Tag Archives: Titanic

Update On Titanic Shipping Label Up For Auction

 Photo:johnnicholsons.com

                         Photo:johnnicholsons.com

A few days ago I reported on the upcoming auction of a shipping label from a package sent to the Marconi wireless operator on Titanic. A group called the Old Moulsham and Central Community Trust is seeking to purchase the label to show a link between Chelmsford Marconi factory and Titanic. They are currently trying to raise money from benefactors to make this possible.

The auctioneer is John Nicholson of Fernhurst, West Sussex, UK. The starting bid is £500 ($775) and will auctioned off on 30 May 2015.

Source: Bid To Bring Titanic Parcel Label Back To Chelmsford Marconi Factory(29 May 2015,Essex Chronicle)


Remembering the Empress of Ireland

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

The Titanic disaster of 1912 was still making waves when on 29 May 1914, the RMS Empress of Ireland collided with the Norwegian coal freighter Storstad in the Saint Louis River at  Pointe-au-Père, Quebec. It occurred around 0200 in the morning. Storstad hit the starboard side, causing severe damage. Empress began to list and quickly fill with water. Portholes had not been secured before leaving port so many were open (many passengers complained of poor ventilation) so that allowed a lot of water to enter. Many in the lower decks drowned from water coming in from the open portholes.

Also failure to close the watertight doors led to the quick sinking. Three lifeboats were launched quickly with passengers and crew that were in the upper deck cabins able to get away but as the ship listed further starboard, the other lifeboats could not be used. Ten minutes after the collision, Empress lurched violently on the starboard side allowing 700 passengers and crew to crawl out of portholes and decks on her side. Then 15 minutes later, after it briefly looked like she might have run aground, the hull sank dumping all the people left on her into the icy water. When the final tally was done, 1,012 people lost there lives. 465 survived. Many on the starboard side where asleep and likely drowned in their cabins.

The official enquiry, which began on 16 June 1914, was headed by Lord Mersey who had previously headed the British Titanic enquiry (he would also lead up the enquiry into Lusitania later). Two very different accounts emerged of the collision from the Storstad and Empress. At the end of the day, the commission determined that when Storstad changed course, it caused the collision. The Norwegians did not accept the verdict and held their own enquiry which exonerated the captain and crew of the Storstad. Canadian Pacific, which owned the now sunk Empress of Ireland, pursued a legal claim and won. The Norwegian owners countersued but in the end the liabilities forced them to sell Storstad to put money in the trust funds.

What happened to Empress, though not receiving the same attention as Titanic, was to change ship design. The reverse slanting bow was dangerous in ship-to-ship collisions resulting in below the waterline damage. Bows were redesigned so the energy of the collision would be minimized below the surface. Longitudinal bulkheads were discontinued as they trapped water beneath them causing the ship to list and capsizing. Needless to say portholes were to be secured from that point on (in fact nearly all cruise ships use decoratives that can never be opened). The wreck today has been salvaged many times and is now the only underwater historic site in Canada. The wreck is in shallow water (130 feet) but is notably dangerous dive due to the cold waters, currents, and often impaired visibility.

Sources:
1. The Empress Of Ireland Was Canada’s Titanic(2 Jul 2013, Niagarathisweek.com)

2. RMS Empress of Ireland(Wikipedia)

3. Royal Alberta Museum Online: The Empress of Ireland

Amazon books: Empress of Ireland

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Titanic News: Dubuque Exhibition Sets Records;Thomas Andrews Home Up For Sale

1. The Dubuque Times Herald reports that 5,677 visitors attended the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium over the Memorial Day weekend. Normal attendance is around 3,000. Once again proving Titanic still brings them in. Pity that Premiere Exhibitions seems not to be making much money these days.
Source:River Museum Sets Memorial Day Weekend Record As ‘Titanic’ Exhibit Opens(27 May 2015,Dubuque Times Herald)

2. Andara House in Comber,Northern Ireland was once the family home of Thomas Andrews. Built in 1872 for the Andrews family, it is steeped in history. The large manor was converted into luxury apartments a few years back and one,specifically Apartment 3, is up for sale. The asking price is £189,950 (about $291,218). Its connection to Titanic naturally draws attention of the curious and serious. According to the Belfast Telegraph:

A key feature of the apartment is beautiful original mahogany panelling in the living room – formerly the billiards room -which it is believed was installed by craftsmen who worked on the Titanic.

