No other ship in the history of ocean travel has demanded as much interest as the Titanic. Volumes of books and reels of film have been produced regarding the most infamous shipwreck in history.
Some interesting facts about Titanic:
-In 1898 (14 years prior to the Titanic tragedy), Morgan Robertson wrote a novel called Futility. This fictitious novel was about the largest ship ever built hitting an iceberg in the Atlantic ocean on a cold April night. The fictional ship (named Titan) and the real ship Titanic were similar in design and their circumstances were remarkably alike. Both ships were labeled “unsinkable”.
-RMS stands for Royal Mail Steamer. RMS, in formal terms, means “Royal Merchant Ship”. However, the dual meaning was also “Royal Mail Steamer”, because the Titanic carried mail under the auspices of His Majesty’s postal authorities. At that time, all ships, military and civilian, that were under the British flag carried the distinction of “R.M.S.” This, in effect, gave the ship the protection of the British Crown. An attack on an R.M.S. was considered an attack on the crown and an act of war.
-Two dogs were among the Titanic survivors.
-There were no cats on the Titanic. Cats were often brought on ships as a form of good luck. They also controlled rodents.
-The Titanic is about as long as the Empire State building is tall.
-The Tower Bridge, located in London England, is approximately the same length and height as the Titanic.
-Originally, the Titanic’s design only included 3 funnels (smokestacks). The aftmost funnel (towards stern) was added to make the Titanic look more impressive-it gave the feeling of “power and grace”. It only functioned as an air vent.
-No one ever claimed that the Titanic was “unsinkable”. The quote, “practically unsinkable” was taken out of context. In 1911, Shipbuilder magazine published an article describing the construction of the Titanic. The article stated that when the watertight doors were closed, the ship would be “practically unsinkable”.
-It was customary to break a bottle of champagne on the bow of a boat when launched. The Titanic launching did not include the traditional bottle-breaking.
-Many of the passengers were not originally suppose to be traveling on the Titanic. Due to a strike, coal was in short supply. This shortage threatened Titanic’s maiden voyage and forced the White Star Line to cancel travel on the Oceanic and Adriatic and transfer their passengers and coal stocks to the Titanic.
-There were 13 couples on board celebrating their Honeymoons.
-Captain Smith was planning to retire after Titanic’s maiden voyage.
-The Titanic had 4 elevators (3 in First class and 1 in Second class).
-At the time, Titanic’s whistles were the largest ever made.Titanic’s whistles could be heard from a distance of 11 miles.
-The Titanic carried 900 tons of baggage and freight.
-The Titanic used 14,000 gallons of drinking water every 24 hours.
-Coal consumption per day: 825 tons.
-Carried 20 lifeboats and 3560 life jackets. The life jackets were made of canvas and cork.
-More than 3 million rivets were used to build the Titanic.
-In a test done to determine stopping distance, the Titanic was accelerated to 20 knots and then the engines were reversed at full power. The distance required to stop the Titanic was about half a mile.
-The lookouts in the crow’s nest did not have binoculars. Having binoculars might have prevented the Titanic tragedy.
-The time interval from first sighting of the iceberg to impact was a little over 30 seconds.
-The Titanic sank 2 hours and 40 minutes after hitting the iceberg.
-It probably took Titanic about 15 minutes to sink to her final resting place on the ocean floor. That means that Titanic sank at a rate of 10 miles per hour (or 16 km per hour).
-The Titanic hit the iceberg on the starboard (right) side of the bow. It has been speculated that the Titanic may have suffered only minor damage and minimal loss of life had it hit the iceberg head-on. It has also been suggested that the Titanic may have completely avoided colliding with the iceberg had the bridge not requested that the engines be reversed (“Full Astern”), prior to steering the ship to the left (“Hard-a-starboard”). This action would have decreased the forward momentum of the Titanic causing it to turn at a slower rate.
-July and August are the only two months the weather permits expeditions to the Titanic wreck site.
Price of a ticket (in 1912):
First Class: $4,350 (price of finest 1st class suite)
Second Class: $1,750
Third Class: $30
The Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats. 14 of these lifeboats were wooden and each one had a capacity of 65 persons, 2 were wood cutters with a capacity of 40 persons each and 4 were collapsibles (wood bottoms and canvas sides) and each collapsible was capable of carrying 47 persons. The total capacity of all 20 lifeboats was 1,178 people. This was obviously not enough lifeboats to save all the 2201 people on board the Titanic. If every lifeboat left the Titanic filled to maximum capacity, 1,023 persons would have been left behind. Unfortunately, very few lifeboats were filled to maximum capacity when they were lowered from the Titanic into the icy water. This caused the death toll to rise dramatically. When the order came from Captain Smith to commence loading the lifeboats, the Titanic’s Officers were probably unaware of the magnitude of the situation. Their apparent complacency did not instill a sense of urgency and therefore caused many passengers to balk at the opportunity to get into a lifeboat. To make matters worse, there were never any lifeboat drills and the crew had not been informed that each lifeboat could be safely lowered when filled to capacity. Only 711 persons were rescued and 1490 died. Luckily, the Titanic was not filled to capacity (3,547 persons). If this were the case, there would only be enough lifeboats to save one-third of the people (assuming that every lifeboat was filled to capacity).
Well, believe it or not, the Titanic actually exceeded the number of lifeboats required by the Board of Trade at that time. The regulations, ratified in 1894, applied to ships of 10,000 gross tons or larger. As ships increased in size over the years, the lifeboat requirements stayed the same. The Titanic was designed to carry a total of 48 lifeboats, but the White Star Line decided that passenger comfort was most important. They believed that an increase in the number of lifeboats (beyond 20) would have cluttered the decks and taken up valuable space. Harland and Wolff tried to persuade the White Star Line to install more lifeboats, but eventually gave up the fight. As they say, “the customer is always right”.
When the lifeboat needs were finalized, the general feeling was that the modern ship was engineered and built so well that even if a ship was in a situation where it might sink, there would be plenty of time for other ships in the area to come to the rescue. It was also believed that the main purpose of the lifeboats was to ferry passengers and crew from the distressed ship to the rescue ship(s). The Titanic tragedy prompted laws requiring that ships carry enough lifeboats for all passengers and crew.
Titanic April 1912
First Class Parlour Suite
First Class Cafe Parisian
First Class Private Promenade Of Suites
First Class Staircase
First Class Dinner – The Last Meal
First class passenger and Titanic survivor, Margaret Brown
Second Class Room For Two Persons
Seconds Class Interiors
Second Class Library
Collyer, a second-class passenger with her daughter
Third Class General Room
Third Class Dining Room
Third Class Cabin
Third Class Passengers