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Titanic History

               Titanic History Film Clips

Iceberg Warnings as Early as January (Popular Mechanics, 1912)

The attached two paragraphs appeared in Popular Mechanics some six weeks prior to the maiden voyage of Titanic:

"As many as 4,500 different bergs have been actually counted in a run of 2,000 miles; estimated heights of from 800 to 1,700 feet are not uncommon, and bergs with lengths of from 6 to 82 miles are numerous."

The notice indicated that if the Indian Ocean is suffering such a large number then certainly it can be surmised that the North Atlantic will be plagued doubly. It stands to reason that if the editors of this magazine were aware of the heavy presence of South-bound icebergs, then the naval community must also have been in the know.


How John Jacob Astor Died (New York Times, 1912)

Two eyewitness accounts relaying the last moments in the life of millionaire investor John Jacob Astor IV (born and his gallantry in refusing a place in the lifeboats. According to Mrs. Churchill Candee (born Helen Churchill Hungerford, 1859 - 1949)and Second Class passenger Hilda Slater (1882 - 1965) he lived up to the expected standards of the day:

"I saw Colonel John Jacob Astor hand his young wife into a boat tenderly and then ask an officer whether or not he might also go. When permission was refused he stepped back and coolly took out his cigarette case."
"'Good bye, dearie' he called gaily, as he lighted his cigarette and leaned over the rail, 'I'll join you later.'"


Titanic Verses (The Bookman, 1912)

The Titanic catastrophe was not seen by many to be a poetic topic, however there were a few wordsmiths who did address the subject. The link above will lead you to two of these poems; one by Charles Hanson Towne (1877 - 1949), a poet, essayist and playwright who, at the time of the sinking, was serving as an editor at Designer magazine. The second poem was penned by M.C. Lehr, of whom there is no surviving information.


More Titanic Verses (Collier's Magazine, 1912)

American politician, diplomat and author Brand Whitlock (1869 1934) composed this pseudo-medieval verse in which the Ironic Spirit mocks man and his triumphs:

"This is thy latest, greatest miracle.
The triumph of thy latest science, art and all
That skill thou'st learnt since forth the Norsemen fared
Across these waters in their cockle shells

Whitlock is not remembered for his poetry, but rather as the outstanding U.S. Ambassador to Belgium between the years 1913 - 1922. It was there that the man's mettle was put to the test and was not found wanting.


The Titanic Crew: Under-Drilled and Mediocre (The Nation, 1912)

The following is a very short opinion piece that more than likely served as an accurate reflection the of the opinions held by the Titanic's mourning loved ones. In their grief and incomprehension, some of the surviving family members of Titanic's victims, no doubt, did lay much of the blame on those who ply their trade at sea:

"The Titanic's loss has made it clear that things are not going well among seamen. Despite the calmness of many of the crew, some of the facts that are coming out do not redound to the credit of the men of the sea. Like the captains of those near-by steamers that could have saved all but refused, they have made us all ask weather the old ideal of the sailor as a man brave to rashness, ready at any time to risk his life for others, and characterized by many other noble attributes of character, has faded from the sea..."


Sir Arthur Conan Doyle Debated G.B. Shaw (The Bookman, 1912)

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (1859 - 1930) was outraged by the dismissive, bitter comments made by the Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw (1856 - 1957) regarding the many acts of heroics that took place as the ship was sinking.


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