Thursday, November 29, 2007

Titanic's moral purpose......

Why did the Titanic make an instant hit? What made her a national icon? How could she not? She was the biggest ship ever constructed, by far passing any other ship in size, luxury, and elegance. Think about it, the reason Titanic made a perfect hit, was because this ship by-passed other ships in so many areas, with the exception of speed. Until 1912 none ever thought of a ship, of such magnitude. Lets put it into today’s perspective, if a ship were built that was larger than anything that we could imagine, and by-passed every other ship in every area, she would probably make world news. Today we have ships that would make the Titanic look like a toy boat. But! In 1912, she was as big as they came. Through my knowledge, and my lifetime, I can’t think of a ship that over-awed the world. That’s why the Titanic made an instant hit, because the world had never seen anything like her, and never has since then.

How could she not make a national icon? Her fame went along with her country, the United Kingdom. This was something that Great Britain could be proud about. If America built a ship today that was as equally stupendous as the Titanic, would we not be proud of it? This was a sign of technological advancement for her country, and her people. It was an age where everything was getting bigger and better. An age when the automobile was making it’s first seen on the world page, an age when flying started its page in history. It was an age when, for the most part the world was at peace; none of the major World Wars had been fought yet. The Titanic was just as example of that age.

You could probably guess her main purpose; she was built to carry passengers between two great countries. She was built and designed to hold people in the utmost elegance, luxury, and comfort.
Fully booked, she would be able to hold well over 3,000 passengers and crew.

The Titanic had different classes just as any other ship. You have first class, second class, and lastly third class. It was kind of like a layer cake, the foundation of these layers consisted of sweaty stokers, firemen, and trimmers. Then you have the first layer of people, third class, poor immigrant families coming to America to start a new life. Then you have even another layer, getting better financially as the layers go. Second-class passengers, a little better off then those in third class, were people coming back from Europe, maybe spending time with family, or sight-seeing, just normal people in the world just trying to make a decent living. Then you have the cream of the crop, the sweet frosting on two layers of human life. First class passengers, prominent leaders in the world of art, wealth, political offices, writers, presidents of railway companies, bankers, and merchants. Such a distinguished group of people, for such a distinguished ship.

First class passengers paid $69,000 to sail in one of three first-class suites on the Titanic, and the third class passengers paid only $640. They both paid different amounts of money to travel on the same ship, going to the same place, and would get there the same time.

Now lets talk about some of the better-known people on the Titanic and try to put it in today’s view. Imagine if all of the people I’m about to bring to your attention would happen to board the same ship.

Compare Colonel John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in the world, to Bill Gates! Compare Molly Brown, to Martha Stewart! Major Archibald Butt, military aid to the president, to president aid Peter Pace! Compare, Charles M. Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Railway, to Cecil Groves, the president of Southwestern Airlines! Compare, W. T. Stead, a famous author, to Ethan Hawke, a famous author! Compare Francis D. Millet, one of the best-known American artist, to Diego Velasquez, he too is a famous artist! Compare Isidor Straus, owner of the Macy’s Department store, to Ken Hicks, the owner of JC Penny’s!

Now you can grasp the people of importance on the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

Not only was Titanic a perfect vessel, but she also had a perfect crew. The Captain had more than 40 years experience at sea. From the Chief Officer down to the Sixth Officer, each had 10 years or more experience at sea.

Titanic was not built to sink; she was built as a dream, built to out stand the elements. Built to have a profitable career, not just make her first and only voyage.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

100 years ago...

The 100 year time line for the Titanic starts this year! Back in 1907 two men conceived, and brought into the world the Olympic class liners! I have never been quite able to pinpoint the exact time when Bruce Ismay, and James Pirrie, set discussing the new class of liners.
So the next five years for me anyway will be very reflective for me. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to experience.
I can guarantee that 100 years ago Ismay, and Pirrie were not expecting to be remembered 100 years later. 100 years ago the Titanic was just the figment of Ismay's imagination, but in five short years the Titanic was ready to take on her maiden voyage, and enter the hearts and minds of ship fanatics, and enter into the pages of the history books! 100 years ago they were not only preparing to build the world's largest ship, but they were accomplishing something that they did not expect to! They were conceiving of a idea that people would still talk about 100 years later!
The next five years will be thought provoking for all Titanic fans!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Titanic's center anchor

The Titanic center anchor is on record for a little over 15 tons, to be exact 34,188lbs! Thats still impressive for even todays standards.

The Titanic's center anchor was manufactured by Noah Hingley & Sons of Netherton. The type of anchor seen here is still used today!
The center anchor weighed so much that they had to have a small crane to lift it over the side of the ship.
At the time the Titanic, and the Olympic were built the anchors on these ships were the biggest ones in the world.
You don't really think about it, but these anchors had to be under control the whole time, other wise they would turn into a 15 ton wrecking ball! The handling of anchors is actually a amazing procedure, and all the thinking that goes into this mass of steel. Because when you lift something that weighs 15 tons over the side of a ship, a lot of things have to be just right, as it is a risky situation to handle.

Monday, October 15, 2007

A fun little fact

The force that the Titanic hit the iceberg on the night of April 14th, 1912, was equal to the broadside of a battleship!
Now that may seem outrages, but just think of 50,000+ tons of steel slamming into rock hard ice, going about 26mph!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Human Error.... A Deadly Price

That Sunday evening, April 14th, was a glorious one, and for many, their last one. As the sun began to fade away over the horizon, it cast wondrous shades of light across the boundless ocean. But as night came on, so did the intense coldness, which forced many passengers off of the open decks, and back into the warmth of the Titanic.
Over the course of the evening the temperature dropped drastically to just a few degrees above freezing. Second Officer Lightoller, had the ship’s carpenter make sure the fresh water didn’t freeze.
Time ticked on to that deadly second when the Titanic would receive her death wound. The later it got, more and more passengers went to bed. Just a few scattered here and there stayed up playing different card games.
First Officer Murdoch came on watch at 11:00 p.m., and around that time the lookouts in the crow’s nest were relieved.

Captain Smith made a terrible mistake in doing this… the Titanic was in a known area of icebergs, she was sailing at night at 22 to 23 knots, it was the most critical part of the voyage, and the Captain was not at the wheel. A terrible mistake that would cost more than a thousand lives.

“No, not even God could sink this ship,” is what people thought of, when they thought of the Titanic.
Then you have everything that caused dates for the Titanic’s departure to be changed and moved around. Before the Titanic was fully ready to take on the endless seas, she had to donate her left propeller shaft to the Olympic, which caused dates too be pushed back. [The Olympic had experienced a collision at sea.] When the Titanic was leaving the Southampton Port, she almost had a collision with the New York liner, and by the time everything was cleared up, it pushed her time back by an hour. All of these things played into the iceberg and Titanic being at the same spot at the same time.
Something else that contributed to the Titanic disaster was that the Captain set the Titanic 10 miles south of the original sailing course to hopefully ‘avoid’ confrontation with the deadly ice. These things certainly happened: the Titanic was sailing through a known ice field at almost top speed at night; first Officer Murdoch was on the bridge instead of the Captain; there weren’t enough lifeboats for everyone on board; when the Titanic started to sink, the wireless operators weren’t able to get a hold of someone in the area; Officer Murdoch made a wrong decision on trying to avoid the iceberg; the iceberg opened up six watertight compartments instead of five; [just one less compartment and the Titanic would have been able to live through the disaster.]
There were many little things that fateful night that played a part in a much bigger circle as history played out. To say that God didn’t have a part in the whole ordeal is not likely.
I have been pondering why the Titanic was, and still remains the most famous ship disaster! The Titanic didn’t have a priceless treasure aboard her. She wasn’t the fastest ship out there; it also wasn’t a shipwreck that cost the most lives. I don’t think the reason she gets all the respect she does today was because she was the ‘grandest’ ship afloat. She was a grand ship but there had been many shipwrecks before her, and many to follow after her, but it seems that none can compare to the Titanic disaster.
What made the Titanic disaster what it is today? The bravery of the men? The Titanic was really a perfect shipwreck; it took long enough to sink so the historical facts can be kept clear. The Titanic was wonderfully engineered to last that long, with that kind of damage. When Thomas Andrews inspected the ship after the collision, he gave it only an hour to live and it lasted 2 ½ hours.
How often does the biggest ship in the world undertake its maiden voyage and sink? Not often! I think the reason the Titanic is still thought of today is because in this day and age men can not think of staring death in the face and let women and children get off safely. Since we probably wouldn’t even think of letting that happen today, it is still a mystery that men long ago could. What if men would have had no refrain? Titanic and her history might not be a big deal today. It would only be an ocean liner that sank a long time ago. The same as any other! Just the concept of a ship sinking on her maiden voyage goes against nature. Why did most of the men stand back as they did? Why did they let women and children get off safely? Sometimes I even have a hard time imagining how they did.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

J. Bruce Ismay

Joseph Bruce, Ismay has received a lot of criticism over the past decades. Why? Because he got into a lifeboat when there were still women and children aboard. But is there any just foundation for this serious criticism? We'll look at the two sides of the story, 1. reasons for staying aboard, 2. reasons for getting on a lifeboat! Now this will be rather hard for me, since I already have an opinion of Ismay, but I will try to not let that come through..... you decide for yourself what he should have done!

