboats first.
Trying to Warm Up
In this next photo, you can see survivors of the tragedy resting on top of the deck on the RMS Carpathia and catching the rays of the sun to warm up. They were quite lucky because the ship was actually sailing eastward from New York. Their radio operator managed to intercept the distress signal by sheer luck, and the captain of the ship launched a rescue mission in the blink of an eye. They managed to arrive at the spot where the Titanic sank about two hours after.
Thanks to the crew of the RMS Carpathia, 712 people were pulled onboard and saved. The ship continued on its original destination, which was New York, and that was where the rescued passengers were let off the boat.
Receiving Great Honors
Just like they deserved, both the captain and the crew of the RMS Carpathia were honored greatly. They received a silver cup that was given to them by a representative of the survivors, and it was given as an act of thanking them for everything they did.
Captain Rostron became the honored guest of President Taft at the White House. The president honored him with the Congressional Gold Medal. This is the highest honor that one individual can receive.
Bring Back the Lifeboats
The thirteen lifeboats that made their way off the Titanic and onto the Carpathia were actually the only thing from the Titanic that was still afloat. The crew of the Carpathia decided to bring them all back with them to New York and wanted to return them to the White Star Line.
The biggest mistake made was leaving the lifeboats unsupervised once they were at the port. The lifeboats that you see in the photo were stripped and stolen by the treasure hunters, as soon as they heard about the accident. Not a single lifeboat has appeared anywhere in the world as of today. It is speculated that they were either reused on other White Star Line ships or that they paid people to quietly destroy them.
Raising Funds for the Survivors
When the Titanic sank, the news made it around the globe rather quickly. It is nothing strange, honestly, since there were passengers on that ship from all over the world. It was as if the whole world was breathing with the ship.
In the photo, you can see a Boy Scout troupe in Stratford who went on a special mission. They decided to raise funds for the Titanic survivors and were quickly joined by others. The White Star Company took one up the chin and set up a relief fund so that the families of the victims received at least some monetary compensation for their tragedy.
Refuge In New York City
When they arrived in New York City, the survivors were actually left alone. If it were not for the people who wanted to help them, they would be left on their own. Thankfully, some people had family in the city and could help one another, and some of them simply had to wait for financial aid.
The photo shows a group of men living in a makeshift shelter. They were waiting for the aid, and thankfully many New Yorkers were sympathetic enough that they even let them inside their own homes, where they could wait in peace.
Making Money off a Tragedy
Just like with any catastrophe, there are people who are quick to jump the gun and start making money on the tragedy. Figurines, postcards, and newspapers all appeared on the streets everywhere, and they were heavily priced. You can see a woman buying a print of the Titanic just a matter of hours after the tragedy became a public story.
It might seem dumb to do such a thing and supporting it by buying stuff, but it paid off for the generations that came. Such memorabilia is very sought after, and collectors are paying top dollar for it.
Return to Britain
In this next photo, you can see men, women, and children gathering at the gates of the Belfast shipyard. The shipyard where the Titanic was built. They were all waiting for the RMS Lapland to dock. The RMS Lapland took 172 survivors back home.
This crowd in Belfast was nothing compared to the crowds in New York. There were tens of thousands of people who gathered there in hopes to catch a glimpse of the RMS Carpathia or the survivors. It was like a strange voyeur thing to do.
The Inquiry Committee
After the sadness settled down, it quickly turned into anger. How did the Titanic sink? What went wrong? The ship was supposed to be unsinkable, and people were looking for an explanation. Actually, before the survivors even docked in New York, the White Star Line was already assembling an inquiry committee.
The committee came to the conclusion that the crew ignored the warnings of the icebergs, and that there were not enough lifeboats on the ship itself.
Waiting Outside The Courthouse
You can see crew members here, waiting patiently outside a courthouse. They, alongside other survivors, expected to receive heavy compensation for the tragedy that they all had to go through.
And they did receive it. The White Star Line paid out around $664,000. That was then split up between all of the survivors, which meant that each of them received around $950. It might seem rather low, but if we adjust for the inflation, it would be around $22,000 in today’s money. Still low all things considered, but hey, better than nothing.
The Children of the Titanic
And we have made it to the last, and possibly the saddest picture on our list. Despite being selected as the first to be put on the lifeboats, 60 children did not survive the sinking. The two boys who did survive, Michel and Edmond Navratil, are pictured here in New York. Their father died a noble death when he put both of them on the lifeboat while he drowned.
Both kids and their father were second-class passengers, and their mother did not go on the trip. Thankfully, they were reunited with her after a couple of weeks, and they are considered as one of the most beautiful stories of fatherly love that the world has ever seen.
