Category Archives: Titanic

Origins of Titanic, New Book Claims All Titanic Passengers Could Have Been Saved, and Lego Update

 

Titanic Memorial Belfast
Photo:Public Domain

A Story That Can Only Be Told In Belfast: What Are The Origins Of The ‘Unsinkable’ Titanic?
Euronews.com, 13 Sep 2021

Despite being located at either end of the island of Ireland, the ports of Belfast and Cork (Cobh) are connected by one of the world’s most infamous shipping disasters. Told many times in books, theatre performances and movies, the story of the Titanic is one that is indelibly etched in people’s minds. However the story can really only be understood once you have visited the places the Titanic was created.

 

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

Every Passenger On The Titanic Could Have Been Saved, Claims Gripping New Book
Daily Express, 13 Sept 2021

But a dramatic new book explodes that fantasy. “Every soul on the Titanic could have been saved,” says historian William Hazelgrove, author of One Hundred and Sixty Minutes: The Race to Save The RMS Titanic, published this month. “The myth says the Titanic was alone out on the Atlantic, but two ships – the SS Californian and the SS Mount Temple ?were so close that they saw the Titanic sinking, only failing to act out of cowardice and incompetence.

And for those Lego fans hoping for the Titanic set to come out:

Revised Piece Count For Rumoured LEGO for Adults 10294 Titanic
Brickfanatics, 13 Sep 2021

However, Instagram user exabrickslegogo_ now claims that 10294 Titanic will consist of ‘only’ 9,090 pieces, a part count that would probably seem way more impressive if it wasn’t coming back down from 12,000. As it stands, though, it would still be the biggest non-LEGO Art set in the portfolio by 54 bricks, just eking past 10276 Colosseum.

 


Titanic News-Titanic Lego May Be 12,000 Bricks, Sinking Slide Reappearance, Countess of Rothes Home Becoming Flats

The Rumoured LEGO Titanic Could Include Over 12,000 BricksBrickfanatics.com, 9 Sep 2021

First details for the rumoured LEGO Titanic set have surfaced including the size, release date and price of the potentially massive model. A new report for the long-rumoured LEGO Titanic build has appeared online thanks to lego_club_news on Instagram. If true, this could be easily the largest official LEGO set to release, beating that of 10276 Colosseum and even 31203 World Map.

Leslie House: Restoration Finally Under Way At The Home Of Titanic Heroine
The Courier, 9 Sep 2021

The A-listed building, home of Titanic heroine the Countess of Rothes, was gutted by fire in 2009 and has since been targeted by vandals. But it will soon be transformed into 28 flats after planning permission was granted last year. And a further eight houses will also be built in the grounds. The work is being done by Byzantium Developments, who say it will bring one of Scotland’s most at risk mansion houses back to its former glory.

Titanic Bouncy Slide
Photo:public domain

Sinking Titanic’ Slide Makes Another Appearance At A Chicago Street Fest, For Some Reason
Chicago Sun-Times, 8 Sept 2021

Since the sinking of the Titanic more than 100 years ago, the maritime tragedy has been etched into our collective memory, in large part thanks to a mid-90s blockbuster movie that turned the ill-fated voyage into a thrilling epic of romance and disaster. These days, kids in Chicago apparently have another way to remember the Titanic: a giant inflatable slide that keeps showing up at local street fairs, including one that happened last weekend in Roscoe Village.

Islands of Ireland: The Opulent Bradock Island With Links To The Titanic
Irish Examiner, 6 Sep 2021

The island has been owned by the Andrews family for over 150 years who have had strong links to political life in the North. With judges and MPs among their numbers, including a prime minister John Andrews, the family was synonymous with political life in the North for many years. One son chose a different career path and it was a choice that would ultimately lead to his death.

 

How Transatlantic Ocean Liners Ferried Women Into The Workforce
Wburg.org, 6 Sep 2021

Evans shared these womens’ stories at a recent virtual event put on by the American Ancestors Speaker series from the New England Historic Genealogical Society. There was great danger on the ships: The Titanic struck an iceberg. The Lusitania was torpedoed in 1915. The Britannic hit a mine in 1916. Violet Jessop survived all three sinkings and witnessed lifeboats being lowered from the Britannic right into rising propellers. Jessop was a stewardess serving first-class passengers — part of a new female workforce unparalleled on land.

