Just As The Ship Went Down
Words by Edith Maida Lessing ; Music by Bernie Adler & Sidney Gibson
A cold dark night, a sea of ice… (sheet music viewable here)
Edited version of a song by Huddy Ledbetter aka Leadbelly. Recorded by Alan Lomax in 1948.
(“Aint haulin no coal…” reference to race laws prohibiting black folk passage on the great boat)
- click link above please; embedding has been disabled -
RMS stands for Royal Mail Ship, indicating that the Titanic was contracted to carry mail. The Titanic had a Post Office and Mail Room deep in the ship on decks F and G, the blue prints of which are held by the BPMA. The five postal workers were tasked with sorting much of the mail which had been brought on board the ship, 3,364 bags in total, as well as dealing with any letters which were posted on the ship by passengers and crew.
When the ship struck the iceberg, the postal workers were celebrating (an employee’s) 44th birthday. However, they soon realised that the Mail Room was flooding and so attempted to move 200 sacks of registered mail to the upper decks in the hope of saving them. They press-ganged several stewards into helping them, one of whom later recalled:
“I urged them to leave their work. They shook their heads and continued at their work. It might have been an inrush of water later that cut off their escape, or it may have been the explosion. I saw them no more…”
‘Titanic’: ‘Downton Abbey’ Creator Julian Fellowes Brings The Titanic To Life In New ABC Special
7 to 10 p.m. Saturday and 8 to 9 p.m. Sunday on ABC
“Titanic,” a four-part miniseries written by “Downton Abbey” creator Julian Fellowes, will attempt to tell the whole story of what really happened on that fateful night in 1912 like you’ve never seen it done before.
“This is a portrait of a ship in a way that other versions haven’t been,” Fellowes told The Daily Mail at the press launch of the miniseries at the London Film Museum. “’A Night to Remember’ is a wonderful film but its mainly about the officers. James Cameron’s was another wonderful film, but that is a love story set against the sinking of the Titanic… We, right from the start, set out to tell the story of the whole ship.”
- keep reading on Huffington Post (slideshow)
- View Gallery
- Julian Fellowes Titanic Promo 2012 – YouTube
The wreck of the Titanic will come under UNESCO protection as the 100th anniversary of its sinking passes on 15 April, the United Nations cultural body said.
Since the British liner sank in international waters, “no State has exclusive jurisdiction over the wreckage area,” the Paris-based Unesco said in a statement.
For this reason, the wreck, as well as other vessels that sank in international waters at least 100 years ago, will fall under the cover of the 2001 UNESCO convention on the protection of underwater cultural heritage.
Asleep in the Deep
Words by A.J. Lamb ; Music by H.W. Petrie
Loudly the bell in the old tower rings, biding us list to the warning it brings…
As sung with success by Harry Tanner (inset photo)
On a stormy night, the lighthouse bell can be heard; on a ship are two lovers, unaware of the danger they face; the following day the sun shines, the wreckage lies on the shore, and the two lovers now rest in peace.
The Titanic is Doomed and Sinking
- Words by Owen Lynch, Music by Wm. H. Farrell (1912) -
Seeing a popular motion picture reappear in theaters years after its initial release is not a new thing. However, as technical advances continue to speed exponentially forward, a film’s re-issue gives a filmmaker the opportunity to make strategic changes to the content of the film – alter digital effects, add new scenes, swap out one object for another.
Typically, if a director makes a change, it’s something that can be readily noticed and, hopefully, adds something new to the film.
Sometimes, though, you make a change just because a really cool astrophysicist asks you to do so – such as is the case with the re-release of James Cameron’s film Titanic. While Cameron went to notorious lengths to recreate the Titanic itself, he forgot to recreate everything else above it.
The Telegraph has revealed that while viewing the epic film, the brilliant Neil deGrasse Tyson was so bothered by the portrayal of the night sky on the evening of the Titanic’s sinking, he badgered Cameron to correct the mistake…
I’m a member of the Marine Forensics Committee, and author or co-author of three peer-reviewed papers on the “Titanic”. My most recent paper, “The Breakup Of Titanic – A Re-Examination of Survivor Accounts”, was presented at the First International Marine Forensics Symposium on April 4.
