Category Archives: Titanic

Titanic Minute Book Up For Auction This Week and other Titanic News

1. A Harland & Wolff minute book that has information about RMS Titanic is coming up for auction on 20 June 2017. According to the Belfast Telegraph, this minute book contains information between 1905-1918 that chronicles the day-to-day business of the shipyard. Reference to Titanic is contained within its pages such as the balance sheet for 1910-1911 showing that Titanic was a work in progress. It is valued between £400-£600. Remarkably a teapot used that was used on Herman Goerings private dining car is valued between £2,500-£3,500.
Source: Titanic records, Ulster Covenant and Nazi Goering’s teapot at Belfast auction (Belfast Telegraph, 13 June 2017)

2. This is not new news but adds more information. As previously reported, a Washington State based startup company plans to dive to Titanic in 2018. Unlike previous tourist dives, the participants are part of the expedition and must pass physicals. It will also cost over $100,000 (the actual fee is today’s equivalent of first class on Titanic).
Source: Washington submarine firm to take people to the Titanic (Las Vegas Review Journal, 14 June 2017)

Rare bottle of Marie Brizard Danzig liqueur that contains gold shards and served on Titanic.

3. Rare liquors have their own following and very high prices. Consider one called Marie Brizard Danzig,a liqueur that was served on Titanic in 1912. Louis Renualt, the founder of Renault cars, found out that it was served aboard the famous ship and tracked down this rare liqueur and put into his personal collection. Now what makes this such a rare find is that this liqueur contains gold shards (22-23 carat) and was created by a Dutchman in the 16th century. Michel-Jack Chasseuil, a private collector, purchased this rare bottle from Renault’s descendants and it will be on display at VinExpo Bordeaux 18-21 June 2017. You can somewhat share in the experience if you buy Danzig Goldwasser, which has a 22-carat gold leaf. Source: French liqueur brand Marie Brizard is set to unveil an “exceptionally rare” liqueur once served on board the doomed RMS Titanic at this year’s Vinexpo in Bordeaux (The Spirits Business, 16 June 2017)

To close off this Sunday post is great song from Boz Scaggs. Enjoy.

Titanic and Related News

RMS Empress of Ireland 1908
Photo:Public Domain (Library and Archives Canada / PA-116389)

1. Artifacts from Canada’s Titanic Heading To The Auction House
Artifacts from the Empress of Ireland that sank in 1914 are going to be auctioned off at Lunds Auctioneers and Appraisals in Victoria, British Columbia. For many years the wreck was easily accessible to divers until the 1990’s when the wreck was brought under government protection. The collection being auctioned off is expected to have pieces that will fetch between $100-$10,000 per item.
Source:Empress of Ireland artifacts put up for auction in Victoria (CHEK,27 May 2017)

2. Amazing aerial pictures show the £105m full-size Titanic replica set to be completed by this year as a part of a grand theme park in China (Daily Mail,10 May 2017)
Incredible images show the £105 million full-size Titanic replica taking shape in China’s Sichuan province. The ship is scheduled for completion at the end of this year and will open to members of the public in 2019. It will make up just part of a grand theme park which will also contain a manmade beach which will be open to tourists 365 days a year.

Titanic Belfast (side view)
Image:Prioryman (Wikipedia)

3. Titanic Belfast Celebrates Record-Breaking Year (Hospitality Ireland,11 May 2017)
Titanic Belfast’s chief executive, Tim Husbands, stated that “2016/17 was a really strong year. Not only did we have our busiest day ever in August 2016, with an increase in numbers from key markets including Britain, USA, China, France, Germany and Australia, but we were also crowned World’s Leading Tourist Attraction at the prestigious World Travel Awards.”More than 82% of those who visited the attraction in 2016 were from outside Northern Ireland, with over 40% of all visitors asserting that Titanic Belfast represented the sole reason for their journey to Northern Ireland.

4. Well it had to happen.  Stephen Cummings is suing James Cameron for over $300 million claiming he stole the idea of Jack Dawson from him. He claims Cameron overheard him discussing the idea twenty years ago. That is not all, reports the UK Daily Mail. He also alleges that how the ship sank used in the movie came from him as well. Cameron has had no response to the lawsuit.  If Judge Judy were handling the case, she would likely dismiss it and castigate Cummings for wasting the courts time on something like this.
Source:=
James Cameron sued for ‘stealing the life story of a Florida man who worked in the yacht industry’ to create Leo DiCaprio’s character in Titanic (Daily Mail, 22 May 2017)


Major Update on Premier Exhibitions

As most of you are aware, Premier Exhibitions filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 which allows it to reorganize. On Friday it was announced that the Premier Exhibitions Equity Committee had entered into an agreement that “will include the sale all of the Debtors’ assets, including the entire Titanic Artifacts Collection either as assets of the estate or through the sale of RMS Titanic Inc., the company that holds the Titanic Artifacts. The remaining Debtors and their assets likewise would be sold.”

