In the Bookcase


Greetings, England

April 4, 1912

Remember where we left off last on the Titanic's journey? As of April 2nd, she had left her home in Belfast, Ireland, and was on her way to Southampton, England, to be loaded with all the materials needed for her first trip to America. It took more than a day for this journey through the Irish Sea, so it was in the wee hours of April 4, 1912, that the Titanic was arriving in her new temporary home. It should be noted, that it was in this "small" 570-mile stretch, that the Titanic gained the fasted speed she would ever acquire, 23.25 knots in sea-faring language, or almost 27 miles per hour---a brisk speed!

A map showing the route from Belfast to Southampton.

When the people of Southampton awoke on April 4th, it was like a huge surprise waiting in the harbor! Hoards of spectators went out to see the great and mighty ship that had arrived during the night.

R.M.S. Titanic in Southampton, England.

If you happened to have been one of those people eying the activity surround the Titanic, you would be watching the crew carry thousands of materials aboard. Approximations of the amounts of these objects are: 2,000 salt shakers, 4,500 breakfast plates, 3,000 tea cups, 5,500 ice cream plates, 12,000 dinner plates, 1,000 finger bowls, and 1,500 mustard bowls. That is a lot of dishes.

The R.M.S. Titanic has 6 more days before she sets off for her voyage to New York.

Quick Fact: A very important role in the story of the Titanic is the lifeboats. More precisely, it is the amount of lifeboats that were made available. Here is an excerpt from an informative book I've been reading on the subject:

The Titanic's general manager, Alexander Carlisle, had 64 lifeboats in his original plans. The owners and builders reduced this number to 32 and finally to 16 because that was all the regulartions required and because they wanted to make room for more deck space. Four lifeboats with collapsible canvas sides were added to bring the total to 20.
(882 1/2 Amazing Answers to Your Questions About the Titanic, page 12)

To start with the idea of carrying 64 lifeboats on as big a ship as the Titanic, and then decrease the number down to only 20... that was a horrible mistake! How does a giant vessel which can hold over 3,000 people only get 20 lifeboats? It really stemmed from ancient sea regulations that had not been updated for the newest biggest ships. People also said that the Titanic was so unsinkable that she was her own lifeboat, so they incorrectly thought they did not need anything more than what was required. Needless to say, it was very soon after the Titanic's accident which cost more than 1,500 lives, when Britain updated their regulations on lifeboat requirements.

Have you learned anything about the Titanic yet from my series of posts?
Comments and thoughts are welcome!


  1. That is alot of dishes. Imagine having to wash them all!

    I did not know tha the fourth funnel was unneeded, so I did learm something from your posts.

    Have a lovely week,

  2. Anonymous4/29/2012

    Titanic did carry a little more lifeboats than what was required by the Board of Trade.

    Incidentally, even with more boats, it's doubtful that it would have made a difference. What Titanic would have lacked had she carried enough boats was time. A few officers barely had time to launch the last boat before they were swept off into the ocean. So tragic.

    Do forgive my blustering, I tend to get carried away and have no one to discuss the subject with.