21 Rare and Mesmerizing Photos of The Iconic Cruise Liner RMS Titanic And Its Aftermath
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that became famous when it sank on April 15, 1912, after colliding with an iceberg on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City, USA.
RMS Titanic was the largest ship afloat at the time and was called unsinkable. Its sinking sent a big shock wave around the world and it resulted in the formation of International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which governs the maritime safety to this day.
1Titanic – the ship of dreams
RMS Titanic was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and her architect was Thomas Andrews. It was commandeered by Captain Edward Smith and he went down with the ship as she sank in the cold waters of the ocean. Titanic left with 2,240 passengers and made its way across the Atlantic ocean toward its destination, New York City.
2Titanic, Britannic, and Olympic
Titanic was not the only ship but was part of three sister ships with Olympic and Britannic being the other two. However, Titanic was the biggest of all three at 882 feet 9 inches long, maximum breadth of 92 feet 6 inches and had the total height of 104 feet from the base of the keel to the top of the bridge.
Titanic was constructed by White Star Line in order to compete with the Lusitania and Mauretania built by rival shipyard by the name of Cunard Line. The construction of RMS Titanic was funded by American J.P. Morgan and his International Mercantile Marine Co., began on 31 March 1909.
4On sea trials
The ship could carry 3,547 passengers and crew. The total cost of Titanic construction amounted to $7.5 million. She was the heaviest ship of its time weighing over 46,328 tons. Its design was done by Thomas Andrews and construction was overseen by Lord William Pirrie who was the director of Harland Wolf and White Star, and Alexander Carlisle, the shipyard’s chief draughtsman, and general manager.
5The Iceberg that sank Titanic
Titanic’s captain Edward Smith had received iceberg warnings throughout the voyage. Lookouts Fredrick Fleet and Reginald Lee marked an iceberg straight ahead of the Titanic, near the Grand Banks of Newfoundland at 23.40 on April 14, 1912.
6Last lifeboat off Titanic
Despite the best efforts of the crew of Titanic to maneuver it away from the iceberg, the side of the ship hit the iceberg and it damaged the hull of the ship, which took in water, flooding the first five watertight compartments. This weighed the ship down and more compartments flooded.
7A collage of disaster
Lifeboats were ordered to release and a distress call was sent out at midnight on 15th April 1912. Ships including Mount Temple, Frankfurt, and Titanic sister ship Olympic received signals but were too far away to reach immediately and rescue Titanic.
8Survivors of Titanic on Carpathia
Lifeboat 7 was the first lifeboat to be launched from the ship with 28 people on board despite having a capacity of 68 people. Around 2:10, the stern raised out of the water, revealing the propellers and the last two lifeboats floated off the deck, one upside down and the other filled with water.
9The crowd waiting for Titanic’s survivors
The electrical system failed, the ship broke off into two pieces, and the bow went under. On April 15, about 2:20 am, Titanic submerged in the ocean. RMS Carpathia was the first ship to reach the spot at around 4 am and it took 710 survivors onboard and took them to New York City.
10A token of Thanks
Captain Arthur Henry Rostron of RMS Carpathia received a token of thanks in form of a silver loving cup that Titanic survivors presented to him in May 1912. RMS Carpathia used wireless to convey the sad and shocking news of the sinking of Titanic in the Ocean and over 1,500 people died.
11A Gym aboard Titanic
Titanic was a modern marvel filled with amenities for passengers. Tickets for the Titanic capped out at $4,350 (which is more than $95,860 in 2008). There were wonderfully built restaurants in the ship which served many cuisines of food.
12The crowd outside White Star Line offices
As RMS Carpathia sent out the news of Titanic’s sinking to the world, people started crowding at the White Star Line’s offices in London, New York, Montreal, Southampton, Liverpool, and Belfast. People from Southampton were hit the hardest as they lost the most relatives or known ones in the tragedy.
13The surviving crew of Titanic
The death toll of Titanic disaster was put in between 1,490 and 1,635 people. Investigations were carried out in details about how the disaster happened and into the role of SS Californian, which had ignored the stress signals from the Titanic and was only miles away from Titanic and would have reached much sooner than Carpathia to save many more lives.
14Titanic dining room
White Star Line chartered the cable ship CS Mackay-Bennett from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, to recover bodies. 333 victims were retrieved, out of which 328 were retrieved by Canadian ships and 5 by other ships. Many 3rd class passengers and crew were buried at sea in order to embalm and save first-class passengers.
15Deck Chairs of Titanic
It was thought that Titanic had sunk in one piece for many years and many schemes and plans were made to raise the wreck from the ocean. However, the wreck lies over 12,000 feet (3,700 m) below the surface, in a location where the water pressure is over 6,500 pounds per square inch (450 bar), making retrieval of wreck impossible.
16Titanic victims being buried at sea
September 1, 1985, was the day when a Franco-American expedition led by Robert Ballard succeeded in finding and reaching the wreck of Titanic. They discovered that the ship has split apart and the two parts lay a third of the mile apart.
Many theories have been put forth how and why the Titanic sank. Some say construction materials used in building the ship was faulty. Initially, it was thought that the iceberg had torn a hole in the hull of the ship, but it was found that the hull was buckled inside. Other theories suggest that the ship was going too fast and couldn’t avoid the collision with the iceberg.
18Titanic prepares to leave port
The ocean was also supposedly calm, which was unnatural as waves in the oceans would have would have broken over the base of the iceberg giving lookouts sooner warning. It was also found by BBC that the rudders of the ship were designed on basis of an 18th-century sailing ship, meaning they were technically deficient and could not turn that big of a size of the ship in the small amount of time, to avoid the iceberg.
19People read the list of survivors
The wreck of Titanic was brought under the scope of UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage in 2001. This keeps parties from exploiting, pillaging, sale or dispersion of the wreck.
20Straus Memorial in New York City
Famous movie director James Cameron visited the shipwreck in 1995 and shot actual footage of the Titanic resting in the ocean. He was enamored with the wreck and began production on his magnum opus Titanic, which had a production budget of $200 mn and was the most expensive film ever made at that time.
21Titanic at night
Titanic went on to become a huge blockbuster, winning 11 Academy Awards including Best Picture and Best Director for Cameron. It grossed over $1.85 bn in its initial run and a 3D version was released in 2012 to commemorate the centennial of the sinking earned an extra $343 mn, taking the overall earning to $2.18 bn.