This is an advertisement for the International Mercantile Marine Company. J. P. Morgan, the great New York financier, as a result of his frequent voyages to England and America, conceived in 1902 the idea of a huge shipping combine, similar to the great industrial mergers with which he was familiar in the U.S. Morgan imagined that a dominant shipping company on the North Atlantic would bring stability to an admittedly unstable industry. The plan was only partially successful and when companies like Cunard rejected Morgan’s advances.
Edward John Smith, 62, was born at Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent in January 1850, the son of potter Edward Smith and Catherine Smith.
Edward John Smith attended the Etruria British School until the age of 13 when he went to Liverpool to begin a seafaring career. He apprenticed with Gibson & Co., Liverpool. He joined White Star in 1880 gaining his first command in 1887. Among the ships he would command were the first Republic, the Coptic, Majestic, Baltic, Adriatic and Olympic.
Smith served with distinction in the Boer war by commanding troopships to the Cape.
As he rose in seniority Smith gained a reputation amongst passengers and crew for quiet flamboyance. Some passengers would only sail the Atlantic in a ship commanded by him. After he became commodore of the White Star fleet in 1904, it became routine for Smith to command the line’s newest ships on their maiden voyages. It was therefore no surprise that Smith took Titanic in her maiden voyage in April 1912. This responsibility was rewarded with a salary of £1,250 per year and a no-collision bonus of $200. Because of his position as a Commander in the Royal Naval Reserve Smith had the distinction of being able to fly the Blue Duster of the R.N.R., most ships flew the Red Duster of the merchant marine.
Smith was married to Eleanor and they had a young daughter Helen Melville. The family lived in an imposing red brick, twin-gabled house “Woodhead” on Winn Road, Portswood, Southampton.
On April 10 1912 Edward John Smith, wearing a bowler hat and a long overcoat, took a taxi from his home to Southampton docks. He came aboard the Titanic at 7 am to prepare for the board of Trade muster at 8.00. He immediately went to his cabin to get the sailing report from Chief Officer Henry Wilde.
The Night of the sinking: Around 11: 40, Captain Smith was awoken by the collision and rushed to the bridge. He received the report of the accident from Murdoch and then made a quick inspection of the ship with Thomas Andrews. He immediately ordered the boats prepared but wavered when it came to giving the order to load and lower them Lightoller had to approach him for the order which he eventually gave.
Surprisingly little is known about Smith’s actions in the last two hours of the ships life. His legendary skills of leadership seem to have left him, he was curiously indecisive and unusually cautious.
He was last seem in the bridge area having given the final order to abandon ship. He appears to have made no attempt to save himself. His body, if recovered, was never identified.
A large statue of Captain Smith was unveiled by his daughter Helen on 29 July 1914 in Lichfield, England. The sculptor was Lady Kathleen Scott (b. 1870, d. 1947) widow of Captain Robert Falcon Scott, “Scott of the Antarctic.” A plaque which was placed on Hanley Town Hall in his memory in 1913 was later removed to Etruria Middle School.
Olympic’s Promenade deck and windows of the First Class Smoke Room
A Night to Remember - Titanic’s final moments
“Another thing that is absolutely fascinating is this idea of tell a presence. When you fly an ROV [a remotely-operated vehicle, video robot], after the first few minutes and really for the subsequent hours at a time, you completely forget your physical human existence. And you become that vehicle; it’s almost like you can feel what it’s feeling.” — James Cameron
Only existing footage of the RMS Titanic [x]
If you’re interested in any sort of Titanic documentaries, films, and other media, then check out this new blog!
Artwork I did for a booklet on the SS Nomadic I published a couple of years ago. I did the history of the ship in a comic book style.
Here are… Firstly, Nomadic and the other tender, Traffic being loaded with troops during the first World War. The second one is Nomadic being fitted out in Belfast in the shadow of the Titanic. The third one, Nomadic sailing out with passengers for the Titanic.
Titanic: Birth of a Legend
A Discovery Channel docu-drama about the construction of Titanic, and the events surrounding its construction and the lives of a few of those building her.
Rare photo taken on board Mackay Bennett in 1912 will be auctioned off next month in Devizes, Wiltshire. [x]
The ship’s priest, Reverend Hind, is seen with body bags stacked on the windswept deck during funeral, records show that 166 of 306 bodies retrieved by Mackay Bennett were buried at sea.
Most of the victims dropped into the Atlantic were believed to have been chosen because they had no means of identification or were third-class passengers and therefore could not afford a funeral.
The Mackay Bennett spent five days retrieving bodies from the wreck site and had to request for a second vessel to join it because there were so many. This photo shows that the deck was pretty much full up with the victims.The Mackay Bennet was a Canadian cable laying ship and the owners of the Titanic, White Star Line, contracted it at a rate of £300 a day to recover the bodies.
It left Halifax, Nova Scotia, on April 17 and arrived at the wreck site on April 21.
The crew conducted burials at sea on the evenings of April 21, 22 and 23 and then of the afternoon of April 24, when it is thought the picture was taken.
In an account of the burials, Reverend Hind later wrote: ‘Anyone attending a burial at sea will most surely lose the common impression of the awfulness of a grave in the mighty deep, the wild Atlantic may rage and toss but far below in the calm untroubled depth they rest in peace.’
RMS Titanic during her outfitting. Notice the promenade deck is still open which will soon be closed.
Link to image
Taken from “Titanic And Her Sisters"-Facebook Group
HISTORY MEME - WORLD VERSION ♛ [05/08] objects : Wallace H. Hartley’s violin
101 years after Titanic’s sinking, violin’s conductor of the ship had been found and authenticated. It belung to Wallace Hartley, the Titanic’s conductor. The same man who won fame by playing until the ship sunk in the depth of Atlantic. His corpse stayed 10 days in the ocean before being retrieved. The violin had been found in a suitcase fastened to him. His mother knew that he would have died gripping it. It was a present from his fiancée with a little silver plaque :”To Wallace, for our engagement. Maria”. Wallace Hartley is one of the most important well-known figure because of his incredible courage. And his violin is the most famous and important object of this tragedy.