Titanic was 883 feet long (1/6 of a mile), 92 feet wide and weighed 46,328 tons. It was 104 feet tall from keel to bridge, almost 35 feet of which were below the waterline… even so, it stood taller above the water than most urban buildings of the time. There were three real smoke stacks; a fourth, dummy stack was added largely to increase the impression of the huge size and power and to vent smoke from the numerous kitchens and galleys. Titantic was the largest movable object ever made by man. The ship’s immense size and complexity is illustrated by an incident recalled by Second Officer Lightoller. There was a gangway door on the starboard side aft large enough to drive a horse and cart through. Yet three officers who joined the ship during the preparations spent a whole day simply trying to find their way to it.
Moreover, it was designed to be a marvel of modern safety technology. Titantic had a double hull of 1-inch thick steel plates and a system of 16 water tight compartments, sealed by massive doors which could be instantly triggered by a single electric switch on the bridge, or even automatically by electric water sensors. The press began to call it “unsinkable.”
It’s accommodations were the most modern and luxurious on any ocean, and included electric light and heat in every room, electric elevators, a swimming pool, a squash court, a Turkish Bath, a gymnasium with a mechanical horse and mechanical camel to keep riders fit, and staterooms and first class facilities to rival the best hotels on the Continent. First class passengers would glide down a six-story, glass-domed grand staircase to enjoy haute cuisine in the sumptuous first class dining saloon that filled the width of the ship on D Deck. For those who desired a more intimate atmosphere, Titanic also offered a stately à la carte restaurant, the chic Palm Court and Verandah restaurant, and the festive Cafe Parisien. She offered two musical ensembles of the best musicians on the Atlantic, many of them lured from rival liners. There were two libraries, first and second class. Even the third class cabins were more luxurious than the first class cabins on some lesser steamships, and boasted amenities like indoor toilet facilities that some of Titanic’s emigrant passengers had not enjoyed in their own homes.
The original design called for 32 lifeboats. However, White Star management felt that the boat deck would look cluttered, and reduced the number to 20, for a total life boat capacity of 1178. This actually exceeded the regulations of the time, even though Titanic was capable of carrying over 3500 people (passengers and crew).
The first voyage of the Titanic lured the very best people: British nobility, American industrialists, the very cream of New York and Philadelphia society. It also attracted many poor emigrants, hoping to start a new life in America or Canada.
On the night of April 14, at 11:40, a lookout in the crow’s nest spotted an iceberg dead ahead. He notified the bridge and First Officer Murdoch ordered the ship turned hard to port. He signaled the engine room to reverse direction, full astern. The ship turned slightly, but it was much too large, moving much too fast, and the iceberg was much too close. 37 seconds later, the greatest maritime disaster in history began. During that night of heroism, terror and tragedy, 705 lives were saved, 1502 lives were lost, and many legends were born.
Although there was a ship hand named J. Dawson onboard the voyage, which is where the similarities stop. James Dawson, an Irish coal trimmer is now one of the most celebrated and visited graves of the Fairview and Titanic Cemeteries. Many, confusing him with the fictional character portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, travel many miles to pay tribute to this man.
He was hired on as a coal trimmer, one of the lowliest positions on the ship. Working in unbearable conditions this 23 year old gent from Dublin, Ireland, more than likely had little else to look forward to and hoped for better days from his work on the Titanic. His “trimmer” his duties included moving coal within the ship to keep it balanced and keeping the “stokers” bins full for shoveling. It is very fitting that he is now among the heroes of recent days. Many people visit his grave because of the “Titanic Movie”. They relate him to the character Jack Dawson played by Leonardo Decaprio.
Now at Cosi in Columbus Ohio you can see artifacts recovered from the Titanic. Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition is a collection of more than 300 artifacts recovered from the final resting place of the R.M.S. Titanic, 2.5 miles below the surface of the North Atlantic Ocean. These objects are chosen and displayed in such a way that tells the true, compelling story of the world’s most famous ship.
Visitors to this 15,000 square-foot exhibit experience remarkable room recreations-including the ship’s fabled Grand Staircase-and hear stories of the passengers and crew through a compelling audio tour. As visitors touch an iceberg they will feel how cold it was for passengers thrown into the water on the night of Titanic’s sinking, April 14, 1912. In the Memorial Room, visitors will learn about the aftermath of the disaster, the relief funds, and the efforts to find the over 1,500 lost loved ones.
Before entering the exhibit you are given a reproduction of a White Star Line boarding pass. On this boarding pass is the name and story of an actual Titanic passenger.
The actual wreck of the Titanic lies 323 miles southeast of Newfoundland, 2.5 miles beneath the surface of the ocean. There has only been one iceberg and its history lasted for a minute. It looked out of the calm night in the western Atlantic on 14 April 1912, and a minute was all the time it took to rip open the side of the biggest ship in the world, doom some 1,500 people and crack the complacency of the civilized world.” Visitors are invited to touch an iceberg a sheet of real ice. In the early morning hours of April 15, 1912, the waters of the North Atlantic were colder than this ice.
This gallery provides a listing of all the names of those who were lost and who were saved. The visitor looks through the list to find the name that is on the boarding pass they hold.
There are personal items belonging to passengers at the exhibit. Visitors see a dramatic, full scale re-creation of the Titanic’s famous Grand Staircase. Artifacts include a crystal decanter and carafe with the White Star insignia, a teapot, silverware, china, cooking pots, elegant vases, suitcase, postcards, and paper baggage tags. Over 300 artifacts recovered from the ship tell the story that guides visitors through a chronological journey of the RMS Titanic-from the construction yards where the ship was conceived and built, to the gangway of the Titanic herself.
The Titanic Exhibit is only at Cosi until Sept 5th 2005. It will transport you back to a time of a horrible disaster. It will leave you feeling great sorrow for this tragedy and loss of life, hopes and dreams.
I don’t really feel its alright taking artifacts from the Titanic. It’s like digging up a grave and taking the jewery right off them, but the grave is a ship and it is at the bottom of the ocean. I understand why people want to have a few items in museums. Though it seems like robbing a grave.