Clement A. Griscom, founder of the International Mercantile Marine Company, built his estate (called the Dolobran Estate) in 1881 in Haverford, Pennsylvania. The sprawling 17,000 square foot home was his home until he passed away in 1912, several months after Titanic sank. He stepped down as president of IMM in 1904 to become its chairman. The estate is considered masterpiece and was down by well known architect Frank Furness. Built on lush land, this estate no doubt was a respite from the world. With seven bedrooms (and bathrooms to match), a lovely sunroom, kitchenettes for guests, and a swimming pool to enjoy warm summers, it was certainly a place one could simply get lost in. Griscom certainly loved it and now the house is up for sale if you have 3 million dollars to spend for it. It has been renovated, so you do have modern comforts but still retains the look and feel of that time. The slideshow of the estate is worth looking at if nothing else to see how people with lots of money lived back then. When you see some of the tacky estates of the Hollywood celebrities of today reside in, you see back then they knew how to impress without being gaudy.
Before we compare them, it’s important to identify all the Titanic museums in the United States. There are five Titanic museums in the United States. The very fact that we have that number, all telling and retelling the same story, is an indication of how the tragedy is rooted deep in the socio-cultural psyche of the republic. There’s a Titanic museum in Branson, Missouri. Another Titanic museum is in Pigeon Forge, Tennesee. Sin City is also home to a famous Titanic exhibition at the Luxor Hotel & Casino. The fourth Titanic museum is in Orlando, Florida. And then the fifth and last is in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. Our order here is not chronological. For instance, while the Massachussettes museum comes last in our order, it’s actually the oldest Titanic museum in the United States having been established in 1963. Aside from these, there are other learning centers that have richly documented the story of the Titanic. In this respect, the Maritime Museum at Battleship Cove, previously the Marine Museum at Fall River, is worth a mention.
Titanic Jewish Experience Offers A Moving Tribute To The Liner’s Jewish History
The Times of Israel, 24 Sep 2022
Through mid-February, visitors to the Titanic Museum in Pigeon Forge — and its sister Titanic Museum in Branson, Missouri — will also see the Titanic Jewish Experience, a tribute to the ship’s estimated 67 Jewish passengers and two Jewish crew members. “Did you know Titanic had a kosher kitchen and a kosher chef on board?” a sign announces at the entrance to the Titanic Museum.
If you’ve never seen the Titanic in person, you’re not alone. But you can become part of that small coterie soon. As part of a trip with OceanGate Expeditions, you can visit the wreck of the Titanic next year alongside a crew of dive experts, scientists, and filmmakers. The caveat: it costs a quarter of a million dollars. Still, the experience promises to be a singular one. Scuttled under about 4,000m of North Atlantic Ocean water, the RMS Titanic rests about 600km off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada. The ship sank in 1912, taking about 1,500 souls with it. Divers first found its wreckage in 1985. Tour visitors are called “mission specialists”. That could register as amusing but actually, the company requires its clients to train for some mission-specific tasks while at sea. Submersible navigation, piloting, tracking, communications, maintenance, and operations all make the checklist. Mission specialists make one submersible dive during the voyage and assist on the surface when other teams dive. There’s room for six such positions on the mission, the brochure adds.
Renata Rojas had been obsessed with the Titanic for more than half of her life when she looked out the window of a submersible, 4,000 metres under the North Atlantic, and saw the doomed ship’s spectre appear hauntingly from the depths. She thought she’d cry – but she was far too busy.
Robertson’s novella draws many similarities between the fictional SS Titan and the RMS Titanic. The book mentions the ship’s perceived “unsinkable” attribute that many assigned to it due to the advanced technology used to construct it, an attribute shared by the RMS Titanic. It is also predicted that because of this perceived attribute, less-than-usual safety precautions were taken when equipping the ship with safety equipment, mainly manifesting through the lack of lifeboats.
The book, Futility or Wreck of the Titan, is actually a good read. The article accurately relates the similarities, but the fictional Titan was different and hits the iceberg dead on. Robertson always denied his book was inspired by anything supernatural. The version of the book I have also includes one or two other stories. One is about an attack on the United States by Japan long before it happened! Back in the time he wrote it, Japan had emerged as a major power and was flexing its military muscle (such as defeating the Russians and taking Port Arthur from them). So a lot of people were worried about a Japanese attack on the US (I know because I read a lot of letters written by people back prior to World War I about their concerns). Robertson took what he knew about ships and crafted a clever story about a big new ship that suffers catastrophically on its maiden voyage with a shocking loss of life. The book would likely have been forgotten had not Titanic occurred making it a prescient book. It does beg the question-if he saw it as a real possibility how come the people who built and ran the ship didn’t? Like the question as why every culture has a version of meatballs, you may bang your head fruitlessly against the wall on this one.
