The Titanic - Why Did People Believe Titanic Was Unsinkable?
It seems incredible to us today that anyone could believe that 70,000 tonnes of steel could be unsinkable, but that was exactly what people in 1912 believed. The information on this page will seek to look at some of the reasons why people at the time had that belief.
The shipbuilders Harland and Wolff insist that the Titanic was never advertised as an unsinkable ship. They claim that the 'unsinkable' myth was the result of people's interpretations of articles in the Irish News and the Shipbuilder magazine. They also claim that the myth grew after the disaster.
Yet, when the New York office of the White Star Line was informed that Titanic was in trouble, White Star Line Vice President P.A.S. Franklin announced " We place absolute confidence in the Titanic. We believe the boat is unsinkable." By the time Franklin spoke those words Titanic was at the bottom of the ocean. It would seem that the White Star Line President was also influenced by the 'myth'.
It is difficult to discover exactly where or when the term 'unsinkable' was first used. Listed below are some possibilities.
An extract from a White Star Line publicity brochure produced in 1910 for the twin ships Olympic and Titanic which states ??these two wonderful vessels are designed to be unsinkable. Some sources state that this wording was used on an advertising flyer while others point to an illustrated brochure. The White Star Line insist that the words used in the publicity brochure (shown above) only point to Titanic's being designed to be unsinkable, not that it was claimed to be unsinkable.
On June 1, 1911, the Irish News and Belfast Morning News contained a report on the launching of Titanic's hull. The article described the system of watertight compartments and electronic watertight doors and concluded that Titanic was practically unsinkable.
In 1911, Shipbuilder magazine published an article on the White Star Line's sister ships Titanic and Olympic. The article described the construction of the ship and concluded that Titanic was practically unsinkable.
"God himself could not sink this ship!" This quotation, made famous by Cameron's film, is reputed to have been the answer given by a deck hand when asked if Titanic was really unsinkable.
Whatever the origin of the belief, there is no doubt that people did believe Titanic to be unsinkable.
Passenger Margaret Devaney said "I took passage on the Titanic for I thought it would be a safe steamship and I had heard it could not sink."
Another passenger, Thomson Beattie, wrote home "We are changing ships and coming home in a new unsinkable boat."
It was the beginning of the twentieth century and people had absolute faith in new science and technology. They believed that science in the twentieth century could and would provide answers to solve all problems.
The sinking of the 'unsinkable' Titanic shattered much confidence in science and made people more sceptical about such fantastic claims.
The Middle Ages were a terrible time to get sick. There was no sanitation inside cities and hardly any in rural areas. While there might be some drainage or elementary sewers, the fact remains that people simply threw their bodily wastes out into the streets. Animal dung, dead dogs and rotting garbage of all kinds landed in the street and stayed there, trampled in and out of people’s houses.
The Catholic... Read More
The First Film about the Titanic Premiered Just 29 Days after the Vessel Sank
You may have seen James Cameron’s theatrical version of the Titanic, a movie that has accrued over $1.84 billion in total gross sales since its release in 1997. But we can confidently bet that you have never laid eyes on Saved From the Titanic, a 1912 silent motion picture starring actress and survivor of the RMS titanic, Dorothy... Read More
Most Americans are familiar with the magic of Thanksgiving. A holiday associated with family reunions, football, Black Friday sales, turkeys, pumpkin pies, pilgrims, and Indians. However, not many are aware of its somewhat grimmer origins. Typically, what we are taught in school is an idealized historical account of what actually took place in the first pilgrim harvest festivity.
The first Thanksgiving,... Read More
Theodore Roosevelt Gave a Speech with a Bullet in his Chest
Theodore Roosevelt is one of the most badass presidents to ever step foot inside the White House. He was a policeman, cowboy, boxer and soldier. He went head to head with business giants such as Carnegie, Rockefeller, and Morgan.
At the age of 50, he got into a fistfight with an army lieutenant who punched him so hard that it left him blind in... Read More
Spying became an integral part of the Cold War. Both sides went out of their way to acquire as much knowledge as they could about each other. While Hollywood has romanticized the whole image of espionage, the real thing is far from romantic. It is a dangerous cat and mouse game that typically results in torture, prison, or execution for the spy if caught by the opposing team.
During the Cold War, spies... Read More