1. First we'll look at the reasons that J. B. Ismay should have stayed aboard the sinking Titanic!
After the Titanic collided with an iceberg at about 11:45, it did not take long for John E. Smith to figure out there was not enough places for all the men, women and children in the lifeboats. So he gave the well known order, "women and children first." Now, did the Captain mean that there was no men to be allowed in the lifeboats? NO! The lifeboats needed officers, and sailors to make sure they were operated safely, and correctly. It was the spirit of the order that counted, if you did not have a legitimate reason for getting in a lifeboat, you had no place in one. Some fantastic men of measure did get off in a lifeboat, such as Harold Bride the wireless operator, Lightoller the Titanic's Second Officer, Archibald Gracie, Jack Thayer, and the list could go on.
Whats noticeable about these men, is they did not receive the criticism that Bruce, Ismay did, why is that?
Did Ismay have a responsibility to stay with the Titanic till she sank beneath the waves, like the Captain did? Lets look at some things that took place years earlier..... When the Titanic was still on blueprints the planning of how many lifeboats the Titanic would carry came up. The Titanic's designer at the time Andrew, Carlyle was pushing for 48 lifeboats which would have been enough for everyone one on board in case of a disaster. But there was one man standing in his way, Joseph B. Ismay! When the rubber met the road Ismay said no, for various reasons. But when you get to the night of April 14, 1912 its a different story. Because of his choice, it puts him under some obligation to stay aboard and take whatever comes.
Here's possibly another reason that he should have stayed aboard. J. B. Ismay owned the White Star Line, which means he owned the Titanic. If a person owns something that is used for the public, and if fails in some way, and death follows, or injury, it seems that whoever owns it should take whatever other had to take as well. He was responsible for the passengers as well!
I guess one more thing that should have binded him to the Titanic it time of trouble, is the fact that there were still women and children on board, and he owed them all the safety that was in his power as a man. By giving up a spot in a lifeboat, and doing the courteous thing, and not to mention the polite thing!

2. It wouldn't be fair to explain one side of the story, so we'll make an argument for the opposite side. In this kind of situation we have to be fair, because Ismay is no longer around to speak for himself!
J. B. Ismay claims that there were no women in sight, and there are witness to back up the fact. Since that being true why should he stay on a sinking ship and face certain death? And if there was no women sight was he really breaking a rule? I think that if your standing on the side of a sinking ship, and there's an empty spot on a lifeboat, there are no women and children about, would we have the fortitude to remain on the ship? There are a lot of questions that come into play here, and what it comes down to is, was he doing something really out of the ordinary?
Why should he stay on a sinking ship if he could get off, and go back to his family, we can't really say that he had motives of the baser sort. He was the managing director of the White Star Line, he had a lot of responsibly back on shore.
Was there really a need to end his short life, just to make a name for himself?
And after all, you can't blame the entire construction of the ship on him, Thomas, Andrews obviously didn't have a problem with 20 lifeboats!
Just because countless men stayed aboard, doesn't mean that Ismay did if a opportunity presented himself.
To call this man a coward just because he got off a sinking ship, doesn't seem right! What would you have done in his position?

Monday, August 20, 2007

Thomas Andrews

Andrews met his fate like a true hero, realizing the great danger, and gave up his life to save the women and children of the Titanic.
They will find it hard to replace him."Mary Sloan, Titanic Stewardess
letter to her sister, 27 April 1912

Thomas Andrews was just one of the many heroes that fateful night. But more than being a hero on the Titanic, he was considered a hero in his day for what he accomplished. He overcame some courage defying feats! When you hear the name of Thomas Andrews, you immediately think of the Titanic's designer! But there was more than that, he lived a life just like many others you hear about. But today we will go behind the life of the designer of the Titanic, Thomas Andrews!

Thomas Andrews Jr. was born on February 7th, 1873 in Belfast Ireland. He was born to Thomas Andrews, and Eliza, Pirrie which was their second child.
Thomas's mother was the sister to Lord William James Pirrie, the owner of the H&W shipbuilding company, James Pirrie had started out as an apprentice and worked all the way up to owner.
Thomas's elder brother continued in his Father's footsteps in politics, and became the Prime Minister of Northern, Ireland.
From a very early age Thomas had shown an interest in ships, and as a result went to Royal Belfast Academical Institution, and left there at age 16 to begin his apprentice at H&W.
On 24 June 1908, Thomas was married to Helen Reilly Barbour, daughter of John D. Barbour, a company director. The couple made their home at "Dunallon," Winslow Avenue in Belfast. It is known that he took her to view Titanic one night in 1910, shortly before their daughter Elizabeth was born, while the ship was still in its cradle and Halley's Comet was at its greatest brilliance.
Upon leaving school in 1889, at age sixteen, Andrews began work as a premium apprentice at Harland & Wolff Ltd. shipbuilders in Queen's Island, Belfast. The apprenticeship he served was designed for one intended to end up quite high in the company. He began with three months in the joiner's shop, followed by a month in the cabinetmaker's ship and two months actually working on the ships. His great talent for mechanical engineering and construction and his growing leadership abilities singled him out for a bright future, possibly as a senior manager.Andrews became a member of the Institution of Naval Architects in 1901. After working up through several departments, he became the firm's managing director and head of the draughting department.
Andrews seemed well-suited to his work. Shipbuilders were apparently a very exclusive bunch; their work was very hard, and it took a great deal to gain their respect. Andrews had earned it. During his apprenticeship he had shown that he could meet the physical demands of the work. He was by this time six feet tall and broad-shouldered. Once, when a red-hot rivet fell from an upper deck and barely missed his head, he kicked away and laughed. He was also developing a great reputation for integrity, according to Daniel Allen Butler, "were it not so well documented, would be hard to believe."
"One evening my husband and I were in the vicinity of Queen's Island, and noticing a long file of men going home from work, he turned to me and said, 'There go my pals, Helen.' I can never forget that tone in his voice as he said that, it was as though the men were as dear to him as his own brothers. Afterwards, on a similar occasion, I reminded him of the words, and he said, 'Yes, and they are real pals, too."

On one occasion Andrews had a chance to rescue one of his "pals." Anthony Frost, had climbed 80 feet of scaffolding during a gale in order to secure some loose boards. While up there, Archie became terrified and Andrews climbed the scaffolding himself to help bring him down before securing the boards himself. Archie was a member of the team of eight men from Harland & Wolff who accompanied Andrews on Titanic's maiden voyage, all of whom perished.

It has been frequently pointed out that he knew every detail of his ship and none escaped him. During the last few days he had many meetings with owners, engineers, subcontractors, officials, he gave tours, and in between these events he found himself adjusting furnishings, electric fans, and no doubt answering constant questions. Andrews's work was not finished once he and the ship set out from Southampton. After the voyage began, he continued to help the crew adjust to the new ship. He carried a notebook with him and was constantly making notes for improvements. The pebble dashing on the promenade, for instance, was too dark and the stateroom hat racks had an excessive number of screws holding them in. Still, on 14 April, Andrews remarked to a friend that Titanic was "as nearly perfect as human brains can make her."

