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Posts Tagged ‘Carpathia’

Upon hearing of the Titanic’s sinking, Senator William Alden Smith called for an immediate investigation. The senate agreed to Smith heading a subcommittee to hear testimony.

One of the first aspects to catch Senator Smith’s attention was correspondence by Bruce Ismay to hold White Star’s RMS Cedric over so he and the crew could immediately return to England. One of these messages was: “Most desirable Titanic crew aboard Carpathia should be returned home earliest moment possible. Suggest you hold Cedric, sailing daylight Friday unless you see any reason contrary. Propose returning in her myself. Please send outfit of clothes, including shoes, for me to Cedric. Have nothing of my own. Please Reply. Yamsi” {Ismay backwards}

Senator Smith left Washington, DC and arrived in New York City as Carpathia was docking. He immediately spoke with Bruce Ismay, who was willing to cooperate.

The hearings began at 10:30am on April 19th at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel {owned by John Jacob Astor}. Bruce Ismay was the first witness called. A week into the hearing the proceedings were moved to the new caucus room of the Russell Senate Office Building in Washington, D.C. They were the first hearings to be held in that room.


Included is a small sampling of Frederick Fleet’s Testimony:
Senator Smith: Did you make any request for glasses on the Titanic?
Fleet: We asked (for) them in Southampton (England), and they said there was none for us. . . .
Smith: You had a pair of glasses from Belfast to Southampton?
Fleet: Yes, sir, but none from Southampton to New York. . . .
Smith: Suppose you had glasses such as you had between Belfast and Southampton, could you have seen this black object (the iceberg) at a greater distance?
Fleet: We could have seen it a bit sooner.
Smith: How much sooner?
Fleet: Well, enough to get out of the way.

Testimony lasted for over seventeen days, ending on May 25th, with eighty-two witnesses called and over eleven hundred pages of testimony taken.

Issues covered included but were not limited to:

–confusion of crew
–weight capacity of lifeboats
–lifeboats not filed to capacity
–no boat drills for passengers
–why there were not enough lifeboats on board {due to outdated British Board of Trade Regulations}
–ice warnings not heeded
–ice warnings not properly posted
–Titanic trying to set a record
–Captain Smith was blamed for traveling too fast and not slowing down in ice
–failure of nearby ships to respond to the distress signals
–treatment of passengers in the different classes
–efforts to identify the mystery ship believed to be seen

Final testimony ended when Senator Smith visited Titanic’s sister ship, Olympic, to interview it’s crew. The Olympic was now in Port in New York.

The final report was published on May 28th. Senator Smith and the American Senate Investigation was criticized in Britain for their lack of knowledge concerning shipping and sometimes foolish questions.

Here is a portion of the testimony of Second Officer Lightoller, as he was questioned by Thomas Scanlan:
Scanlan: “Although there were abnormal difficulties you took no extra precautions whatever.”
Lightoller: “Have I said so?”
Scanlan: “In view of the abnormal conditions and of the fact that you were nearing ice at ten o’clock, was there not a very obvious reason for going slower?”
Lightoller: “Well, I can only quote you my experience throughout the last twenty-four years, that I have been crossing the Atlantic most of the time, that I have never seen the speed reduced.”
Scanlan: “Is it not quite clear that the most obvious way to avoid it is by slackening speed?”
Lightoller: “Not necessarily the most obvious.”
Scanlan: “Well, is it one way?”
Lightoller: “It is one way. – Naturally, if you stop the ship you will not collide with anything.”
Scanlan: “What I want to suggest to you is that it was recklessness, utter recklessness, in view of the conditions which you have described as abnormal, and in view of the knowledge you had from various sources that ice was in your immediate vicinity, to proceed at 21 ½ knots?”
Lightoller: “Then all I can say is that recklessness applies to practically every commander and every ship crossing the Atlantic Ocean.”
Scanlan: “I am not disputing that with you, but can you describe it yourself as other than recklessness?”
Lightoller: “Yes”
Scanlan: “Is it careful navigation in your view?”
Lightoller: “It is ordinary navigation which embodies careful navigation.”

