Titanic, a tragedy wrapped in a piece of history that changed the lives of many families and left both memories of joy and sorrow. Many things have been said and investigated about the massive ship that ended up on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. But somehow, there are still much more to be said. Here are the unknown facts about Titanic that you will love to know.
Chief Baker Charles Joughin
Charles Joughin was the chief baker on Titanic, and the remained in our memory due to his amazing ability to survive the ship’s sinking. He stayed alive for many hours in the freezing water, before the Collapsible B lifeboat came to save him. Another extraordinary fact about Charles Joughin was that he managed to keep his health intact after the dramatic event and lived a long life as a survivor.
There were around 2,344 passengers on Titanic before the ship hit the iceberg on the pathetic morning of April the 15th 1912. They were separated in three different departments, or classes, based on the price of the ticket but also on their wealth and social status as well. First class was formed by businessmen, politicians, bankers, entertainers and professional athletes while second class passengers were mostly poor people, middle-class tourists, and professors. The third class was formed by emigrants who were leaving their countries to build a new life in the United States or Canada. After the impact with the iceberg, 1500 people died, of which 815 were passengers. It is somewhat implied that the first class ones had priority when it came to splitting the saving boats, which were designed only to save half of the people on the ship…The “better” half. The second and third class passengers didn’t have a real chance to survive, and they had to fight for their lives how they could. Very few made it to the other side still breathing.
Lifeboat Finally Released
Titanic had to wait over an hour until a lifeboat started taking passengers away and offering them a second chance to live. The delay was due to many factors, first, the shock. No one could accept the fact that the unsinkable ship was sinking. Then, they had to organize in an extremely professional way due to the limited number of lifeboats available which was another huge mistake with the significant contribution to the entire tragedy. Women and children had to go first but also the passengers from the first class. It took precious minutes to decide and organize until the first travelers got in the boat and were taken away from the disaster.
Morgan Robertson Novella Futility
Could such an inestimable tragedy have been somehow predicted? It certainly appears to be a possibility if we look over the novel called “The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility” formerly called “Futility,” written by Morgan Robertson in 1898. The book describes the fictional ocean liner, Titan, sinking in the Atlantic after hitting an iceberg. The entire story is very much resembling with what was going to happen 14 years later with the ship Titanic. The novel achieved tremendous popularity after the tragedy of Titanic and media analyzed all the similarities between what Morgan Robertson imagined and what happened.
Newspaper Titanic Facts on First News
The newspapers had terrible headlines in the days following the disaster. The New York Times quotes on its front page “Titanic sinks four hours after hitting the iceberg: 866 rescued by Carpathia, probably 1250 perish; Ismay safe, Mrs. Astor Maybe, noted names are missing”. The tragedy was covered minute by minute by the journalists, and the headlines became known all over the globe. The Guardian quotes “The Titanic is sunk, with significant loss of life.” However, the first day after the disaster, many newspapers claimed that all passengers were safe, statement that was contradicted by the unveiled reality that came into the late the following days. The White Stars officials in New York rushed to claim that Titanic sank at 2.20 am on 15th of April 1912, but all passengers have been transferred to another vessel. Later on, they admitted that a terrible number of lives had been lost.
Richest Passenger John Jacob Astor IV
John Jacob Astor IV was an American real estate builder, businessman, and colonel in the Spanish-American War, making him a significant figure and one of the most prominent members of the Astor family. He found his death in the sinking of Titanic, being among the 1500 passengers who did not survive. John Jacob was the richest passenger on Titanic, and he was believed to be one of the richest men in the world, with a fortune of $87 million.
The Remains of the Titanic Were Lost for 73 Years
More than seven decades was the Titanic left to rest on the bottom of the ocean, until a joined American-French expedition ran by the American oceanographer Robert Ballard discovered its remains in September 1st, 1985. It was found over 2 miles under the ocean’s surface, and the discovery put the entire story into a new light. The team used a submersible named Argo which helped them explore the ship and the grave of around 1,500 victims. But the exploration of Titanic didn’t stop in 1985. Ballard returned to it in 1986 with new equipment and determined to discover the interior of the ship. The photographs resulting from this second expedition became famous worldwide and brought, even if just in one immortalized aspect, Titanic back to life.
Thirteen Couples Were on Their Honeymoon
If we look deeper into the details of Titanic, we will discover of the puzzle of personal dramas that build up the entire picture of the event and add to its tragic nature. Many couples were on their honeymoon during the disaster, and their love stories were drastically changed in a couple of hours. While some lived to fulfill their relationship and family life for years after the tragedy, others lost their spouse or died with them in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. But regardless of the outcome of that pathetic night, all of them were strongly impacted by the tragedy.