Working with Roy Mengot (with whom I co-authored one paper), I’ve been gathering evidence to support a reconstruction of the breakup of the “Titanic” that differs somewhat from the one you may have seen in movies or in other publications. The most important stages in our reconstruction are illustrated here
In our reconstruction, the failure began in the ship’s bottom structure, when the ship was at an angle of about 17 degrees. The failure spread across the breadth of the ship, then upward; it also spread forward and aft, probably along lightly riveted longitudinal seams, forming two separate pieces of the double bottom…
According to an article on the History Channel website, our work will be challenged in a documentary to be aired on the anniversary of the sinking.
Two of the tenders that ferried passengers out to the Titanic when she stopped at Queenstown
From the great ocean liner’s construction to its sinking to its discovery on the ocean floor, the key moments in the Titanic‘s history. See our full centenary coverage here
For more on the Titanic, read our In-Depth Report:
The Titanic: 100 Years Later
A look back at one of the biggest moments in steamship history, including how Scientific American covered it.
For her maiden voyage, Titanic carried a total of 20 lifeboats of three different varieties:
- Lifeboats 1 and 2: emergency wooden cutters: 25 ft (7.62 m) 2 in long by 7 ft (2.13 m) 2 in wide by 3 ft (0.91 m) 2 in deep; capacity 326.6 cubic feet (9.25 m3) or 40 people.
- Lifeboats 3 to 16: wooden lifeboats: 30′ long by 9’1″ wide by 4′ deep; capacity 655.2 cubic feet (18.55 m3) or 65 people.
- Lifeboats A, B, C and D: Englehardt collapsible lifeboats: 27’5″ long by 8′ wide by 3′ deep; capacity 376.6 cubic feet (10.66 m3) or 47 people.
Boats on the starboard side were odd-numbered 1–15 from bow to stern, while those on the port side were even-numbered 2–16 from bow to stern. Lifeboats 1 and 2, the “emergency cutters”, were kept swung out, hanging from the davits, ready for immediate use while collapsible lifeboats C and D were stowed on the boat deck immediately in-board of boats 1 and 2 respectively.
Collapsible lifeboats A and B were stored on the roof of the officers’ quarters, on either side of number 1 funnel. However there were no davits mounted on the officers’ quarters to lower collapsibles A and B, and they weighed a considerable amount empty.
During the sinking, lowering collapsibles A and B proved difficult as it was first necessary to slide the boats on timbers and/or oars down to the boat deck. During this procedure, collapsible B capsized and subsequently floated off the ship upside down.
The cry of “women and children first” during ship disasters
turns out to be more of a myth than reality.
Mikael Elinder and Oscar Erixson of Uppsala University studied 18 passenger ship disasters that took place between 1852 and 2011, and the fate of more than 15,000 passengers and crew on the ships.
Their study began with the 1852 sinking of the HMS Birkenhead because it is considered to be the source of the expression “women and children first.” The last known example of a captain actually giving the order that women and children should go first was the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in 1915.
In the case of the Titanic, 73% of women were saved, but only 21% of men. However, the Birkenhead and the Titanic turn out to be the only two of the 18 disasters in which women really did have a survival advantage. In 11 cases, men were more likely to survive and in five cases there was no gender difference…
- image source -
- keep reading -
Titanic (1943) on I Shoot The Pictures
This is a version of Titanic done by Nazi Germany that was completed in 1943. By the late 1930?s films in Nazi Germany became nasty and very anti-Semitic… However, this movie is a breed apart from those films and that’s why Turner Classic Movies showed it and I recorded it.
Before I talk about the film there is a little back story. The film was originally being directed by Herbert Selpin until he made some comments that he shouldn’t have. He was taken away and later found dead in a prison cell. Werner Klingler was brought in to finish the film, which he did.