Discovering the RMS Titanic Wreck
The wreck of the RMS Titanic was discovered in 1985 by Robert Ballard. Prior to this, there had been a number of unsuccessful discovery expeditions.
The Titanic’s discovery resulted from the invention of Argo, a deep-sea submersible video camera that could be remotely controlled.
Honeymooners and Titanic
The Titanic carried various passengers, including two newlyweds, Mr. & Mrs. George A. Harder, who were celebrating their honeymoon aboard the ship. The woman survived the shipwreck, but unfortunately, her husband did not.
Bernie Palmer, a photographer who captured the activities of the Titanic’s passengers, sold the rights to his photos for $10. He probably would have charged much more had he known how valuable his photos would become in the years to come.
Construction of the Titanic
When the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic were built, they were the largest ships ever created and there were no existing slipways to accommodate their construction.
In order to move forward, the shipping company had to first build a giant slipway to support the construction. The slipway was known as the “Great Gantry” and cost about $150,000.
The Stern & Rudder
The rudder is a vertical blade at the stern of a ship that is used to steer the vessel when in motion.
The rudder of the RMS Titanic was massive, weighing over 20,000 pounds.
Titanic at Dock: Moments Before the Maiden Voyage
Compared to all other ships at the dock, the Titanic truly stood out. Yet moving the gigantic structure from land to sea was an extremely taxing and complicated process.
While the process only lasted for 62 seconds, 23 tons of various lubricants, including train oil, soap, and grease, were required to move the ship from land to water.
Sailing Out of Belfast
The RMS Titanic left Belfast with the help of five tugboats that helped guide the large vessel out of the dock.
This image was taken during a sea trial, which is one of the testing phases that occurs towards the end of a ship’s construction.
RMS Titanic: The Crew
There were about 700 crew members on the Titanic. Edward J. Smith, the man with the white beard in the middle of the front row in the below photo, was the Captain. It was rumored that the Titanic’s maiden voyage was supposed to be his last trip before retirement.
The other men featured in the photo are various officers and engineers, including the Chief Engineer.
The Captain of the Titanic: Edward J. Smith
Edward John Smith was the commanding officer for the White Star Line shipping company, as well as the Captain of the RMS Titanic. There are various accounts of Smith’s last words and actions as well as his death in the disaster, yet all suggest that his final actions were truly heroic.
Some people blamed Captain Smith for the incident, suggesting that he wrongfully sped through the ice at full speed. However, he was posthumously exonerated since the maneuver was a common practice at the time.
Blaming the Captain
Several survivors claimed in their letters that Captain Smith had been drinking directly before the incident.
A letter of one survivor written aboard the rescue ship Carpathia, which was sold at auction in 2012.
The Infamous Iceberg
The infamous iceberg was the cause of Titanic’s sinking.
The iceberg breached the side of the giant ship and punctured all five of it’s watertight rooms that were supposed to keep it afloat.
The promenade deck was located directly below the top deck. This deck was made for general use, but it included four cabins with private 50-foot promenade decks.
These cabins were called “Parole Suites” and were the most expensive rooms on the ship. The most expensive of these suites cost over $4,000 in 1912, which is about $100,000 today.
Standard Single Bed Cabin
This was probably one of the 350 first-class standard single bed cabins. There were also 39 private suites available on the ship, and each had a private bathroom in addition to the bedroom.
Some private suites even included wardrobe rooms and were decorated in the luxurious style of the French monarchy.
Cruising On the Water
The RMS Titanic was loaded with almost 6,000 tons of coal for her maiden voyage.
The ship burned about 690 tons of coal per day and crew members worked day and night to shovel coal into boilers to produce steam power.
The Marconi Communications Room
The Marconi Company ran the ship’s communications room.
The operators aboard the Titanic were actually Marconi Company employees and not crewmembers of the ship.
Lowering the Lifeboats
The Titanic had 20 lifeboats on deck that could carry around 1,200 people at maximum capacity.
Although the lifeboat capacity was greater than what was required at the time, it still accounted for less than half of the vessel’s occupancy, which totaled about 2,500 people, including both passengers and crew.
Survivors on Carpathia
More than 700 survivors were rescued by an ocean liner named Carpathia.
The survivors were stranded in the middle of the ocean, suffering from stress and hypothermia. Once taken out of the water, the survivors were given warm clothing by Carpathia’s crew.
Passengers Fleeing on Lifeboats
Many pictures of lifeboats filled with passengers fleeing the sinking ship were captured. However, the sad story behind the photos is that the lifeboats were not actually filled to capacity because crew members worried that the lines would not support the weight of the lifeboats at full capacity.