If the pictures at Belfast Telegraph are any indication, it really is quite a nice place but the upkeep is likely not cheap.

Source:Ardara House: Apartment With Strong Titanic Links Could Be Yours For £190k(22 May 2015,Belfast Telegraph)

3. Premier Exibitions:Sorry Folks, We Are Still Not Making Great Profits
Premier Exhibitions, which owns Titanic:The Artifact Exhibition,released its fourth quarter and year 2015 results. Here is what Michael Little, the current Interim president and CEO, says about the results:

Our overall results remain disappointing, however our total revenue increased for the third consecutive quarter due to contributions from our Pompeii and King Tut exhibitions which continue to offset our lower revenue from our Titanic and Bodies brands. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015, we performed a detailed analysis of our general and administrative expenses and through reductions in headcount and other expenses reduced our normalized general and administrative expense from approximately $1.0 million per month to $750,000 per month. It should be noted this does not include the additional expenses related to the merger transaction that will continue through the third quarter of fiscal 2016. During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015 we performed our annual intangible impairment testing and based upon updated projections of future projects related to our AEG acquisition in the first quarter of fiscal 2013 determined that a non-cash charge of $2.9 million was required in order to reflect the change in our assumptions. In addition, we revalued our AEG royalty which resulted in a gain of $338 thousand and wrote-off $104 thousand in development cost for projects that were cancelled during the quarter.

Whew. Did you get that? The higher revenue generating exhibitions are offsetting the lower ones andtthey generally lowered expenses. They were forced to take a non-cash charge of $2.9 million. Revised royalty income resulted in a $338 thousand gain but had to write off $184 thousand in costs. In short, we still have our shirts on but hope to afford something more fancy then beer and pretzels at our next big event.

Source:Premier Exhibitions Reports Fourth Quarter And Full Year 2015 Results(28 May 2015,Global Newswire-Press Release)


Shipping Label From Parcel Addressed To Titanic Wireless Operator Up For Auction

Photo:johnnicholsons.com

                  Photo:johnnicholsons.com

We have had postcards, letters and even a rare violin come up for auction. Now we have a shipping label from a parcel addressed to “Marconi Operator, RMS Titanic” now up for auction. What the parcel contained is unknown or what happened to the box. According to BBC News, the mother of the current owner got it from Olympic’s first officer who was a friend of hers. She passed away in 1972.

The auctioneer is John Nicholson of Fernhurst, West Sussex, UK. The starting bid is £500 ($775) and will auctioned off on 30 May 2015.

Source: Titanic Parcel Label To Be Auctioned(22 May 2015,BBC)

 


Update on Chinese Titanic Sinking Simulator/Replica: Shipbuilder Assembling Parts

Photo courtesy George Behe
Photo courtesy George Behe

According to Ecns.com, Chinese government owned China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC) is now building parts for the full Titanic replica. The replica will be the main attraction at Seven Star’s planned theme park in Daying where it will be permanently docked. It is scheduled to open in 2017. U.S. based designers are working with Seven Star to develop precise dimensions and layout. The replica will meet all current safety standards and is estimated to cost $161 million or 1 billion yuan. The sinking simulator apparently will be a separate simulation in the same theme park.

As for Clive Palmer’s Titanic replica, not a word.

Source: State-Run Shipbuilder Begins Assembling Parts For Full-Scale Titanic Replica(18 May 2015,Ecns.com)


Saturday Titanic News

1. Final preparations for the upcoming Titanic exhibition at the National Mississippi River Museum & Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa are underway. The exhibit opens on Saturday, 23 May and runs till 7 September 2015. The exhibition has garnered a lot of attention and is expected to draw large crowds. A special opening celebration will include a special formal dinner recreating eating a meal aboard Titanic and includes actors dressed in period outfits. More information can be found at rivermuseum.com.
Source: High Hopes For Titanic’s Maiden Voyage To Dubuque(13 May 2015,Telegraph Herald)

Mrs. J.J. "Molly" Brown presenting trophy cup award to Capt. Arthur Henry Rostron, for his service in the rescue of the Titanic. Photo:Public Domain (US Library of Congress, digital id# cph 3c21013)
Photo:Public Domain (US Library of Congress, digital id# cph 3c21013)