 


Titanic News: Titanic Conspiracy?; Titanic II, and Jewish Titanic Passengers

 

Collapsible lifeboat D photographed by passenger on Carpathia on the morning of 15 April 1912.
Public Domain(Wikipedia)

House Belonging To A Titanic Survivor Still Stands In Toronto
BlogTO, 4 Sept 2021

There’s a house still standing in Toronto where a Titanic survivor and her family used to live during the 1920’s. Emma Bliss lived at 1063 Davenport Road in 1923, according to Encyclopedia Titanica, a crowdsourced community-based project that’s been collecting research on the Titanic for 25 years.

Titanic Conspiracy Theory Claims the Ship Never Sank
Greek Reporter, 3 Sept 2021The Titanic never sank, claims one of the foremost –among the many– conspiracy theories about major world events. Almost a century after the naval tragedy, the far-fetched proposition presents the argument that the historic ship never sank and instead its sister ocean liner was wrecked in its place.

Bow section of tanker SS Pendleton grounded near Pollock Rib lightship six miles off Chatham, Mass on the morning of Feb. 19, 1952.
Photo:Public Domain (U.S. Coast Guard)

Titanic II Might Sink Before It Sails
The Signal, 31 Aug 2021

Construction on the ship, which could cost over $1 billion, still had not begun. Again, the 2018 launch date passed with little word from Blue Star Line. Despite years of setbacks, many media outlets reported that Titanic II would finally sail in 2022. In a 2020 interview, Palmer stated that Blue Star Line had yet to select a launch date. Still, he insisted that Blue Star Line continues to work on the project. “The response has been incredible,” he said, with the company receiving over 30,000 expressions of interest. One hopeful guest, he added, offered over $1 million for a first-class cabin.

 

Titanic Museum – Branson, MO
Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

Titanic Connections: Branson Museum Honors Jewish Passengers, Remembers Holocaust
Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette, 29 Aug 2021

One connection involved the Strauses. As research revealed, the Strauses’ nephew, Nathan, was a college friend of Anne Frank’s father, Otto Frank, when they were students at Heidelburg University in Germany, Kellogg says. “In 1909, Nathan Straus Jr. convinced his father to invite Otto Frank to New York to work at Macy’s,” the story continues. “Otto’s father encouraged this, believing it would be a good opportunity to practice English and learn about foreign commerce before Otto joined the family banking business in Frankfurt.”
Frank came to New York in September 1909 and returned to Germany in 1911, after his father’s death. Straus and Frank remained friends, even vacationing with their families in Switzerland in 1928, and when Frank needed help to try to get his family out of Holland in 1941, he wrote to Nathan Straus Jr. The families lost contact in November 1941, and Frank’s family went into hiding in July 1942

Titanic Tours: What To Know About These Underwater Excursions
The Travel, 25 Aug 2021

It’s safe to say that when an iceberg pierced the Titanic on its maiden voyage just over 100 years ago, no one was thinking about turning the shipwreck into a tourist attraction. But now, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the sinking, some travel companies are offering tours of the site. Visitors can take an expensive excursion or they can simply look on Google, where the wreck is pictured in all its rustic, 3-D glory.

Teacher, 31, Spends Eight Weeks Building Lego Replica Of The Titanic Using 25,000 Bricks That Capture Every Detail Of The Doomed Ship – As Well As The Iceberg
Daily Mail, 20 Aug 21

A Lego-mad teacher has built a replica of the Titanic, using 25,000 bricks to capture every detail of the doomed liner – right down to the iceberg which sealed its fate.


Krakatoa Eruption In 1883 Kills Thousands and Heard 3,000 Miles Away

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The eruption of Krakatoa, and subsequent phenomena. Report of the Krakatoa Committee of the Royal Society (London, Trubner & Co., 1888)
Public Domain
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On 20 May 1883, Krakatau(Krakatoa)–a small volcanic island west of Sumatra in Indonesia–came alive with an eruption noticed by a passing German warship. Other eruptions would be noticed by commercial liners and those living on nearby islands for the next two months. Then on 26 Aug an enormous blast took place that destroyed nearly two-thirds of the island. Pyroclastic flows and huge tsunamis would sweep over nearby islands and coastlines. But the worst came the following morning, 27 Aug, at 05:30 am. Four eruptions would took place with the resulting sound heard over 3,000 miles away. Ash was propelled fifty miles into the air and would circulate around the globe creating colorful sunsets but also lowering temperatures worldwide by several degrees.

