Tag Archives: news

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.


Mystery of Titanic Letter In Bottle, Novel on Forgotten Chinese Passengers, Update on OceanGate

 

March 6, 1912: Titanic (right) had to be moved out of the drydock so her sister Olympic (left), which had lost a propeller, could have it replaced.
Robert John Welch (1859-1936), official photographer for Harland & Wolff
Public domain

Message In Bottle ‘Thrown From Titanic Hours Before Sinking’ Baffles Scientists (Mirror, 12 May 2021)

Mathilde, three of her siblings and their mother, Marie, were never seen again, but 105 years later a note apparently signed by Mathilde was found on a Canadian beach. “The bottle could be the first Titanic artifact found on the American coast,” said historian Maxime Gohier. Now scientists are probing the mysterious document, in a bid to prove whether it’s the real thing, or an elaborate hoax.

 OceanGate Expeditions Announces Medical Team for Inaugural Titanic Survey Expedition (Goskakit.com, 12 May 2021) (Press Release)

“In recruiting our expedition medical team, we prioritized identifying medical professionals accustomed to working in austere and unpredictable situations like those faced in expeditionary environments. This veteran team of emergency physicians brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our Mission Specialists and crewmembers,” says Stockton Rush, President, OceanGate Expeditions. “We will continue to follow strict COVID-19 protocols that we used throughout two Fall 2020 expeditions with zero resulting COVID-19 cases. In addition, the expedition vessel, Horizon Arctic, has a medical center for onboard care,” says Rush.

The Forgotten Chinese Passengers of the Titanic Inspired This New Novel (Yahoo News, 12 May 2021)

Here was an opportunity to bring attention to a story that had not yet been told. Here was a chance to show others the far-reaching effects of the Chinese Exclusion Act, an act that from 1882-1943, prohibited Chinese from coming to the United States. For that is the reason you have likely never heard about these men. Every Titanic survivor—705 in all—was allowed entry into the United States without question and given aid and medical relief. After all, all papers and money had been lost in the catastrophe. But not the Chinese. They were sent away within 24 hours of arriving in New York, simply on the basis of race.


Ballard Discusses Titanic, Message in a Bottle, US Maritime Liability, and Saving an Old Cemetery

 

Image: Public Domain (NOAA)

How Bob Ballard Achieved ‘Impossible’ Feat Of Finding The Lost Titanic (New York Post, 8 May 2021)

But in the 1980s the United States was deep into a Cold War with the Soviet Union, and President Ronald Reagan enjoyed waging psychological warfare on the enemy. Ballard knew little would screw with the Russkies’ heads more than the American ability to find the lost passenger liner that sank in the Atlantic in 1912. Because he’d once been a Navy officer and then frequently worked with the Navy using his advanced under-water cameras, Ballard managed to get word of his Titanic idea all the way up the chain of command, where the White House heard and agreed.  “Absolutely,” the Gipper said to Navy Secretary John Lehman during his first term. “Let’s do it!”

Did This Message In A Bottle Really Come From The Titanic? Quebec Researchers Are Trying To Find Out (CBC, 8 May 2021)

A team of researchers at the Université du Québec à Rimouski are working to determine if a letter that washed up on shore in Canada was actually written by Lefebvre more than a century ago. “I am throwing this bottle into the sea, in the middle of the Atlantic. We are due to arrive in New York in a few days,” the letter reads. “If someone finds it, contact the Lefebvre family in Liévin.” The message, which is signed “Mathilde Lefebvre,” was found by a New Brunswick family in the sands near the Bay of Fundy in 2017. “So far, we have not caught a smoking gun of a forgery,” said Nicolas Beaudry, a history and archeology professor at the Université du Québec à Rimouski, who is studying the letter.

 

Judge Gavel
George Hodan
publicdomainpictures.net

The Limitation of Liability Act of 1851: Avoiding Responsibility for the Worst Maritime Disasters (Gcaptain.com, 6 May 2021)

(Note-this article was written by a law firm that specializes in maritime law.)

When a vessel owner seeks protection under the Limitation of Liability Act, they file a civil lawsuit in Federal District Court. All potential claimants (including anyone injured and surviving family members) are notified. They each receive certified letters informing them that the vessel owner is suing them.  As a part of a Petition for Limitation of Liability, the vessel owner also claims that the craft was worth a certain amount of money. If the ship sank, the value could be zero. For the Titanic, the value was estimated at less than $100,000: $300 for the 14 remaining lifeboats and $92,000 for the ship’s earnings. Under the Limitation of Liability Act, the owners of the “unsinkable” ship sought to limit claims for damages to this value. For the families of the 1,517 people who were killed and the 711 survivors, this would have equaled just about $41 each. 