On the night of April 14th 1912, Thomas Andrews was a courageous man, running here and there, making sure that rooms were emptied out, assisting women into the lifeboats, and insisting that men put on their life-belts. He was last seen in a first class reception room, and there surly met his fate.
I'm sure that even more could be said about this great man, but that is the limit of my knowledge, of his life. There is more that I could talk about him in the process of designing the Titanic, but we'll save that for another day, I just thought it would be interesting to see his life, and who he really was!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Titanic's First Officer

Murdoch had a plain face, a ready smile, and boundless humor. He was a Scot from Dalbeattie, Galloway, the son of a seafaring family. He was a contentious officer, amply shown over the years. Yet, he was an excellent seaman, nearly faultless judgment and nerves of iron.
His residence in 1912 was Southampton, England.
He was 39 at the time of the disaster." First officer William Mcmaster Murdoch did not survive the Titanic’s sinking.

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Titanic Discovered

On 1985, July 14th, the Titanic was discovered! It was the first time the great ship had been seen for more than 70 years. A French and American research team joined up with Bob Ballard to search for and find the Titanic.
Once again, the ship caught the world’s attention. At the American inquires, not much could be reported because the ship was gone there was no hard fact evidence. But now that the ship was rediscovered, it raised new questions and gave new answers! For the first time, it was verified that the ship did break in two. Why did the steel plates snap apart? Why were they speeding through a known ice field? Why? Why? Why? As a result of finding the Titanic, many of these questions could be answered.
The Titanic broke in two because of the angle it was at and the pressure it put on the lower part of the ship! Also, in 1912, they were not concerned about the grade of steel used, and tests of the Titanic’s steel proved it was of a poor grade. If steel will bend and move to pressure it is of a higher grade, if under pressure poorly graded steel will snap, and will become brittle in cold water. This is also the reason the rivets popped out of their seams, the steel was pushed apart by great pressure, and not ripped apart like many think.
Why didn’t the watertight compartments work? Because they only went up to E deck, one more deck higher [to boat deck] and the ship would have been completely sealed off. A vital flaw in the design! It worked like this, if any four or five of her compartments were flooded, the weight of the water would not pull her down far enough to spill over into the next compartment. None could think of a wreck of such magnitude that more than five of her compartments would be punctured. But alas, six compartments were damaged the night of April 14th. The weight of the water pulled the bow down into the ocean, thus having an ice-cube tray effect, it just spilled over into the next compartment and into the next until it sank. So, which means that they were not really watertight like the owners and builders said, there was a gap at the top of each bulkhead allowing water to spill over. That is not watertight.
They were speeding through a known ice field because J. Bruce Ismay want to surprise everyone and get to New York, a day early He wanted to beat the Olympic’s record crossing the Atlantic.
These are just a few of the things the world wanted to know.
Since 1986, many, dives have been made to the Titanic, gathering information, finding new things, and exploring the unknown parts of the ship.
James Cameron, the movie director of the film Titanic, has spent more time with the ship underwater than the passengers that sailed on her. One couple was even married over the stern of the Titanic! Anyone can go down to the wreck, for the small amount of $38,000.
One thing that will go down in the history of the Titanic is the abounding bravery of the men aboard the Titanic. They will be forever being remembered as men who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for the women and children. Think about if the men had no restraint, there probably would have been no surviving women and definitely no surviving children. The Titanic would be a different story. They deserve more honors, and respect than they get.
What if a situation arose today, where it was women and children, or the men first?
Think about the Titanic’s band, they showed more bravery than some men show on the battlefield. Playing to the very last instead of trying to save themselves, their song must have drifted out on the waves into the ears of the few who got in a lifeboat. White Star Line charged the family members of the ship’s band for the loss of their uniforms!
What about John Bruce Ismay? That cowardly man was rejected by the world and died lonely and poor, his life was ruined when he stepped into the lifeboat. Was it really worth it?
What about the Californian? Sitting all night through the disaster? Her Captain was charged with failure to render aid to a ship in distress. As a result of his decisions, he lost his job and was looked at very poorly by the world. If he would have used common sense he could have saved almost everyone on board!!!
Many people took their lives. The lookout in the crow’s nest, Fredrick Fleet, who called the bridge and said those fateful words……… “iceberg dead ahead”, killed himself 5 years after the disaster, he, also was not able to live with himself. As we know, First Officer Murdoch took his life on the ship, he also could not live with the regret. Jack B. Thayer had haunting thoughts of the disaster till he was 52 and took his own life.
A lot is said about the bravery of the Captain and Officers, but little is said about the bravery of the men below decks. It was said that 17 engine men got down on their knees in the engine room and prayed until water surged up to their necks, then they stood up, clasped hands formed a circle and died there in the belly of the ship, staying at their posts till death took them in its cold embrace. Southampton alone lost 500 men on the Titanic, all stokers or trimmers, men who stayed at their posts and died just as gloriously as the brave men on the top of the ship.
Many movies have been made about the great ship Titanic. But none can ever compare to the real thing, or how people felt.
People have been down to the wreck numerous times to bring back artifacts, some say that should not be done. I am not against bringing up different items. Why let it all turn to rust? I’m not for trying to make a profit off of it. It should be strictly used for museum purposes. It should be used as a learning experience.
Some have talked and thought to bring the Titanic up out of the depths. That’s going too far! It’s impossible to “raise the Titanic.” When she sped down through the depths, she hit the bottom at a great speed; the bow sliced through the mud and is buried in 60 feet of mud. The stern plunged with huge air pockets inside, and when it hit the ocean floor the air burst through the steel and it crumpled and fell apart. So, in order to raise the Titanic’s bow, you would be trying to lift over 33,000 tons of rusted steel out of 60 feet of mud, and where the pressure per square inch is 6,000 pounds! And even if you were able to get a grip of it, it would probably crumple in its weakened state. The stern would be completely impossible to raise, all it is, is twisted and crumpled steel. It is a graveyard, many brave men were killed there and to go and cause that much disruption would be disregarding death, and for that reason alone we ought to have respect for it.

I have found an interesting point of view of the Titanic, what if the Titanic had never met disaster?
If the Titanic would-not-have sunk she would have arrived in New York, Tuesday, sometime before schedule, and it would have been a glorious arrival. She would have been a complete success! She would of served the White Star Line for many years. But later, she probably would have met the fate that her sister ships met. In World War1, the Britannic and the Olympic were turned into hospital ships. The Britannic met her fate by hitting a mine and sank in 45 minutes most of the soldiers were saved. Olympic served throughout the war and received many battle scars. After the war she was used again as a trans-Atlantic liner. In the early 1930s she was sold for scrap. Titanic would have probably have met a fate similar to this.
If the Titanic would have hit the iceberg head on, she would have survived, and been towed to Halifax for repairs. But sadly enough none of this happened! If just a few times, sense had been used, the Titanic disaster would have not happened.

Over the course of five years in the making all the planning, new slipways, work, fitting out, excitement, the largest most elegant ship sank in less than three hours! Many stories go along with the Titanic, some are sad some are stories of bravery and manhood, yet some are stories of cowards and treachery, and then there are stories of pride and arrogance.
Many things about the Titanic cannot be put on paper; it must be the legacy that the ship left. But many things can be learned from the disaster.
The story of the Titanic will go on forever.


The sinking of the Titanic has been a magnet to underwater ship-explorers. Even in 1912, after the Titanic sank, there was talk of trying to find her. They soon found out they really didn’t know where she was when she sank, nor how deep it was where she hit bottom.
But as the years went on, so did technology towards underwater exploration. Many different groups of people set out to find the great wreck, but all still came back empty-handed.
Not until July of 1985 did the American and French research team find the wreck. Once again the Titanic made world news, and once again she was in the spotlight. Now that the ship was found, it raised possibilities of going down in a small submarine that could withstand the deep-sea pressure. Exactly one year later, Bob Ballard and two other undersea explorers went, for the first time, down to the wreck. There was doubt in the minds of those going down to the wreck; they still didn’t know that the ship had broken in two. They didn’t know what to expect, what if all the rigging was intact, that would create a great hazard to maneuvering about the ship. Would the Titanic even be recognizable? Or would she be sitting perfect on the ocean floor? As Bob Ballard and the other researchers reached the ocean floor, they tried to locate the Titanic. The submersible they were using, the Alvin, sprang a leak in her batteries. Now they only had a couple of minutes on the ocean bed and they had not seen the Titanic. Peering through the small portholes of the Alvin, a massive wall of black steel loomed up right in front of them, that was the only glimpse of the ship they got that time. The leak in the batteries would become critical if they didn’t surface.
Since that July in 1986, numerous dives have been made to the Titanic. Several people have spent more time with the Titanic underwater, than the Captain spent with her on the seas.
One thing is certain; the Titanic is in a state of complete devastation. The ship broke in two in between the third and fourth funnels; and all of those funnels are gone. In one square mile there are boilers, teacups, beds, tables, engines, wine bottles, suitcases, chairs, and the list could go on.
The beauty of the ship is now gone, her once proud hull glimmering in the bright sunlight, now is encrusted in rusting steel. Where her four behemoth funnels stood are now just gaping holes on top of the ship. Her once proud stern, the beauty of the ship, where at the end of Titanic’s short life, men and women alike met their fate, now lays almost unrecognizable due too the impact that she suffered when she hit the ocean floor.
There she will sit until countless ages have taken their toll on her, and there is nothing left but
small piles of dust in the salty water.
Men will probably always go to her to seek just one more fact, something nobody else knows. Titanic may be sitting 2 ½ miles below the surface of the sea, but ask anyone what the most well known and famous shipwreck is, and they’ll tell you, it is the Titanic.
The Titanic will never be forgotten. She will always be alive in history.
Even though the Titanic is one among the many sea wrecks that litter the ocean floor, she still, to this day captivates the minds of underwater explorers, historians, and people like me. What more can be said? Titanic is still truly a great ship.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Queen Of The Seas

