Titanic Fashion-New Book Examines What It Meant

Just when I thought every possible Titanic angle has been covered, something unexpected pops up. Now we can learn about how fashion played a role in the daily lives of many aboard Titanic thanks to a new book by Grace Evans. Titanic Style: Dress and Fashion on the Voyage  takes a fashion snapshot of Titanic’s passengers.

Titanic Style leads us through the wardrobes of passengers and crew of all classes and ages, from the most intimate undergarments to the warm overcoats needed on that last fearful cold night. The luxurious attire of the ladies in first class, the cream of European and American society, was changed several times a day, while the more sober and conservative clothes of the men of all ranks subtly conveyed their status, and the children were dressed to enhance their social standing.

Okay but I doubt anyone has missed this simple fact: rich people wear more expensive clothes, poor people wear more simple and less costly clothes. The rich back then traveled with trunks and servants, the average person carried their bags (and had no servants). The rich would have several clothing options for dinner, the average just one or two (with formal clothes for special events like religious services). Just wonder whether this book really adds more to what we know about Titanic or just takes us on a stroll down an interesting lane.

Source: Broadway World, Understanding the Titanic Through Fashion, 19 Nov 2012

Belfast-A Changed City

I recently watched Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservation segment on Ireland. Bourdain was surprised at how much was changing in Belfast and Dublin. New buildings and a higher standard of living was coming along with an influx of people. Food was also taking major strides. No longer just Irish stew but much, much more. Ian Murray, writing in the Daily Echo, recently noted the many positive changes to Belfast, which includes Titanic.

Belfast has joined the ranks of the UK’s destination cities. Thankfully so much of the best of the old way of life has also been preserved. Historic pubs such as The Duke of York in Commercial Court, Lavery’s in Bradbury Place, Robinson’s in Great Victoria Street and, of course, The Crown Liquor Saloon next door are still on the tourist trail. A pint is a must, and for gastro pub grub the steak, onions and Headless Dog pie at the John Hewitt on Donegal Street can’t be beaten.

The old and new are being blended together resulting in a very different city.

Source: Daily Echo, Belfast’s Titanic Museum, 18 Nov 2012

Man Creates Titanic Replica Out Of Cardboard

Ronald Lutz, a 70-year-old retired correctional officer likes to keep busy or he goes nuts. So he spent 8 hours a day for the past three months making a Titanic replica out of cardboard. The model sits in his kitchen, is 7 feet long and 3 feet high. He used books an his eyes to build the replica.

And he is not done. He plans on making another one 2 feet longer and to scale.

Source:Victorville Daily Press, Apple Valley Man Creates Titanic Paper Model,17 Nov 2012

Captain Rostron’s Sextant To Be Auctioned Off

The sextant owned by Carpathia captain Arthur Rostron, who came to Titanic’s aid inSextant 1912, is up for auction. Rostron acquired the sextant in 1883 and has remained in the family till now. Auctioneers Henry Aldridge & Son believe it will fetch £70,000 pounds ($111,000) at next Saturday’s sale.

Source: AP, Sextant Of Master Of Titanic Rescue Ship For Sale, 17 Nov 2012

Brittanic Gets No Respect

Mention that you have authentic Titanic memorabilia and people are interested. If instead Brittanic chestit comes from its sister ship Brittanic, expect a yawn. That is what happened to Richard McLaughlin, a pub owner in Killinchy, Northern Ireland, when he discovered a mahogany linen chest from Brittanic. It had been in the family for 70 years. How it got into the family is an interesting tale according to Belfast Telegraph. His grandfather, William Walsh, was wounded during the Gallipoli campaign in 1916 and evacuated to Brittanic, which was operating as a hospital ship. All the furniture had been stripped so he did not get the chest then. It came later when he married his wife.

His wife bought the linen cabinet but where she bought it from is a mystery. However when the ship went down in 1916 (likely a mine), its furniture was likely reused or sold by White Star. And until the temporary top was removed recently by McLaughlin, apparently his grandfather had no idea it was from Brittanic (or at least there is no indication he knew this).  McLaughlin contacted the Transport Museum to see if the would be interested in the piece; they were not. So he decided to auction it off. Christies said the best place for it to be sold would be New York (surprising since Henry Aldridge usually has a corner on these things). So off to New York went the chest and it waits to be auctioned off. Unfortunately Hurricane Sandy has put the auction on hold for now but McLaughlin is hopeful it will find a home in the U.S. He is disappointed that no one at home was interested in taking the piece.