Immediately upon the end of the American Senate Investigation, Bruce Ismay and the Titanic crew returned to England. There they appeared before the British Inquiry, conducted by the British Board of Trade. Due to their own outdated laws, there were few repercussions. Lord Mersey presided over the hearings with several experts. The hearings were opened in the Wreck Commissioner’s Court, Royal Scottish Drill Hall, Buckingham Gate, Westminster, on 2nd May, 1912. Ninety-eight witnesses were questioned during May and June. The final report was published towards the end of July. The employees of the White Star Line have been noted as trying to avert any testimony that would damage the shipping line and Captain Smith. The British Inquiry cleared Captain Smith and the White Star Line of any negligence in the loss of the Titanic. There are over eight thousand pages of documents on the Titanic with the British Board of Trade. One very important piece is “Correspondence dealing with the original plans of the Titanic, showing the ship was originally to be fitted with 32 boats. This would have given capacity for over 2,000 people, significantly greater than the 1,178 that were ultimately provided for.”

Both inquiries placed little blame on anyone. Senator Smith did blame Captain Smith for not slowing down in those ice conditions. The British inquiry stated that “maintaining speed and course in such conditions was common practice.”

Both inquiries blamed Captain Stanley Lord of the Californian. Stating “could have rescued all aboard the Titanic if he had taken immediate action to steam towards the liner firing the distress rockets.”

Both investigations presented recommendations for safer travel. Including:
–regular lifeboat drills
–twenty-four hour radio watch on every liner
–all ships accommodate lifeboats for everyone on board
–ship construction should feature watertight decks
— transverse and longitudinal watertight bulkheads as well as high double bottoms
–speed should be reduced in fog, ice or other zones of possible danger

After the inquiries many first class male passengers came under scrutiny for surviving, especially J. Bruce Ismay and Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon.

The Titanic disaster also led to the following changes:

1914 establishment of International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea

International Ice Patrol established

The Titanic disaster marked the end of the Edwardian Era. The general feeling of confidence ended, including faith in technology. The rich began to question the meaning of their wealth and the chivalry seen the night of the sinking has not been seen since. Nobody believed in an unsinkable ship after the Titanic disaster.

Note: James Cameron used the Senate Records when writing his script for the hit movie, Titanic. Mr. Cameron has written. “Those scenes in my film are scripted and staged precisely as the event was described by witnesses.”

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Before Carpathia even arrived in New York, The White Star Line made efforts to recover the dead from the Titanic disaster. Four ships, including the Mackay-Bennett, were chartered to retrieve the bodies left in the disaster area.

John Snow and Company Ltd, Halifax’s largest funeral directors, were hired to assist with funeral arrangements.

The MacKay-Bennett left Halifax on Wednesday, April 17 for the disaster area. Many vessels reported seeing bodies or wreckage in the Atlantic waters. The crew arrived in the area on Saturday, April 20.

These ships searched for the disaster site for six weeks. The MacKay-Bennett gathered so many bodies they were overwhelmed and quickly ran out of supplies to embalm the corpse. For this reason many third class passengers and crew members were returned to the sea. First class passengers were given priority to be preserved in packed ice and embalmed and placed in a casket. Captain Larnder justified this by saying these first class passengers were wealthy men with large estates to be settled.

Some of the bodies were so badly disconfigured that identification would be impossible. They were wrapped in a cloth and weighted down to be recommitted to the sea. Rev. K. C. Hind conducted a service for the bodies before they were returned to the sea. Each body that was preserved was given a number and the possessions on their body were bagged with the same number.

The Minia, Montmagny and Algerine assisted the MacKay-Bennett in recovering the bodies. The last body recovered was saloon steward, James McGrady. A month later the RMS Oceanic came across Collapsible lifeboat A while on a transatlantic voyage. This lifeboat had three bodies inside.