I posted this Poem right after I created my blog, but for some reason it comes to mind again! I wrote this poem for a small book I wrote on the Titanic called "The Titanic's Moral Implications" and it turned out better than I thought it would. I changed a whole lot from the first setting, but it is a whole lot better now.
Since I did write this poem, I would ask that if you want to use it, or even a small part of it that you would contact me through my e-mail, and get my permission! Thank you.


Her keel was laid down on March 31st
At a shipyard in Belfast where tolls were the worst.
Through the months and through the years
Workers worked with sweat and tears.
And through the months and through the years,
She was constructed with pain and fears.
Once afloat just an empty shell,
Waiting for workers to make her run well!
The Titanic was a beautiful boat
Something that would cause fine men to gloat.
Sea trials she passed with no great concern;
Taking it with ease at every turn.
Built to tower over all,
She acquired fame, but it cost her a fall!
She was known as unsinkable
Queen of the Seas,
But that could not stop her from breaking up dreams.
She then departed to see land no more,
With the greatest luxuries man could afford.
Titanic was regarded as a dazzling sight,
But size and power couldn’t keep her from fright!
Once the passengers were mostly in bed,
Came the dreadful cry “iceberg dead ahead.”
They then didn’t know it
But soon found out,
She would not make it there was no doubt.
The pain was unbearable that fateful night,
For the Captain and crew their lips they did bite.
One minute she sailed
Next minute she stopped
Hit by an iceberg that wrenched her apart.
“Women and children” was the cry,
Get them away
With no delay.
The bravery of men
Abounded that night,
Standing aside that others might live,
Staring at death
Like brave men they did.
Oh grave where is thy victory?
Oh death where is thy sting!
As their loved ones departed
Too see them no more,
The only thing left, was a door.
The door of eternity open wide,
To receive these men as they died.
“Nearer My God To Thee” was heard that night,
Upon the waves of untold fright.
Titanic plunged with a moan,
She died with a great groan.
Behind her she left hundreds of souls
Where cold would soon take its toll.
Titanic was gone
As soon as she came.
She lost her glory,
But gained great fame.

James Daniel McEntire

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Dream, Disaster, Legend

When I think of the Titanic Disaster, I immediately think of all the lives that were lost in that horrific event. But let us take a brief look at all the time, money, and planning that was lost as a result to this disaster!
The Titanic became a dream in 1907! Until March 31st 1908, she remained a dream, a dream that Bruce Ismay fervently hoped would come true. Sometimes I try to get a grasp of what Ismay was thinking that whole year, as he waited for things to come together. I can only imagine the untold joy he had in his heart, seems how it's not every day that your shipping line gets to own the biggest, and most luxurious ship in the world. He must have even been more excited when his dream was being put on blueprints, and models, and everything else that goes into building a ship. A dream that was his own idea, was slowly becoming a reality.
Words fail me when I ponder all the time that went into the Titanic. Thousands upon thousands of hours went into this marvelous project. There was someone somewhere that drew the blueprints, probably more than one person, and they devoted all their time to the project. Giving specific adjustments to little things here and there, how many staterooms can we fit on E-deck, how can we get the most power with three engines, what can we do to make the passengers have the time of their life? Then consider the years that were spent making this dream come true. The men that worked on the ship every day, men who worked 12 hour shifts, millions of man hours went into this ship. When you really think about all the hours, and years of thinking, working, planning, directing, and managing and then about the fact that the Titanic only had four days of active service, four days, 92 hours to prove herself on the boundless ocean, and then to sink on her maiden voyage......... no wonder people's lives were ruined by the disaster.
Then think of all the millions of dollars that went into this ship! The actual ship cost 7.5 million dollars in 1912 standards. But there is more than that, at this point for H&W their employee rate was higher that ever, their was over 14,000 men hired when the Olympic class ships were constructed. That means one thing, 14,000 men were drawing a paycheck every week. Then all of the priceless things that were on board, just things that made Titanic the Titanic.
Then consider all of the planning that went into the Titanic. There were some engineers somewhere planning out where everything would go. How to position the boilers so you can get as many as you can in, how big should the propellers be for a ship this size? Special planning had to go into this ship because a ship had never been made like this one before. So how big of a rudder do we need to be able to have the most control over the ship? How many funnels, and how big do they need to be? How much horsepower will we need to bring it up to average cruising speed? How high do the bulkheads need to go? How many lifeboats should we have? That is just a small part of all the planning and designing that had to go into one ship!
This kind of puts things into perspective when you think about it. There was more than lives lost that night, the dreams, planning, time, and money was lost when the Titanic foundered the night of April 14-15th!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Titanic vs other BIG Ships....

Back in the early nineteen hundreds the Titanic was the pinnacle of a modern age, nothing could compare to her size, luxury, grandness, and elegance. The Titanic left everything behind in the dust. She dwarfed every other ship in the docks, shipyard, and the whole ocean! But I have often wondered how would the Titanic compare to a modern ocean liner, and maybe even a aircraft carrier!? With the results that I have come up with I'm not really surprised with the outcome. The next few ship's that I'm about to compare to the Titanic, make it look like a tugboat!

Titanic vs. Queen Mary

Overall Length

  • Queen Mary: 1,019.5 ft. (310.74 m.)
  • Titanic: 882.9

Gross Tonnage

  • Queen Mary: 81,237 gross tons
  • Titanic: 46,329 gross tons

Transatlantic Crossings

  • Queen Mary: 1,001
  • Titanic: 0 - Ship sank on Maiden Voyage

Constructed by

  • Queen Mary: John Brown & Co., LTD., Clydebank, Scotland
  • Titanic: Harland & Wolff, LTD., Belfast, Ireland

Commissioned by

  • Queen Mary: Cunard Steamship Co., LTD.
  • Titanic: White Star Line

Keel Laid

  • Queen Mary: December 1, 1930
  • Titanic: March 31, 1909

Date Launched

  • Queen Mary: September 26, 1934
  • Titanic: May 31, 1911

Maiden Voyage

  • Queen Mary: May 27, 1936
  • Titanic: April 10, 1912


  • Queen Mary: Over 2,000
  • Titanic: 2,000


  • Queen Mary: Over 10 million
  • Titanic: 3 million

Hull Plates

  • Queen Mary: 8 ft. (2.44 m.) to 30 ft. (9.14m.) in length; up to 1.25 in. (3.2 cm.) thick
  • Titanic: 1 in. thick

Moulded Breadth

  • Queen Mary: 118 ft. (35.97 m.)
  • Titanic: 92.6

Keel to Smokestack

  • Queen Mary: 181 ft. (55.17 m.)
  • Titanic: 175 ft.

Number of Decks

  • Queen Mary: 12
  • Titanic: 8

Passenger Capacity

  • Queen Mary: 1,957
  • Titanic: 2,440

Officers and Crew

  • Queen Mary: 1,174
  • Titanic: 860


  • Queen Mary: 160,000
  • Titanic: 46,000

Cruising Speed

  • Queen Mary: 28.5 knots
  • Titanic: 21 knots


  • Queen Mary: 140 tons
  • Titanic: 101 1/4 tons


  • Queen Mary: 3 - Steam type. Two on forward funnel, one on middle funnel. Each over 6 ft,. long, weighing 2,205 LB.
  • Titanic: 3 sets consisting of 3 bell domes grouped together with a suitable branch plate. One set was fitted on each of the three foremost funnels and were electrically operated.

