Facts About the Titanic Many People Don’t Know.
When it comes to the world famous story about the Titanic, most people actually know pretty little. They understand it was the world’s biggest ship heading toward America over the Atlantic when it unexpectedly hit an iceberg. And they know that, due to a lack of lifeboats, thousands died in the icy cold water before help could arrive. That’s about it and that’s only because Leonardo DiCaprio was in a movie about it back in the 90s. So keep reading for some more facts you probably didn’t know.
The Boat Itself
- The boat itself cost $7.5 million dollars to build.
- It was constructed in North Belfast, Ireland and took over 15,000 men to complete the job.
- Long before its tragic accident, the Titanic sunk another, much smaller ship, simply by sucking it into its wake during its first launch.
- Its full name was actually the Royal Mail Steamer Titanic.
- Titanic had a sister ship named Olympic. The two were created to compete with the Mauretania and Lusitania, two ships under the rival Cunard banner.
- Amenities aboard the Titanic included a squash court, gymnasium, two different libraries (one for passengers in first class, one for those in second) and a swimming pool.
- The top speed the Titanic could reach was 23 knots or just over 26 miles an hour.
- A governess named Elizabeth Shutes was so rattled by the smell of the air on the night the Titanic would sink, she couldn’t get to sleep. It’s reported she old another passenger that the scent reminded her of being in an ice cave she had once visited.
- Edith Rosenbaum, a fashion writer at the time who was aboard the Titanic, cabled her secretary back in Paris to tell her she had had a premonition that there would be trouble with the ship.
- William Edward Minahan visited a psychic before going aboard the Titanic. She told the Wisconsin doctor that he would not survive the voyage. The fortune teller was right.
- 14 years prior to the Titanic sinking, a book called “Futility” by Morgan Robertson was published. The story is about the largest ship ever constructed, called the Titanic, which was billed to the world as “unsinkable.” But during a voyage in April, it hits an iceberg and sinks. In “Futility”, more than half the passengers aboard the Titan drowned.
- The man responsible for denying the Titanic enough lifeboats, Captain Edward G. Crosby, was originally from Milwaukee. He had survived the Civil War and founded his own steamship company that operated on Lake Michigan. However, when the Titanic went under, the man who thought it wouldn’t need enough lifeboats couldn’t find a lifeboat.
- Claus Peter Hansen and his wife were both from Racine where he had a barbershop, though they were both from Denmark originally. Jennie, the wife, survived. He did not.
- The Pope family, which consisted of 4 year old daughter Louise and her two parents were moving to Milwaukee from Switzerland. All 3 survived the accident and Louise lived out her days in Milwaukee.
- Though her husband William (see earlier) would not survive, his sister Ida, also of Fon du Lac caught one of the last lifeboats to depart the sinking ship. William’s wife escaped as well.
- This over-representation of Wisconsinites may have been the reason James Cameron decided on having Leonardo Dicaprio’s character, Jack Dawson, in the movie “Titanic” be from Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. In the movie, Dawson convinces Rose not to kill herself by telling her about a time he fell through the ice at Lake Wissota in his home state. The problem is Lake Wissota is a manmade lake and wasn’t built until 1917, 3 years after the Titanic sunk.
- The most expensive ticket to ride was called the First Class Parlor ticket. It cost $4,350 or what would be close to $70,000 in today’s money.
- The smoking lounge for first class was available to men only.
- First class’ dining saloon was encased in mahogany paneling that was hand-cut.
- Eleanor Widener, a passenger in first class, wore a famous pearl necklace with numerous strands that was said to be worth $250,000.
- Many of the women in first class ended up on lifeboats wearing the same silk evening gowns they had donned for dinner that night.
- Amongst Titanic’s cargo was a new Renault automobile.
- Passengers of first class had 20,000 bottles of either beer or stout, 1,500 bootles of wine and 8,000 different cigars ready for them aboard the ship.
- Titanic’s final meal served aboard first class was an 11 course dinner.
- Dinner was announced for first class passengers by buglers who played “The Roast Beef of Old England.”
- But passengers were also given “The White Star Music Book” which was filled with over 350 songs they could request to hear. The musicians aboard, therefore, had to know them all.
- Roughly 60% of the passengers from first class survived the sinking.
- The second class accommodations on the Titanic were as nice as the first class versions amongst most other ocean liners of that time period.
- The majority of the cabins in third class contained between 4 and 6 bunks.
- Passengers in third class could hear the unmistakable roar of the Titanic’s engines at all times.
- Although there were over 700 passengers in third class, they were expected to share just two bathtubs, one for men and one for women.
- According to some firsthand accounts, after the collision occurred, gates that were used to separate third class from the other classes were left locked.
- About 42% and 25% of second and third class passengers, respectively, survived the sinking.
- The iceberg that caused the accident actually came from a glacier up in Greenland.
- Once scientific theory recently proposed is that the moon’s extreme proximity back on January 4th, 1912 may have created tides that were so strong they drew a number of icebergs from the north and into the liner’s path.
- Had it not been for Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic, it’s likely the disaster would have never occurred. Titanic was delayed 6 weeks from launching because its sister liner needed to be repaired in the same dry dock.
- A man named Frederick Fleet, the first to see the iceberg at 11:40 pm, referred to it as something “even darker than the darkness.”
- The iceberg was roughly 100 feet tall.
- The iceberg would have been 32 degrees, 4 degrees warmer than the water so many passengers found themselves in that night. Although this was below the freezing point, the Atlantic’s salt content kept the water from freezing.
After the Crash
- The London Daily Mail originally ran the headline, “Titanic Sunk, No Lives Lost” on April 16th.
- The first week after it sunk, The New York Times ran 75 pages about the incident.
- The St. Louis Post-Dispatch suggested the Titanic’s sinking would also sink women’s suffrage because women would fear they and children would no longer be given first crack at lifeboats.
- Dorothy Gibson, a survivor of the accident, starred in “Saved from the Titanic” a silent film that ran just 4 weeks later. She wore the exact same outfit she had on the night of the accident.
While it was certainly a tragedy, the story of the Titanic is certainly full of some amazing facts. Above are just a small number of them.