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Click below for facts about the Titanic and her two sister ships as well as the Rescue Ship.

RMS Titanic

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RMS Olympic

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HMHS Britannic

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"The Rescue Ship"
RMS Carpathia

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RMS Titanic Facts

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Last photo taken of the Titanic.

Facts about the Ship

* Order to proceed with construction was given on 30th April 1907.

* Keel was laid on 31st March 1909.

* Launch date was 31st May 1911.

* Completed on 2nd April 1912.

* The launch process consumed 23 tons of tallow and soft soap.

* The actual launch took 62 seconds to complete.

* Overall length was 882' 8".

* Breadth was 92' 0".

* Weight: 46,328 registered tons.

* Beam: 92.5 feet.

* Draft - 34 feet 6 inches.

* Height - 175 feet from keel to stack
(the boat deck was 60 feet above the waterline).

* Net tonnage: 24,900 tons.

* Depth 59.5 feet.

* Triple screw propulsion.

* Decks - 9 total, A through G with the boilers below.

* The build number was 401.

* Official Number 131428.

* The ship was officially named in Southampton.

* Titanic was a schooner rigged vessel.

* The ship had 15 main bulkheads.

* The ship also had two steam reciprocating engines and one turbine engine.

* The total horsepower was 51,000.

* Coal consumption on normal service was 825 tons per day.

* 2 Reciprocating 4 cylinder direct drive inverted steam engines delivering 30,000 HP at 75 RPM for the 2 outside propellers, and 1 low pressure Parsons Turbine delivering 16,000 HP at 165 RPM for the center propeller.  The Parsons were powered by excess steam from the other 2 engines.

* Titanic used 825 tons of coal every day.

* 3 propellers - 2 outside with 3 10' blades (23' diameter swing) and one center with 4 6' blades (16' diameter swing).

* Turbine revolutions were 127 per min.

* Titanic had 24 double ended boilers and 5 single ended boilers.
Each were 3 stories high. The boilers used 3 of the stacks for exhaust, the fourth was used to vent Titanics' numerous kitchens and galleys. The stacks were 22 feet wide and 62 feet high.

* Boilers had 159 furnaces in total.

* Steam pressure was 215 psi.

* RMS is short for Royal Mail Steamship or Royal Mail Steamer.

* It is also correct to refer to the vessel as SS Titanic. (Steam Ship)

* The cost to build the RMS Titanic was $7.5 million.

* To rebuild the ship today would cost about $400 million.

* Price of a single first-class ticket was $4,700. (equals $50,000 in today's economy).

* Third class ticket from UK to New York was $36.25.

* The ship was owned by White Star Line and built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland.

* Radio call sign MGY (Mike Golf Yankee).

* Titanic was the first ship to use "S.O.S."  Prior to "S.O.S." the emergency call was "C.Q.D." (Come Quick, Danger). That fateful night, Titanic used both.

* The White Star pier in New York was pier 59.

* At the time she was the largest man made moveable object in the world.

* Titanic was slightly bigger than Olympic.
They were built at the same time, side by side.

* Titanic had a passenger capacity of 3,547 fully loaded.

* After crossing the English Channel, the Titanic stopped at Cherbourg, France, to disembark and board additional passengers, and stopped again the next day at Queenstown (known today as Cobh), Ireland, before continuing towards New York with 2,228 people aboard.

* This figure comprised 1,343 passengers and 885 crew.

* The Titanic left Southampton at 12.15 p.m. Wednesday 10th April 1912.

* The Titanic carried in addition to the lifeboats 3,560 life belts (Jackets), 49 life buoys.

* 14,000 gallons of pure drinking water were used each 24 hours.

* Twenty lifeboats were fitted in total as follows:
- 14 wood lifeboats each 30'0" long by 9'1" by 4'0" deep with a capacity of 65 persons each.
- 2 wood cutters 25'2" long by 7'2" by 3'0" deep with a capacity of 40 persons each.
- 4 Englehardt collapsible boats 27'5" by 8'0" by 3'0" deep with a capacity of 47 persons each.

* All lifeboats were fitted with Murrays disengaging gear to simultaneously free both ends.

* The lifeboats were stowed on hinged wood chocks on the Boat Deck.

* Titanic was equipped with eighteen compasses.

* Titanic also had twelve water tight doors.

* The doors would close automatically if water should reach them.

* The doors could also be controlled electrically from the Bridge.

* The time required to fully close the doors was between 25 and 30 seconds.

* Titanic had three electric elevators for passenger use.