Lifeboat Capacity

  • Queen Mary: 145 persons
  • Titanic: 60


  • Queen Mary: 3 - Elliptical in shape; 36 ft. fore and aft, 23.3 ft. wide
  • Titanic: 4 - Three were functional and the fourth was a dummy to create the illusion of a more powerful ship.


  • Queen Mary: 27
  • Titanic: 29
All of the above was from the following website....

Class type: Nuclear powered supercarrier
Displacement: 102,000 tons
Length: 317 m
Beam: 40.8 m
Draught: 11.9 m
Propulsion and power: Nuclear propulsion
260,000 shp
Speed: 30+ knots
Complement: 3,200 ships company
2,500 air wing

  • Builder: Newport News Shipbuilding Company, Newport News, Virginia
  • Power Plant: Two A4W reactors, four shafts
  • Length: 333 m (1092 ft) overall
  • Flight Deck Width: 76.8 - 78.4 m (252 - 257 ft 5in)
  • Beam: 41 m (134 ft)
  • Displacement: 98,235 - 104,112 tons full load
  • Speed: 30+ knots (56+ km/h)
  • Cost: about US$4.5 billion each
  • Average Annual Operating Cost: US$160 million
  • Service Life: 50+ years
  • Crew: Ship's Company: 3,200 — Air Wing: 2,480
The above is from the following website....

That is one big ship, but it even gets worse.......

Knock Nevis has a deadweight of 564,763 tonnes and a summer displacement of 647,955 t when laden with nearly 650,000 m³ (4.1 million barrels) of petroleum. She has a draft of 24.6 m (81 feet) when fully loaded, which makes it impossible for her to navigate even the English Channel, let alone man-made canals at Suez and Panama.

The above is from the following website....

So what it comes down to, in today's standards, the Titanic is actually pretty small!!!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Titanic's sister ship Britannic

What of the other sister ship to the Titanic? Britannic was the last out of the three ships to be constructed. After the Titanic disaster in 1912, the Britannic was considered to be even more 'unsinkable' than the Titanic, and was even more luxurious! She carried 48 lifeboats, she had a double side and bottom which was constructed out of steel. Her watertight bulkheads extended all the way up to boat-deck.
She was launched on the 26th of February, 1914. These are the following statistics of the Britannic... gross tonnage 48,158, 882 ft, and 9 in, 94 ft wide, 34 ft of ship was under water. 4 funnels, 2 masts, 3 engines, 3 propellers.
The Britannic was going to serve in route between Southampton, and New York. At the break of WW1 she never saw commercial use. The British Navy paid for the use of commercial ships, but did not compensate for the loss of them. The maiden voyage began on December 23d, 1915, as a hospital ship.
After disastrous results from the Gallipoli campaign, the military needed hospital ships, and the Britannic was called for! She was painted white with red crosses and had a green strip running across about midway. She was placed under command of Captain Charles A. Bartlett!
She successfully completed five missions between the Mediterranean and the United Kingdom carrying the sick and wounded. She began her sixth voyage on the 12th of November 1916, and reached the first leg of her mission, she stopped to take on coal and water, as normal.
At 8:12, on Tuesday November 21st 1916, a terrible explosion shook the ship from bow to stern. In the dining room the reaction was the same, doctors and nurses rushed to their posts. The captain was on the bridge at the time of impact, and the first reports of news were very disturbing! The explosion had taken place on the starboard side of the ship, and damaged two holds, and the force of the explosion damaged a watertight bulkhead. This means that the two first watertight compartments were filling rapidly with water! Boiler room six had been severely damaged, as water poured in at an uncontrollable rate.
Captain Bartlett ordered the watertight doors shut, and sent out a distress signal, and ordered the crew to ready the lifeboats. For some unknown reason several of the watertight doors did not shut, and as a result the Britannic was brought to her maximum flooding level. She could stay afloat at this rate if she remained motionless. But there was one bad mistake that sealed the fate of the Britannic, in the lower areas of the ship the nurses had opened the portholes to vent the ship, as the Britannic began to settle in the water the water poured into the open portholes, thus filling the Britannic's seventh watertight compartment. Her fate as well as the Titanic was sealed, nothing could be done.
On the bridge the Captain was trying to save his ship, the Britannic was sinking fast, too fast! In just ten minutes the Britannic had developed a bad list to starboard. To his right the Captain could see the shores of Kea, three miles away. He was going to make a last effort to beach the ship, but this would not be an easy task, because of the bad list to starboard, and to make things worse the 100 ton rudder was not responding, somewhere the steering gear had broken. But giving more power to the left propeller would serve the purpose. Britannic slowly started to turn right, she was sinking!!!
At the same time sailors were standing next to the lifeboats waiting for orders, not knowing what to do since the Captain was trying to beach the Britannic. Stewards came up from below decks running to the lifeboats in panic, the officer by the boat kept his nerve, and refused them to get in, but then changed his mind thinking that he did not want them around when the evacuation began! This officer in particular was not aware of any orders not to lower the lifeboats, but when he saw that the engines were running he order the lifeboats to stop six feet above the water until further orders, stopping six feet above the water was not received very well by the occupants of the lifeboat, as they began to curse the officer.
Assistant Commander Harry W. Dyke was organizing two lifeboats to be launched to rescue men that had already jumped into the water. The two lifeboats that were hanging six feet above the water were dropped into the water and hit violently. They were launched without the permission of the officer who had declined earlier. Then something happened that was not expected, and could not be helped. The two lifeboats were headed straight to the giant propellers that were now well out of the water, as the lifeboats reached them they were instantly ripped apart along with the people in them. When news of the massacre reached the bridge, the Captain ordered the engines stopped. There was no need of killing everybody that got into a lifeboat. The propellers stopped just as a third lifeboat came upon them!
With that Captain Bartlett gave the order to put the boats away, and abandon ship!
At 09:00 Bartlett sounded one last blast on the whistle and then just walked into the water, which had already reached the bridge. He swam to a collapsible boat and began to co-ordinate the rescue operations. The whistle blow was the final signal for the ship's engineers {commanded by Cheif Engineer Robert Fleming} who, like their heroic colleagues on the Titanic, had remained at their posts until the last possible moment. They escaped via the staircase into funnel #4 which ventilated the engine room.
The Britannic rolled over onto her starboard side and the funnels began collapsing. Violet Jessop saw the last seconds: "She dipped her head a little, then a little lower and still lower. All the deck machinery fell into the sea like a child's toys. Then she took a fearful plunge, her stern rearing hundreds of feet into the air until with a final roar, she disappeared into the depths, the noise of her going resounding though the water with undreamt-of violence...". It was 09:07, only fifty five minutes after the explosion. The Britannic then became a time capsule on the bottom of the Aegean. She is the largest liner at he bottom of the ocean! There we have the whole story of the Olympic class of liners. Two of them led short and sad lives, and the other was sold for scrap. What was to become the last word in luxury never served as a commercial liner, the other sank on its maiden voyage, and the other led a hard life. It was a doomed idea!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The Morning Of April 15th

Please forgive my lack of blogging! Hopefully now I can get back on track.

At 2:31, on Monday morning, as the result of the disaster, there were over 1,500 people in near to freezing water, (some dead, some alive) the rest were in the few lifeboats.
Most of the lifeboats were well away when the Titanic sank.
There was the problem of wanting to go back and pick up those struggling and perishing in the water. But there was a fear of doing so, because if they went back to where hundreds of people were in the water, there was a great chance of being swamped or capsized.
The people in the water did not have a chance, most of them did not drown, they died of hypothermia.
Hypothermia is a medical condition in which the victim's core body temperature has dropped to significantly below normal and normal metabolism begins to be impaired. This begins to occur when the core temperature drops below 35 degrees Celcius(95 degrees Farenheit). If body temperature falls below 32 °C (90 °F), the condition can become critical and eventually fatal. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia!!!
A few people were pulled from the water, and saved.
It was a long night for those in the lifeboats, the w
eather was bitterly cold, and the survivors were not prepared for it. [It was a bit below freezing!] Many died from exposure.
The Carpathia was making full steam, by the captain’s orders, heat, hot water, and anything else that took steam, was given to the boilers to power the engines.

