The RMS Titanic was on its maiden voyage when tragedy struck. The ship that was deemed unsinkable struck an iceberg on April 14, 1912, and it sunk. There were thousands on board, and only hundreds survived. Here are 33 rare Titanic sinking photos taken just before and after it happened.
The Titanic got its name due to its size. It is the biggest passenger vessel in the world, and it is 882-feet long, 175-feet high, and it weighed 46,328-tons.
It Could Have Been Worse
There were 2,224 people on board when the Titanic sank, and only 710 survived. It could have been much worse since the maximum capacity was 3,327. They just didn’t sell all of the tickets for the maiden voyage.
Most of the people who died on the Titanic were third-class passengers. Their quarters were at the bottom of the ship, which was the first section of the ship to be flooded. The gates were locked to keep the third-class passengers in their part of the ship, and in the chaos, the doors weren’t unlocked. This left many passengers trapped.
Ticket Prices Were High
The cost of tickets was expensive, even based on today’s standards. First-class tickets cost between $30 to $4,350. Second-class tickets cost between $12 and $60, and third-class tickets cost between $8 and $40.
Morgan Robertson Predicted the Sinking
Fourteen years before the Titanic sank, Morgan Robertson, wrote a novel called The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility. In the book, the largest ship in the world sank. The measurements were identical to the Titanic, and they were both going the same speed during the collision. They both sank in April, and they both struck the iceberg on the starboard side. Both ships didn’t have enough lifeboats for everyone. Some people believed he was clairvoyant, but he claims to have extensive knowledge of sailing.
The RMS in the ship’s name means Royal Mail Ship.
More Crew Members Than Passengers Died
There were 908 crew members on board, and a higher number of crew members died than second and third-class men. Most were in the boiler rooms that flooded on impact. Many died trying to save passengers, and all five postmen died trying to save the mail.
Men Men Knew They Wouldn’t Survive
Many men knew they wouldn’t make it since women and children were put on the lifeboats first. John Jacob Aster IV, the richest man on the ship, was worth $85 million. He told his wife he would be fine, and he would see her in the morning, but he knew that he would die.
Many Famous People Barely Survived
Many famous people purchased tickets but never got on the ship. These include Milton Hershey, Guglielmo Marconi, and JP Morgan. Had these men got on the boat, the 20th century would be much different.
The Titanic required 600 tons of coal each day to power the engines. The employees were called firemen, and s\they shoved the coal into the furnaces.
The ship had four stacks, and the engines ventilated the smoke through the funnels. When the boiler room flooded, the men worried that the cold water would hit the warm steam, causing an explosion. To prevent this, they had to vent the steam as quickly as possible.
Many of the Crew Weren’t Sailors
Of the 421 stewards on the ship, only 60 survived, and 48 of them were women. This is a photo of steward Thomas Whiteley, who broke his leg when he was hit by a falling piece of debris while getting on the lifeboat. A stewardess named Violet Jessop was on the RMS Olympic when it collided with a warship the year before. She survived the Titanic, ad the sinking of the Britannic four years later. She became known as Miss Unsinkable.
The Captain Didn’t Make the Final Decision
The night of the sinking ship, Captain Edward Smith had retired for the evening. This left First officer William McMaster Murdoch in charge. When he heard about the iceberg, he was the one to order the engines to be stopped.
Seconds Before Impact
The iceberg was spotted by Frederick Fleet, just a minute before the collision. He survived, but dealt with a life of depression due to the tragedy. He hung himself in January 1965.
The Captain Was Ready To Retire
Captain Edward J. Smith has a long and successful career with White Star Line. He was planning to retire when the Titanic reached New York City.
Many Ice Warnings Were Received
Several ships reported “field and pack ice” to the Titanic. Because the radio operators were so busy dealing with the backlog of passenger messengers, only two of the six messages made it to the bridge.
No Binoculars In the Crow’s Nest
There was a mix-up in the Southampton Port, and binoculars weren’t brought on board. Fredrick Fleet says that had he had binoculars, he could have seen the iceberg much earlier.
Tickets Were Already Sold For the Return Voyage
The ship was scheduled to dock in two boarding spots in Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland. The Titanic was scheduled to stop in Manhattan, so first-class and second-class passengers could disembark. It was then expected to head to Ellis Island so that third-class passengers could go through immigration. The titanic was scheduled to leave New York on April 20th, and the tickets for that voyage were already sold.
Ships that had sunk in the past often took 12 hours to go down completely. It took the Titanic just two hours and 40 minutes to go down. Had it sunk like the others, everyone would have survived because the Carpathia arrived on the scene at 4 am.
The Iceberg Stayed Afloat
The massive ship went down, but the iceberg stayed afloat. This photo was taken the day after the sinking, and you can see the black scuff marks from the ship.
The Youngest Passenger
Elizabeth Gladys Millvina Dean was just nine months old when she boarded the ship with her mother, father, and older brother. Her father didn’t make it, and the family decided to return to Southampton. Elizabeth was described as “the darling of the ship.”
No Survivors Left
Elizabeth was the youngest passenger on board and the last surviving passenger. She died in 2009 at the age of 97.
There were a couple of food options on board. On B deck, a la Carte Restaurant was open for first-class passengers. They could also eat at the regular dining hall.
The Titanic Was Modeled After The Ritz Hotel
The ship’s designers wanted the Titanic to be elegant, so they modeled it after the Ritz Hotel in London. It had a grand staircase, squash courts, a swimming pool, and a gym. First-class passengers could also enjoy reading rooms and smoking rooms.
The Captain asked the orchestra to play happy tunes while passengers got on the lifeboats. He thought it would prevent a panic. In the end, they played hymns for the stranded passengers, and all eight members of the orchestra died.
The Titanic had room for 64 lifeboats, but the designers decided to put just 20 onboard to provide uninterrupted views of the ocean. Also, the crew was not adequately trained with the boats. Had all 64 boats been on board, and if the crew was trained correctly, everyone could have survived.
Many People Were Never Found
After the sinking, eight ships were sent to the scene. Many bodies were unidentifiable and received burials at sea. Some weren’t found for months later. Only one-third of the bodies were recovered.
Experts believed that it took just 15 minutes for the ship to hit the ocean floor. It hit so hard that it dug large holes into the bottom of the ocean. The impact caused the decks to collapse on each other, packing it deeper into the seabed.
Due to the depth of the ocean and the inaccurate coordinates, it took 75 years to find the remains of the Titanic. Robert Ballard found it in 1985.
Today, you can buy tickets to see the remains of the titanic. Deep Ocean Experiences charges $59,000 per person to see the remains.
George Washington Vanderbilt II
The heir to the Vanderbilt fortune had a ticket to sail on the Titanic. When his sister-in-law told him about the potential problems of sailing on a ship’s maiden voyage, he changed his mind about going. Before changing his mind, he had already sent his luggage and servants on the ship. One of his servants died.
Henry Clay Frick
American steel tycoon, Henry Clay Frick, had a ticket for the Titanic’s maiden voyage. When his wife sprained her ankle, he decided they would both say home so she could rest. Had she not been injured, they both could have died.
The Titanic’s head baker, Charles Joughin, survived by riding the ship down while it sank. He was in the freezing waters for two hours before a lifeboat rescued him. He was drinking whiskey the whole time, which he believes kept him calm and warm. Liam Tuohy played him in the movie.