As seen in Cameron’s movie, there were clear separations between first, second, and third-class passengers on the Titanic, and they had designated areas where they could walk around freely. In accordance with US immigration law, the Titanic had to have gates between the ship’s decks in order to avoid the spread of diseases, but these weren’t used in cruel ways as seen in the movie. Third-class passengers were in the bowels of the ship and thus didn’t have direct access to lifeboats, but they weren’t purposely kept behind gates to avoid getting to the lifeboats, and third-class stewards were reportedly instructed to have passengers put on their lifebelts and go to the deck, but many refused.
With autumn now officially here, it is time for the pumpkin! Here are some helpful tips from the Muppet Labs on carving your pumpkin.
He came to Warrington in 1887 when he married Sarah Eleanor Pennington, from Winwick. The newly-weds lived in a cottage in the village until Captain Smith’s death in 1912. That year the celebrated Titanic set sail for New York with 1,316 passengers and 891 crew on board. A copy of the marriage licence is inside St Oswald’s Church in Winwick, after the original was stolen a number of years ago.
Award-winning storytellers and tour guides, Mostly Ghostly, presented a special Heroes of the Titanic tour last Friday, marking the birth of Thomas Mullin, a young man from Dumfries who was tragically lost in the disaster, on April 15 1912. Thomas, a Third Class Steward, was born on 26 August 1891 in Maxwelltown, and at the age of just 20, he perished in the sinking, along with his 21 year old school friend and Titanic Violinist, John (Jock) Law Hume, who famously played on with the band, as the ship lowered beneath the waves.
You never know what will turn up when you’re browsing at a flea market, searching through your attic or basement, going through an old barn or even looking through a boarded-up projection booth. Here are eight of the most surprising historical objects that people have ever found by accident.
(An interesting write-up of historical objects found in attics. Of course, Wallace Hartley’s violin makes the list. I had no idea that a missing Faberge egg that once was owned by Russian Tsar Alexander III ended up in a flea market and bought originally for its scrap value.)
The footage captures close-ups of the wreckage and decay, which shows details including a boiler which fell to the ocean’s floor when the Titanic broke in two, and the name of the anchor maker on the portside anchor which Titanic diver and expert Rory Golden says he had never seen before. “I’ve been studying the wreck for decades and have completed multiple dives, and I can’t recall seeing any other image showing this level of detail,” Mr Golden says.
The Great Fire of London in 1666 would decimate London, result in its rebuilding, and changes in how buildings and streets were laid out in the city. Let’s find out more about it.
In 1666, London was a huge city and the capital of Britain. While many of the important homes and buildings were often made of stone, most homes and buildings were made of oak and often used tar to weatherproof them. Streets were also narrow with buildings close together making it hard for people and carts to move about on narrow streets. Sanitation was also poor since many people tossed their garbage-and chamber pots-into the street. The modern toilet had not been invented so most bodily waste went into these pots. Add to it horse manure on the streets, and most cities like London had some unpleasant odors especially in summertime.
Firefighting was also different back then. It comprised mainly of local bucket brigades and primitive water pumps on trucks. Since fire was considered a serious threat, people were told to be vigilant and make sure their homes were safe. However, as it turns out, people were not always so careful. On the evening of 1 September 1666 Thomas Farrinor, a baker employed by King Charles II on Pudding Lane, went to bed not making sure that the fire is his oven was properly extinguished. Sometime during the night sparks from the dying embers in the oven ignited firewood lying nearby. Not long after the house would soon become engulfed in flames. Farrinor and his family would flee and survive the fire. Sadly, a maid in the home did not survive as she did not want to jump out of the window.
Sparks from the fire would spread across the street to the Star Inn. It ignited the straw in the stables along with other combustibles and soon the inn was ablaze. The fire would spread from there to Thames Street. Warehouses on the riverfront would soon ignite as well. Full of candles, lamp oil, tallow and coal, the fire would grow larger and begin to spread. The local fire brigade was quickly overwhelmed and had to retreat. The primitive water fighting trucks of the time could barely navigate the streets. Panic ensued as people raced to the Thames with everything they owned. Attempts at using firebreaks by tearing down homes and buildings was tried but the fire overwhelmed them. The fire got so bright it could be seen 30 miles away. Finally on 5 September it started dying out and on the next day it was put out. There was one flare up in the Temple district but when a building containing gunpowder blew up with a powerful bang, the last remnants of the fire was over.