Captain Rostern was not one to panic, when he heard the distress call he turned his ship completely around. He also had things organized for the ones that got off the Titanic safely, ordering gangway doors to be opened, have its lifeboats ready if need be, he had saloons and lounges turned into hospitals and living quarters, he had food and drink ready for those that needed it, and had the whole crew be ready to give the survivors service, or anything that they would need.
The ship did have to slow down from 17 knots to a bit less when she entered the
ice field, and sharp lookouts were kept for anything living. When Rostern got to the spot where Titanic gave her last distress call [latitude 41.46 N. and longitude 50.14 W.] there was nothing there but wreckage, the time was 4:00 a.m.. The captain ordered that rockets should begin firing to let lifeboats know that help was finally there. The first lifeboat was picked up at 4:30 am, and the last was picked up at 9:00 am, second officer Lightoller was the last to leave the lifeboats.
For those too young to climb up rope ladders, or too old, they had cargo n
ets swung out over the side of the ship to put the passengers in.
The Carpathia stayed in the area to look for any survivors still in the wat
er, also the Californian came into the area just hearing of the Titanic’s disaster, and asked if they could be of any help. Captain Rostern said, “no, every thing that was humanly possible was done,” not knowing that the Californian set 10 miles through the night ignoring the Titanic’s distress rockets.
When the survivors reached the decks of the Carpathia, they were terror-stricken, and grief-ridden. Many women would not even talk.
People on the Carpathia were moved to tears watching the survivors come on board. As some of the lifeboats came up to the ship they were only half filled, one on
ly had 12 people in it when it had the capacity to sit 42. Titanic’s passengers were in a dreadful state, some were dressed in their nightclothes, and others in their evening clothes, and still others were in raincoats.
After this, the Carpathia made sure there were no more survivors before leaving the area. Survivors were trying to find family
members among the throng. They were treated with the utmost respect from the crew, and the Carpathia’s passengers. They were fed right away and taken care of properly.
The women were stunned beyond belief, and only tears could comfort them, for they watched their husbands and sons die. Two Titanic survivors died on the way back to New York, aboard the Carpathia, from exposure in the lifeboats.
Out of the 2,340 people on the Titanic, only 705 survived, 1,635 people lost their lives.
The first thing that Mr. Ismay required when he put his foot on deck, was food. He dashed into the dining room crashed down into a chair and said “hurry, for God’s sake, get me something to eat; I’m starved. I don’t care what it costs, or what it is; bring it to me.” The man that was partly responsible for the disaster was concerned about his own needs and wants, and not on the needs of the othe
r Titanic passengers.
People in New York found out about the disaster that day, and it hit them like a thunderbolt, but facts were unclear and there were accounts that said the Titanic was damaged but being towed to Halifax. Still others said that every one on board survived. Some radical reports of the Titanic were that it had not even hit an iceberg. All of these of course were from different newspapers in New York, and Europe. New York City was touched to the heart when they found out the real truth. Hotels and city buildings were turned into temporary accommodations for the Titanic’s survivors who had nowhere to go. The streets were filled with onlookers and policemen were trying to keep order.
At St. Vincent’s Hospital, 120 beds were made ready for those who may need it. There was also Red Cross relief for all who needed it.
The Carpathia would not be there till midnight. There were well over 200 people on the docks; it was a grief crazed-crowd that had assembled earlier in the day.
Laborers rubbed shoulders with millionaires.
Rich people that had relatives on the Carpathia had Taxicabs waiting close to the docks. Miss. Hays had a whole special train waiting for her, and Miss. Widener also had a whole train waiting for her.

A limousine was waiting for Mrs. Astor to take her to her home on Fifth Ave.
There were also 35 ambulances waiting to take survivors who needed medical attention to every Hospital in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx; which were represented at the docks.
Also, the Pennsylvania Railroad had nine cars that would take the Titanic survivors anywhere they wanted to go, at no charge.
Waiting for the Carpathia was an intense and painful experience to the ones who had loved ones upon the Titanic.
The sea was rough and choppy with a lively wind blowing from the east. There was also a light fog that limited their visibility to only a few hundred yards, but lifted later in the evening.
Then looming out on the dark sea was the Carpathia, drawing closer with her pitiful cargo.
Liner ahead” cried the lookout! It must be the Carpathia! At first it was just a speck, but as it drew closer the black hull and one funnel made it certain, it was the Carpathia with its sad burden, the Titanic’s survivors. It sent waves of excitement through the packed crowed. More than 10,000 people eventually turned out for the sad homecoming.

A sad moment passed as the ship carrying the Titanic’s survivors rested to a stop at the place where the Titanic would have come to a stop after her maiden voyage.
Women wept silently, a sight not seen at the arrival of a ship coming into
There was no response from the ship as she came to a stop. As the Titanic’s passengers were released from the ship they sought for relatives and loved ones.
Titanic had ruined so many lives, first class passengers coming back from Europe, for different reasons, and now many wives were left widowed. Second class passengers coming back
from Europe maybe from visiting extended family, or other various reasons, but never the less women came back with out husbands, and children came back with out fathers. What about third class? People coming over to start a new life, that would be very hard without the man, how were they to survive now? Just because they were in America does not mean that it was the end of the story. Oh no! People’s lives were changed for the worse, people had to live with the fact that their husbands and sons were dead. Not only did it affect the passengers, but it affected the whole world, how could this happen to the unsinkable??? [This was the first event that ever made world news!!!] This was different than other shipwrecks, because this did not have to happen. This tragedy could have been avoided by a few simple different decisions. People wanted answers. So the American government held inquires, which were very tedious, and mind numbing. The British Government also held their inquires about the Titanic.
Never in history was there a disaster happen that could even equal to the Titanic. Men finally learned the lesson that God and His creation could over come anything that man could build. From then on, all ships were required to have enough lifeboats for everyone on board, and they were required to have non-stop radioactivity, and many other simple things that could have avoided the Titanic’s disaster.
So as a result of the greatest ship sinking, it made sea-lanes much safer, and gave all classes confidence that they had a sure spot in a lifeboat.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Titanic's Sister Ship 'Olympic'

Well we all know the fate of the Titanic, but what became of her sister ships, the Olympic, and Britannic?
We often zone out the Titanic like she was the only glorious ship of the day, but she had two rival sisters. The Titanic was out of a class of liners called the Olympic class, there were three ships in this class. So we'll go down the line in the order that they were built, the purpose that they served, and the fate that they suffered.

1. Though the Titanic and Olympic were built close to the same time, the Olympic was started a few months earlier.
Her keel was laid down December 1907, in shipyard No. 400. Her gross tonnage was 45,342 tons of riveted steel. She was driven by three propellers, and could make 21 knots. H&W built this ship, and she was launched October 20, 1910. She could carry 735 in first class, 674 in second, and 1,026 in third class.
She was the first of the three to cross the Atlantic Ocean, she made the first four trips uneventful, but alas on the fifth crossing she was rammed by the Royal Navy cruiser HMS Hawke. The Olympic stayed afloat and no one was injured, and it seemed to prove the fact that these new class of ships were unsinkable. It took workers two weeks to just patch her so she could return to Belfast to have repairs done, and after that it took six weeks to get her on the seas again.
In February of 1912 she had to return to H&W for repairs, after dropping a propeller blade!
Disasters have a way of getting men's attention to make them see the errors of previous ways. Thus was the case with the Titanic, after the disaster the Olympic again returned to the place of her berth to be 'updated.' The most notable thing was, she had more lifeboats added, as was the law now, but she also had her bulkheads extend all the way up to boat-deck, and she was given another layer of steel all the way around.
World War 1 broke out and the Olympic sailed on as normal, but as the war progressed less and less passengers began crossing the Atlantic fearing that the Olympic would be easy game. But on her return journey she ran across a British Battleship mortally wounded after hitting a mine, the Olympic took off all the crew and attempted to tow the warship into safe waters, but the magazine of the Battleship exploded, and she went to her watery grave.
After this transaction she was intended to be laid up until the war ended, but the Government required her services, as a fast troop transport. She was stripped of all her luxurious fittings, and had the famous 'dazzle paint' job.
She could carry up to 7,000 troops at one time.
The Olympic served proudly through the whole war, rescuing ships crews in distress, and she topped it all by being the attacker, instead of being on the run. During her 22nd troop carrying run the crew spotted a German submarine, the Captain ordered the ship to be turned around in order to ram the submarine, by the time the German crew knew what was happening it was to late, the Olympic tore a whole through the hull of the sub, some of the crew were rescued by a destroyer that was at hand.
The hard earned nick-name "old reliable" was soon put in place by the Captain, crew, and all who sailed on her.
In 1918 she again returned to Belfast too be fitted out to carry passengers again. she was converted to run on oil instead of coal, and this meant that she would need 300 less crew, she would be more efficient this way too. After 2.5 million to the White Star Line she returned to passenger traffic, and was loved, admired, and adored by all.
By 1933 sea travel diminished tremendously, due to several different reasons. The White Star Line, and the Cunard merged together in the early 1930's and began to sell off some of their ships, the Olympic's future seemed doubtful, after all she was 25 years old at this time.
By 1935 her time was up. They tried to sell her, but nobody wanted her, so she was stripped of her fittings, and superstructure, and the rest was sold for scrap.
I guess that's what happens to everything sooner or later, it is just kind of sad to me. She was built at the height of shipping engineering, she was a loved ship by everyone, she served well, and worked hard, and then was sold for scrap! She was built first out of the class, and survived the longest out of the Olympic class. There is just something eerie about that picture above to me.
Since we all know what happened to the Titanic, I'll be posting something on the sister ship Britannic. She as well had an interesting, and short life.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Second Officer, Charles Herbert Lightoller