These vessels retrieved three hundred and twenty eight bodies. One hundred and nineteen of these bodies were buried at sea.

John Jacob Astor IV, the richest man aboard Titanic, was found. His remains were released to his son, Vincent.

The remaining two hundred and nine bodies were brought to the Canadian port of Halifax, Nova Scotia. Most of the victims of the Titanic disaster were never recovered, including Captain Edward J. Smith.

Fifty-nine bodies were returned to their families for burial.

One hundred and fifty bodies were not identified and returned to Halifax for burial. The city’s Mayflower Curling Rink was turned into a temporary morgue. Three different cities in Halifax were prepared to bury the victims. The burials began on May 3rd with many Halifax families turning out to pay their respects.

One hundred and twenty-one bodies were buried at Fairview Lawn Cemetery. Nineteen were buried in the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery and ten in the Baron de Hirsch Jewish Cemetery. Headstones were erected by the White Star Line that fall with the victim’s body number {in hopes of identification} and date of death. Some families or groups did commission more elaborate gravestones. Memorials have been erected to Captain Smith, the Titanic musicians and the Titanic engineers.

Fairview Lawn Cemetery also holds the dead from the Great Halifax Disaster of 1917.

Years later when the Titanic wreckage was found pairs of shoes were found lying with the debris on the seabed.

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Three days after the Carpathia picked up the Titanic survivors, the ship docked in New York. Various groups were already working to collect funds to assist the survivors in need of help.

In the last three days the details had been sketchy at best and there was great speculation. Some reports even said that Titanic was being towed in for repairs, that all were lost and that all were saved.

Naturally The White Star Line wanted to believe the more positive reports that all were saved. Their offices were inundated with request from family members, but they did not know anymore than anyone else. They even dispatched a train to Halifax, Nova Scotia with family members of those on the Titanic. When the true situation was realized, the train turned around.

Carpathia arrived in New York on April 18, 1912 at 9:25pm, docking at Pier 34. The voyage had been difficult as she encountered fog, ice, rough seas and thunderstorms. She first stopped at the White Star Line pier and dropped off the Titanic lifeboats. She then moved to the Cunard pier where the passengers disembarked. Only after her arrival did the awful truth sink in.

Small boats greeted Carpathia in the harbor. Family members were on board longing for answers, but most of the occupants were from the press.

One source reported, “Philip Franklin, Vice President of the White Star New York office, was so shocked at the news that he could not believe it and insisted the Titanic was unsinkable. “

Southhampton, England had the greatest loss. Titanic had left this town on her maiden voyage only five days earlier. Southhampton lost five hundred forty-nine men in the disaster.

About 40,000 people stood on the docks when the Carpathia arrived. Many were heartbroken to realize their loved ones were not there to meet them and had perished in the disaster.

Eyewitnesses reported there “were many pathetic scenes” when the Titanic’s survivors disembarked.

Some survivors were taken to the hospital to treat their injuries. Others made their way to hotels or their home town. Third class passengers were now in a new city without a penny to their name, homeless and broke. The White Star Line and other charities were on hand to provide some short term relief.

Margaret Brown was one of the last passengers to disembark. She’d stayed onboard assisting those in need until everyone had safely disembarked. When she disembarked at three o’clock that morning the press was waiting and swarmed around her. Asking how she survived she replied “Typical Brown luck. I’m unsinkable.” In that moment a legend was born.

Captain Rostron and the Carpathia crew were later awarded for their rescue work. Margaret Brown presented Captain Rostron with a silver cup and gold medal. Crew members were awarded bronze medals and the officers were awarded silver medals. President Taft presented Captain Rostron with the Congressional Gold Medal. Later, King George V would knight Captain Rostron.

Words of sympathy were expressed from around the world. King George V said “ The Queen and I are horrified at the appalling disaster which has happened to the Titanic and at the terrible loss of life. We deeply sympathize with the bereaved relatives and feel for them in their great sorrow with all our hearts.” George, R. ET. I.