36,000 deaths resulted from the eruption and 31,000 were from the tsunamis created when much of the island fell into the water. The highest waves were 120 feet high when they washed over neighboring islands stripping them of people and vegetation. Pyroclastic flows that stretched as far as 40 miles claimed about 4,500.

The Krakatau eruption of 1883 is considered one of the most violent volcanic activities in modern times and even recorded history. However volcanic activity continues in that area. In 1927, a submarine lava dome was detected in the area that had been destroyed by the eruption in 1883. A new island volcano began to emerge spewing ash. Other islands also started appearing as well but eroded away by the sea. Ultimately a fourth one appeared in August 1930 and was able to last. It was named Anak Krakatau and continues to grow taller each year. It is an active volcano and seemed similar to Stromboli in its eruptions. However more recent eruptions have resulted in volcanologists to warning people to keep a safe distance away. And more ominous is that a large lava dome is growing in its crater. Signs point to one day a very explosive event occurring at this volcano.

Sources:

 


“This is the Titanic, We’re Going Down”

[Not a Titanic story in the literal sense, but a couple got a taste of what Mother Nature can cause when lots of rain comes down suddenly. And you are caught in river of water in your car when it happens.]

Rain Flooded Country Road
Credit:Sheila Brown/Publicdomainpictures.net

A couple recently had a terrifying experience while attempting to drive through an intersection in Omaha, Nebraska. The intersection they were driving through, called a “natural valley” by the city, allows rainwater to flow directly into the Missouri River. On that night, a severe rainstorm hit turning that intersection into a river very quickly. And the car got caught in it causing it to float. This prompted Haley Graham, the fiancée of the driver, to utter “‘Babe, this is like the Titanic. We’re going down.” The car hit some light poles and then a car. A person seeing tis from their trailer yelled for them to get out of the car. Fortunately there were some good Samaritans who came to their aid and got them out their car. The car however would continue down and submerged in the rising flood of water that resulted from the rainstorm. They are grateful to be alive but now are in the market for a new car. Between crashing into poles and cars, as well as being submerged at one point, the car is totaled.

Source:
‘This Is The Titanic, We’re Going Down’: Couple Rescued From Sinking Car, ketv.com, 9 Aug 2021


“What A Watch Tells Us About The Titanic Final Hours”

RMS Titanic pictured in Queenstown, Ireland 11 April 1912
Source:Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh Ireland/Wikimedia Commons

The Smithsonian magazine has an interesting story about the Titanic watch that belonged John Starr March, of New Jersey. In 1912 he was aboard Titanic as a mail clerk for the U.S. Postal Service. He was 48 years old at the time and had two daughters. His wife had passed away in 1911 and had worked on ocean liners before. During that time, he had experienced at least eight emergencies which worried his daughters. They wanted him to stay on dry land but the lure of being aboard Titanic was too good to pass up, so he went aboard to run the mailroom.

Being a mail clerk back then was an important job-whether or land or sea. You had to pass examinations and show you could handle the job of correctly sorting out mail so that it could be easily processed when it arrived for delivery in the United States. Mail clerks were initially bunked in the third-class passenger area and ate there as well. They were moved to different quarters later and ate in a private dining room after the clerks protested the arrangements.

On that fateful night, the March and the other mail clerks worked hard to save as much mail as they could. They were seem frantically trying to save mail and bought sacks up to the deck in the hopes of eventual rescue. Sadly, none of the mail clerks survived the sinking. March’s body was found and was buried in New Jersey. His engraved watch, which stopped at 1:27 am, was given to his two daughters. It now resides in the National Postal Museum. We know of many great people who were lost when it sank, and of the band that played, and stories of heroism as well. It is easy to overlook though, those who toiled to make sure that letters and packages were properly sorted for arrival in New York. And sadly, perished trying to make sure some letters were saved from the icy waters.