What it means is this: the company can be sold either whole or in parts depending upon the buyers interests. And the Titanic artifacts can be sold either as part of the sale of the whole company or through selling RMS Titanic Inc. The snag that has caused no sale on those artifacts under the salvage award is that they cannot be sold in lots or individually but as the one collection. And the price is simply too high. Under the present circumstances, the price might be lowered and also the possibility the bankruptcy judge might order it sold in lots in order to be sold. Before any of this can move forward, the judge has to agree to a disclosure statement.

Long ago when RMS Titanic Inc was made part of Premier (after some of the original founders of the company were removed and replaced) many thought it would lead to a better valued company. One wonders what really happened here. Titanic became very big after the movie and the centennial of the sinking. Belfast Titanic has done very well and makes money. Either the company was mismanaged and got way over their head or totally miscalculated how to monetize the assets (their exhibitions) to make a profit. Instead of Chapter 11, this is more like Chapter 13 now. The company’s assets are going to be sold in whole or in part to others now. The ghost of George Tulloch is laughing  at those that brought this about.

Sources:
1. RMS Titanic, Inc., et al. (D/B/A PREMIER EXHIBITIONS)
2. Premier Exhibitions, operator of Titanic and Bodies shows, putting itself up for sale (Atlanta Business Chronicle, 21 May 2017)

Update on Chinese Titanic Replica: Sinking Simulator Canceled

Photograph of iceberg taken by chief steward of Prinz Adalbert on morning of 15 April 1912 near where Titanic sank. At the time he had not learned of the Titanic disaster. Smears of red paint along the base caught his attention. The photo and accompanying statement were sent to Titanic’s lawyers, which hung in their boardroom until the firm dissolved in 2002. Public Domain

Readers of this blog are well aware the Chinese are building a Titanic replica of their own for a theme park. It will be a full size replica and will operate not only as a tourist attraction but a hotel as well. They had planned a “Sinking Simulator” that would demonstrate what it was like on that fateful night. It did not sit well with a lot of people, especially those who had a familial connection to those who perished. The Chinese at first were steadfast in saying there was nothing wrong with such simulation. Now it appears the idea was shelved due to the outcry. According to The Christian Post, the idea was shelved was in January. Author Bruce Beveridge, who heads up design team, is quoted as saying “It was shelved back in January when they hired me as design supervisor. I told them, ‘Do not do this, it’s in bad taste.”

It is a wise decision. There are many ways to demonstrate what happened that night without some tacky sinking simulator akin to a game. And with modern technology these days, you probably will do it through virtual reality glasses in the near future.

Source: Protests By Survivors’ Families Prompt Chinese Theme Park to Scrap Titanic Disaster ‘Attraction’ (Christian Post, 12 May 2017)


Titanic News: Fur Coat Sold for £150,000 and other news

Sorry to not post in a while. It was due to both work and the tax season. Now for the news.

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

1. Titanic stewardess’ fur coat fetches £150,000 at auction (Independent, 23 April 2017)
Fur coats used to be a stylish thing to wear but these days they are despised. Back in 1912 though, they were an important status symbol.In this case it was neither style nor class but the need to keep warm. Mabel Bennett, a first-class stewardess aboard Titanic, threw it on to keep herself warm. She kept it one while on Carpathia and for the rest of her life. After her death, it was sold to Henry Aldridge and Son who loaned it to a museum in the U.S. It was auctioned off on Saturday far above the estimated price of £50,000-£80,000 and sold for a staggering £150,000 ($191,767USD). The buyers name was not announced but surely one of the highest prices paid for a collectible mink coat.

