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Old 1st November 2018, 20:34   #1
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Default Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

So a travelogue long time coming from me. I am not sure if this is a pure travelogue so Mods please move this to the appropriate thread if this is not the correct place for this.

Also, apologies for the long post up front. Feel free to skip sections you already know or feeling bored off. Feedback is definitely appreciated so that I can change or modify my style of writing.

Just to keep the record straight, most of the search has been done via Google, Wiki and a good friend of mine. I was fortunate enough to be part of this search and due credit has been given at the end of the post to respective sites where the data has been taken from. I have only compiled this post after visiting the places and some of the artifacts and instances have been referred from various online sources.

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For many years, historians have been in awe of the Titanic. Many books have been written and many movies have been made around one of the most famous ships of all time which was also deemed as the unsinkable. But fate had it otherwise. On its maiden voyage, the ship hit an iceberg and the so-called unsinkable ship sank to the bottom of the sea.

Many of us have seen the movie “Titanic” by James Cameron. One of the most watched movies during the time it was released. There is another movie on the Titanic called “A night to remember” by Walter Lord. These two movies are definitely worth watching and they have captured the events in a very realistic manner.

But what intrigued me more was, what happened to the people who were rescued and when they arrived in New York, what were the first things they did. Where did they stay? Where exactly in New York did they arrive? Where was the Titanic supposed to be arriving? Armed with such thoughts and questions, I began a search for these answers.

So let us begin with a brief history of RMS Titanic. Those of you are already aware, can skip directly to the next section.

RMS Titanic was bound for New York from Southampton in England. The name “Titanic” means “Gigantic” in Greek mythology and was sure gigantic in terms of its size which made it one of the largest and definitely one of the most famous ships across the world.

Titanic was owned by a British Shipping company called White Star Line. Their main rival Cunard had recently launched the fastest passenger ship in service back then and White Star Line was under a lot of pressure to upgrade their fleet in response to the Cunard giants.

For those of you who do not know what the RMS stands for in RMS Titanic, RMS is the abbreviation for Royal Mail Ship used for seagoing vessels that carry mail under contract to the British Royal Mail.

Ok, so now getting back to Titanic. Titanic was 882 feet long and width of 92 feet. Total height was 104 feet and weight of 46,328 gross register tons. Titanic was equipped with three main engines – two reciprocating four cylinder, triple expansion steam engines, and one centrally placed low-pressure Parsons turbine – each driving a propeller.

With an estimated passenger load of 2435 people and an additional 892 crew, Titanic started its maiden journey from Southampton at about 1 PM on 10th April 1912 under Captain Edward Smith and Chief Engineer Thomas Andrews.

After narrowly averting an accident, at the port, as the Titanic passed some of the other liners moored, her huge displacement caused some of the smaller ships to be lifted by a bulge of water and drop them into a trough. The mooring cables could not take the sudden strain and snapped causing one of the liners to swing dangerously towards Titanic. A nearby tugboat came to the rescue and the disaster was averted. The two ships missed each other by about 4 feet and this incident delayed the departure of Titanic by an hour.

Titanic’s first stop was at the French port of Cherbourg on the same day 10th April sometime around 7 PM. After boarding additional passengers, the Titanic resumed its journey under a cold and windy weather.

The next stop was Queenstown, in Ireland. Titanic docked here on the 11th April and after boarding the last set of passengers, weighed anchor for the last time before starting the fateful journey westward towards the Atlantic.

Titanic had received several warnings about ice and icebergs from ships including Mesaba and SS Californian in the evening of 14th April (the fateful night) but senior wireless operator Jack Philips decided to ignore them. In fact, there is a speculation that SS Californian had actually seen the rockets being fired and had the captain acted immediately, many more lives could have been saved. But that is another story for another day.

As fate would have it, Titanic struck an iceberg at 11:40 PM, after covering an approximate distance of 5000KM, and began sinking. Titanic finally vanished below the surface of the water at 2:20 AM on 15th April with more than 1500 souls on board. She was only 600KM from the Newfoundland Sea coast in Canada and about 2000 KM from New York.

RMS Carpathia, another ship owned by Cunard came to Titanic’s rescue and saved 712 survivors. RMS Carpathia finally reached New York (Titanic’s final destination) on 18th April at 9:30 PM. The lifeboats from RMS Titanic was offloaded at pier 59 while the passengers from the Titanic were disembarked at pier 54 half an hour later. Thousands of people waited outside pier 54 to welcome their family members, relatives and friends amidst heavy rains.

This is how the story goes of the ill-fated ship which was termed as unsinkable by many.

So coming back to the original thoughts about what happened after the passengers landed in New York. The Wiki page about Titanic talks about some of these places and during my current trip to New York, I decided to see if I could find those places and go visit them.
It was sad to see most of the people did not even know of these places and they are slowly losing out their significance. While, to many this might seem as no big deal, I believe that this is a part of history and should be preserved and our future generations should know about this.
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'Wireless Operators' Memorial'

Located in Battery Park, lower Manhattan, New York. This memorial is dedicated to Jack Phillips, who was the senior wireless operator on the RMS Titanic.

