The Carpathia at Cuanrd’s pier 59 after having returned to New York to drop off Titanic survivors.
I don’t know anything about coal or fires but I just looked it up and:
These are approximate temperatures since they’re subject to conditions, but it seems to me like the coal fire would have had some impact in weakening the steel, though the water pressure would have been much more significant. I’m not any sort of expert though.
My personal favourites are A Night to Remember by Walter Lord, Titanic: An Illustrated History by Don Lynch, and Titanic Remembered 1912-2012 by Beau Riffenburgh, but I’ll read just about any Titanic book I can get my hands on.
I also have a list of books and other resources on my resources page.
And ugh, I know, I absolutely hate it when people think the Titanic was so much weaker than the other ships of the time, and that’s what caused the sinking.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ms. Violet Jessop, stewardess, nurse, and quite possibly either the luckiest or unluckiest woman of the 20th century depending on how you look at it. Jessop served as a stewardess for the White Star Line in the early 20th century on a very famous class of ocean liners, during very eventful, well events.
-In 1911, on the RMS Olympics 5th crossing to New York, the Olympic was going down the channel at Southampton. The suction from the wash of the propellers caught the British destroyer HMS Hawke, made her rudder useless, and drew her right into the side of the Olympic, slicing through a bunch of 2nd class cabins and engine spaces and flooding two watertight compartments. This event and the line’s desire to get the Olympic back into service as quickly as possible meant all work stopped on the still unfinished Titanic. The Titanic’s original maiden voyage was scheduled for February 1912, but this delay along with the Olympic losing a propeller blade a few months later pushed it back until…..
-April, 1912! Violet Jessop is signed up as part of the crew for the maiden voyage of the newest in the Olympic class of ships, the RMS Titanic, and well we all know what happened there, Violet was one of the survivors. So let’s skip ahead a bit, get some war going on, have a lot of merchant ships converted to troop carriers and hospitals ships, and…..
-November, 1916! Guess who was on the HMHS Britannic as a nurse when it sank in the Aegean sea after striking a mine? In fact not only was she on it, but despite the fact most of the 1,066 people on board the ship got off in orderly fashion, 30 died when two lifeboats were prematurely launched early on before the order had been given to launch and sucked into the still turning propellers. Guess who was on one of those two lifeboats, and managed to live. Yup, you guessed right.
BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE. IT GETS BETTER AND CREEPIER:
Years after her retirement, she got a telephone call on a stormy night from a woman claiming to be the baby she saved from the sinking Titanic. The voice asked Violet if she saved a baby on that dreadful night. “Yes”, Jessop replied. The voice then said “Well, I was that baby”, laughed, and then hung up. Her friend, and biographer John Maxtone-Graham said it was most likely some children in the village playing a joke on her. She replied, “No, John, I had never told that story to anyone before I told you now.” To this day, the baby she saved has never been positively identified.
So, Violet Jessop, Luckiest woman of the 20th century? Or ship destroyer extraordinaire? I originally posted this 2 years ago, but given it’s the anniversary of the Britannic sinking, I was thinking about this and how weird it is and thought it should come back. And to those with more interest, here’s my short post on the HMS Britannic:
Also of note, John Maxtone-Graham mentioned above wrote a fantastic book called “The Only way to Cross” about the heyday of ocean liner travel on the North Atlantic between the late 1890’s to the 1950’s which is part narrative history about the ships themselves, and part about life on board the ships.
The Titanic being built in Belfast circa 1910. At that time the Titanic & sister ship Olympic were the world’s biggest ships.
'Titanic' postcard….Actually the ship pictured on the card is her sister ship, Olympic. These cards were printed before the Titanic was completed, so they did not have any photos of her at sea. On the back of the card the inscription says 'Had a lovely time on the steamer' It was sent by somebody who was on the ship before the ill fated voyage and is therefore quite a collectors item.
R.M.S. Olympic at Belfast Lough being fitted out weeks prior to her maiden voyage.
A newspaper reporting on the ongoing American inquiry into the Titanic disaster.
Though I’m not sure if the coal fire has been 100% verified.