Goebbels, the head of propaganda in Nazi Germany, realized that maybe it wasn’t the smartest idea to release a film about a bunch of people dying considering this was Nazi Germany and it was 1943. I mean it’s not exactly a morale booster. So the film was shelved and presumed lost until it was found fairly recently…
see also: Titanic (1943 film) – Wikipedia
_ _ _
In a recent lecture, Norman Brouwer said it is easy to tell the difference between the Olympic and the Titanic: the 1st class passenger promenade is open in Olympic, in the Titanic, it was closed off.
Also, fewer lifeboats (namely, twenty for 1,178 people) were on the Titanic as “the seagoing public unquestionably thoroughly appreciates the advantage presented by clear deck space as well as unrestricted view.” This quote was found by Conrad Milster in an 1910 engineering journal…
In a tricked-out trailer on a back lot of the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI), William Lange stands over a blown-up sonar survey map of the Titanic site—a meticulously stitched-together mosaic that has taken months to construct. At first look the ghostly image resembles the surface of the moon, with innumerable striations in the seabed, as well as craters caused by boulders dropped over millennia from melting icebergs.
On closer inspection, though, the site appears to be littered with man-made detritus—a Jackson Pollock-like scattering of lines and spheres, scraps and shards. Lange turns to his computer and points to a portion of the map that has been brought to life by layering optical data onto the sonar image. He zooms in, and in, and in again. Now we can see the Titanic’s bow in gritty clarity, a gaping black hole where its forward funnel once sprouted, an ejected hatch cover resting in the mud a few hundred feet to the north. The image is rich in detail: In one frame we can even make out a white crab clawing at a railing…
- keep reading -
In 1898, Morgan Robertson wrote Futility, a novella that tells the rise and the fall of the Titan, the greatest man-made boat of all time.
It was touted as unsinkable, and launched from northern England across to the United States. The ship sinks after crashing head-on into an iceberg, and several thousand people perish because of woefully inadequate life boats. Are you seeing the similarities?
The book was intended to be a scathing social criticism of the selfish goals of industrialization, lambasting the fatcat tycoons who championed “progress” while overlooking human suffering. But it’s not remembered that way at all. It is instead forever known as the book that preceded the sinking of the Titanic, with countless, eerie similarities.
The Titan was 800 feet, Titanic was 882. Titan had 24 lifeboats (less than half necessary) and lost 2500 passengers, Titanic had 16 lifeboats (also less than half) and lost 2207 passengers. They both crashed into icebergs in April about 400 miles from Newfoundland, traveling too fast at over 22 knots.
The Wreck of the Titanic: A descriptive Piano Composition by Jeannette Forrest
- instrumental sheet music -
(click link above to listen) Richard Gavin Bryars (born 16 January 1943) is an English composer and double bassist. He has been active in, or has produced works in, a variety of styles of music, including jazz, free improvisation, minimalism, historicism, experimental music, avant-garde and neoclassicism.
Bryars’s first works as a composer owe much to the New York School of John Cage (with whom he briefly studied), Morton Feldman, Earle Brown and minimalism. One of his earliest pieces, The Sinking of the Titanic (1969), is an indeterminist work which allows the performers to take a number of sound sources related to the sinking of the RMS Titanic and make them into a piece of music. The first recording of this piece appeared on Brian Eno‘s Obscure Records in 1975. The 1994 recording of this piece was remixed by Aphex Twin as Raising the Titanic (later collected on the 26 Mixes for Cash album).
* Go log into itunes or Amazon or whatever musical teet-from-which-you-suck and download this. It’s cool and will impress the chicks.
- The Titanic sinking by Ken Marschall; mini gallery here -
Marine Artist Ken Marschall Sails the Titanic into “Household-Namedom”
Ken Marschall (born October 28, 1950) is best known as the world’s foremost creator of Titanic artwork. Accomplished in photo-realistic rendering of anything from architecture to nature, it is Ken’s splendid, evocative Titanic paintings that are his legacy.
His minutely detailed portrayals of famous liners, naval vessels, airships and shipwrecks are admired for their realism, drama, historical accuracy, use of light and color, subtlety of detail and smoothness of line… they go where a camera cannot.
