In the Bookcase

4.12.2012

A few fun facts about the Titanic

Since we have a couple more days before the main scene takes place on the Titanic, I have some other interesting notes to share with you! For one thing... Did you know that in the cargo hold, where all the extra passenger luggage was stored down below, there was an automobile? Imagine this! A First Class passenger man named William Carter had purchased a French car while in Europe. Now he was going home to Pennsylvania, with his wife and 2 children, bringing home a brand new car on the Titanic. Granted, this automobile was not simply sitting amid a pile of boxes in the cargo hold, but the car itself was packed in a box, unassembled. Also interesting about the Carter family is that they had 2 dogs on the Titanic, which they had taken with them on their European trip.

John Jacob Astor's dog There were in fact a handful of dogs on board---some historians say 9 or 10, and some think there were 11 or 12. With no exact list, it's hard to tell. Colonel John Jacob Astor was the richest man on the Titanic (he had roughly $100 million dollars!). He was one of the pet owners on the Titanic. He and his wife are pictured to the right, with their dog called Kitty. A First Class kennel had been built on the Titanic, and this is where some of the dogs were kept. The photographs below show some of the other dogs that were lucky enough to be riding with their owners on such a fine ship. Of the dogs that are known, there were 2 Airedales, a Pekinese, French Bulldog, Pomeranian, Chow Chow, and St. Bernard. At least 2 or 3 of the dogs on the Titanic were saved from the sinking, which is utterly astounding, when hundred of other people died.

Speaking of pets aboard the Titanic, it is also noted that no cats were on the ship. Cats were a natural thing to see on ships to control the rodents. The ship's cat, Jenny, had been taken from Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic in Belfast. However, at some point after arriving in Southampton, Jenny was seen carrying her new baby kittens off the Titanic. Thus she never made the trip across the ocean.


Dogs on the R.M.S. Titanic Dogs on the R.M.S. Titanic


I've found that other animals were on board too, like prized roosters, hens, and a canary. I just love the eccentricity of all the passengers' belongings! In all, the net worth of the passenger's cargo was $420,000. From walnuts to grandfather clocks, cheese, ostrich feathers, a marmalade machine and sheep skins... there was everything! One man was carrying 30 cases of golf clubs and tennis rackets in the cargo hold. Of the most expensive items on board was a book called The Rubaiyat, a Persian book of poetry. It was covered in 1500 precious stones (rubies, garnets, amethysts, topazes, olivines and turquoises) that were set in gold, and the book was worth thousands of dollars. It now rests somewhere at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean.

Another random tidbit: The Titanic even had its own newspaper, called The Atlantic Daily Bulletin. It was printed every day on board, and it contained news, advertisements, stock prices, horse-racing results, society gossip, and the day's menu.

Thank you for joining me in today's post about the Titanic.
The disastrous sinking is now only 2 days away.
Be sure to enter in the contest to win a vintage postcard Titanic necklace.


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