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In case you want to play a game of Trivial Pursuit, about the Titanic

- The RMS part of RMS Titanic stands for Royal Mail Steamer

- Titanic was an Olympic-class liner owned by the White Star Line

- Constructed in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland

- Launched May 31, 1911

- Construction cost $7.5 million

- The ship was 882 feet 9 inches long, 92 feet wide, and the height to the top of the funnels was 175 feet

- From waterline to the boat deck was 59 feet, or almost 6 stories

- She drew 34 feet 7 inches of water

- Had 9 decks (A-G)

- Powered by 24 boilers, two 15,000 hp engines, and a turbine, for a total of basic 46,000 hp and up to 59,000 maximum

- With three propellers, she was capable of 23 knots maximum, but ran 21 knots most of the time

- Titanic had four funnels, but only 3 really worked – the forth was just to make her look more impressive

- Part of the cost of Titanic was funded by JP Morgan

- As Titanic left Southhampton, her wake pulled the SS New York free from its moorings and it was sucked to withing 4’ of Titanic before a tug pulled it away; it caused a short delay, and started rumors among warf rats that the Titanic was cursed

The schedule:

- Lines cast off Wednesday, April 10 at 12:05 p.m.

- Arrives Cherbourg, France at 5:30 p.m.

- Departs at 8:30 p.m.

- Arrives Queenstown, Ireland at 11:30 a.m. on April 11; has to anchor 2 miles off shore because the harbor is too small; passengers from Ireland are ferried out to the ship on tenders

- A crewmember named John Coffey jumped ship in Queensland on one of the tenders, later claiming he had a bad feeling about the Titanic

- Sailing with 2,223 passengers and crew (capacity was 4,547)

- Just before midnight on April 14, 1912 (the exact time has been reported differently) the ship struck the iceberg that sent her to the bottom with 1,517 souls

- The night was clear, seas were calm

- The ship was on a revised course to take them more southerly due to iceberg sighting reports

- Another ship, the Amerika, sent a message that they’d spotted icebergs in Titanic’s current path, but because the radiomen were employed by Marconi and only paid to relay messages for the passengers, they didn’t put any priority to the ice messages

- The same thing happened when the ship Mesaba’s iceberg warnings were delayed

- Lookouts warned of an iceberg “dead ahead”

- Because the iceberg was south enough to be constantly melting, it wasn’t white like most; it was nearly clear; this type is generally called a “blackberg” because they reflect the night sky and water like a mirror

- The First Officer gave the “hard-a-starboard” order, to turn left/port

- There is confusion over whether he said full reverse or stop

- The iceberg scraped the right/starboard side, cutting a gash almost 300 feet long

- The ship could stay afloat with four compartments flooded, but five were affected

- The water overtopped the watertight bulkheads, which didn’t reach clear to the ceiling to spill over into more compartments

- Captain Smith, who’d been asleep, arrived and order the ship to a stop, and after an inspection, the lifeboats to be readied

- There were 20 lifeboats, enough life boats for 1,178 people, which was all that was required due to then-current laws

- There will three different types of lifeboats, including 2 - 24” wooden cutters that could carry 40 passengers, 14 - 30’ long lifeboats that could carry 65 passengers, and 4 collapsible Englehardt lifeboats at 27 feet long with capacity of 47 each

- There are rumors that the shipping line refused to carry more life boats because they felt they would reduce the amount of space on the promenade area or ruin the sleek look of the ship, which had been set up to handle 64 lifeboats with a capacity of 4,000 which close to ship capacity

- Sixteen lifeboats were all that were required by the Board of Trade; BOT regulations were that British ships over 10,000 tons need only carry 16 lifeboats with a capacity for 75% of passengers (50% of passengers in ships with watertight bulkheads)

- These regulations were devised in 1894 when ships the size of Titanic were not even conceived. - The 2 wooden cutters were always on the davits, and 2 of the collapsible boats were on the roof of the officer’s quarters; one of those didn’t survive attempts to get them off the roof

- The Titanic had 3,560 life jackets and 49 life buoys

- The starboard lifeboats were the first to launch; a few on the port side were also lowered

- Most boats were at least partially empty due to reluctance of passengers to leave the ship which really didn’t appear to be in serious danger due to its design (which prevented serious listing) and the fact that power was retained until almost the very end

- Boats meant to hold 40 might have less than half that many when launched

- The rule of the day was “women and children first” which left many father/husband-less families when it was all over

- A few male crewmen were allowed in the lifeboats for oarsmen or if there weren’t enough women and children to board

- One male passenger, Daniel Buckley, disguised himself as a woman to get into a lifeboat

- Within 2 hours the bow was under water

- Only 2 of the 18 launched lifeboats made any attempt to rescue after the ship went down, and they managed to rescue 9, although 3 of them later died

- CQD was the distress signal preferred by the British over the SOS, but later the British radiomen used both

- Ships Mount Temple, Franfurt, Olympic all responded, but were none close enough

- Cunard’s Carpathia was 58 miles away – 4 hours

- Cape Race, Newfoundland was the only land-based receiver of the distress signal

- Other ship's lights were visible from the sinking Titanic, but there was no response to the distress signal - Morse lamps and distress rockets – it’s not sure if it was the SS Californian or a sealer called Sampson; the Californian reported seeing lights but their wireless was turned off and the operator was asleep (He was not awakened until the next day)

2:10 Propellers out of the water

2:17 Water at the boat deck

Forward funnel collapses, crushing bridge and people in the water

2:30 ship sinks into the black depths

4:10 the Carpathia arrives

8:30 picks up the final lifeboat; 6 dead passengers buried at sea

8:40 departs with survivors for New York

April 18 Carpathia arrives at New York, Pier 54

In Southhampton, more than 500 families lost family members


- There were a total of 840 staterooms,

- 324 First Class Passengers out of 416 staterooms (199 survived – 60%)

- 284 Second Class in 162 staterooms (119 survived – 41%; 92% of the males died)

- 709 Third Class in 262 staterooms and 40 open berthing areas (214 survived – 24%)

- 891-991 (depending on source) crew (214 survived - 23%)

- 2 dogs survived.