Renowned for bringing Titanic back to life with his paintbrush, Ken’s haunting portraits of the celebrated liner, often copied by others, are iconic images that have become part of Titanic’s history itself.
“… his paintings almost seemed to be stills from a movie that hadn’t yet been made. And I thought to myself… I can make these paintings live. It became my goal to accomplish on film what Ken had done on canvas, to will the Titanic back to life.”
Trans-Atlantic Designs, Inc.;
exclusive source for the largest collection of Titanic prints and posters by Ken Marschall
Favorite/Least Favorite Ken Marschall Titanic Painting?;
on encyclopedia titanica discussion board
- Meet the Titanic Experts on National Geographic -
see also: Titanic Art by Ken Marschall
After the sinking, J. Bruce Ismay, chairman of the White Star Line, was so vilified for taking a seat in a lifeboat that the towns of Ismay, Texas, and Ismay, Montana, wanted to change their names.
Book publishers are releasing Titanic titles by the score. John Williams, of the New York Times, “Art Beat” recently wrote:
“The centennial anniversary of the Titanic disaster is April 14, and publishers appear to be hoping that readers maintain an almost infinite appetite for it. Viewed as a group, the number of Titanic-related books that have crossed my desk in recent weeks borders on the comical. But to dip into almost any one of them in particular is to be riveted by a story that remains deeply eerie, dramatic and heartbreaking…”
According to Williams, Titanic, First Accounts is “the loveliest of the bunch” and I trust him because he’s read them all, or so it seems. He also offers a short, but sweet analysis of the Titanic ”cottage industry.”
- Titanic — T-minus 24 on Ships on the Shore -
The emergency signals were so strong from Titanic’s radio room, that they
reached the mainland United States and Greenland’s base station.
“Come at once. We have struck a berg.” The Titanic’s radio engineers sent this emergency message and many like it in Morse code, wirelessly, to anyone listening.
Two employees of Marconi, the company that made the system, operated the radio. It was the most powerful system of its kind, and the clear night helped the signal go far.
Many ships did receive the call. So did land-based stations in the United States and Greenland. Radio operators at the time were also skilled at transmitting messages quickly in code — 80 to 100 words per minute. With such capabilities, what went wrong?
For starters, Titanic’s communications system had its limits…
Marconi Company on wikipedia
A uniform button belonging to William Murdoch, the bridge officer aboard the Titanic, is seen on
display before an exhibition opens to the public Tuesday, April 3, 2012, in Atlanta.
From the pitch-black depths 2½ miles beneath the North Atlantic, salvagers of the Titanic made a notable discovery when they located the personal effects of Murdoch, the bridge officer who tried in vain to keep the doomed ship from colliding with an iceberg.
The artifacts, including a shoe brush, straight razor and pipe, are the first (that belonged) specifically to Murdoch, a central figure in the disaster who gained added notoriety after James Cameron’s polemical portrayal of him in the 1997 blockbuster movie “Titanic.” (AP Photo/David Goldman)
see also: Recovered Items From the Famed Shipwreck on ABC News
In new exhibit, ‘Titanic’ artifacts are still telling stories on accessATLANTA
- The gymnasium: Father Browne’s Titanic Album –
HOW TO BE A RETRONAUT
To commemorate the one-hundredth anniversary of the Titanic’s sinking, British Pathe has released the original newsreel that ran following the maritime disaster (the music is a new addition). Witness survivors arriving in New York City and long-distance radio pioneer Guglielmo Marconi receiving accolades for inventing such a life-saving device.
You can find further footage from the aftermath at the British Pathe’s archives.
Seven Famous People Who Missed the Titanic
The novelist, then 40, considered returning from his first European holiday aboard the Titanic; an English publisher talked him out of the plan, persuading the writer that taking another ship would be less expensive.
Dreiser was at sea aboard the liner Kroonland when he heard the news. He recalled his reaction the following year in his memoir, A Traveler at Forty: “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!”
The Italian inventor, wireless telegraphy pioneer and winner of the 1909 Nobel Prize in Physics was offered free passage on Titanic but had taken the Lusitania three days earlier.