 

Horton Cemetery, Epsom, Surrey, England
Source: Tony B, Find A Grave

Hidden Secrets Within ‘Lost’ Cemetery With Titanic Survivors And Mental Asylum Patients (Daily Star, 3 May 2021)

Hidden secrets within a ‘lost’ cemetery tell the stories behind thousands of graves. Among the dead include war heroes, patients from five mental asylums, and a Titanic survivor. A dancer who later became the muse of Picasso and a Victorian actor also lie in plots from past decades. However, their extraordinary tales are at risk of being lost forever as a charity fights to stop the land from being developed on, writes The Mirror. It wants to ensure their stories remain so they can take their spot in history. The land was a burial ground between 1899 and 1955 but has been stood derelict long ago.

 


Titanic News-Men Who Gave Up Lives, Reasons for Titanic Sinking, William Wyn survived Titanic and others

The Men Onboard The Titanic Who Gave Up Their Lives To Save Women And Children, Irish Central, 19 April 2021

Men made up 75% of the 2,240 passengers and crew onboard the Titanic’s ill-fated maiden voyage but only made up a tiny fraction of the 705 who survived the disaster. Hundreds of men – both rich and poor – bravely standing aside to give women and children a place on the ship’s lifeboats. The 175 men traveling in first-class had a survival rate of just 32%, while more than 97% of their 144 female counterparts survived the disaster. Second-class male passengers fared even worse with just 14 of 168 male passengers making their way to safety. Women in second-class, on the other hand, had a survival rate of about 74%. That is not to mention the hundreds of third-class male passengers – many of them Irish – who met their deaths on the Titanic.

No One Mistake Caused The Tragic Sinking Of The Titanic, Irish Central, 19 April 2021

A 2019 Channel 5 documentary investigates the series of mistakes that led to the sinking of the Belfast-built Titanic during its maiden voyage in April 1912. No one mistake was to blame for the disaster, according to the Channel 5 documentary “10 Mistakes That Sank the Titanic.” Instead, it was a number of factors that led to the tragedy. The Daily Mail reports on some of the fatal flaws that are featured in the “10 Mistakes That Sank the Titanic” documentary which debuted in 2019, more than 100 years after the disaster

Chester: The Incredible Story Of A Man Who Survived The Sinking Of The Titanic, The Standard, 18 April 2021

And on February 6, 1898, he was aboard the USS St Louis as an able seaman when that ship mounted a rescue of passengers and crew from SS Veendam when she collided with a sunken wreck and foundered. He also saw service in the Spanish-American war of 1898, and in the Boer War, 1899-1902. In 1907 he married Eliza Kate Abbott, and he joined the White Star Line. One day the men were assembled, and he was chosen to proceed to Belfast, where he found he was posted to Titanic as quartermaster.

,,,

Titanic News-International Ice Patrol, Butt Bridge, Chinese Passengers on Titanic

 

Straus Memorial Park, New York City, 1915. This memorial and park was dedicated on 15 April 1915.
Photo:Public Domain (U.S. Library of Congress, Bain Collection,call number LC-B2- 3446-4)

Hamilton Doctor Goes Down With Titanic
Hamilton Spectator, 17 April 2021

In the days following the North Atlantic Ocean sinking of the so-called “unsinkable” Titanic, word was received in Hamilton that a young local doctor was among its more than 1,500 victims. Dr. Alfred Pain, 24, was a second-class passenger returning after a year at King’s College Hospital in London. He originally tried to sign on as ship’s doctor on a freighter in exchange for a free trip home. When that didn’t work out, he bought a ticket on a tramp steamer. But then he switched his ticket for passage on the maiden voyage of the luxury ship Titanic.

History In The Hills: Titanic Local Connections
Weirton Daily Times, 17 April 2021

What followed was a daring escape from the depths of the ship using access ladders and passages used by crew members as some of the regular passages for third-class passengers were tightly locked, sealing the fate of those trapped below. Elin was admitted to a lifeboat, dressed only in her nightgown and life vest and by the grace of God survived the sinking. To me the most heart-wrenching part of her story is the fact that Pekka never did return to their cabin, and after the ship went down, from her lifeboat she called out to him in the darkness letting him know she was near.

