White Star Line, an industry leader, wanted to revolutionize travel by building the finest and biggest luxury passenger ships in the world.
Designing the Titanic.
The RMS Titanic was one of three ships belonging to the Olympic-class of White Star Line vessels. In addition to the Titanic, there was the RMS Olympic and the RMS Britannic. Responding to growing competition, design for the Olympic-class liners began in 1907. The decision was made to focus on luxury and size rather than speed. Joseph Bruce Ismay, managing director of White Star Line, wanted to build a ship larger than any that had come before.
Construction of the Titanic.
Finding a location to begin construction of the Titanic ship was an engineering feat itself. Harland and Wolff, shipbuilders for White Star Line, had substantially revamped an existing shipyard to accommodate construction of the Olympic-class liners. Construction of the Titanic began on March 31, 1909.
It took approximately three years to complete construction of the 882 foot long and 92 foot wide vessel. Work on the ship was difficult and dangerous; eight people were killed and nearly 250 injured. The Titanic was launched May 31, 1911 but was not fully fitted and ready for service until spring of 1912. Displacing 52,310 tons, the RMS Titanic was the largest passenger ship in the world.
A Modern Marvel.
Inspired by the technological innovations of the industrial revolution, White Star Line wanted the Titanic to epitomize modern technology, engineering, safety and luxury. The ship featured electric lights, elevators and heaters. Guests could relax in a Turkish bath or spend their time playing tennis, swimming or exercising in the on-board gym.
Despite its disastrous sinking, engineers had designed the Titanic ship with safety as a top priority. The ship featured a double steel hull and 16 separate compartments capable of being sealed off from one another in the event of an emergency. The Titanic was also capable of carrying 64 lifeboats. However, in a fateful decision, White Star Line chose only to carry 16. This, combined with collapsible lifeboats, met the requirements of an outdated law mandating enough lifeboats for only 75 percent of the ship's passenger capacity.
The Maiden Voyage of the RMS Titanic.
On April 10, 1912, the Titanic set out for New York City from Southampton, England. White Star Line highly publicized the Titanic's maiden voyage. They went so far as to call the ship “unsinkable.” The promotion campaign attracted many prominent members of British and American society including nobility and wealthy industrialists. After two stops, one in France and one Ireland. The Titanic began its transatlantic crossing with 2,216 passengers.
The Night of April 14.
The history of the Titanic was forever altered when the ship struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912. Having received iceberg warnings via wireless telegraph, Captain Edward Smith altered the ship's course. However, the radio operators were more concerned with relaying private messages to passengers than passing along updated iceberg warnings to the bridge. At approximately 11:40 p.m., lookouts spotted an iceberg directly in the path of the ship. Evasive action was taken in an attempt to avoid the collision. A sharp turn to the port side was ordered, and the iceberg struck the ship on the right side damaging the hull. Captain Smith ordered a full stop to assess the damage. Initially, only five compartments were flooded, and the watertight doors had been closed to prevent additional flooding. However, water was able to flow over the top of bulkheads and in through normal openings causing two more compartments to flood. It quickly became obvious the Titanic would sink.
Evacuating the Ship.
The first lifeboat was lowered about an hour after the collision. It had a 65 person capacity; only 19 were aboard. Tragically, many of the lifeboats were launched far under capacity. This is attributable to several factors. Assured by the still working electricity and seeming calm, many passengers didn't think the ship was sinking. In addition, many of the third class passengers became lost or trapped in the ship and didn't make it to the lifeboats. Due to a women and children first rule, many men did not board lifeboats despite there being space.
Radio operators broadcasted distress signals, but the RMS Carpathia, the closest ship, was four hours away. All but two lifeboats were successfully launched. Eventually, the Titanic split and was completely sunk by 2:20 a.m. Roughly four hours after receiving the distress call, the Carpathia arrived and began rescue efforts. More than 1,500 people died.Discovery of the Wreckage. The full history of the Titanic would not be known for decades. The wreckage was discovered September 1, 1985 through a combined American and French effort. Researchers learned much of what actually caused the “unsinkable” Titanic's tragic end.
Public interest in the history of Titanic persists to this day. Perhaps the fascination stems from the arrogance of the ship's designers or from the significance of such an impressive ship during a cultural and technological transition. Whatever the case, the history of the Titanic continues to captivate both historians and popular culture a century later.
Titanic mistakeRMS Titanic was a ship deemed unsinkable, yet four days into her maiden voyage, the “unsinkable” ship collided with an iceberg. She went to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean and 1,517 people died. Despite
formal inquiries and much informal speculation, a definitive cause for the collision has never been identified.