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-wireless-memorial.jpg

The wireless on the Titanic was not working since 12th April and there was a backlog of passengers’ personal messages to be sent to Cape Race, Newfoundland. Philips received an ice warning from the steamship Mesaba reporting a large number of icebergs and an ice field directly in Titanic’s path. Philips acknowledged the warning but did not transmit it to the bridge and continued transmitting the messages.

At 10:55 PM, Philips was again interrupted by another ship, this time by the Californian, reporting that they were stopped and surrounded by ice. Philips responded, “Keep out; shut up, I am working: Cape Race”. This was probably the most important warnings which were not delivered to the bridge. Had this message been delivered to the Bridge, the lookouts would have known that they were in the vicinity of icebergs and the ship could have either been stopped or steered clear of the iceberg.

And the most important part, the operator of the Californian, Evans, actually went to bed after that. Had he not gone to bed, he would have heard the desperate calls for rescue. The lookouts of the Californian did see the rockets and informed the captain who chose to ignore and went back to bed. Had that not happened, Californian was the closest to the Titanic and would have been able to save a lot more passengers from the Titanic.

There are conflicting stories about the way the Philips died that day including some speculations that he did make it out alive. But one thing is for certain, he inadvertently was a direct cause for the accident and later tried his best to send out the distress signals which were ignored by the closest ship.

The Jane Hotel

The surviving crew members on arriving at New York were taken to the “American Seamen’s Friend Society Sailors” home and institute which has since then been converted to The Jane Hotel.

The Jane Hotel is a boutique hotel located at 505-507 West Street, with the main entrance at 113 Jane Street, Manhattan, New York.

This was designed like the model of a ship with the rooms given the shape of a cabin. Most of the accessories of the hotel are still kept as it is and it is a nostalgic feeling when you walk through the walls of the Hotel

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-jane-hotel.jpg

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-jane-hotel2.jpg

9th Broadway: Cunard Building
This is where the former White Star Line United States Headquarters was located and friends and relatives of the ill-fated Titanic eagerly waited for some news.

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This is located right near the Charging bull in Lower Manhattan and has since then been converted into a Subway outlet.

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-charging-bull.jpg

Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton

This is where Food and Housing was provided to many women survivors from the Third Class cabins of RMS Titanic.

Location - South Street, Lower Manhattan, New York

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-shrine-st.-elizabeth-ann-seton.jpg

Titanic Memorial:

This is the only official memorial of the RMS Titanic in the United States

Location: South Street Sea Port, Lower Manhattan, New York

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-titanic-memorial.jpg

Ship Arch

This is the only mark which still carries the history of the White Star Line and Cunard Line. The companies were merged in 1934

Location - Pier 54, Chelsea Piers, New York

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-ship-arch.jpg

Pier 54

RMS Carpathia docked here at 10 PM on 18th April with the Titanic survivors
Location - Pier 54, Chelsea Piers, New York

Hundreds of wooden dock posts stick out of the Hudson river bearing testimony to the history associated with the White Star Line and the Cunard Line.

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-pier-54.jpg

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-pier-54_2.jpg

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-pier-54_3.jpg

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-pier-59.jpg

This is where I conclude and leave you with some everlasting thoughts about the largest man-made marvels which was destined to not complete its maiden voyage.

Since then there have been many marvels, but the mysteries surrounding the Titanic have left many a people curious and the search for the truth around the final last minutes have still been speculative.


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Last edited by Gannu_1 : 5th November 2018 at 08:57. Reason: Typo.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 07:53   #2
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to the Travelogues Section. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd November 2018, 13:09   #3
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

Thanks for sharing, got to know a lot of things about the ill fated journey of the Titanic, always had the movie perspective, good to know the real picture.
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Old 3rd November 2018, 14:10   #4
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

This travelogue is very different. Very informative and sinks you in the thoughts of the Titanic. Like you, I am too a man who likes to relate such stuff and always wish to visit such places with some significance. You making an effort with something as marvelous as the Titanic is really applaudable. I'm a big fan of the movie as well, the way it was executed and more importantly, made many of us aware of such a ship & the unfortunate story.

Thanks for the crisp story and pictures.

Thanks for sharing with us!
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Old 4th November 2018, 01:26   #5
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

Thanks for sharing.

Here's a good reference analysing events that might have led to the accident. This is not a viewpoint of a historian or a story teller, but that of an experienced mariner -

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Old 4th November 2018, 23:16   #6
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

Excellent recapture , I was there for six years in NY and never once heard about the siginificane of some of the locations that you have mentioned in relation to Titanic, although I passed some of those places almost every day. You always learn something every day and this is definitely interesting.
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Old 5th November 2018, 07:24   #7
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

Excellent Recap.

I used to walk past the bull almost everyday for years and never ever knew the significance of the building next to it. Shows how much we are lost in our own world.

I have visited Southampton in England from where the Titanic departed, but never bothered to look out for place where it would have arrived.

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Old 5th November 2018, 08:39   #8
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Default Re: Titanic: A story worth going back in time for

Interesting stuff. Port of registry of RMS Titanic was Liverpool, UK. I have visited the Merseyside Maritime Museum in Liverpool. It has a section for Titanic where artifacts from the sunken ship, people & their letters, belongings are put up for display. There is a scale model of Titanic. Couple of photos:

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-img_20161229_163135.jpg

Titanic: A story worth going back in time for-img_20161229_163426.jpg
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