Out There…Somewhere: Titanic Trivia, No If’s And’s Or Butt
Wjbf.com, 16 April 2021

“That’s a weird name for a bridge, you know, definitely is,” said Terry Dent of Snellville, Georgia. The Butt Bridge got a makeover a couple of years ago and with its lions holding shields and eagles landing on pillars, it’s impressive to see, but admittedly Butt Bridge is funny name. “Of course everyone remembers ‘save our Butt’. I think it’s something unique about Augusta keeps us funky,” said David Peltier. The funky bridge is named for Augustan Archibald Butt, aide to presidents who died on the Titanic.

Coast Guard Ice Patrol Commemorates The Titanic
The Day, 15 April 2021

An annual wreath drop serves as a way to remember and honor those who died on the Titanic. The Ice Patrol was formed after the passenger liner hit an iceberg and sank in the early morning of April 15, 1912. The wreaths from the ceremony will be dropped near where the ship sank during an iceberg reconnaissance flight in the next few weeks, Cmdr. Marcus Hirschberg said.

Six Chinese Passengers Survived The Sinking Of The Titanic – More Than 100 Years Later Their Stories Reach China
Post Magazine, 15 April 2021

Eight Chinese men were on board and six survived, landing in New York three days later aboard the Carpathia, the first ship to arrive at the scene of the disaster. Under the United States’ Chinese Exclusion Act, the men were transferred 24 hours later to a British steamship and sent to Cuba. What happened after that has been unclear – until now.

The Tragic Story of the Four Greeks Who Perished on the Titanic
Greek Reporter, 15 April 2021

Panagiotis Lymberopoulos, Vassilios Katavelos, Apostolos Chronopoulos and Demetrios Chronopoulos all came from the same village, Agios Sostis in the Messinia region of the Peloponnese. The last two men were brothers. Like many of the passengers, the four friends were young – the oldest one was only 33 years old – and they wanted to go to America in search of a better life. Tragically, their dreams, like those of so many others who perished on that starry night, never came true.They all died in the most famous shipwreck in maritime history, and the bodies of the two brothers never been found.

3 Madison County Connections To The Titanic
Herald Bulletin, 10 April 2021

Many local history buffs and Titanic fans know that Anderson’s Maplewood Cemetery is the final resting place of Charles Hallace Romaine. He was a first-class passenger aboard the Titanic on its maiden voyage in April 1912. Romaine survived the disastrous sinking when he was allowed to take a seat in Lifeboat No. 9 after the women and children had been given a place.
 

,,,

Titanic News-Update on SS. Keewatin; Iceberg Question

 

S.S. Keewatin 2007
Public Domain (via Wikipedia)

Heritage Groups Advocate To Keep Titanic-Era Boat In Port McNicoll (Global News, 3 Feb 2021 -Video)

This is a follow up on SS Keewatin, and in video only format.

 

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

What Happened To The Giant Iceberg That Sank The Titanic?
Explica, 4 Feb 202

What is certain is that it must have remained in the same place for a long time: those huge mountains of ice float adrift until over time, they become part of the liquid water of the ocean.

It was reported today that veteran actor Christopher Plummer passed away at age 91. He was a terrific actor who elevated even ordinary movies. He shot to fame playing Captain von Trapp in The Sound of Music. He did not like how his character was drawn. Nor did the real Trapp family children. Aside from the usual liberties taken with the story (and changing the gender of the two oldest from boys to girls!) they were empathetic that their father was nothing like the stage or the movie presentation. And he certainly did not make them wear sailor’s outfits as well. At any rate, Christopher Plummer will be long remembered for the many roles he played on stage, film, and even on the small screen. RIP Christopher Plummer.


False: Titanic Photo Showing Sinking From Camera Brought Up From Ocean

Titanic at Cobh Harbor, 11 April 1912
Public Domain (Cobh Heritage Centre, Cobh, Ireland)

In early November 2020 the Taboola advertising platform promoted an advertisement claiming an old camera found in the deep ocean revealed “horrifying Titanic photos.” Placed by Floor8, it purported to show a black and white photo of Titanic. When you clicked through it was a different title claiming to show what the last days of Titanic were like, and no mention of a camera. Naturally it drew in a lot of people who wondered if it was true or not.

The clever folks at Snopes looked into it and confirmed it was false. Apparently Floor8 took a frame from Cameron’s Titanic movie and altered it to appear black and white. And it was simply a plot to get you to click through a slideshow. You probably have done this without even noticing how clever it is. You are at a website and see something like “You will not believe what the cast of Lost in Space looks like today!” or something similar. The purpose is to grab your attention so that you click through a long slideshow. Advertisers make money on this slideshow clicks, which is why it takes a frustratingly long time to get through them. In the advertising world, it is called advertising arbitrage.