2. Lost Titanic letter expected to fetch big money at auction (New York Post, 20 April 2017)
A “Wish You Were Here” letter written aboard the Titanic could fetch thousands of dollars at auction this weekend. Four days before the ship sank, Swiss banker Alfons Simonius-Blumer penned the missive to his wife and daughter — in which he expressed regret they were not aboard the ship.Simonius-Blumer was sailing to New York on business with a colleague, Max Staehelin, but without his wife, Alice, and their daughter, Ella. He wrote the letter the morning of April 11, 1912, while the supposed unsinkable pride of the White Star Line steamed between Cherbourg in France and Queenstown, Ireland, its last stop before the fateful Atlantic crossing. Simonius-Blumer also described visiting the ship’s gym, enjoying the Turkish baths and lighting up in the smoking room. As a first-class passenger, he was able to get on a lifeboat after the Titanic struck an iceberg late at night on April 14 and was rescued by the RMS Carpathia the following morning.
The letter was also auctioned off on Saturday at Henry Aldridge for £32,500 ($41,543USD)

3. Titanic relatives mark 105th anniversary in Belfast (BBC, 14 April 2017)
The event was organised by the great-grandson of the man who was at the helm when the ship struck an iceberg. Simon Medhurst, a long-time collector of Titanic memorabilia, said he only found out that he was related to Robert Hichens, one of the ship’s quartermasters, after meeting his birth father in 2012. “It was a complete turnaround for my life, really, from collecting to suddenly being somebody who is connected to the Titanic,” he said. Simon explained that Friday’s event had taken two years to organise. “I wasn’t sure if it would just be our family that turned up, but actually it’s been phenomenal to see relatives and enthusiasts. People just love the story of the Titanic. “I think the importance of this type of gathering is in that it is easy to forget that there were those who lost their lives.”

4. Full-size Titanic replica built in China (Jakarta Post,19 April 2017)
The project was first announced in 2014 and will cost an estimated 1 billion yuan (US$145.4 million). The model will measure out at 269-meters long and 28-meters wide, complete with a ballroom, theater, swimming pool, first-class cabins, and even Wi-Fi, according to Wuchang Shipbuilding Industry Group deputy general manager Wang Weiling as reported by AFP. The design of the ship is based on the original British passenger liner, and both British and American designers and technicians will assist in the project. And just in case visitors have worries of a second sinking, the boat will be permanently docked on a reservoir in a rural area of Sichuan province, according to Xinhua. No word from Clive Palmer about whether his Titanic replica will ever get funded.


Titanic 2017

New York Times Front Page 16 April 1912
Public Domain (Wikimedia Commons)

In April 1912 the unthinkable happened: Titanic sank taking over 1500 lives to the cold North Atlantic. People were stunned. With the headline Titanic Sunk blazing across newspapers around the globe, it made people wonder what had happened to a ship that defined an age of progress. For those with family, either passengers or crew, it was even more dire. Did my husband live? What happened to that family down the road that decided to go to America for a new life?

In the aftermath two investigations would seek to answer the question of what happened. A short concise statement is that Titanic collided with an iceberg that punctured the hull in many places causing water to enter the forward compartments causing her to founder and sink. Yet the investigations showed all kinds of things that were not right: out of date government regulations about lifeboats, the lack of manning wireless communications during all ship watches, the inattention given to numerous ice warnings, the lack of binoculars for the lookouts and much more. Captain Rostron of Carpathia would be labeled a hero for racing to the scene and retrieving the survivors. Captain Lord of California would come under criticism for his indifference to rockets being seen and failing to investigate.

The world of 1912 was a world on a precipice. Ominous clouds were already gathering over Europe. Titanic represented perhaps the pinnacle of the dying Edwardian age. It had everything that a person of means wanted: a comfortable way to cross the Atlantic in style. Down below was the other side, immigrants desperate to leave home and find a new life in the United States. And sadly many of those third class (or steerage as they were called)would perish.  Titanic sinking left a mark on many that something was wrong and would be confirmed when war broke out in 1914. And that war would cut a wide swath in the upper classes that would have lasting effects.

The lessons of Titanic are many. The most important of all is to never become complacent nor think you are so clever as to be divine. It is a lesson that is sometimes forgotten resulting in tragedies like the Challenger explosion. Sometimes Greek mythology delivers warnings about complacency. Icarus forgot his wings were made of wax when he flew up to the sun resulting in his death. And saying Titanic was practically unsinkable comes pretty darn close as well.

Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea–And It Will Cost!

Titanic Wreck Bow
Image: Public Domain (NOAA-http://www.gc.noaa.gov/images/gcil/ATT00561.jpg)

Some years ago enterprising chaps started charging people to see Titanic. No, not an exhibition or replica but diving two miles down to the bottom of the North Atlantic to see the wreck. This is no simple task considering it takes three hours down and back in a specially pressurized submersible with few comforts. It stopped for a while but now appears to be back according to various news sources. Blue Marble Private of London, UK is offering a diving expedition in 2018. The eight day journey begins in Newfoundland, Canada and paying customers will become client specialists to participate with the expedition team in the dive. And according to Blue Marble, the price is what it would cost to travel first class in Titanic today (with inflation): a whopping $105,129. It is claimed that is fully booked for the first voyage in 2018.