2. The great-granddaughter of Molly Brown recently stopped by the Molly Brown House in Denver,Colorado. Helen Benzinger said she was thankful for keeping her great-grandmother’s legacy alive.
Source: Titanic Survivor’s Great-Granddaughter Visits Molly Brown House(15 May 2015,wgem.com)

This 18-foot-model of RMS Titanic will be on display this summer in St. Clair. (Photo:The Times Herald)
18-foot-model of RMS Titanic.
(Photo:The Times Herald)

3. The world’s most accurate Titanic replica is going to be permanently located at The Mariner in Marine City, Michigan starting in July 2015. The replica, which is 18 feet long and weighs 10,000 pounds was previously in St. Clair. It will be located on the old theatre stage. Further details can be found at marinertheater.net.
Source: The Mariner To Get New Life In Marine City As A Theater(12 May 2015,Port Huron Times Herald)

4.Protestors stood outside at the Bodies Revealed exhibition in Niagara Falls, Canada trying to raise awareness that the bodies being displayed came from China. One protestor said “The bodies inside, we don’t know where they come from. Chinese people, prisoners of conscience, disappear in Chinese prisons, many never come out.” Premier says on one hand the bodies are from those who died of natural causes in China but also states “Premier cannot independently verify that the human remains you are viewing are not those of persons who were incarcerated in Chinese prisons.” Which pretty much says exactly what most people suspect but of course cannot prove. If Stalin had come of with this idea, the old Soviet Union could have made a fortune peddling bodies to gullible westerners as well.
Source: Hundreds Protest ‘Bodies Revealed’ Exhibit Of Plastinated Corpses In Niagara(17 April 2015,Epoch Times)

5. There are pranks and then there are PRANKS (like Harry and Ron driving a car to Hogwarts in Chamber of Secrets). A couple decided to take some very realistic fake skeletons and place them in the Colorado River. In lawn chairs. They were placed near rocks so they would pose no harm. They were discovered by a snorkeler who notified police about the skeletons. A diver examined them and reported they were not real but caused a media sensation. The culprits decided to come forward and inform the police they were responsible. Since no one was harmed and the skeletons posed no real safety threat to anyone, no charges are forthcoming. Takes Weekend at Bernies to a whole another level.
Source: Couple From Phoenix Confess Putting Fake Skeletons In Colorado River(12 May 2015,International Business Times)


Monday Titanic Shorts

1. Both Lusitania And Titanic Got Their Anchor From Same Chainmaker
The Birmingham Mail reports that Hingley and Sons made the anchors for both vessels. These massive anchors were not easy to transport and a big day to watch as they were pulled by teams of horses to the railroad for shipment. “The bow anchors weighed over 10 tons. The chains weighed 125 tons – the mass of a whale – and were 330 fathoms long, the equivalent of eight jumbo jets nose to tail.”
Source: Titanic And Lusitania BOTH Customers Of Netherton Chainmaker(10 May 2015,Birmingham Mail)

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

2. What Defines A British Site?
British Airways’ in-flight magazine – High Life –is asking readers to vote for which 21 landmarks define Britain. And one of those sites included on the list is Titanic Belfast. Sites chosen by readers will be revealed in the August 2015 issue.
Source: Titanic Belfast Included In The Search To Find 21 Landmarks That Define Britain(8 May 2015,Belfast Telegraph)


Titanic News: Deep Sea Tourism, Remembering Lusitania

Bismarck, 1940 Photo:Bundesarchiv, Bild 193-04-1-26 / CC-BY-SA
Bismarck, 1940
Photo:Bundesarchiv, Bild 193-04-1-26 / CC-BY-SA

1. The Titanic centenary allowed people with lots of disposable income to fork over €45,000 (approximately $50,000) for take an 8 hour dive down to Titanic and back. Now that same company is planning a trip to see the remains of the World War II battleship Bismarck. The Bismarck was located in 1989 by Robert Ballard.
Source:Touristic Expedition To Titanic’s Remains(5 May 2015,Epoch Times)

Engraving of Lusitania Sinking by Norman Wilkinson, The Illustrated London News, May 15, 1915 Public Domain(Wikimedia)
Engraving of Lusitania Sinking by Norman Wilkinson, The Illustrated London News, May 15, 1915
Public Domain(Wikimedia)

2. On 7 May 1915, RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat 11 miles south of Ireland. She sank in 18 minutes taking with her 1,191 souls. Only 764 of the 1,962 passengers and crew survived. According to Sluggerotoole.com it will be remembered.