* Steam whistles were fitted to the two forward funnels.

* No 4 funnel or the aftmost one was just for looks.  It was a common belief that the more funnels a ship had, the faster it was.

* Titanic did not have it's name painted in the ship while it was on the slipway.

* Olympic and Titanic cost 3 million for the pair.

* Titanic had part of the Prom Deck plated in to allow better passenger comfort.

* Titanic had the first ever swimming pool built into a vessel.

* White Star had difficulty in assembling a crew for Titanic due to a manpower shortage.

* Due to serious coal strike, White Star were forced to transfer all their coal stocks to Titanic.

* All the engineering staff both White Star and H&W were lost in the disaster.

* The Titanic came from No 3 slip Queens Shipyard.

* The Thompson dry-dock was designed to accommodate the Olympic class vessels.

* The hull shell plating on Titanic was 1" thick.

* Titanic had 2 anchors, weighting 15 tons each.

* Over three million rivets were used in the construction of Titanic.

* The rudder weighed 101 tons and was made from six separate parts.

* Titanic had a Turkish Bath, Gymnasium and a Squash Court.
* The Veranda Cafe had real palm trees.
* 28 fully decorated First Class Suites.
* Heated swimming pool.
* 4 electric elevators ( 3 in First Class and 1 in Second Class).
* Indoor squash court on F Deck.
* Indoor toilets.
* 2 Libraries.
* 4 Restaurants.
* 3 Galleys.
* 2 Musical ensembles
(a quintet for First Class Lounge and a trio for the a-la carte reception room).

* Fully equipped gymnasium.
* 2 Barber shops.
* A fully equipped darkroom.
* A fully staffed medical bay with 2 physicians and an operating room.

* As the Titanic was leaving the port, the suction it caused actually snapped the ropes of a nearby docked ship. (The S.S. New York) Tugboats had to race to the scene to prevent the New York from colliding with the Titanic.  Some people aboard the Titanic and on the dock felt this occurrence to be a bad omen.

At noon, the gangways were withdrawn and tugboats slowly pulled Titanic away from her berth as crowds on her decks cheered and waved to the crowds on the docks.  The order was given to start the engines and Titanic began to move under her own steam.  She proceeded slowly down the waterway and turned to port into the River Test.  Here, moored side by side were the liners New York and Oceanic.  These ships were among the many in Southampton kept from service by a recent coal miners strike.  In fact, White Star had canceled the sailing of several of its ships and transferred their coal (and passengers) to Titanic to ensure that the new liner would have enough fuel to reach America.

As Titanic's bow came even with the bow of New York, there came the sound of gunshots.  The sound was, in fact, the mooring ropes that held New York to Oceanic as they snapped.  The draw from Titanic's massive propellers was pulling the smaller liner away from the dock.  Soon all the mooring ropes snapped and New York's stern swung out towards the side of Titanic.  As the crowds on the dock and on Titanic watched helplessly, a collision seemed eminent.  At the last minute, quick thinking on the part of a tug boat captain saved the day.  He managed to get a line onto New York and pulled her out of the way as Titanic's engines were reversed, giving a wash that helped push the small liner away.  The two ships came within three or four feet of each other! 

* The Titanic was never christened.  It was not the practice of the White Star Line to hold such ceremonies.  (The ceremony where the ship is blessed and a bottle of champagne is broken against her hull, long believed by seamen to bring good luck to the ship and her crew.)

Sinking Facts

* There were 6 ice warnings received by Titanic on the day of the collision.  They were all ignored by the wireless operator who was preoccupied with transmitting passenger messages.

* On the night of the collision, because the moon was not out, and the water was so still, it was very difficult to see the iceberg. A less calm water would have caused breakers around the iceberg making it easier to see it from afar.

* The iceberg that the Titanic struck was not a very big one. It did not even come up as high as the bridge of the ship.

* The iceberg that the Titanic struck was unusual in such a way that it was not white like most others, but more of a clear look caused by continuous melting.  The clear surface in effect reflected the dark night sky and water like a mirror, thereby making it a black object, almost impossible to see from a certain distance.  The term for this kind of iceberg is "blackberg", and is similar to the black ice found on cold icy roads.

* An iceberg exposes only 1/10th of it's mass above water. With the other 9/10ths of it's mass below water, it makes them impossible to budge.  Even with a force of a ship like the Titanic.

* Titanic struck iceberg at 11.40 p.m. 14th April 1912.

* Titanic finally sank at 2.20 a.m. on 15th April 1912.