After completing his testimony Captain Roston and the Carpathia returned to service. Captain Roston died in 1940.

Services were held for the victims all over the world. In London, services were held on April 19 at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

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RMS Carpathia arrived an hour after the RMS Titanic sunk to her watery grave. Her rockets were spotted by those in the lifeboats at three thirty that morning.


The RMS Carpathia was owned by the Cunard Line. Her maiden voyage was on May 5, 1903. {She would be Torpedoed off Ireland by German submarine on July 17, 1918}. She left New York City on April 11, 1912 and was sailing towards Fiume, Austria-Hungary {now Rijeka, Croatia} on April 14, 1912.

Harold Cottam was the Carpathia wireless operator. He missed the initial Titanic SOS messages because he was on deck. When he returned Cape Race, Newfoundland told him of the CQD/SOS messages and he then received Titanic’s distress signal. He awakened Captain Rostron who immediately set sail for Titanic. They were fifty-eight miles away from the sinking vessel.

Captain Arthur Henry Rostron was given the command of the RMS Carpathia on January 18, 1912. He went to sea when he was thirteen years old. In January 1895 he joined the Cunard Line. In 1912 Captain Rostron and RMS Carpathia made regular trips from New York City to Fiume, Italy. Headed to Europe the vessel carried a large number of tourist. On the return trip to New York City the steamer would carry emigrants.

This was the first disaster Captain Rostron responded to. However, he spared no effort or cost. He ordered that his lifeboats be swung out, all gangway doors opened, stewards to keep passengers and survivors separate, blankets prepared, extra rooms and the library and smoking rooms prepared, soup and hot drinks ready, rope ladders and extra chairs used to bring the survivors on board, pursers to gather names and stewards to see after the survivors, and the doctor summoned. He clearly rose to the challenge and acted in a timely and professional manner.

Understanding the severity of the situation, Captain Rostron ordered all heat sources to be cut off. This allowed the boilers to work faster, build more power and produce more steam. This could have been very dangerous with so much ice and he understood this, posting additional lookouts.

The Carpathia arrived at the scene at four o’clock in the morning. The Captain and crew were met with a scene of the vast ocean and nothing else upon reaching the given concordance of the Titanic’s location. Captain Rostrom testified they were met with “only a sea covered with wreckage and debris”. He ordered the engines stopped as the crew searched for life. Finally someone pointed out a flare from a lifeboat in the distance.

The passengers on Carpathia were stunned by the scene that greeted them the morning of Monday, April 15, 1912. One passenger described it as “fields of ice on which, like points on the landscape, rested innumerable pyramids of ice.”

On board Carpathia was Charles H. Marshall, whose three nieces were travelling aboard the Titanic. {All three women survived and were surprised to find their uncle upon being rescued}.

Lifeboat number two was the first to be rescued at 4:10am. She was under the command of Fourth Officer Joseph Boxhall. Elizabeth Walton Allen was the first passenger to be brought aboard Carpathia. She confirmed to the crew that Titanic had indeed sunk.


As passengers were brought on board many were in shock or sobbing, while others quietly reflected on the events of that night. Many were still under the impression that their loved ones had been saved and rescued.

The rescue effort took over four hours. Survivors were brought aboard by a variety of means such as climbing rope ladders, slings, chairs and children hoisted up in mail sacks.

The last lifeboat to reach the Carpathia was number twelve. There were seventy-four people on board, including Office Lightoller, who was the last to board the vessel. Some of the boats had been adrift for eight hours. All of Titanic survivors were on the Carpathia by nine o’clock that morning.

On board the Carpathia survivors looked for their loved ones. A few had joyful scenes of being reunited, but most saw their hopes dashed as their loved ones failed to appear and reality began to sink in. After being rescued all of the survivors were inspected by a doctor and given food and drink.