Titanic Band Musicians
The Band of Musicians that kept the atmosphere on Titanic magical lost their lives when the ship sank. During the tragedy, after Titanic hit the iceberg, the musicians kept singing to keep the passenger calm and avoid panic, and all of them are remembered for their courage and dedication. The band was formed by eight musicians with ages between 24 to 32 years old. In their honor, we will remember their names forever. They are-Theodore Ronald Brailey, 24 years old from London, Roger Marie Bricoux, 20 years old from Cosne-Sur-Loire, John Frederick Preston Clarke, 30 years old from Liverpool, Wallace Hartley, 33 years old from Coyne, John Law Hume, 21 years old from Dumfries, Georges Alexandre Krins, 23 years old from Spa, Percy Cornelius Taylor, 32 years old from London and John Wesley Woodward, 32 years old from Oxford.
The engineers had a great responsibility on Titanic, being in charge of all the technical and mechanical needs and requirements of the ship such as engines and generators. They were also the ones with the highest salaries of the Titanic crew and the only people certified to take decisions concerning the way the ship can operate its maintenance and repairs. On the night of the tragedy, the engineers were struggling to keep the ship floating against all the odds, and even if they failed at that, they still managed to maintain the lights on throughout the Titanic until two minutes before the entire ship sank. Their actions even delayed the sinking with several minutes which were precious and helped more people stay alive during the tragedy.
The central moment in Titanic’s history is the famous and dramatic impact with the iceberg, on 14th of April 1912 at 11:42 pm. The tragedy was the failure to divert the course of the ship away from the iceberg. After the collision took place, it became a matter of hours until the entire ship will be lost on the bottom of the ocean and nothing could be done to stop the tragedy. Five of its compartments were ruptured by the impact and, according to its construction plan; Titanic could “survive” with four compartments damaged but not five. It was the beginning of the end, a living hell for those who were on the ship and a global disaster for the entire world who got shocked by such a story!
The dispute about the number of lifeboats took over the main details of the tragedy that took place on April 15th, 1912. It was unfair and unprofessional; to have fewer lifeboats on board than the number of passengers but no one considered the possibility of such a disaster. The 20 boats were enough to save the lives of 1178 people, which were around half of the entire travelers. The maximum capacity of the ship was not less than 3,327 passengers, even if only 2 and 344 made it to Titanic. The lifeboats were loaded between 12.00, and 2.15 am, and many of them only carried half of their entire capacity. Women and children were evacuated first while doors were locked to prevent passengers from the second and third class to assault the lifeboats in the deficit of the wealthy. Even after the tragedy ended and some lives could still have been saved, the lifeboats didn’t return to save the possible victims because they were afraid they would lose their lives as well.
Titanic Sink Time
Titanic disappeared on the bottom of the ocean in the night between April the 14th and April the 15th 1912, after only four days from leaving the shore. The ship hit the iceberg at around 23:40 April 14th and sank completely in just 2 hours and 40 minutes, at 2:20 am, April the 15th on a pathetic Monday morning. In spite of receiving six warnings the day previous to the tragedy, the ship was traveling full speed which made it impossible to avoid the iceberg. The impact opened five of the sixteen compartments of the ship, and the water started to fill them up rapidly. The crew realized the danger and did their best to obtain help, while part of the passengers was transferred to the lifeboats, but there was not enough time to wait for help as most ships that could intervene are more than several hours away. When the Titanic sank, over a thousand people were still on the ship, trying to prolong their life in every way they could. Those who jumped or fell in the water were soon killed by the cold, or they drown. The lifeboats being only halfway full increased the number of victims and the proportions of the entire tragedy. One hour and a half after the Titanic sank, the ship Carpathia arrived at the scene trying to save those who were still struggling to keep their lives in the middle of the freezing ocean. The last survivors were rescued by 9:15 on April 15th.
Irony makes Titanic to be advertised during its time as the unsinkable ship, a theory which lasted until the disaster proved the opposite. It was built to be unsinkable, but its engineers’ ego took the best of them, and they lost important details that ultimately made the “unsinkable” ship, sink. However, even nowadays, a century past the tragedy is impossible to build an unsinkable ship. But that doesn’t mean that the ship’s builders, Harland and Wolff, didn’t aim to make an unsinkable ship. It only means they failed. Their innovation was the 15 bulkheads which split the ship into 16 compartments. Each compartment had the property to be isolated in case of an emergency, but the maximum number of compartments that could be closed at once was 4, and after the impact with the iceberg, Titanic had five of them damaged. The compartments were also supposed to be “watertight,” but that was proven wrong on the day of the tragedy. But the bulkheads were not isolating the chambers as they should have and there was nothing “watertight” about them, which was the main reason of the disaster.
Women and Children First on Survival
When it became apparent that Titanic was going to sink, it was decided to save the women and children first. Before the panic established, the idea of saving women and children first might have been respected, but once the water could be felt at everyone’s feet, it became a myth. Soon after the first lifeboats were filled with women and children, men started to jump in the boats as well even if the ship was full of young mothers trying desperately to save their children from what seemed to be an inevitable cruel death. The logic behind protecting women and children first is based on both moral and anatomy since the bodies of women and children are less likely to survive such a disaster than men. But, ultimately, when the dear takes over, is every man for themselves and laws of moral and ethics no longer seem to apply.