Source:

What a Watch Tells Us About the Titanic’s Final Hours (Smithsonian,  Aug 2021)


Strange Case of Chinese Titanic Replica

It appears the Romandsea Titanic Is Rusting Away
Credit: SPLASH

One of the aftereffects of James Cameron’s Titanic was the desire to recreate the ship today for people to experience. Museums offer ways to see what was like aboard the famous ship, but this was a to take it to a whole new level of being aboard a real replica of that ship. Clive Palmer famously launched his idea to the world and held events with the sophisticated and upscale crowd to get their support (and perhaps to buy tickets down the road). So off to China he went to have it built. A snag got on the way in the form of a dispute between Palmer and the Chinese government over a different problem. Despite hiring some reputable companies to do advance work, the sound of crickets could be heard at the Chinese shipyard. Nothing was being done and the Covid hit shutting everything down anyway. While stories still circulate it will eventually be built, no one is sure exactly when.

 Along the way, a Chinese company decided it would build its own Titanic replica that would be part of a theme park in Sichuan, China. The replica would be housed, anchored really since it would ever pull out to sea), at the Romandsea Seven Star International Culture Tourism Resort. The ship was to be built according to the original specifications and would even allow people to stay overnight as well. One featured attraction that garnered lots of negative press though was a Titanic Sinking Simulator. This would allow people to feel what the ship was like after it hit the iceberg and began sinking. People are attached to Titanic, especially those who are affiliated with Titanic organizations, have relatives that perished or survived, or just are amateur enthusiasts of the Titanic story. And they did not like this idea at all. It got well condemned by them in news reports and television interviews. The Chinese company appeared to have backed down on the idea.

Since then, the reports were that construction was underway and would be ready in a few years. It is now 2021 and instead of being ready for the throngs of tourists, the Global Times (a Chinese owned newspaper with direct ties to its government) ran an article recently that has been gathering rust for seven years. Contracts had been signed and a ceremony was held in 2014 to begin construction. Yet despite reports of something going on, it looks like nothing has been going on for a very long time. And there appears to be no explanation either from the company (Seven Star Energy Investment) or Su Shaojin, the chief executive of the company. Apparently more than 154 million dollars has been invested into the project.

Some news reports speculate that the backlash over the Titanic Sinking Simulator sank the project. That would seem unlikely as they could get around that easy with other activities. It is possible, like Clive Palmer, that company got into its own problems with Chinese government and the project had to be halted. Perhaps some bureaucrat or rules imposed by an agency or Beijing itself put up a barrier preventing the construction. It is obvious something stopped construction and one possible thing was investors were not so keen after all. Perhaps the controversy got to them or the costs of building the replica skyrocketed causing investors to hold back. Whatever it was, it ground construction to a halt for seven years. And there it lingers.

So far it seems the track record of so-called Titanic replicas being built stands at zero. The one and only Titanic still lies at the bottom of the Atlantic. Except for movie replicas, it seems life size versions are still just a dream. Perhaps Clive Palmer or the Chinese company should give Elon Musk a call. If anyone can breathe some life into building one, it might be him.

 Sources:

 RUST BUCKET Full-scale £110m Titanic replica lies rusting in China after outrage over plans to recreate iceberg crash (The Sun, 10 Aug 2021)

Life-size Titanic replica lies in dock for 7 years in rust in Sichuan Province (Global Times, 10 Aug 2021)


Iceberg Wall Collapse Injures 3 At Titanic In Pigeon Forge

This is not something you want to happen at at a tourist site. Apparently the ice wall at the Pigeon Forge Titanic exhibition collapsed injuring 3 people on Monday night. So far there are no reports of major injuries, Hopefully more details will be released in the coming days.

Iceberg Wall Collapse Injures 3 At Titanic In Pigeon Forge
WVLT8, 2 Aug 2021

Three guests have been injured due to an iceberg wall collapse at the Titanic Museum Attraction in Pigeon Forge. Pigeon Forge Police responded to the museum around 7:56 p.m. Monday. Officers said they arrived to find that a wall of ice display fell and injured several visitors. Three people were transported to area hospitals, officials said. The extent of their injuries are unknown, according to officials. According to police, preliminary evidence indicates the incident was accidental.


Wallace Hartley’s Violin Reminds us of Tragic Loss

Photo: Public Domain(Wikipedia)

I recall some years ago when Wallace Hartley’s violin was found and the incredible amount of attention it generated. It truly was a great find. The actual violin that Titanic  band leader Wallace Hartley played on the ship had been discovered. It was in a bag on his body and was later stored and nearly forgotten.