They are not alone. An Everett, Washington company called OceanGate Expeditions is planning a similar thing and its cost is remarkably the same: $105,129 which makes it look like they may be a US version of Blue Marble. Then there is a company called Blue Fish that is also going to offer dives as well but at a lesser price of $59,680. So it seems a voyage to the bottom of the sea has become popular again for those with a lot of disposable income. Hopefully they will not run into the variety of monsters that Irwin Allen’s show became famous for.

Sources
Titanic: Diving tours of wreck site to begin in 2018 (CNN, 21 Mar 2017)
Everett company planning Titanic expedition with civilians (KOMO,22 March 2017)

Rare Titanic Photo Sells For £360

RMS Titanic beginning sea trials, April 2, 1912.
Public Domain (National Archives and Records Administration,ARC Identifier#306 RG 306)

A rare black and white photograph in a glazed oak frame recently sold for £360 pounds ($374 USD) reports Deccan Chronicle. The photograph was bought by a collector at an auction for £20.  It was estimated to be auctioned off for £200 and was purchased by an anonymous bidder.
Source: Rare Titanic Photograph Fetches 360 pounds at UK Auction(Deccan Chronicle, 19 Feb 2017)

TItanic Replica Mania: Linens

Photo: Vision Support Services

Titanic themed products are popular which is why textiles giant Vision Support Services decided to go all in with their replica Titanic linens they recently unveiled in their Liddell product range. This range is based upon the patterns used by William Ewart & Son Ltd that supplied Oceanic Steam Navigation Company with linens for all their ships which included RMS Titanic. The company merged later with rival William Liddell and Co. to become Ewart Liddell & Co. Vision went to great effort to authenticate the linens by researching records and working with historian and author Tom McCluskie. McCluskie, according to one news report, was thrilled Vision went all out to faithfully reproduce the linens using the same pattern back then. “This strict attention to authentic and historical detail presents the purchaser with a window into time of a bygone age of elegance and luxury,” notes McCluskie. The linens are only available a short time.
Source: Brand creates replicas of linens used on RMS Titanic (Bainbridge Leader, 6 Feb 2017)


Recent Titanic News

[Editors Note-Still catching up on news. Been busy as of late so I have not been able to post much]

1. Rare Titanic photo going under the hammer (Daily Echo, 10 Feb 2017)
A rare photograph of the ill-fated Titanic,which was bought for “a song” at a country auction, is now set to fetch hundreds of pounds when it is auctioned again next week. The black and white photograph, in a glazed oak frame, was taken shortly before the Titanic sank – with the loss of more than 1,500 lives – on its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York in April 1912.

2. Experts are disputing a documentary which says a fire was partly to blame for the Titanic sinking (thejournal.ie, 11 Feb 2017)
The programme argued that long-hidden photographs from the time showed that the Titanic’s hull had supposedly been damaged by a fire before it set off on its only journey, leaving it weak and susceptible when it hit an iceberg in the Atlantic Ocean. In the documentary, Moloney noted that researchers had known about the fire before but had tended to dismiss it as an ‘irrelevancy’, arguing that it should have been taken more seriously as a cause of the sinking. The documentary also claimed there were other issues which contributed to the ship sinking, such as substandard materials and shoddy workmanship, primarily due to cost-cutting. However a team of seven maritime historians has published an article completely refuting the programme’s claim that the coal fire was one of the main reasons why the ship sank. “However intriguing the claims set forth in Titanic: The New Evidence may be, they run counter to a wealth of well-researched facts about the ship and its sinking,” said J Kent Layton, a Titanic historian.

3. James Cameron really has a thin skin it seems when it comes to certain aspect of his famous Titanic movie. Fans debate the many points of this and that in the movie. One such example is whether or not Jack could have fit on the door Rose was on. Now I have not spent any real time dwelling on this point since we know this is just a movie. Apparently it got the attention of Mythbusters and they proved it was possible for Jack to have survived on the floating door with extra buoyancy. Okay that ought to have more or less settled it and we could move on. Not Cameron. So he recently commented on it by saying Jack would never have survived and that Mythbusters was full of poop (he used a barnyard word that is far more graphic for this family friendly blog). Of course he was on that episode of Mythbusters and never said is was all poop. He does say it was in the script he was to die. Okay. Moving on.
James Cameron Debunks ‘Titanic’ Theory That Jack Could Fit On The Door (Huffington Post Canada, 1 Feb 2017)