{"What I remember about that night, what I will remember as long as I live, is the people crying out to each other as the stern began to plunge down. I heard people crying, 'I love you.'"}
Lightoller was very much the image of a steamship officer. Tall, sun bronzed and handsome, with a deep, pleasant speaking voice. He was a good officer and an outstanding seaman.
His monthly salary was 14.00.00 [in English pounds.]
At the time of the disaster he was 38.
His berth place was Chorley, Lancashire England.
His residence in 1912 was Southampton, England.
He began his career in 1900 with the White Star Line working with a man called E.J. Smith whom he liked and admired very much.
He was born in March 30th, 1874. His mother died only one month after he was born. Within one year one of his sisters died, and his father cared him for. The strain must have been too much on him, so one day he just upped and left for the sea.

“It is difficult to convey any idea of the size of ship like Titanic, when you could actually walk miles along decks and passages, covering different ground all the time. I was thoroughly familiar with pretty well every type of ship afloat, from a battleship to a barge, “but it took me 14 days before I could with any confidence find my way from one end of the ship to another by the shortest route.”
When he left his wife and home in Southampton, he told her “don’t you bother, the sea isn’t wet enough to drown me.” Second officer Charles Herbert Lightoller did survive the Titanic’s sinking.

I feel another quiz coming on!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Titanic's Funnels, or Smokestacks

Now you may say, hmm... what is there to say about the Titanic's funnels? Well there is a little bit to say.......
The first time the Titanic's funnels became an issue was when Bruce Ismay was inspecting a model of the ship, before he signed the contract to have them built. He asked again how many engines the Titanic would have, thinking that maybe he hadn't heard right, three was the reply. Then why four funnels, he inquired? The reply was plain and straight to the point, the Mauritania, and Lusitania, both have four funnels, we didn't think that you would want your ship to have less. Besides it will make the ship look more powerful. With third class passengers of the time, they thought that the more funnels the ship had the faster it would go, and a ship this big would look out of place with only three funnels.
The Titanic's funnels were constructed away from the site and then transported to the fitting out wharf for installation.
They weighed 60 tons apiece and they were big enough to drive two locomotives through at the same time.

I think that the Titanic's funnels really made the Titanic stand out among other ships. It gave the ship a majestic look, as it was truly Queen of the seas.

Once they were fitted out, they were cabled down to the decks by guy wires. The fourth funnel was just a dummy and was used to vent the engine room and kitchen galleys. They were painted bronze at the bottom and a black buff at the top, typical of the White Star Line.
The funnels only had a few days to glory in the bright sunlight. I have looked for the fate of them, but I have not really come up with anything. They are somewhere...... perhaps rust eaten, and almost gone now, but they were once the crowning glory of what has be come the most famous shipwreck of all time.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Titanic's Construction

This is a long post, so grab a cup coffee, a donut, and a big fuzzy blanket and cuddle down!
You better make that two donuts...

In 1907, a limousine pulled up in front of a mansion. A man of medium height, with a dark mustache steps out of the car. He walked quickly up the stone path, and up the steps too the entrance. As he enters, the butler quickly removes his long overcoat, and top hat. This man’s name is John Bruce Ismay; he is the president of the White Star Line.

John Pilkington, and Henry Threlfall Wilson formed the White Star Line in 1845. All of the White Star Line’s business was conducted in Liverpool, England. This Shipping Line was started mainly to be involved in the Australian gold rush. The White Star Line Shipping Company used charted sailing ships from the time the company came into existence. Not until 1863 did the White Star Line acquire a steamer. After the fall of the Australian gold rush, the White Star Line concentrated on the shipping route between Liverpool and New York. In 1867, they invested heavily in new steamers, and at that time the Royal Bank of Liverpool failed. This disaster left the company bankrupt, with the outstanding debt of $527,000.00, and no way to pay it back. Thomas Ismay was the president of the White Star Line at this time [Bruce Ismay’s father] and came into contact with men by the name of Gustavus C. Schaube, and Gustav Wolff. If Thomas Ismay would agree to have Gustav Wolff [Harland & Wolff ship-builders] build his ships, Wolff’s uncle Schaube, would finance the ship-line. Thomas agreed, and a new partnership was formed between the White Star Line shipping company, and the Harland & Wolff, ship-builders. The agreement was this, H&W would build ships at cost, plus a fixed percentage, and they would not build ships for White Star Line’s rivals. So, on July 30th, 1869 the first orders were arranged with H&W. It was to be a new class of liners, the oceanic class. There would be four ships in this class, the Oceanic, Atlantic, Baltic, and Republic, and by 1871 the shipping company was on route again between New York and Liverpool.
Through the next years, the White Star Line would abound in profits. The shipping company also acquired new ships such as the Germanic, Teutonic, Majestic, Celtic, Cedric, Baltic, and Adriatic, all of these built in between 1875 and 1907. The Teutonic won the Blue Ribbon for being the fastest ship on the seas at the time.
In 1902 the International Mercantile Marine [IMM] took over many ship-lines, and Bruce Ismay wanted no part of it. But! He could not compete with it, so he joined it. So, by 1903 the White Star Line was part of a large American conglomerate, owned and directed by John Pierpont Morgan.
As John Bruce Ismay entered Lord Pierre’s home, he had something on his mind, something very serious. After formal greetings were made all around, Ismay was shown into the dining room. Ismay and Pierre had a long friendship, not just as partners in the struggle to be the best shipping-line and ship-builders, it was deeper than that, they had a true friendship that went beyond the expectations of the shipping world. After the elaborate dinner and dessert, they set around a small table discussing many different things that had been going on. It was then, when they were sitting there smoking cigars and drinking hot tea, that one of the most important discussions of the age took place. Sooner or later shipping came up; there was a major problem.
The Cunard Line, the rival shipping company had built two ships like the w
orld had never seen. Not in size, or luxury, or beauty like the others, but in speed. These new liners, the Lusitania, and Mauritania, had set new speed records, they were faster than any other cruise ship in the world at the time. Pierre and Ismay were not concerned about speed, but these new ships were cutting into their profits. The White Star Line didn’t have a ship to challenge these new queens. Ismay begin to sketch something on a piece of paper, things were running through Ismay’s mind, a new ship! That’s what we need to compete with the Cunard Liners! It would have to be a ship of grand scale, something like the world had never seen, something that would put the Cunard shipping line back in their seats. Something that would overcome the elements, something that would attract the paying eye, something….something…… We will build a ship that has more luxuries than any other ship, we will build a ship that is indestructible, and we will build a ship like the world has ever seen. That was definitely the answer! A new class of ships! But what will this cost people, it was simple, the same fixed rate. Which was cost +10%, something everybody could afford, from first class, to third class. This would not be unusual for the White Star Line. They had been more concerned with luxury more than speed for the last several years. On the other hand the Cunard Line was definitely more concerned with speed. Ismay didn’t want to compete with the speed of these new ships, he would lose. This was a battle that neither party could afford to lose.As the evening drew on, Ismay took his leave. Back at his house, he must have been more excited than words could tell, it wasn’t every day you get to build and own the biggest ship in the world!