But it seems many are focused on Titanic forgetting the sister ships Olympic and Brittanic. Too bad because once they get up to speed and realize the importance of having them in the Titanic/White Star collection it will be too late.

Source: Belfast Telegraph, Pieces Of Harland And Wolff History From The Brittanic To Go Under Hammer In New York, 16 Nov 2012

Lemont Area Historical Society Hosts Titanic Event

The Lemont Area Historical Society is inviting residents (and other interested parties) to its Titanic exhibit 27 Nov at 7p.m. David Bart of the Antique Wireless Association will discuss the sinking focusing on the role of wireless communications. A tasting of a meal served aboard Titanic will also be provided. Best of all, it is free.

Further information at Lemont Area Historical Society.

Source: Patch.com, From Sinking Ship To Santa At The Historical Society, 14 Nov 2012

Titanic Cliche of Day-Neil Cavuto Is Standing On Titanic Deck

By now you are aware I dislike Titanic cliches. I dislike them since they indicate laziness. After all with thousands of words to convey a message, having to resort to Titanic means you simply want to take the easy route. Okay, enough of that. Now I do not watch Fox News these days since I only get basic cable (local broadcast channels only). To watch Fox News means spending over $63 to my local cable company.

Neil Cavuto, who has his own business show on Fox, decided to opine recently about the state of our very bad fiscal condition as a nation. He is certainly right, things are not good. Government spending is way too high, job recovery is very slow, and now there is talk of soaking the rich.

Why do I feel like I’m on the deck of the Titanic and frantically trying to point out to the captain, “Is it me, captain, or is that a big chunk of ice out there?” It’s like I’m seeing this whole disaster play out in slow motion. I’d like to be wrong. Actually, I’d “love” to be wrong.
But my opinion here? I think we’re sinking fast. And we haven’t even hit anything yet!

Neil, I like you but please refrain from using the Titanic metaphor. It just no longer has the punch it once had. For your use of this metaphor, I award you the oft imitated never duplicated Fractured Finger statue (a nod to the old Laugh-In show) with the words “I promise never to use a Titanic cliche again” on a imitation brass plate on the base.

Source: Fox News, Neil Cavuto:We Are Sinking Fast,14 April 2012

Monday Wrap; Why Did Stead Board Titanic and Jewelry Goes on Display

*Premiere Exhibitions has announced that most of the jewelry recovered from Titanic will go on a three city tour beginning this Friday in Atlanta. The Jewels of Titanic exhibit will be in the following cities and part of Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition:

Atlanta: 16 Nov 2012–6 Jan 2013

Orlando: 11 Jan 2013–12 Mar 2013

Las Vegas: 22 Mar 2013–31 May 2013

More info at rmstitanic.net.

*Henry Aldridge, the well known Titanic auctioneer, is putting up a rare letter from W.T.Stead for auction. Stead, who perished when Titanic sank in 1912, appeared to have predicted his own doom in a short story How the Mail Steamer went down in the Atlantic, by a survivor. He was also considered a psychic begging the question why he boarded Titanic. Aldridge hopes the letter will fetch £40,000. No word if a psychic has predicted the final bid on this letter.


1. Associated Press,Recovered Titanic Jewels To Be On Display, 12 Nov 2012
2. Mirror.co.uk, Why Did He Get On Board? Victim Of The Titanic Predicted Doomed Ship’s Fate But Went On Voyage, 12 Nov 2012

Bob Ballard Thanks Crew For Restoring His Power

World famous ocean explorer and co-discoverer of Titanic was recently without power at his Connecticut home thanks to a nor’easter. When a crew from Greenville Utilities arrived in his neighborhood, Ballard came out and introduced himself. He also mentioned he discovered Titanic.

“He came out and said, ‘I’m Bob Ballard and I discovered the Titanic,'” said Jeff Byrd, electric distribution engineer for Greenville Utilities. “He said several crews had already looked at his outage and left during the week.”

Apparently Connecticut Light and Power had come out to look the area over and decided they lacked the proper equipment. When they had completed work and restored power to the area, they all got free National Geographic DVD’s of his latest project.

Team members said the world-famous explorer was gracious, and appreciative that the North Carolina crew got the job done.

Once again Titanic finds its way into the news without having to be a cliche.

Source: WCTI12.com, Greenville Crew Helps World-Famous Titanic Explorer, 10 Nov 2012