The final count onboard the Carpathia was 705 survivors out of 2223 that had started the Southhampton to New York voyage.

After everyone was on board Captain Rostron held a service and moment of silence over the disaster site for those lost at sea.

Due to insufficient resources, Captain Rostrom decided to return to New York instead of continuing on to Europe.

The California arrived at the site of the disaster at 8:30am. Hearing of the sinking she worked her way through the ice to be of assistance. Finding no other survivors she then continued on to Boston.

Titanic’s wireless operator, Harold Bride, was taken to Carpathia’s wireless room where he worked with Harold Cottam. The men did not leave the room and worked transmit a list of survivors names and personal messages to relatives. The men even refused to answer a request from President Taft, requesting information on his military advisor Archibald Butt.

“One of the messages that the New York White Star line did receive from the Carpathia confirming the disaster is as follows:
Steamship Carpathia, April 17, 1912 (via Halifax)
Deeply regret advise you Titanic sank this morning, after collision iceberg, resulting serious loss life. Further particulars later. Bruce Ismay.
This was received by Mr. Franklin at the White Star office in New York at 9 a.m. on April 17. Two days after the sinking. This gives you an idea of how slow news was traveling.”

Now the passengers and survivors aboard Carpathia had nothing to do but wait to reach New York.

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The first class passengers on the Titanic were living in the lap of luxury. Some of the richest people in the world were traveling on the Titanic for her maiden voyage. This included prominent members of the upper-class that included politicians, businessmen, bankers, professional athletes, industrialists and high-ranking military personnel. Most of those on in first class were traveling with an entourage which might include one or all of the following: a nurse for the children, a maid, valet, cook, and chauffer. A first class ticket ranged anywhere from thirty pounds to 870 pounds. In today’s money you could expect to pay an average of $70,000 per first class ticket. The more expensive rooms were a parlor suite and usually had a private promenade deck.

Everyone is familiar with the breathtaking Grand Staircase with the glass dome over it, but the Titanic had many other amenities, including electricity and the wireless Marconi system. Other amenities found on the First Class deck included a Parisian Café, A La Carte Restaurant, tea gardens, reception room, verandah café, heated swimming pool, gymnasium, library, squash court, barbershop, kennel, elevators, smoking room, Turkish bath, dining saloon, reading and writing rooms, and enclosed promenade decks to walk and sit on. Many first class passengers had their pets with them on the voyage {two dogs were saved}.

The Titanic sailed during the Edwardian Age where the food and wine flowed freely and people still dressed for dinner. On deck a bugler will signal the dinner hour had arrived. A meal was an experience and not something to be rushed through. All first class meals provided numerous options to choose from. Lunch seemed to be more laid back with either a buffet or a special request from the grill. In the book “Last Dinner on the Titanic” the author provides menus for meals that consist of ten to fourteen courses. A first class menu was found after the sinking for Sunday, April 14, 1912 {the night of the disaster}. The menu for that evening consisted of the following: the first course consisted of an hors d’oeuvres; second course had a selection of soups; third course was a poached salmon; fourth course consisted of filet mignon with vegetables; fifth course gave you a choice of lamb, duck or beef with more vegetables; sixth course was a punch to clean the palate; seventh course was a roast squab, ninth course was a pate and the tenth course consisted of deserts such as pudding, fruit, ice cream, etc. Different wines were served with each course and following the last course fresh fruit and cheeses were available. The men would then excuse themselves to retire to the smoking room for coffee, cigars and their desired spirits.

People of this era knew nothing but a life of opulence and grandeur. There were those few that had planned to be on the Titanic but had to cancel at the last minute for various reasons. A few of these were J.P Morgan and Milton Hershey. Ironically Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt I cancelled his trip on the Titanic at the last minute, but died in the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915 {the ship Titanic was built to rival}.