There will be a memorial service at the Old Head next Thursday, led by Simon Coveney, Ireland’s defence minister, including a two-minute silence at 2:10pm (the precise moment the torpedo struck the Lusitania). Additionally, the Lusitania Museum and Old Head of Kinsale Project are organising the restoration of the Old Head’s Signal Tower, a task that they are hopeful will be finished in time for the commemorations. The Project also have planning permission to plant a Lusitania memorial garden, and are aiming to have a sculpture incorporating the names of all of the Lusitania‘s souls on board. Finally, they hope eventually to set up a Lusitania museum by the Signal Tower. Such a museum would, however, have to be partially submerged in the ground, so that it does not obscure the view of the Tower.

Source: Co. Cork and a Tale of Two Sea Tragedies(1 May 2015,Sluggerotoole.com)


Titanic Tidbits

1)The 103 anniversary of Titanic sinking was commemorated in Belfast with a traditional wreath laying ceremony and a moment of silence. According to the Belfast Telegraph, there were many international visitors present. The International Ice Patrol held its yearly memorial service as well and dropped a wreath from a plane over the spot where Titanic sank.
Sources:
1. Titanic Memorial Service At Belfast City Hall Marks 103rd Anniversary Of Sinking(15 April 2015,Belfast Telegraph)
2. Coast Guard International Ice Patrol Commemorates Sinking Of Titanic(15 April 2015, Military.com)

Photo:public domain
Photo:public domain

2)30 James Street (Albion House) which once housed the White Star Line offices in Liverpool, had special tribute dinner that included many connected to Titanic. The descendents of Carpathia captain Arthur Rostron were amongst those present at the dinner. All 63 rooms of the Titanic themed hotel were opened and those who had proven connections were given a free overnight stay. The hotel has received favorable reviews on several online review sites.
Source: Titanic Sinking Anniversary Marked At Tribute Evening(15 April 2015,Liverpool Echo)

Public Domain
Public Domain

3) Father Thomas Byles perished on Titanic remaining aboard to pray with fellow passengers. There is a call to have him proclaimed a martyr of the church, the first step towards possible sainthood. Father Graham Smith calls him “an extraordinary man who gave his life for others.”
Source:Titanic Priest Father Thomas Byles ‘Should Be Sainted’(12 April 2015,BBC)

Public Domain
Public Domain

4)After being fully restored by the Nomadic Charitable Trust,the last remaining ship of the White Star Line has been transferred to Titanic Belfast. The Nomadic was used to ferry passengers in Cherbourg, France to Titanic.  After its use with White Star ended, the former ferry ended up as a restaurant and then left to rot before being brought to Belfast to be restored. Though open for the past two years, it now is formally part of Titanic Belfast.
Source:Titanic Belfast Takes Over SS Nomadic(9 April 2015,BBC)

5)The Peoria Riverfront Museum has secured Titanic:The Artifact Exhbition as an exhibit in 2016. It will run from 12 Nov 2016 until March 2017.
Source: Peoria Riverfront Museum Secures Titanic Exhibit For 2016 (13 April 2015, Journal Star)

6)Barrie Clarke solved a mystery of where some Titanic headstones came from. When Halifax decide to replace a stone marker, they could not identify where it came from. Enter Clarke, a professor at Dalhousie University, who decided to play a sleuth. His journey to find the quarry was not easy since many closed long ago. Eventually he found it and testing proved the granite matched the headstones in Halifax .
Source: Titanic Gravestone Mystery Led To Five Year Search(22 April 2015,CBC)

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Rare Titanic Deck Chair Fetches $149,000 At Auction

Nantucket Titanic Deck Chair Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son
Nantucket Titanic Deck Chair
Photo: Henry Aldridge & Son

A rare Titanic deck chair was recently auctioned by Henry Aldridge & Son for the princely sum of £100,000, The chair was one of six or seven that were found in the Atlantic by ships sent out to retrieve bodies from Titanic. This particular one originally belonged to Captain Julien Lemarteleur. Due to its fragility, the anonymous seller kept it as a display piece in a large window with a sea view.

The name of the buyer was not released but was from the U.K.

Source:Titanic chair sells for £100k (18 April 2015, Daily Mail)