In the Bookcase

4.01.2012

Anticipating the Titanic's first move.

April 1, 1912

She was the biggest ship ever made---up to this point in history in 1912. The Titanic outweighed any other vessel on the seas! Back in those days, sailing on a ship was how everyone travelled across the ocean. Rich people enjoyed doing it in grand style. Naturally, with the Titanic being such a huge ship, it attracted many of the wealthiest people in those days. Yet they had no clue that they were falling into a trap!

This day, April 1st, had been planned out to be an important day for the Titanic. She was brand new and standing by for her first sea trials. In the morningtime on April 1st, tug boats arrived to tow the Titanic away from the dockyard, through River Lagan, and into Victoria Channel.


The Titanic, completed and ready.

Once there, however, the northwest winds that were blowing in, dramatically impacted the ship's performance. The particular photograph above was taken on the day of April 1st, 1912, showing the completed R.M.S. Titanic. The smoke coming from the funnels indicates how strong the wind was blowing that day. The scheduled sea trials were postponed, and the Titanic was towed back to the dockyard for the remainder of the day. Many people (the shipbuilders, engineers, crew-members, and the Belfast townspeople) were saddened that they were not able to see the Titanic in action yet. After so much built-up anticipation, having to wait even one more day seemed almost too much! Can you imagine the suspense rippling through Belfast that day?

Everyone was waiting to see that first glimpse of the Titanic taking off on her own. They could only hope that the morrow would bring better weather conditions. The Titanic had only had 9 more days to go before she would be embarking on her first journey, and every single day that passed without preparations being made was a day lost.

I cannot jump ahead in the story and tell you what happens the following day, but I can fill you in on a few random tidbits about the Titanic in the meantime.

The R.M.S. Titanic was the ship's official name. R.M.S. stands for Royal Mail Steamer. Any ship with this prefix before its name means that it is under contract by Royal Mail, and can carry the official mail to-and-from Great Britain. This is still the current government-owned postal service in the U.K. and any modern-day ships and airplanes that transfer the official mail still use the R.M.S. prefix.

The Titanic was owned by the White Star Line, a prominent British shipping company. However, the person who funded the money to build the Titanic was J.P. Morgan, an important American financier and banker. Interestingly enough, J.P. Morgan intended to sail on the Titanic's first voyage & have his own private suite on board, but cancelled at the last minute! If he had gone on the Titanic, would he have been one to drown? The impact of the Titanic actually became a disaster to his finances when she sank. And it was actually less than a year later when he did die at the age of 75.

Another important fact is that the Titanic was never christened. Most ships are christened the day they are launched and officially named. Part of a ship christening ceremony usually includes breaking a bottle of champagne over the bow. Some speculaters think that the non-christening of the Titanic in some way connects to the her ultimate demise. However, it stands true that the White Star Line never christened any of their ships, thus the Titanic was in no way different than their usual routine.


1 comment:

  1. I am absolutely loving your Titanic posts. Such fascinating information! Can't wait to read more.

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