Listed below is a small sampling of some of the First Class Passengers traveling on the Titanic for her maiden voyage:

John Jacob Astor IV was the richest man on the ship. He inherited millions and made millions more in real estate, but also had other business interest. One of these other interest was a novel he published in 1894. He built the Astoria Hotel, labeled “the world’s most luxurious hotel.” He divorced his first wife in 1909 and at the age of 47 married 18 year old, Madeleine Force, in 1911. His new wife was a year younger than his son, Vincent. Their marriage caused a scandal and the couple decided to honeymoon Europe and Egypt. Margaret Brown also accompanied the couple on their travels abroad. The couple decided to return home to New York when they discovered Madeleine was expecting. John Jacob put Madeleine in a lifeboat on the Titanic. His body was recovered and there are conflicting reports on the condition of the body. {Most I read say he was badly mangled, but I have seen a few that say his body was in perfect condition.} The belief is that one of the funnels fell on him. Madeline gave birth to John Jacob Astor VI on August 14, 1912. Madeline married two more times and died in 1940.


Margaret Brown was coined The Unsinkable Molly Brown by Hollywood. She was never called Molly in real life, though. Her friends would have called her Maggie. She was born in Missouri to Irish immigrants. In 1886 she married James Joseph {JJ} Brown and had two children. JJ Brown eventually became one of the most successful mining men in the United States and the family became very rich. Margaret became very involved with politics and women’s suffrage. She was spending time with John Jacob Astor and his wife in Egypt, when word reached her that her grandson was ill. Titanic was the next ship to reach New York, so she booked passage. Due to the haste of these decisions few knew she was even on the Titanic. Upon the Carpathia, Margaret worked nonstop to help the other survivors. She was the last Titanic survivor to disembarked from the Carpathia at 3am. While aboard the Carpathia she’d helped establish the Survivor’s Committee. She continued to travel and help the less fortunate before her death in 1932.


Isidor Strauss was co-owner of Macy’s department store. He’d also served in the US House of Representatives. In 1871 he married Rosalie Ida Blun and the couple had seven children. After the Titanic hit the iceberg, Ida refused to leave her husband, reportedly saying “I will not be separated from my husband. As we have lived, so will we die, together.” They were last seen sitting on the deck holding hands. His body was recovered, but hers was never found.


Dorothy Gibson was born in 1889 and a silent film actress. She was also a singer and dancer, appearing on Broadway. She was artist Harrison Fisher’s favorite model. After being rescued from the Titanic, she went on to make a film about the ordeal a month later. Saved from the Titanic is her best known performance, although the film no longer survives. In the film she played herself and wore the same clothes she had on the night of the disaster. It is reported that she was playing bridge at the time of the disaster. She died in France in 1946.


Archibald Butt was an influential military aide to Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and William Howard Taft. He was returning home from a six week vacation. When the ship hit the iceberg, he was playing cards in the first class smoking lounge. He went down with the ship and his body was never recovered. It is reported that both President Roosevelt and President Taft took the loss very hard.


Bruce Ismay conceived of the Titanic at a dinner with Lord Pirrie {Harland and Wolff Shipyard} in 1907. The duo decided to build three ships {Olympic, Titanic, Britannic} to rival Cunard Line’s Lusitania and Mauretania. He entered a lifeboat and was saved. Reports differ as to when in the evacuation he entered the lifeboat. He was shunned and heralded a coward by many because he allowed himself to be rescued. He testified in the hearings that he turned away in the final moments and could not watch the Titanic make its final plunge. He stayed out of the public eye until his death in 1937.


Thomas Andrews was the designer and oversaw the building of RMS Titanic and her sister ship, RMS Olympic. He was familiar with every detail of these two vessels. After the collision, Captain Smith summoned him to survey the damage. He had the overwhelming job of informing the Captain of the ship’s imminent sinking. As the evacuation began, Andrews searched for passengers and encouraged them to put their lifebelts on. He went down with the ship he helped create and his body was never found.