Number of mistakes.There is no question that a number of mistakes contributed to the sinking of the Titanic. Captain E. J. Smith was sailing his retirement voyage as the Titanic was making her maiden trip. Smith reportedly did not give orders to slow the ship despite reports of icebergs in the water, a common practice at the time. Smith also ignored or discounted a total of seven iceberg warnings from other ships and his own crew. J. Bruce Ismay, the Managing Director of Titanic’s parent corporation, the White Star Line, was on board the ship. Some people have speculated that Ismay put pressure on Smith to maintain speed as the White Star Line wanted to prove it could make a six-day crossing.
Mistakes during the build of the Titanic.Another mistake, or perhaps a deliberate action, occurred during the building process. Substandard iron was used in the rivets holding the iron plates of the ship. The collision with the iceberg sheared the rivets and caused many sections of the ship to buckle. Yet another mistake lay in the height of the watertight compartments, which did not reach as high as they should have because the increased height would have cut into the living quarters of the first class compartments. Aside from the actual sinking, the ship carried only enough lifeboats for about one-third of the passengers and crew, which undoubtedly led to increased loss of life.
Mistakes by other vessels.
all the mistakes were made by people directly connected with the
Titanic. Another ship, the Californian, had stopped for the night only
19 miles from the doomed ship. When the Titanic fired distress rockets,
the Californian’s captain, Stanley Lord, decided the rockets were being
fired because the Titanic was partying. The Californian’s radio had
been turned off, and she missed the Titanic’s distress call; had the
radio been on, the Californian should have been able to save all the
Close to a century after the Titanic went down, yet another possible mistake surfaced. The granddaughter of senior officer Charles Lightoller claimed the man at the wheel of the Titanic either did not hear an order or responded incorrectly; he turned right instead of left, putting the ship on a collision course with the iceberg. Louise Patten says her grandfather -- who survived the sinking -- lied about the mistake to prevent lawsuits against his employers and to protect his job. Patten also says that the chairman of the White Star Line ordered the ship to continue sailing on its intended course to reach land, in the hope of avoiding negative publicity, which may have increased the amount of water flowing into the ship. If what Patten says is true, despite all the other errors, in the end it may have been a simple misunderstanding that led to a titanic mistake.
The Sinking of the Titanic
1912 sinking of titanicThe sinking of the Titanic is one of the most talked about events of the twentieth century. Yet what really happened on that dreadful night in 1912? Here we will look at the events immediately leading up to and during the sinking of this massive ship.
There was great talk about the Titanic. The construction of this brand new ship had people boasting that it was practically unsinkable. Confidences were running high during this maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Then, on April 14, 1912, just four days into the voyage, the captain started receiving several warnings of floating ice in the surrounding areas of the North Atlantic Ocean. Instead of heeding these warnings, the ship still continued to travel at its maximum speed.
When the iceberg was spotted, the captain immediately slowed the ship and tried to reverse directions. However, due to the massive side of the ship, there was no way to steer it to safety in time. The right side, or starboard, of the ship came into contact with the iceberg. After the collision, immediate inspection on deck did not reveal a great deal of damage. Some passengers believed that the ship had just scraped an iceberg and continued what they were doing. Down below, however, the damage was much more apparent. The iceberg had caused five of the ship's watertight compartments to open up. Based on the way the ship was constructed, the Titanic would have been able to survive if only four compartments had been flooded instead.
As the water continued to flood the compartments, it became known that the Titanic would end up sinking. Passengers were ordered to grab a life preserver and go on deck for evacuation orders. The captain and a few others were already aware that not everyone would be able to get off the ship, as there were only twenty lifeboats available. This would only provide safety for half of the passengers and crew aboard the Titanic. At the time the ship was built, adequate lifeboats weren't provided since they took up deck space and the ship was thought to be unsinkable. This is one of the biggest reasons there were so many fatalities during the Titanic sinking.
The evacuation process was very poorly conducted. Not only were there not enough lifeboats, but the lifeboats were being sent off before being filled to their capacity. Only women and children were allowed on the boats. This caused a lot of families to be separated or passengers refusing to enter a lifeboat for fear of leaving a loved one.
The Sinking Ship
As the ship's compartments continued to flood, the Titanic started to go down. The front of the ship started to sink first. The farther down the front went, the back of the ship started to rise out of the water, until is was almost standing straight up and down. The passengers and crew remaining on the ship all ran toward the r ear. When the weight became too great, the massive Titanic actually broke in half. The front of the ship went underwater, with the rear of the ship soon to follow. Two hours and forty minutes after hitting the iceberg, the Titanic had fully sunk. There were over 1500 fatalities.