As days grew into weeks, blue prints and plans were being made on a major scale. Finally, the H&W designers brought a small model of the new class of ships for Ismay to inspect. Ismay did not show his emotions as he viewed the ship with satisfaction. The head designer at H&W must have been shaking slightly as the president of the White Star Line inspected the design of the ship. Finally as Ismay stood up from crouching over the model, he said, “I think it’s fabulous!” The ship designer let out a sigh of relief.
This class of liners would need to have names that would fit the
m properly. Until this moment they were known as ships 400, 401 and 402. The first to be named, was Olympic, after the Greeks. Such a name sounded fitting for such a ship! What would they call ship 401, the second in the group of three? What about the mighty Titans, rivals of the Olympians in the early days, surely this ship must be named TITANIC! Ship 402 would have a simple name, but fitting never the less, Gigantic. On July 31, 1908, the order was put in at H&W for the new class of ships, R.M.S Olympic, and Titanic. Gigantic was ordered after Titanic and Olympic’s launch. As John Bruce Ismay signed the contract with Harland & Wolff, these ships would be built no matter what happened. When Ismay put his pen to the contract, he had untold joy in his heart, finally these new ships were becoming a reality. For over a year he had dreamed of this moment.The Belfast work force gasped!In the history of shipbuilding had there been a ship of such proportions, never before had man built a ship like the Titanic. Until now, the Cunard liners Lusitanian and Mauritania had been the largest ships in the world. The men of H & W were invited to build not only one, but three ships much bigger than the Cunard liners. These new ships would be 90 feet longer, 4 feet wider, and 15,000 tons heavier. The Titanic would be a massive ship, nothing like the world had ever seen, she would be 883 feet and 9 inches long, and 92 feet wide. This leviathan would displace 60,000 tons; the empty hull alone would weigh 26,000 tons.

From the top of the funnels to the keel would be 175 feet tall, 35 feet of that would be under the water line. Also the Titanic was taller above the water than most urban buildings of the time.
Titanic altogether had four funnels-which were constructed at another site from H & W, and then transported to the H & W
for placement on the ship, they weighed 60 tons apiece and were big enough to drive two locomotives through at the same time. The fourth one was a dummy added mainly to vent the engine rooms and the galleys, but it also made the ship look more powerful, third class passengers especially thought the more funnels the ship had the faster it would go.
When finally built, the Titanic would be the biggest man made obje
ct ever moved until the 1920’s!
Titanic would have three massive propellers, two three bladed o
nes that were 23 feet and 6 inches tall, and a smaller four bladed propeller that would be 16 feet and 6 inches tall.
The Titanic had 24 double-ended boilers and 5 single ended boilers that would be placed in 6 boiler rooms, the double-ended boilers would be 20 feet long and 15 fe
et and 6 inches high, the single ended boilers were 11 feet long and 9 inches. Altogether she would have 159 furnaces. Once on the sea, she would use 850 tons of coal each day.
She had two reciprocating, four cylinder, triple expansion, direct acting inverted engines: creating 30,000 horse power, the left over steam would go to a third engine, a low pressure Parsons turbine: creating 16,000 horse pow
er, this engine could not be put into reverse. Added all together would generate 46,000 hp. This would not make a fast ship, but the White Star Line was concerned with elegance and luxury, more than speed. These engines would drive the ship through the water at more than 23 knots at top speed, which is not too bad considering that the ship weighed 60,000 tons.
The Titanic had a rudder that weighed 100 tons, and the Titanic’s center anchor weighed 15 tons and was as tall as a house. Each chain link was as tall as a man and weighed 100 pounds.
Before construction could begin on these new ships, H & W had to
update their piers, gantry’s, and slipways.
The Titanic and Olympic we
re built side by side although Olympic was started a few months before Titanic.
The keel was laid down on March 31, 1909. During construction timber props were used to hold
her up.
14,000 men worked on Tita
nic, being the highest employ rate H & W had ever had. If you happened to be late to work once the shipyard gates were closed, there was no way to get in, you just lost a whole day’s pay.
Over the course of the constructi
on, 17 men lost their lives due to the unsafe working conditions. One of the losses was a 15-year-old boy.
In order to lower the massive engines in place, H & W had to order special floating cranes from Germany that could lift 200 tons to set the engines and boilers down into the ship. This cost $30,000 to the H & W Company. The engines set on their own weight just like the boilers and t
he huge funnels. The funnels had cables running down to the deck to help hold them in place in case of rough seas.
The Titanic was also supposed to be the symbol of modern technology, not in just the size of the ship but in safety too. To live up
to the high standards she had a double bottom, a double hull of 1 inch steel plates that were 3 feet wide and 16 feet long, each piece weighed 3 tons, 3,000,000 rivets were used to hold the ship together, and a new design of 16 watertight compartments with watertight doors that could be closed from the bridge or by automatic electric sensors. This is when the newspapers started to call her unsinkable, a term that quickly flourished in the minds of the designer and J. Bruce Ismay. Soon the world started saying…. “This ship is unsinkable” and the term “no, not even God could sink this ship” came about. That is what this ship would be known for, Sadly, as everyone would come to find out, there was a terrible flaw; these watertight bulkheads only went up to E deck. The ship could only float if any four or five of her compartments filled with water. But none could think of a disaster that would cause more than four of her compartments to fill up, but which means that this ship was not unsinkable if there was the possibility of that danger.
A man by the name of Andrew Carlyle had been chief designer of the Titanic until the issue of how many lifeboats were necessary came up. The British Board Of Regulations was out of date. It stated that a ship of 10,000 tons must have at least 16 lifeboats, but these new ships were five times that big and Carlyle new it. The Titanic was designed to carry
3500 passengers and crew, fully loaded. Which means these new ships would need 64 lifeboats to cover every one board. Carlyle argued these points with Lord Pirrie, and J. B. Ismay. “ These new ships must carry enough lifeboats for every one on board.” Said Carlyle, then Pirrie stated, “The Titanic is its own lifeboat” ‘and having 64 lifeboats festooning the deck of the ship would scare people away”. He argued that this ship was made with the latest advances in safety technology and most of all “you designed her.” Carlyle was getting flustered with Pirrie and said, “don’t you see anything that is designed by man is liable to destruction.” Then Pirrie clearly told him that these ships would meet the requirements of the BBOR, only having 16 lifeboats, and four collapsibles. Then Andrew Carlyle, after being in the family business his whole life, walked out for good. He was not going to design a ship that would not have enough lifeboats for all the passengers and crew.
After he left, H & W needed a new chief designer, so they called on Thom
as Andrews, [he had actually helped design the Titanic with Carlyle] to pick up were Andrew Carlyle left off. They chose Andrews to keep this operation in the family business. [Andrews was Pirrie’s nephew!!!]
With the main structure of the ship completed, launching
of the Titanic was set for May 31st, 1911. For the occasion 100,000 people turned out. There was no christening of the Titanic, White Star Line and H & W did not take part of that tradition. So, at 12:13 the hydraulic triggers were pulled and the largest man made object moved for the first time, slid down the slipway on 22 tons of tallow and fat, and other types of grease, and of course her own weight. The Titanic reached a speed of 12 knots and was brought to a halt by anchor chains and cable drag chains. The whole process took 62 seconds. As one worker put it after watching the ordeal, “they just builds’em and shoves’em in.”
The Titanic was towed to the H & W fitting out wharf, from installing passenger accommodations, to engineering equipment, and just mainly making her seaworthy.
Carpenters, carpet layers, steamfitters, metalworkers, and electricians [just to name a few of the trades used] all had a chance to show their handy work.

Specifications to the Titanic were going to be based upon those of the Olympic. There would be some changes made, and as a result, the Titanic would be a thousa
nd tons heavier than the Olympic, and even more luxurious. One of these changes would be to close the 1st class promenade deck in by glass. Passengers had complained about being splashed with spray from the sea. This change made a notable difference between the two ships.In the next months to follow, the empty hull of the Titanic would be formed into the most elegant, and luxurious ship the world had ever seen sailing the sea.