That is a fancy phrase for bait and switch which more accurately says what is going on. You are lured on for one thing but directed to something else. In the retail trade, you advertise a product knowing you do not have it. When a customer asks for it, you say it is out of stock and on backorder for several months. You then direct them to the next best product, which of course is more expensive. This tactic, however, is considered deceitful and fraudulent in many jurisdictions. And will ultimately damage the reputation of the business that practices it. Now in this case there is no actual product they are selling. But they are luring you in promising something that turns out to be false, as in this case. And while there is no product, it is done to generate sales to advertisers. I have no doubt some clever prosecutor may make a case out of it.

Probably the lesson from this is when you see it is a sponsored ad on many news or entertainment sites, to not click through for an endless slideshow that pays advertisers every time you click to the next slide.

Source:

No, an ‘Old Camera’ from Titanic Wasn’t Found in ‘Deep Ocean’
Snopes.com, 20 Nov 2020
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/old-camera-titanic/

 

 

MONDAY TITANIC NEWS

Titanic lost: Belfast Telegraph front page 16 April 1912
Source: Belfast Telegraph

Titanic: One of History’s Greatest Scoops Landed by Belfast Telegraph (Belfast Telegraph 28 Aug 2020)

Even over a hundred years ago, the Belfast Telegraph was first with the news. In 1912 the newspaper reported the sinking of the Titanic on the same day that the liner went down in the north Atlantic — an amazing feat for the time. The Tele was the first newspaper in Europe to report the collision with an iceberg, after a telegram was sent to the newsroom alerting it of the disaster in what remains the earliest documented notification of the disaster.

Titanic News for January 12, 2020

Titanic Exhibit at Luxor in Las Vegas Adds 108 New Artifacts (Las Vegas Review Journal, 11 Jan 2020-Subscription Required)

Titanic Presentation In Oak Forest Explores The Irish Experience Aboard The Ship (Daily Southtown, 10 Jan 2020)

After presenting the Titanic: Irish Ship, Irish Experience in September at the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, McCann contacted Chicago Gaelic Park about bringing the multimedia presentation there. “I go over the roots of the Titanic especially being built in Belfast, Ireland. I also talk about how the Titanic impacted society before and after. The Irish ties of the Titanic are massively overlooked and are not talked about enough,” she said. “The audience that I’m reaching probably already knows that the Titanic was built in Belfast and has Irish roots but it goes a lot deeper than that. It’s something that is overshadowed by the tragic event that happened.”

Vegas’ Titanic Exhibit In Las Vegas Adding 108 New Artifacts (10news.com, 10 Jan 2020)

The new artifacts include 20 never-before-seen items that have been under careful preservation since being recovered from the ocean floor and 102 items that have never been on display in the Las Vegas exhibition. In addition, the exhibit will be “refreshed” throughout, including the addition of new technologies and a photo station where visitors will be able to pose with prop lifejackets from a major motion picture. For the first time ever, visitors will be able to take personal photos beginning Jan. 13, 2020. Additional enhancements to the Exhibition will be made throughout spring 2020 and soon, the Exhibition will be able to host private events and receptions.

Oceangate Raises $18M To Build A Bigger Submersible Fleet And Set Up Titanic Trips (Geekwire, 9 Jan 2020)

OceanGate says it has raised $18.1 million in new investment, laying the financial groundwork for an expansion of its fleet of deep-sea submersibles and setting the stage for dives to the 108-year-old Titanic shipwreck in 2021. The funding round was reported in documents filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission. OceanGate CEO and founder Stockton Rush said the figure reported in the documents, $19.3 million, would be amended to reflect the actual size of the round. He declined to identify the investors, other than to say that “it was 100% insiders.”

Sunday Titanic News

HMHS Britannic seen during World War I.
Image:public domain

Summer is here and Titanic news tends to be thin except for the occasional item auctioned off or something interesting going on. Back in May, there was an auction of fittings from Britannic, sister ship of Titanic that sank in the Aegean in World War I. When the war started, the ship was put into service as a troop ship and most of her fittings were removed. Most were auctioned off and went into private hands.

One of the items sold was maple paneling in the “colonial style” became part a bar in a private home in Dublin, Ireland. According the BBC, there was a lot of interest in the auction and many came to view the items being auctioned. The auction fetched £257,000 ($327,000)at the auction. Names of the bidders and where they reside has not been publicly disclosed.

Source: Titanic sister ship Britannic’s fittings sold at auction (BBC, 1 May 2019) https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-48112113