Four-fifths of London was destroyed and remarkably only 16 died. But 100,000 were homeless. The fire burned down the historic St. Paul’s Cathedral along with scores of other churches, buildings, and historic landmarks. King Charles II had a massive task to rebuild the city. He commissioned noted architect Sir Christopher Wren to rebuild St. Paul’s which still stands to this day. New homes and buildings had to be built with bricks and stones; wood was not allowed. And walls had to be thicker and buildings not so close together. Also, streets were widened and the old narrow streets and alleys banned. Access to the river was made easier as well by restricting housing that would block access. The homeless were suggested to go to other cities, towns, and villages outside of London to resettle. Economically it would take many years for London to recover. Most businesses had lost their premises and whatever goods were stored. The commercial district lost a lot of its businesses as they relocated elsewhere. London’s access to shipping routes and that it was the capital kept the city from completely losing its place in the world.
One of the more disturbing aftereffects was the strong anti-Catholic and anti-foreign sentiment that emerged. While most reasoned after studying how the fire began it was an accident, there were many who believed Catholics, Dutch, and French were involved. Opponents of pro- Catholic King Charles II made it an issue. That is why in the Monument that was put up in 1670’s had an inscription on it blaming the disaster on the “treachery and malice of the Popish faction.” This was removed in 1830 but at one time practicing Catholicism in England was forbidden and those who refused to recognize the sovereignty of the monarch over the Pope would be executed usually by the horrific method of being hung, drawn, and quartered.
Sadly, the rebuilding scheme did not reshape London as it was originally hoped. They kept pretty much the old layout. Had some of the plans suggested, such as Wren’s, London would have rivaled Paris. Insurance companies were born out of this disaster to help aid those who lost homes or buildings to fire. They began to hire private firemen and to promote safety measures with their clients. This did lead to conflicts with local fire brigades and the private firemen hired by these insurance companies. Ultimately it led a combined fire unit called the London Fire Brigade in 1832, which began the process of permanent fire departments being established to put out fires.
As for the man who started the fire, Thomas Farriner, he would rebuild his shop on Pudding Lane and continue baking until he passed away in 1670. Members of the Worshipful Company of Bakers in 1986 apologized for the fire and put up a plaque on Pudding Lane that one of their own had caused the Great Fire of 1666.
On the early morning of 1 Sept 1985, the wreck of the RMS Titanic was found 400 miles east of Newfoundland in North Atlantic by a joint U.S.-French expedition. The liner lay 13,000 feet below the surface of the ocean and its finding would excite the world that continues to this day.
Ever since Titanic sank in 1912, there have been many attempts in locating the wreck. However the depth of the ocean, the vastness of the search area, and technological limitations made that impossible. Robert Ballard, a former Naval officer and oceanographer at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts had tried in 1977 without success. In 1985, Ballard along with French oceanographer Jean-Louis Michel, decided to set out in search of the wreck using more sophisticated technology to help locate the wreck.
This time they were equipped with more sophisticated technology to aid them in seeing what was on the ocean floor. The Argo, an unmanned and experimental submersible sent photographs up to the research vessel Knorr. And on the morning of 1 September, while investigating debris on the ocean floor, it passed over a massive boiler that came from Titanic. The following day the wreck of the ship was found and that it had split in two with a debris field between the stern and forward sections, The ship and much of the debris was in good shape despite being down there since 1912. The discovery electrified the world and confirmed (but was discounted in the British enquiry) that Titanic had split in two. Unmanned submersibles were sent down to look at the wreck giving us the first look at the ship in its watery grave. The images are just as haunting today as they were back then.
The use of the submersibles for this type of deep diving to wrecks opened up a new world of exploring shipwrecks outside of the normal diving depth humans could endure. Ultimately manned submersibles would be developed to allow researchers to slowly descend to those great depths and study the wreck of Titanic and other ships as well. While genuine controversy exists over the later salvage of Titanic (Ballard was not part of that and opposed it), the discovery of the wreck and the technology used to find it has opened up new worlds in seeing the fascinating world in our oceans.
I’m also willing to bet that almost none of you knows that two years later, on May 29, 1914, a similar passenger ship called the Empress of Ireland suffered a similar fate in the St. Lawrence River, in Canada, causing the deaths of nearly 1,000 souls. Why are we so familiar with one tale, while we know next to nothing about the other? Maybe because Titanic was on its maiden voyage, and the Empress had nearly 200 missions to its credit. But I can spend the next several paragraphs trying to rectify the situation.
Within the last 100 years, only 10 cruise ships have sunk, if you include river cruises. Almost 900 people have died in these incidents but around half of those can be attributed to one river cruise ship sinking. Many of the incidents involved no loss of life at all. Arguably the most famous cruise ship sinking in the last 100 years is that of the Costa Concordia. She sank in 2012 and is the only modern major ocean cruise ship serving passengers from around the world to have sunk during a cruise.