The story of the Allison Family is a very sad story. Hudson was born a farmer’s son in 1881. He made his wealth as an insurance agent. “Hud” married Bessie Waldo Daniels in 1907 after meeting on a train. The couple were devout Methodist and had two children, Lorraine and Trevor. Trevor was baptized at the church John Wesley preached at in Lincolnshire, England. In December 1911 the family went to Europe on a pleasure/business trip. They rearranged their plans to return home with friends aboard the Titanic. At the last minute the couple hired, Alice Cleaver, to care for their son Trevor. After the ship collided with the iceberg, Alice took Trevor and boarded a lifeboat. Bess and Hud had no idea what happened to their son and searched everywhere. At one point it seems Alison and Bess had a chance to get in a lifeboat, but not knowing where her husband was Bess took her daughter and went in search of her missing husband. What is known is that Trevor was the only survivor from this family. Hud’s body was the only one in the family recovered. Two-year-old Loraine was the only child in first or second class to perish.


Benjamin Guggenheim inherited his riches. He was traveling on the Titanic with his mistress, a French singer. Also in his party were his valet, chauffeur and a maid for his mistress. He slept right through the collision with the iceberg and had to be awakened and forced to put on a lifebelt. Realizing there was no hope for survival after putting his mistress in a lifeboat, he and his valet dressed in evening wear and was seen heading down the Grand staircase. It is reported he said “We’ve dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.” He also sent a message for his wife. Guggenheim, his valet and his chauffeur all went down with the Titanic.


Edith Louise Rosenbaum Russell was born in Ohio in 1879. She worked as a fashion writer, consultant, importer, buyer and stylist. By 1912 she was running her own service in Paris. She spent Easter reporting on the Paris races and decided to return to the states. After the impact she could see the berg glide by her window. She boarded the Titanic as a first class passenger. She had a musical toy pig, named Maxxie, her mother gave her. The night of the sinking she wrapped the pig in a blanket and the officers believed the bundle was a baby and placed the bundle in a lifeboat. Having refused to enter a boat previously, Edith jumped in after Maxxie. Throughout the long night she would wind his tail and allow him to sing the maxixe {a French dance} to entertain and calm the children. At least for a short time it helped everyone forget the cold, fear of the unknown and cheer up the occupants in the boat during that long, uncertain evening. She died in 1975. Her story is now a children’s book, Pig on the Titanic: A True Story.


John Thayer was Vice President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He is also well known as a first class cricketer. He was married to Marian Longstreth Morris and they had four children. His son Jack III was on board the ship with him. He safely put his wife and her maid into a lifeboat. John Thayer went down with the ship shortly before his 50th birthday and his body was never identified. His son, Jack, was able to swim to an overturned collapsible boat “B” where he was later rescued. He died in 1945. Robert Ballard used information from his 1940 memoir to find the Titanic’s final resting place.

Archibald Gracie IV was a writer, historian and real estate investor. He spent much of his time aboard ship reading in the library and serving as a dining companion for the ship’s unaccompanied women. He spent much time recounting his research and interest in the Civil War and Chickamauga Campaign. As the ship went down, Gracie jumped and was able to make it to the overturned Collapsible “B” boat. He and many others hung on to this boat throughout the night. He immediately started on his book about the sinking when he reached New York. His health was severely affected by the ordeal and he died eight months later on December 4.


Lady Lucy Gordon was a leading fashion designer of the early 20th Century. She held the precursor to the modern day fashion show and was one of the first designers to use a mannequin. She was famous for designing lingerie. She was known as Lucile and travelling with her husband, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon. The couple was traveling under the names Mr. and Mrs. Morgan. They were two of only twelve people in their lifeboat. Accusations were later thrown at them of bribing the crew not to return to pick up people in the water for fear of being swamped. Lucile became a fashion columnists and critic later in life. She was scheduled to be aboard the final voyage of the RMS Lusitania but cancelled due to illness. The couple died four years to the day apart. He in 1931 and she in 1935.

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