* From the time Titanic struck an iceberg, it took two hours and 40 minutes to sink.

* The Titanic was traveling 22.5 knots while cruising through iceberg laden waters. Just .5 knot from her maximum speed capability.

* Murdoch had ordered the engines reversed which had, ironically, sealed the Titanic's doom.  Like all ships, the Titanic turned more quickly the greater her forward motion.  Had the Titanic proceeded ahead and turned, it is most likely that she would have avoided hitting the iceberg all together.

* In addition, the binoculars for the lookouts had been misplaced before the ship departed Southampton.

* Some passengers did not climb onto the iceberg.

* There is not a huge gash in the hull.

* Though the damage in the hull was 220 to 245 feet long, the most recent evidence shows that there was only a 12 square foot opening (the size of a refrigerator) in the hull allowing water inside the ship.

* The "watertight" compartments of the Titanic's hull were not actually watertight. They were open at the tops, which aided in her demise.

* The ship could have stayed afloat had only four compartments flooded... Five became flooded.

* Third class passengers were not locked in their accommodation during the sinking.

* J. Bruce Ismay did not dress as a woman to escape in a lifeboat.

* 1,503 people total died, including passengers and crew.

* Only 705 people survived.

* 962 lifeboat seats were required by law.

* 1,178 lifeboat seats were carried aboard.

* 2,208 lifeboat seats were needed.

* One of the first lifeboats to leave the Titanic carried only 28 people; it could have held 64 people.

* There were 472 lifeboat seats not used.

* There were enough life-jackets for all 2,208 people, and most everyone was wearing one.

* 300 dead bodies were pulled from the sea the next morning.  They were found floating in their life-jackets.  Many other floating bodies were not found because they had drifted off.

* Very few people actually went down with the ship.  Most died and drifted away in their life-jackets.

* The temperature of the Atlantic at the time of sinking was 31 degrees, water temperature was 28. This temperature was the biggest cause of death among the population.

* There were many dogs aboard the Titanic.  Two of the dogs survived.

* The band played music up to the last few minutes before the ship went under.  None survived.

* One of the last songs the band reportedly played before their death was, "Songe d'Automne".  Some survivors say the final song was "Nearer My God To Thee."

* As the ship was sinking, the stern rose out of the water, and broke into two pieces between the third and fourth funnels.

* As the stern rose higher and higher, an increasing cacophony of noise came from the ship.  Everything that wasn't bolted down: grand-pianos, china, cargo, everything, even people, bodies falling, and crashing into things.

* The SS Carpathia was 58 miles southeast of Titanic when it received the distress call.

* The SS Carpathia, spotted at 3:30 a.m., rescued 705 persons.

* The Titanic enquiry recommended that in future lifeboats should be provided for all on board.

* After the loss of Titanic her sister Olympic was fitted with an inner skin.

* As a consequence of the disaster the US Coastguard established the International Ice Patrol.

* The first newspaper reports in New York, Titanics destination, stated that all the passengers had been rescued from the sinking ship.

* There had been a fire burning in one of the coal bunkers since before Titanic departed, but it was well under control, and only considered a minor annoyance by the crew.  All coal burning ships (and that's pretty much all ships at the time) had this problem at one time or another.  But it was not a factor in the sinking.

* Brittle steel plates wasn't a factor either.  Harland and Wolf, the ships maker, was well known for their quality control and rigorous testing procedures.

* Most of the survivors remember seeing a "mystery ship" not far away.  It was the Californian.  It could have saved many more lives, had it's wireless operator not gone to sleep and turned his radio off.
* From about ten minutes after midnight to nearly 2:00 a.m., on the Leyland liner Californian, some 10 to 19 miles away, the crew had noticed the lights of a large steamer come up from the southeast.  A number of attempts to reach the steamer via Morse lamp fail and even when white rockets are observed, no attempt to wake the wireless operator is made.  About 2:15 a.m., they lose sight of the large liner and assume that it steamed off to the south.  The crew of Titanic had also seen the smaller vessel and had attempted to contact her via Morse lamp.

The fateful ice warnings that could have saved Titanic...?
At 7:50 p.m. on the night of April 14, 1912, the MV Mesaba of the Atlantic Transport Line sent the following telegram to the Titanic:

" In lat 42N to 41.25N long 49W to long 50.30W saw much heavy pack ice and great number of large icebergs also field ice. Weather good, clear."

This telegram gave precise details of the massive icefield already in the path of the Titanic.  The surviving officers of the Titanic claimed that they had never seen the signal.  Various theories have been advanced over the years as to why this terrible oversight occurred.

