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No other disaster in modern time has brought about as much fear and fascination as Titanic. Not even earthquakes or plane crashes with hundreds, maybe thousands of victims has created the same amounts of headlines.

The history of Titanic goes back to the 1840’s, when the man behind Titanic was born. William James Pirrie was born in Canada, in 1847. After his father’s death, his family emigrated to Ireland.
At the age of 27 William was a part owner in a shipyard named Harland & Wolff. This was the birthplace of Titanic.

In 1907 William had an idea. Together with the shipping company
White Star Line he wanted to build three gigantic ocean liners.
The emigration from Europe to
“the new world” was extensive in the beginning of the 20th century and the need for transport vessels grew all the time.

J.P. Morgan, the big stockbroker, bought White Star Line. His goal was to grind down his competitors with three enormous ocean liners. During a dinner in 1907 with William Pirrie and Bruce Ismay they discussed how to build the biggest and the best ships ever.
The three identical ships were supposed to give you the possibility to travel across
the Atlantic Ocean in luxury in first class for the cost of £30. Today a ticket in first class would cost about 53 789 SEK.
If you bought a third class ticket you would have to pay £8 (about 14 311 SEK).

In December, 1908, the construction of the first ship, Olympic, was started. Three months later commenced the creating of Titanic. The staging was 66 metres high and ten thousands of workers from Belfast were involved .
The first ship, the Olympic, was launched in 1910 and made a carrier as a health service ship during World War I.
The speed of the Titanic and the Olympic was 22 knots. The creators of the Olympic and Titanic wanted to give the first class the finest luxury they’ve ever seen.
Since Olympic was launched first, she gave a lot of new ideas of improvements for Titanic. They made the first class cabins look like palaces. In 1912, the creators of Titanic could brag about how they made the finest, most luxurious ship in the whole world at that time.
The excitement when Titanic was launched wasn’t as big as it was for Olympic. Titanic was only “ship number 2”. Britannic (the third ship) was never used in a commercial purpose, but just like Olympic she was used as a health service ship during World War I. Britannia was sunken by a German mine in 1916.

Titanic was amazingly big. Through history there had never been anything like it. The ship was as long as four passenger planes. It was eleven floors high and had nine decks.
Thousands of workers had been working with the building of the ship and the cost came to be 60 million SEK. Today that would be 4 billion SEK.
Titanic was 265 metres long, 28 metres wide and 53 metres high. Without all the cargo she weighed 46 000 tons.

Titanic was he first ship that had four funnels. Only three of them were used, and the forth one had no function, it was only there to make a more powerful impression.

Titanic was loaded with 50,5 tons of fresh meat, 200 barrels of flour, 5 tons of sugar, 40 tons of potatoes, 7000 heads of lettuce and 600 kg of jam and marmalade, among other things. With all the cargo Titanic became the biggest moveable object ever.

From the first moment on board Titanic, people were amazed by the luxury.
The first thing they saw was all the corridors, all the beautiful paintings and the carefully decorated stairs.
The cabins were had more space then people in first class had ever seen.
They were like small apartments with up to three rooms, plus one bathroom!

When everyone boarded the ship, they were divided in three classes. First class, with all the rich people, second class, with “middleclass people” and third class with the poor emigrants from Europe.
First class was like a floating palace, with all the convenience they could ask for.
To enter the great lounge they walked down a golden stair. Crystal chandeliers hanged from the roof and on the oak walls hanged expensive art from famous artists.

First class passengers could choose the style of their room. The cabins were decorated in many different ways. There was everything from italian, gregorian, renaissance to modern Old Dutch, regency, Queen Anne and Louis XIV.
They had four separate lounges, and the biggest of them was also the biggest room on Titanic. It had a capacity of 500 people.

There were special promenade decks, where you could walk for hours. Titanic was the first ship to have a indoor pool. There was a gym, but only for first class of course. Titanic had a hospital with well educated doctors and nurses. Hairdressers and servants worked hard to make first class passengers satisfied, and every first class corridor had its own steward.

Second class on Titanic could be compared to first class on many other ships. Every room had 2-4 beds per room. Water toilets and water containers was standard in every room. They were emptied and refilled every morning. A library and a smoking salon was available, the library was a very popular place to be after dinner.

The emigrants in third class lived very simple. Although, it was counted as a higher standard compared to what many of them were used to. The cabins was situated in the bottom of the ship and that resulted in higher sounds from the engines.

Two open decks, reserved for third class but they weren’t used as often as the small salon. The salon was used for playing cards and group singing.

The divine service was for all the three classes, just to give second and third class a gleam of the luxury.
First class stood in the front of the service room, closest to Father Brown. This was just because they thought of themselves as “better” than second and third class. Second class was in the middle and third class had to stand in the back.

Captain Edward J. Smith was given the honour of being captain on Titanic´s maiden voyage. He had been working as captain at White Star Line for 32 years. All of his career had been without any problems, until the 14th of April, 1912.

Titanic took off after the first passengers had boarded in Southampton, the 10th of April. Thousands of people had gathered to say goodbye and wave to their dearly beloved or just to see the enormous ship.
Titanic almost collided with a ship called New York, before she left the harbour.
When Titanic started, there were streams that made New York detach and almost crash in to Titanic.
The next stop after Southampton was Cherbourg in France. Because of the problems in Southampton, there was a big delay. The irritation from the passengers was big and many of them refused to board and tarred their tickets to pieces, and this decision saved their lives.