Rescuing the SurvivorsThe Carpathia arrived an hour and a half after the Titanic sinking. Fortunately, it wasn't filled to capacity and was able to rescue the remaining survivors from the lifeboats. It rescued 705 passengers that day.
After the Titanic sunk, there were changes made to the construction of ships. Safety regulations were also put into place so that inadequate lifeboats would never be a problem again. These safety rules and regulations are still used today.
The 710 Survivors of the Titanic DisasterThe RMS Titanic disaster was survived by 710 people when it sank in the
North Atlantic Ocean on April 15 in 1912. Over 1,500 people were
counted among those who did not make the list of survivors in the
A Titanic Story of the Dean Family's Loss and Survival
Millvina Dean was the last surviving passenger of the ill-fated passenger ship. She was lowered into a lifeboat inside a mail sack on the fateful night that the ship sank into the depths and took so many lives with her. Millvina Dean passed away at the age of 97 in a nursing home that was located in Southampton, England. Southampton was the same English port that the Titanic launched from on it's voyage into history. Ms. Dean was only 9 weeks old when she was lowered to safety onto lifeboat number ten along with her mother Mrs. Eva Georgetta Light Dean. Mrs. Eva Dean was aged 32 at the time of the disaster. She and her daughter, Miss Elizabeth Gladys Dean, who was later known as Millvina, was traveling in 3rd class when they were placed into lifeboat number 10. Mrs. Dean became separated from her young son, Master Bertram Vere Dean, who was but one year old at that time. She comforted herself with the thought that her son and her husband were together on board the Titanic and would be able to get into another lifeboat and join herself and her daughter upon rescue. While the mother, baby sister and young brother were reunited on board the Carpathia, Mrs. Deans husband, Bertram Frank Dean was numbered among those lost at sea.
Miss Dean never married and lived quietly without much thought to that fateful night until the world found her after a renewed interest in the disaster surfaced upon the popular movies premiere in 1996. The movie starred Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as passengers of the Titanic. Miss Dean survived her brother Bertram Frank Dean, who died on April 14 in 1992. Her mother, Eva Dean, preceded her in death on September 13 in 1975. Millvina's father, Mr. Bertram Frank Dean was only 25 years old at the time of his death aboard the Titanic. His occupation was listed as a farmer and his last residence was listed as Bartley Farm in Hampshire, England. All four members of the Dean family shared ticket numbers 2315 on their fateful trip. In a twist of fate, this last surviver of the Titanic passed away on the anniversary that would be number 98 of the great ships launching.
Stories Of Other Titanic Survivors Are PlentifulThe story of Charles John Joughin is but one of the many survivor stories. Mr. Joughin was born on August 3 of 1879 and was 32 years old at the time of the Titanic sinking. His occupation was that of Chief Baker aboard the great ship. Some attribute his survival to the ingestion of not just one but two bottles of whiskey before the boat slipped beneath the frigid waters of the ocean. Mr. Joughin rode the ship into the water much like the characters of Rose and Jack did in the movie. He stepped into the ocean and did not even get his head wet on the ride. He was rescued after 3 hours in the icy, cold water by lifeboat B and boarded the Carpathia. He died on December 9 of 1956 and is buried in Patterson, New Jersey in the United States at Cedar Lawn Cemetery.
Joughin performed his duties and carried the supplies to the lifeboats. He has been depicted as a simple drunk in some renditions of the story of the Titanic but, in truth, he helped people into the lifeboats, insured that they had supplies for survival and tossed items that he thought might float in an effort to give people who might end up in the ocean water something on which to hold onto. He did imbibe in large amounts of alcohol but that has been attributed to his surviving the icy water while many others did not.
Joughin's first voyage aboard a ship was in the capacity of Cabin Boy in 1896 on the SS Melbourne. He traveled aboard that ship to South America on his first journey. Joughin was said to enjoy drinking alcohol his entire life.
The Habitual SurvivorMiss Violet Constance Jessop was another on the list of Titanic survivors. She was a nurse and stewardess on the ocean liner. Violet was a surviver three times over. She also survived, in 1915 the sister ship of Titanic, the Britannic tragedy. Violet was also on board the RMS Olympic at the time that is collided with the HMS Hawke. She was aged 24 years at the time of the sinking of the Titanic. Violet passed away on May 5 of 1971 and is buried in Hartest in Suffold, England.
There are 710 stories of the survivors who lived on that fateful night. They are all as interesting and compelling as the individuals who survived that night in history.
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