Of course there was a lot of skepticism, as there should be. There have been a lot of scams of fake Titanic memorabilia being passed off as genuine in the past. The violin was rigorously examined and tested to make sure it was authentic. It was and ultimately auctioned off (the winning bidder was anonymous). Here is an interesting story looking into the violin and its importance not only to him but his fiancee that sadly was never to be his wife.

How a Violin Auction Resurrected the Tragic Love Story of the Titanic’s Heroic Band Leader
MyModernMet.com, 30 Jul 2021

Hartley’s body was pulled from the water 10 days after the Titanic sank. Strapped to the bandleader, the rescuers found a leather valise with the initials W.H.H. Inside was his violin case and treasured instrument, as well as some musical scores. For decades, the violin was lost to public knowledge. However, upon its resurfacing in 2006, the rest of the sad story of Hartley and his fiancée has been illuminated. Upon the violin’s emergence from a musician’s attic in 2006, the instrument was the subject of scrutiny by auction house Henry Aldridge & Son and Christian Tennyson-Ekeberg, author of Nearer, Our God, to Thee: The Biography of the Titanic Bandmaster. It was discovered that in July 1912, a grieved Robinson included a telegram receipt in her diary. It read, “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.” Somehow, in the process of identifying and repatriating the dead, the possessions of the late bandmaster were returned to England.


Friday Titanic News

Happy Friday everyone. Here is some Titanic and other historic ship news hopefully you find interesting. Have a nice weekend everyone.

 

Andrea Doria’s Foghorn Sounds Again
Divernet, 25 Jul 2021

Andrea Doria’s foghorn sounds again

 

It will be the first time the Italian liner’s horn has been heard since it blew on sinking 65 years ago. The 213m ship had collided with Swedish liner the Stockholm 100 miles off Nantucket in 1956. Forty-six of the Andrea Doria’s 1706 passengers died, along with five of the Stockholm’s crew. Eight survivors are set to join technical divers, maritime historians and restorers for the 65th anniversary event, which will be livestreamed for the public on Facebook Live. The restored Kockumation horn is 1.2m long and its trumpet 60cm in diameter. Attached to an iron replica of a mast section, it weighs 227kg. It was discovered in 2016 by a dive team led by Joe Mazraani, captain of the Atlantic Wreck Salvage dive vessel Tenacious, which has carried out annual expeditions to the Andrea Doria since 2010. He spotted it beneath the mast and it was brought up the following summer.

You can view footage of the sinking on  YouTube.

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Podcast: Titanic is Dying But the Bow & Irish Memories Will Survive
Afloat.ic, 23 Jul 2021
https://afloat.ie/blogs/tom-macsweeney/item/51237-titanic-is-dying-but-the-bow-irish-memories-will-survive

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Titanic Family Fun This Summer In Worcester
Worcester News, 21 Jul 2021

The Titanic: Honour & Glory exhibition at Worcester City Art Gallery and Museum are holding special fun-filled workshops for families to enjoy every Wednesday at 11am. The activities will include a range of arts and crafts and a free Monsters of the Deep trail, where children can take an adventure around the Museum, solving clues about real mythical monsters of the sea. Deborah Fox, senior curator with Museums Worcestershire said: “We’ve been delighted by the response to the exhibition, it has been amazing and is proving incredibly popular! We want to bring the history to life for our family audiences this summer and so we hope the drop-in workshops will be an opportunity for children to understand more about the famous ocean liner with craft and creative activities which they can take away with them”

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China. A Huge Replica Of The Titanic Was Made. It Will Be A New Tourist Attraction
RandRLife, 21 Jul 2021

The Chinese Titanic is being built near the city of Daying. It will be 269 meters long, 28 meters wide and 3,000 square metres. tons of steel. However, the ship will not be able to swim. It will remain on the beach as the focal point and major tourist attraction of Sichuan Amusement Park. The replica is supposed to be an accurate representation of the Titanic – from the sumptuous interiors to the dinner menu. The project to create a copy of the legendary ship lasted for several years and was initially announced for completion in 2017. Work was suspended for some time due to financial disputes, but in April, the project’s Facebook page said construction of the ninth floor of the building was underway.

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Sadly Jackie Mason passed away recently. He was truly one of a kind and was able to get laughs easily. Here is his  on the old Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. It is a rare moment when the guest actually one ups the talented Carson. Enjoy! RIP Jackie Mason.