Although Marconi was later grilled by a Senate committee over allegations that his company’s wireless operators had withheld news from the public in order to sell information to the New York Times, he emerged from the disaster as one of its heroes, his invention credited with saving more than 700 lives.
Three years later, Marconi would narrowly escape another famous maritime disaster. He was on board the Lusitania in April 1915 on the voyage immediately before it was sunk by a German U-boat in May.
Der naser keiver oder Churbon Titanic (The Titanic’s disaster)
Sheet Music; c. 1912 – Arrangement for Piano
Posted on April 9, 2012 by Rick Spilman
This story is so unlikely that it must be true…
When the Collapsible Lifeboat C from the RMS Titanic was picked up by the Carpathia, of the 41 aboard, there were two very different men, though their names, by virtue of alphabetization are adjacent to each other on the list of survivors – Joseph Abraham Hyman, 34, a third class passenger, and Joseph Bruce Ismay, the chairman of the White Star Line, traveling in first class. Despite their difference in social standing, both reportedly help row the lifeboat.
The sinking of the Titanic ruined Ismay. Joseph Hyman did somewhat better. He was traveling to visit his brother in in New Jersey to start a new life.
After arriving in America, however, Joseph Hyman decided to return to Britain. (It is said, understandably, that he required a sizable quantity of alcohol before he could bring himself to board another ship.) On his return, he decided to set up a kosher delicatessen like the ones that he had seen in New York. And that is exactly what he did. In 1913 he established J.A.Hyman – Kosher Butcher and Deli in Manchester, England.
Of course, it was never known as J.A.Hyman’s. It was always called by its customers, Titanics…
A photograph released by Henry Aldridge & Son/Ho Auction House in Wiltshire, Britain, 18 April 2008, shows an extremely rare Titanic passenger ticket. They were the auctioneers handling the complete collection of the last American Titanic Survivor Miss Lillian Asplund. The collection was comprised of a number of significant items including a pocket watch, one of only a handful of remaining tickets for the Titanic’s maiden voyage and the only example of a forward emigration order for the Titanic thought to exist. Lillian Asplund was a very private person and because of the terrible events she witnessed that cold April night in 1912 rarely spoke about the tragedy which claimed the lives of her father and three brothers. (Henry Aldridge & Son/Ho) #
Titanic Belfast is a visitor attraction and a monument to Belfast’s maritime heritage on the site of the former Harland and Wolff shipyard in the city’s Titanic Quarter.
for National Geographic News
Published April 6, 2012
Titanic at 100: Be Among the Last to Dive to Wreck Site?
With increased access, ship’s survival is in jeopardy, advocates warn.
“I think one thing that captures people is a direct link to this almost mythological maritime character, the Titanic,” said Rob McCallum of Deep Ocean Expeditions, which holds exclusive charter for Titanic dives.
But summer 2012 is the first season since 2005 that Deep Ocean Expeditions has taken people to the Titanic—and it could be the last.
“For a variety of reasons, these are the last dives that the Deep Ocean Expeditions is going to do on Titanic,” said McCallum, whose company began diving to the Titanic in 1998. The outfitter also takes tourists to the Bismarck shipwreck, the North Pole, deep-sea hydrothermal vents, and other extreme sites.
“Our support ship is going into retirement soon, and the submersibles are going to go back into government work.”
The Big Picture — Titanic’s port bow rail, chains and an auxiliary anchor boom. Dr. Robert Ballard, the man who found the remains of the Titanic nearly two decades ago, returned to the site and lamented damage done by visitors and souvenir hunters. (Institute for Archaeological Oceanography & Institute for Exploration/University of Rhode Island Grad. School of Oceanography) #
The Band Played “Nearer My God to Thee” As the Ship Went Down
Words by Mark Beam; Music by Harold Jones
for voice and piano, 1912
A few months ago, my girlfriend and I sat down to watch the best movie ever made about the Titanic – and no, I’m not referring to the one rereleased this past weekend in 3D.