(I suspect they will get lots of email on this-MT)
Shipbuilder Harland and Wolff has reported a widened pre-tax loss of £25.5m as expenses swelled during its Covid-19 recovery. It added that it had £20m in future contracted revenue. More recently, outside of the reported period, Harland and Wolff has struck two deals – worth £8.5m and £10m – with waste management company Cory Group and its subsidiary Riverside Energy Park to build barges for transporting waste on the River Thames. Bosses said the company had made an operating loss of £22.3m (up from £9.1m in July 2020). Chief executive John Wood said the company had gone from a “one-project non-revenue generating” company to having “one of the largest” fabrication footprints in the UK.
For example, did you know that there were only two bathtubs on the ship for first class passengers to use, one for men and one for women? And that this was considered a big deal, since most ships didn’t have any bathtubs on board at all? Most of the first-class passengers didn’t even get to have their own private bathrooms, since those were reserved for the wealthiest people on the ship.
[The article does not quite explain that first and second class, they did have their own sinks to wash up . There were showers available but, to conserve water, the use of bathtubs was limited so you had to reserve them in advance. It was considered a luxury to have two bathtubs. Even today cruise ships use showers rather than bathtubs to conserve water. Pity the poor stewards that had to clean the bathtubs after every use or make sure the water tanks were filled in the first- and second-class suites so that people had hot and cold running water in their basins. MT]
The theory of a fire on board had been suggested in the past, but new analysis of rarely seen photographs has prompted researchers to attribute the fire to being the primary cause of the ship’s demise. Irish journalist Senan Molony, who has spent more than 30 years researching the sinking of the Titanic, studied photographs taken by the ship’s chief electrical engineers before it left Belfast shipyard. He identified 30-foot-long black marks along the front right-hand side of the hull which suggest this area was damaged before the iceberg struck the ship’s lining.
Thomas Byles was played by James Lancaster in Titanic, and he only appears in one scene, and it’s a very brief appearance. In it, Byles is seen reciting the Rosary and Revelations 21:4, while many passengers prayed with him and held his hand. Unfortunately, Titanic failed to show Byles’ heroic acts in helping save the lives of many third-class passengers and instead left that to Jack, Tommy, and Fabrizio, who broke their fellow third-class passengers free when they were locked by the ship’s security guards.
On July 13, 1890, the steamer Sea Wing was returning from a carnival-like day at a military encampment when it capsized from a sudden and violent storm. Many of the excursionists made the understandable but fateful decision to retreat to the ship’s passenger cabin for protection. When the ship flipped over, they were trapped inside the upside-down boat and drowned. Ninety eight passengers – nearly half of the people on board – died as they were tossed into or submerged in the churning waters. The sense of tragedy was accentuated by the fact that the day had begun so promisingly: a pleasure cruise down the Mississippi River from Diamond Bluff to a National Guard encampment at Camp Lakeview near Lake City.
The Incredible Story of the Iceberg That Sank the Titanic (Smithsonian Magazine, 16 Aug 2022)
This course of events has become so widely known—told endlessly in films, books, museum exhibits, consumer products and looping TV specials—that it’s easy to forget the most astounding detail: how close it came to not happening. Icebergs had struck ships as long as there had been ships to strike, but the one that felled the largest passenger liner ever built was nearly gone. After three years adrift, the icy mass likely had one week to live, two at most. It was getting smaller while wading into warmer water. As icebergs melt from the bottom. They grow top?heavy and flip, followed by more erosion and more flipping, until eventually, when they’ve been reduced to the size of a basketball, they’re constantly flipping until nothing is left.
During the interwar years, it was regarded as Poland’s floating embassy, carrying passengers to New York in state-of-the-art luxury. After the outbreak of World War II, it was fitted out to serve as a transport ship but sank during its first military voyage. It was the largest Polish vessel to be lost during the war. Subsequently nicknamed ‘the Polish Titanic’, the ocean liner MS Pi?sudski now rests intact just off the coast of northeast England only 30 metres under the water. Though the wreck has been well-researched by divers, the circumstances of its sinking in the first weeks of WWII remain one of the greatest naval mysteries of the war.
After the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in 1912, the group was formed to monitor the movement of icebergs in the North Atlantic and keep mariners safe. More than 110 years later, the team continues to plot ice from the air and advise seafarers about any threat. The U.S. Coast Guard, which runs the operation, allowed CBC cameras aboard in May to watch the team in action.