The next stop was Queenstown, Ireland.
A 24-yearold machine worker sneaked out from and this was his rescue. There were no other machine worker who survived.

When they left Queenstown, all kinds of telegrams from other ships arrived. Many of them wanted to wish the crew a safe trip, but there were also iceberg warnings.
The telegraphers got six warnings under the first hours. The first warnings was taken seriously, and the course was changed with 10 sea miles south.

Survivors from Titanic have later on said that they had a bad hunch before the take off. In the documentary “Titanic – The surviving story”, you can hear a woman tell a story about how she had a feeling that something would happen. There were many people who cancelled their ticket, after they had a dream how Titanic sank.

It was Sunday, 14th of April. A beautiful day, with blue skies and calm waters. People were eating lunch at the deck and children were running, shouting and playing everywhere on the ship. Some of the first class children were allowed to stay with the captain at the commando bridge.
The weather report for the day was that the beautiful and calm weather would hold on for a couple of days more. But the calm waters was the biggest problem. When there aren’t any waves, it’s harder to see the icebergs.

At 23.05 Titanic received a telegram, from another ship called Californian had the same course as Titanic during the whole trip, and now they were only ten sea miles away. The telegram said:
“We have stopped and are now surrounded by ice.” The answer Californian got was:
“Shut up. I am busy. I am working.”
The Californian got sick of it and chose to quit for the night. This was at 23.30, ten minutes before Titanic’s crash.

Fredrick Fleet was a lookout onboard Titanic and just before 23.40 he saw a big black object straight ahead. There were no waves and no moon, that’s why they discovered the iceberg too late. Titanic was doing 20,5 knots at this time and it was already too late to try anything to stop it. First mate, William Murdoch, gave order about turning, but 37 seconds after that order, Titanic hit the iceberg with her right side.

People who were sleeping woke up by the noises and went out to see what was going on. All passengers were told to put their lifebelts on and stay put in their cabin. First classers were drinking champagne in the lounge, while third class passengers had water up to their ankles.
There was red paint on this iceberg when it later was found. It’s probably the iceberg Titanic collided with.

During damage control, fourth officer Joseph Boxhall came back with reports that said that there wasn’t any damages. But there was. The rip was 100 metres long. This was too big for Titanic, and it was nothing anyone thought could happen.

When one of Titanic’s constructors was called and heard the report of the accident, He knew right away that Titanic would sink in two hours. Captain Smith was living his worst nightmare. The ship was sinking and the lifeboats could take less than half of the passengers.
Big headlines after the crash.
Captain Smith sent the emergency signal CQD a dozen of times. He also sent out Titanic’s emergency signal MGY. They got replies right away by Carpathia and the German ship Frankfurt. Carpathia was 58 sea miles away and they turned around immediately. Carpathia’s top speed was 20 knots. And it would take four hours before they would reach Titanic.

Order from the captain about preparing the lifeboats came at 00.05. The passengers were determent not to leave the ship. Nobody wanted to leave the safe ship to sit in small boats in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Captain Smith gave the order that women and children should go first. The orchestra was playing classical, peaceful music, to make people calm and to avoid panic. Rich people (first class) were prioritised and third class passengers weren’t allowed in the boats. Exceptions were made for some of the women and children. Only 174 people out of 710 in third class survived. That’s a small amount compared to first class, where 199 people out of 329 survived.

The first lifeboats with 28 passengers, but the capacity of 65, was set 00.45. At that time they started to shoot emergency rockets. They saw a weak light from a distant ship.
That ship was Californian and she was 10 sea miles away. They tried to make contact with Titanic, through Morse with lights, but there was no answer.
They assumed Titanic was okay and turned around.
The last boat was set at 02.05. That was
15 minutes before Titanic would go down for good. When all boats were gone, there was 1500 persons on the sinking ship.

The stern was now pointing up to the sky. All you could hear was the cries for help. Almost everyone of the 1500 people now floating and freezing in the water, was alive when Titanic went under. All they could do now was to wait. There was only three survivors who were picked up from the water. Everyone else died.

Forty-five minutes after Titanic’s fall all the cries for help had stopped. Carpathia reached the lifeboats around 03.30.
The passengers started to shout and cry of happiness when they saw Carpathia.

Carpathia’s crew gave up their hopes of finding survivors at 08.50. Only 705 people was saved from Titanic.
The majority of survivors would never see their relatives again. The women were waiting in vain for their husbands.
Carpathia was filled with widows and orphans.

An expensive movie with a lovestory, a big accident and a great loss of lives can’t be anything else but a success.
This is exactly what happened to James Cameron’s movie about Titanic.

It all began in 1985 when the director James Cameron was watching TV and they showed pictures of Titanic on the bottom of the ocean.

The shooting of “Titanic” was filled with delays and other problems. Stuntmen were hurt and scenes cost more than Cameron had expected. Someone poisoned the food with drugs on the 9th of August 1996.
50 actors and crew workers got sick, among the actors was Bill Paxton.

The costs of the movie was up to
200 million dollars. Shooting and commercials was covered by the earnings in the USA. Money from the rest of the world was counted as benefits.
When the costs of the shooting began to rise above the budget, James Cameron had to pass his salary if the movie was going to be finished. All he wanted to do was to finish his movie. And so he did, without getting paid. If you disregard from the
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  • Inactive member 2004-12-05

    thanks for a god jobb i love y


Inactive member [2004-01-16]   Titanic
Mimers Brunn [Online]. https://mimersbrunn.se/article?id=2640 [2020-03-30]

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