- 4 ships responded to retrieve bodies from the sight of the sinking; in mid-May 3 bodies were retrieved 200 miles away

- The first ship on site quickly ran out of embalming supplies; only embalmed bodies could return to port in Halifax and be stored at a curling rink; it was decided first class passengers would be embalmed first so that wealthy persons could be identified and to prevent disputes over estates; 3rd class and crew who were buried at sea

- Later ships found fewer bodies and so more of them were returned to port

- 2/3 of the bodies were identified; the others were given a number and buried

- Almost all 1st class children survived and all the 2nd class children survived, but less than 50% of 3rd class children survived; many because of convoluted corridors and locked gates

- 96% of 1st class females, 86% of 2nd class females, but less than 50% of 3rd class females survived

- Overall 75% of women and 20% of men survived

- There were more Brittish passengers who died, and some attributed that to the fact that British were deemed “more polite.”

- The last survivor of the Titanic died May 31 2009, 98 years after the sinking.

- Of the crew, half the officers, 21 of 29 seamen, and all the quartermasters survived

- From the bowels of the ship, 48 firemen, 20 of 73 coal trimmers, 4 of 33 greasers, and 1 of 6 mess hall stewards survived

- Only 60 of 322 stewards and 18 of 23 stewardesses, and 3 of 68 restaurant staff survived

- None of the postal workers, or orchestra survived


First Class had:

  • Gymnasium with mechanical camel

  • Swimming pool

  • Squash Court

  • Turkish Bath

  • Electric Bath

  • Verandah Café

  • Common rooms with wood paneling

  • Linoleum flooring, which was more expensive than marble tile


  • Library

  • Barber shops

  • 3rd class had pine paneling and teak furniture

  • Elevators (3 in 1st class and 1 in 2nd)

  • Electric lights

  • 2 Marconi radios

No one has been able to confirm what music was really played by the band as they sank: it was likely a hymn called Autumn or Songe d’ Automne, althought neither were in the White Star Line songbook; the British version of a song entitled Nearer, my God, to Thee sounded a lot like the hymn Autumn

Price of tickets

  • Most expensive ticket in 1st class/parlor suite, one-way £870/$4,350 (more than $95,000 in today’s dollars)

  • First Class/parlor berth, £30/$150 ($2,975 now)

  • Second Class, £12/$60 ($1,200 now)

  • Third Class, £3-£8/$40+ ($297-$793 now)


  • 75,000 lbs. fresh meat

  • 11,000 lbs. fresh fish

  • 25,000 lbs. poultry

  • 40,000 eggs

  • 40 TONS potatoes(80,000 lbs.)

  • 7,000 heads of lettuce

  • 1,750 lbs. ice cream

  • 2,200 lbs. coffee

  • 800 lbs. tea

  • 10,000 lbs. each, rice and dried beans, sugar and cereal

  • 250 barrels of flour

  • 36,000 each apples and oranges

  • 16,000 lemons

  • 1,500 gallons fresh milk

  • 600 gallons condensed milk

  • 6,000 lbs. butter

  • 15,000 bottles of ales and stout

  • 1,000 bottles of wine

  • 850 bottles of spirits

  • 8,000 cigars


  • 27,600 pieces of crockery

  • 29,000 pieces of glassware

  • 44,000 pieces of cutlery

  • 2,000 salt shakers

  • 1,500 grape scissors

  • 4,000 aprons

  • 7,500 blankets

  • 6,000 table clothes

  • 3,600 bed covers

  • 15,000 pillowcases

  • 800 eiderdown quilts

  • 15,000 sheets

  • 45,000 napkins

  • 7,500 bath towels

  • 25,000 fine towels


  • 3,364 bags of mail

  • 1 Renault automobile

  • 7 packages of the Torah

  • 4 cases of opium

Famous passengers

  • John Jacob Astor IV and wife Madeleine

  • Benjamin Guggenheim

  • Isador Straus (Owner of Macy’s) and his wife Ida

  • Margaret Brown, who earned her moniker Unsinkable, but she wasn’t known as Molly until the movie about her was made

  • Sir Cosmo Duff and his wife, Lucy, a couturiere

  • The Countess of Rothes

  • United States presidential aide Archibald Butt

  • Silent film actress Dorothy Gibson

  • J. Bruce Ismay, the White Star’s managing director

  • Thomas Andrews, the ship’s builder

  • JP Morgan was scheduled for the trip but cancelled at the last minute

Aftermath of the disaster: rules on safety, hull and bulkhead design, ship-board access, lifeboat and life vest design, safety drills, and methods of communication were all changed

The wreck of the Titanic was rediscoverd September 1, 1985, at a depth of 2.5 miles, 370 miles from Newfoundland.


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