Titanic remains one of the most famous ships in history due to its tragic fate. The luxury liner hit an iceberg on its maiden voyage and sunk in the cold waters of the Atlantic on April 15, 1912. Out of 2,208 people on board (passengers and crew) only 705 survived.
A series of myths and urban legends grew around the fate of the Titanic, its passengers and the reason for their collision. Many fine marine paintings have been created to commemorate the history and stories of this epic ship. Many of these stories were cleverly incorporated in James Cameron’s epic film launched in 1997. But there are still many interesting, even incredible stories and situations that deserve to be known.
Here they are:
- The Titanic Disaster Was Foretold in a Book
As incredible as it may seem, 14 years before the Titanic set on its journey, writer Morgan Robertson, wrote an eerie novel called “Futility or The Wreck of The Titan”. The novel tells the story of a large ship called Titan, which is deemed to be unsinkable. The Titan hits an iceberg in Northern Atlantic and sinks. Many passengers die because the Titan did not carry sufficient lifeboats.
As we all know, the Titanic sank under exactly the same circumstances and the high number of casualties was owed to the fact that there were not enough lifeboats. Does life imitate art? In this case, it seems to have been so…
- First Class Passengers Enjoyed Opulent Luxury on Board the Titanic
The interior design of the first class section of Titanic was inspired by that of The Ritz hotel in London. Among the amenities that the rich and powerful passengers could enjoy there were: a Turkish bath, a gym, a heated swimming pool, a Parisian-style café, a library, a squash court and several tea gardens.
By comparison, over 700 third class passengers had only two bathtubs to share.
- The Richest Victim on the Titanic
John Jacob Astor IV was the richest passenger aboard the Titanic. His wealth was estimated at around $85 million ($2 billion in today’s money). He refused to take a place on a lifeboat and was last seen on the deck smoking a cigarette.
When informed that the Titanic hit an iceberg, he is reported to have said to a waiter: “I asked for ice, but this is ridiculous”.
- The Lucky Losers
Many people missed the Titanic for one reason or another. Some of the most famous ticket holders who did not set foot aboard the doomed ship are Milton S. Hershey (founder of Hershey’s chocolate company), Guglielmo Marconi (inventor of the radio telegraph system) and Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt.
- Unsinkable Violet Jessop
Violet Jessop was a nurse aboard of the Titanic and was one of the survivors. She also served on the other two sister ships of Titanic, the Britannic and the Olympic. The Britannic hit a mine planted by a German submarine in the Aegean Sea in 1916 and sank. The Olympic suffered two accidents; however it did not sink.
Violet Jessop survived all these disasters, got the nickname of “Miss Unsinkable” and lived to the ripe old age of 84.