One suggestion was that as Titanic had come within range of Cape Race coast station, Jack Phillips was attempting to clear a huge backlog of telegrams for the United States, and this vital warning was overlooked.

A study of the ice warnings received by the Titanic indicates that WITH THIS ONE EXCEPTION, all had been sent with the MSG prefix, indicating a personal message for Titanic's Captain - which he was required by regulations then in force to personally acknowledge.

All the previous ice warnings addressed to Captain Smith had been personally acknowledged by him.  How then did this vital telegram fail to reach the Captain?

A study of the Mesaba telegram provides the answer - the vital MSG prefix was not used by the Radio Officer on the Mesaba, who substituted the words "Ice report".

There is no doubt in the opinion of this writer that had Jack Phillips, a skilled and experienced operator, been given a MSG prefix when he received the signal, it would have been delivered to the bridge and would have received the necessary acknowledgment from Captain Smith - who would have at once been alerted to the danger ahead.....

In probably the most ironic wireless signal exchange of the whole Titanic saga, Evans, the (inexperienced) Radio Officer on the Californian also failed to use the MSG prefix when instructed by Captain Stanley Lord to inform the Titanic of the icefield - Evans informal, chatty message to the Titanic lead to the (in)famous rebuke by the overworked Phillips - "Keep out, I'm working Cape Race!".  Californians wireless operator listened to Phillips work the Cape for some time, but never attempted to contact him again. He turned his wireless set off about 11:35 and retired for the night.

--Note:  Often referred to in stories about Titanic, Cape Race was a wireless station on the East Coast of Canada.


During a hearing after the sinking
Under particular scrutiny was Captain Stanley Lord.  His ship, Californian, was only 19 miles away from Titanic and by his own testimony and that of his crew, Captain Lord had actually seen Titanic steam up.  The testimonies of Lord and his crew basically stated the same thing; that at about 11:30 p.m. on the night of the disaster, a large steamer came up to the south of them.  Attempts to contact the ship by morse lamp failed.  Despite the fact that rockets were seen, no one interpreted them as distress rockets and no one bothered to wake Cyril Evans, the wireless operator on Californian who had retired for the night.  Lord was harshly criticized for his inaction.  Senator Smith concluded that Lord could have easily pulled his ship right alongside Titanic and saved everyone aboard.  This notion had come under serious scrutiny recently and to this day the issue of Californians possible role in the rescue of Titanic passengers had not been fully resolved.


Other Facts

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* Dr Robert Ballard of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute found the Titanic wreck in September 1985.

* The Titanic lies 12,600 feet (over 2.33 miles) at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

* The two pieces of the Titanic lay 1,970 feet apart from one another on the ocean floor.

* Because the front section of the Titanic went down nose first, the bow is buried 60 feet below the ocean floor.  The huge gash is also buried.  (Recent technology has allowed visual access to the damaged area of the hull).



Titanic Cargo Claimed as Lost

* 3,364 bags of mail and between 700 and 800 parcels.
* One Renault 35 hp automobile owned by passenger William Carter.
* One Marmalade Machine owned by passenger Edwina Trout.
* Oil painting by Blondel, "La Circasienne Au Bain" owned by Hokan Bjrnstrm-Steffanson.
* Seven parcels of parchment of the Torah owned by Hersh L. Siebald.
* Three crates of ancient models for the Denver Museum.
* 50 Cases of toothpaste for Park & Tilford
* 11 bales of rubber for the National City Bank of New York
* Eight dozen tennis balls were lost which were to go to R.F. Downey & Co.
* A cask of china headed for Tiffany's.
* Five Grand Pianos.
* Thirty cases of golf clubs and tennis rackets for A.G. Spalding.
* A jewelled copy of The Rubiyt by Omar Khayym, with illustrations by Eliku Vedder sold for 405 at auction in March of 1912 to an American bidder. The binding took two years to execute, and the decoration embodied no fewer than 1,500 precious stones, each separately set in gold.
* Four cases of opium


Quote from Captain Smith

"When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experience in nearly forty years at sea, I merely say, uneventful.  Of course there have been winter gales, and storms and fog and the like.  But in all my experience, I have never been in any accident ... or any sort worth speaking about.  I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea.  I never saw a wreck and never have been wrecked nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort."

Edward J. Smith, 1907
Captain, RMS Titanic, 1912

Captain Smith was planning to retire after the maiden voyage of Titanic.



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