The RMS Titanic was, and is, the most famous ship in history. The British passenger liner was, at the time of its construction, the largest ship in the world. It was the second of three Olympic-class ships built by the White Star Line, constructed in the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and designed by Thomas Andrews.
It wasn't only the Titanic's size that made it famous. On the morning of April 15, 1912, the Titanic sank into the North Atlantic Ocean after hitting an iceberg during its headline-making maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Approximately 1,500 people died in the accident.
The photos and facts in this article will show the Titanic in a light that you may never have seen it in before. Like this spooky photo of an iceberg that was taken by another ship the day after the Titanic sank. An iceberg like this was responsible for sinking the Titanic.
When it was built, the RMS Titanic was the single largest vessel in the world. It was unveiled to the public in 1912. Although its size has long since been surpassed many times over, in 1912, it was stunningly huge and nobody had ever seen anything like it.
The Titanic was 882 feet long. About 10,000 lamp bulbs were used on the ship. The biggest passenger ship currently in operation is the Harmony of the Sea, which is 1,188 feet long.
There were 2,224 passengers aboard the Titanic when it sank. Of those, only 710 survived. It was one of the deadliest disasters in maritime history.
There were 109 children aboard the Titanic when it sank. 53 of them died in the sinking. It was truly a tragedy.
It cost a lot of money to board the Titanic. A first-class ticket cost $4,350. A second-class ticket cost $1,750 and a lowly third-class ticket only cost $30.
An author named Morgan Robertson published a book titled The Wreck of the Titan: Or, Futility fourteen years before the Titanic embarked on its doomed maiden voyage. The novel was about the largest ship in the world, named the Titan, hitting an iceberg and sinking. The coincidence is a real head scratcher.
The Titanic was manned by 885 officers. Literally. Only 23 of the officers aboard the RMS Titanic were female.
The Titanic required more than six hundred tons of coal to keep it powered, every day. When it departed from Southampton, it had over six thousand tons of coal on board. It was shoveled into three huge furnaces by workers called "firemen," who worked in awful conditions.
The Titanic had four iconic "stacks." Three of them were exhaust funnels that ventilated smoke from the engines and the fourth was an air vent.
The maids, waiters and waitresses were referred to as "stewards" aboard the Titanic. There were 421 stewards working the ship and only sixty of them survived the wreck.
The bellboys aboard the Titanic were very young. They were as young as fourteen, hauling luggage and doing custodial tasks. All of them lost their lives in the disaster.
This is First Officer William McMaster, who issued a command for the ship to attempt a hard turn when a spotter alerted him to the looming iceberg. Many people believe that the Titanic may not have sunk had it hit the iceberg head-on.
The Titanic's captain was Edward J. Smith, pictured here. The maiden voyage of the Titanic was supposed to be his last voyage before retiring. His last words to his crew were "Well boys, do your best for the women and children, and look out for yourself."
Four days into the voyage, the crew was notified six different times about potential sea ice hazards. However, they persisted. It proved to be a terrible decision.
There is a theory that the people manning the Titanic's crow's nest did not have binoculars. Perhaps if they did have binoculars, they may have been able to spot the iceberg in time to ward off disaster.
In the film Titanic, the ship's orchestra plays as the ship is sinking. This isn't creative license, the orchestra really did play as the Titanic was sinking into the waves. They played to try to calm and console the frenzied passengers.
Unfortunately, the iceberg that sank the Titanic was only spotted thirty seconds before it collided with the hull. Not enough time to do much about it.
All British ships, whether they were military ships or civilian, had the acronym "RMS" in their names. RMS stands for "Royal Mail Ship."
The Titanic was docked at Cherbourg, France and Queenstown, Ireland before it undertook its voyage across the Atlantic. It's seen here at night, lit up brilliantly.
Many people have attributed the huge number of fatalities when the ship sank to inadequate lifeboats. There were only enough lifeboats to hold 1,178 people.
When the Titanic hit the iceberg, it took about 2 hours and 40 minutes for the ship to sink entirely below the ocean's surface.
It probably took about fifteen minutes for the Titanic's wreckage to settle to the ocean floor. It now sits in about 12,500 feet of water.
A fleet of eight ships was sent to the area where the Titanic sank in order to retrieve dead bodies from the water.
The last living survivor of the Titanic disaster died in 2009. She was named Elizabeth Gladys Millvina Dean.
When Gladys died, she was cremated and her ashes were scattered at the Southampton docks. It was the same spot where she boarded the Titanic with her family, when she was just a baby.
There was a restaurant on the B deck, accessible to first class ticket holders only. It was called à la Carte Restaurant, owned by a man named Luigi Gatti. The restaurant was staffed by 66 people, all of whom died in the wreck, except for two female cashiers and one male clerk. Gatti also lost his life.
The interior of the Titanic was allegedly designed with the Ritz Hotel, London, in mind. It was meant to be extremely opulent, and was.
The Titanic sank in very deep water, which made it very difficult to locate the wreckage. It wasn't discovered until 1985, when Robert Ballard finally located it off the coast of Newfoundland.
If you want to see the wreckage of the Titanic with your own eyes, you can. Assuming you have $59,000 to spare. A private company called Deep Ocean Expeditions will take you down there if you book a trip.
This man, named Clive Palmer, is making a full-scale replica of the Titanic. Its name? Titanic II. Want to take a ride? No?
The richest passenger aboard the Titanic on its maiden voyage was John Jacob Astor IV. Astor was worth an estimated $85 million, about two billion in modern dollars. He died in the sinking, while helping put his pregnant wife on a lifeboat. The wife survived.
Many well-known figures of the day purchased tickets for the voyage that they thankfully never redeemed. J.P. Morgan, famous robber baron, held a ticket. So did Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt, Guglielmo Marconi (the guy who invented the radio telegraph) and Milton S. Hershey, founder of Hershey's chocolate.
George Washington Vanderbilt II, grandson of Cornelius Vanderbilt and heir to the family fortune, was originally supposed to be aboard the Titanic. When a friend of his aired concerns about problems with the ship, Vanderbilt changed his mind. Good thing he did.
Author Theodore Dreiser was also supposed to be onboard the Titanic. After its sinking, he wrote, "To think of a ship as immense as the Titanic, new and bright, sinking in endless fathoms of water. And the two thousand passengers routed like rats from their berths only to float helplessly in miles of water, praying and crying!"
Henry Clay Frick, famous steel magnate, was also supposed to board the Titanic. Before the voyage, Frick's wife twisted her ankle. They decided not to take the trip due to her injury.
Guglielmo Marconi, inventor of the radio telegraph and winner of the Nobel Prize, was supposed to be on the Titanic. However, he decided to switch to the Lusitania instead. It proved an extremely good decision.
The Titanic cost about $7,500,00 to build. It was not only the largest ship in the world, it was also one of the most expensive. Twenty horses were needed just to transport the anchor. Two workers also died in the construction of the ship.
The Titanic sent out a distress signal that was actually received by another ship called the SS Californian. The Californian, for some reason, chose not to respond. It came under intense criticism and was then sunk by a German submarine three years later.
There was originally supposed to be a lifeboat drill on April 14. However, for unknown reasons, it was canceled. Had they conducted the drill, they may have realized just how inadequate they were to handle the passengers in event of a disaster.