As a result, many of the lifeboats were launched below capacity. The first lifeboat that was launched held less than half of its 65-person capacity, and another left with only 12 passengers on board.
Passengers Being Rescued by Carpathia
Passengers aboard the ocean liner Carpathia were able to capture pictures of Titanic survivors being rescued from the lifeboats.
The Carpathia was the ship that responded to the Titanic’s emergency signal and came to rescue the survivors. Out of the ship’s 2,500 passengers, only about 700 people managed to be be rescued.
Sparsely Filled Lifeboat
The passengers who made it onto the lifeboats spent about two hours in the freezing cold before the Carpathia arrived.
As already mentioned, many of the lifeboats were sparsely filled and there was plenty of room for more passengers.
Lifeboats at Pier 54
After the passengers were brought to safety at Pier 54 in New York City, all the lifeboats were left empty.
This pier actually belonged to White Star Lines, the shipping company that built the Titanic.
Have you ever wondered what happened to the iceberg that caused the Titanic’s demise? It remained floating where it was, largely unscathed, except for a few black marks left behind from the paint on the Titanic.
Many believe that if the Titanic had collided with the iceberg head on, rather than hitting its side, it would not have sunk.
The Grand Staircase After the Accident
Photos do exist of what was left of the grand staircase after the shipwreck, which is not much, unfortunately. While the movie Titanic was filmed, James Cameron stated that the replicated staircase broke off and floated away.
It is believed that the same thing happened to the actual staircase.
The first part of the Titanic found during Robert Ballard’s 1985 expedition was a large boiler. Ballard compared the boiler to the pictures of the ship from 1911 in order to determine that it was in fact from the Titanic.
The next day, Ballard used his underwater camera, the Argo, again and discovered a larger part of the shipwreck.
Stern of the Ship
Ballard’s 1985 expedition also uncovered the ship’s stern, or at least what was left of it.
Until the wreck was discovered, many scientists did not believe that the ship’s hull was torn in half before the ship sank. However, after discovering the stern and bow a third of a mile apart, it was confirmed that the ship did in fact break into two parts.
Captain Smith’s Bathroom
As a first-class passenger, Captain Edward Smith was treated to luxurious accommodations aboard the ship.
A porcelain tub from his room was found and it was largely intact, only covered in barnacles.
The “Great Gantry” at the Shipyard
The Titanic was built on the giant “Great Gantry” slipway.
The location of its construction was at the Harland & Wolff Shipyard and over 11,000 workers were required to complete the project.
When the wreckage was discovered, one of the ship’s three anchors was found within its compartment.
The Titanic actually had three anchors and each weighed about 10 tons.
Who Was the Real Jack Dawson?
It is believed that Jack Dawson’s character was inspired by Emilio Portaluppi, who boarded the Titanic with a second-class ticket. He was actually supposed to be on a different ship.
Instead, the wealthy Astor family invited him aboard the Titanic. Some say that he had a crush on Madeleine Astor.
Who Was the Real Rose?
It is impossible to mention the real Jack without saying anything about the real Rose. Madeleine Talmage Astor was the wife of John Jacob Astor IV, a wealthy business mogul.
It is believed by some that she was the inspiration for the real Rose from the movie Titanic. However, it has never been suggested that she actually had an affair with Emilio Portaluppi.
John Jacob Astor IV
John Jacob Astor IV was the wealthiest person to perish in the shipwreck. Back in the early 1900s, he was one of the richest people in the world.
John Astor and his wife boarded the Titanic because Madeleine was pregnant and insisted on giving birth to their child in the U.S.
Titanic Disaster Appears in Newspaper
After the incident, many newspapers started publishing stories related to the Titanic. Some mentioned the people who disappeared, such as Astor.
At the time of John Astor IV’s death, his net worth was $87 million, which is equivalent to about $2.16 billion today. Compared to the richest people in the world now, this would not even place Astor in the top ten!
The Ship’s Bow
An amazing image of the entire bow of the ship was taken during a return mission to the wreck of the RMS Titanic, almost 20 years after it was first discovered.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) launched the mission in order to study the ship’s deterioration.
First-Class Passenger List
The number of first-class passengers was restricted to a few of the highest ranking crew members and a small number of wealthy families.
The majority of the elite passengers were members of the Astor and Allison families, who also made sure their maids, nurses, and manservants were in first class as well.
Families of the Survivors
After hearing about the shipwreck, a large number of relatives and friends of Titanic passengers and crew members went to Pier 54 in New York and waited for the survivors to arrive. Of course, many photographs were taken to record this event.
The smiling people in the photos are likely the ones who knew their friends or family members had survived the disaster and were on their way back to safety.