I think the world is divided into two camps: those who love James Cameron’s Hollywood epic, and those who never want to hear the word Titanic again because of it…
Danish passenger liner SS Norge (wikipedia)
The ship was a converted livestock carrier carrying mostly Scandinavian’s but no famous or wealthy people on this vessel. The bit that really got to me about this story was the fact that after the disaster, J.B.Ismay, (chairman of the White Star Line) sent the owners of the Norge a telegraph to commiserate with them on the loss of the ship – one ship owner to another — with no mention at all made of the huge loss of life…
Before the Titanic, this was the deadliest civilian maritime disaster on record. Danish passenger ship Norge (built 1891) left Copenhagen for New York City, but crashed into a reef near Rockall, an uninhabited island northwest of Scotland. Because its lifeboats could hold only a fraction of the nearly 800 passengers on board, more than 600 died. The 160 who did make it into lifeboats were afloat for a week before being rescued. (text source)
The Titanic Pigeon Forge is the world’s largest permanent Titanic Museum Attraction. There are over 400 personal and private artifacts on display that can be viewed during the 2 hour self-guided tour. The collection is valued at over four and a half million dollars.
Each visitor is given a boarding pass with the name of an actual Titanic passenger or crew member. At the end of the tour you will learn of your passenger’s fate.
One of the Titanic’s few remaining lifejackets has been sold to a private collector for £43,000 ($80,000).
The auction at Devizes in Wiltshire also featured dozens of letters sent by some of the 1,500 people who died when the ship sank in the Atlantic in 1912.
Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge said most items sold for more than expected to collectors from around the world.
One letter, in which passenger Edward Colley wrote of an earlier near-miss with a liner, made £18,000, he said.
The Irish aristocrat who died on his 37th birthday, had poked fun at the service on board the ship in the letter.
The company did not want souvenir hunters, so a lot of things, including clothing, were put in big piles and burned…
Alan Aldridge, auctioneer
“He mentioned, for instance, that the ordinary grub in first class was quite good – but if you wanted anything better you had to pay for it,” said Mr Aldridge, who conducted the sale in south-west England…
Margaret Brown (right) giving Captain Arthur Henry Rostron an
award for his service in the rescue of the Titanic‘s survivors
The 13,564 ton RMS Carpathia was three days out of New York, heading for Gibraltar and a Mediterranean cruise when her radio operator picked up the Titanic’s distress calls.
The sinking liner’s position was fifty-eight miles to the north west of the Carpathia. With a top speed of fourteen knots, it would take the Carpathia four hours to reach the scene. Captain Arthur H. Rostron guided his ship at night through ice and reached the Titanic’s last reported position at 4.00 am. It had taken three-and-a-half hours – thirty minutes quicker than estimated.
As day broke, he saw the Titanic’s lifeboats scattered over a four-mile area of sea. The Carpathia returned to New York on 18th April with all the survivors.
Tributes were heaped on Captain Rostron – scrolls, loving cups, testimonial dinners – and a medal honouring him was struck by the U. S. Congress. But the strangest ‘thank you’ gift of all came from Margaret Brown; an item that remained in the possession of Captain Rostron until his death in 1940.
Jaime Brockett & The Legend Of The Titanic
An interesting piece from 1968. Bizarre, humorous, almost psychotic at times…
Jaime Brockett (pronounced “Jamie”) is a memorable and uniquely stylish New England folksinger. As the Boston Globe described him, Jaime is a “hard-core, unregenerated folkie.”
His popularity soared, as a recording artist and performer, starting in the 1960s, when his version of Legend of the USS Titanic became an overnight classic.
Despite the song’s length — over three minutes, an extraordinarily long recording for that era — radio stations made time to play it anyway…
Some more misc. stuff:
Monkey Fist is a smack-talking, potty mouthed, Yankee hating, Red Sox fan in Baltimore, Maryland. In addition to compiling Maritime Monday, she blogs about nautical art, history, and marine science on Adventures of the Blackgang.
Submit story ideas, news links, photographs, or items of interest to her at MM@gcaptain.com. She can also out-belch any man.