That is where Romero and his company Choco-Expo, which was founded by his parents 20 years ago, are exhibiting a replica of the legendary British ship the Titanic, which is six metres long and made with 500 kilos of chocolate, and several famous London and New York buildings. In total, 1,500 kilos of pure chocolate – white, dark and milk – have been used for this display, as well as nuts and other ingredients for the emblematic buildings such as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building in New York and Big Ben and St Paul’s Cathedral in London. “They took over 20,000 hours of work and are completely hand-crafted by me,” Romero told SUR.
We have passed the midpoint of August and moving quickly towards September. Autumn is soon approaching but here in the Northern Hemisphere, we will still have a little summer left to enjoy. Some places are having bracing heat, others monsoon rains that come down hard and fast. Many will be happy to see the transition to cooler weather that autumn generally brings.
Touring the Titanic wreck is no easy thing, unless you are doing it virtually. First you have to fork over a lot of money to go on an expedition. And if you are good health, you get inside a submersible craft that will slowly descend for 2 1/2 hours down to the wreck. The atmospheric pressure is immense and the craft small enough for 3 people and the equipment. The article is incorrect about there not being a toilet. Previous submersibles didn’t have them, but the OceanGate Titan does. However because of the tight space, using it is a last resource. According to their website,
“By limiting Mission Specialist’s diets before and during the dive, the need to use the bathroom is largely eliminated.”
Vintage News recounts how this journey goes leaving you at the end wanting to just watch a video of the wreck or a computer simulation of it.
The two-and-a-half-hour trip down to the Titanic wreckage isn’t your standard vacation boat trip. The underwater pressure on the ocean floor is roughly 5,541.9 pounds per square inch, enough to explode the submersible vessels used in the expeditions if even a small hole or scratch occurs. The submersible vessels can only fit three people. Each expedition takes roughly eight to ten hours round trip, and with limited space, basic amenities like a private bathroom are out of the question.
I do not watch The Antiques Roadshow that much. Occasionally though they come upon a real prize. Many people have brought Titanic related items to such places, only to be disappointed. Not in this case according to the Express. The lucky person had some memorabilia that is worth some decent money. And something autographed by a Titanic survivor is going to get a good valuation.
Antiques Roadshow expert Clive Farahar left one guest “amazed” when he explained the valuation of Titanic items she’d been left by her relative Millvina Dean, who was the last remaining survivor of the doomed passenger liner.
Vintage Battlestar Galactica opening. The old BSG series, I think, had more heart and soul than the newer one. While it had many flaws (and I have written about it here and here.) it had something the newer one didn’t.
Mary worked as a stewardess on the large vessels belonging to the White Star Line and, on April 15, 1912, with her youngest daughter Daisy aged six back home, she was on the Titanic when it struck the iceberg. Mary quickly clambered aboard lifeboat 11, was picked up by Carpathia after a few hours bobbing around, and was dropped off at New York on April 18, 1912. Before the year was out, she was working aboard another White Star liner, Majestic, and in 1914 when war broke out, she was transferred to HMHS Rohilla. Two-and-a-half years after surviving the sinking of the Titanic off the coast of America, she survived the wreck of the Rohilla off Whitby.
At the time, Harry’s death was reported by the Western Morning News in 1912 describing Rogers as a ‘smart and steady young fellow’, whilst also stating that ‘both mother and grandmother are in much distress, fearing the worst.’ Harry’s mother remained living in Devon until 1955 when she died. Unfortunately, Harry’s body was never recovered and his death is now remembered on the Tavistock grave. The family vault is situated in Plymouth Road Cemetery with Harry’s name listed on his father’s tombstone.
Despite some reports to the contrary, there is no evidence that his violin was found strapped to his chest in its case. We do know, however, that it must have been recovered, along with a satchel embossed with Hartley’s initials, as a telegram transcript from Maria Robinson to the Provincial Secretary of Nova Scotia reads, ‘I would be most grateful if you could convey my heartfelt thanks to all who have made possible the return of my late fiancé’s violin’. When Robinson died in 1939, her sister gave the violin to the Bridlington Salvation Army, who passed it on to a violin teacher. The teacher passed it on further, and in 2004 it was rediscovered in an attic in the UK.
The couple married in 1871. Isidor worked for his father’s business — L. Straus & Sons — which was a pottery brand that later integrated into the glass and china department at Macy’s. He worked hard, eventually all the way up to being a co-owner of the entire Macy’s chain. Ida Straus was both a housewife and a very busy mother, as the couple had seven children together. (One son, Clarence, died around the age of two.) Even though Isidor also had his hands full with work — in addition to his duties serving as a member of the U.S. Congress for a year — the couple was said to be particularly close.