The history of the R.M.S. Titanic, of the White Star Line, is one of the most tragically short it is possible to conceive. The world had waited expectantly for its launching and again for its sailing; had read accounts of its tremendous size and its unexampled completeness and luxury; had felt it a matter of the greatest satisfaction that such a comfortable, and above all such a safe boat had been designed and built — the "unsinkable lifeboat"; — and then in a moment to hear that it had gone to the bottom as if it had been the veriest tramp steamer of a few hundred tons; and with it fifteen hundred passengers, some of them known the world over! The improbability of such a thing ever happening was what staggered humanity.
If its history had to be written in a single paragraph it would be somewhat as follows:—
"The R.M.S. Titanic was built by Messrs. Harland & Wolff at their well-known shipbuilding works at Queen's Island, Belfast, side by side with her sister ship the Olympic. The twin vessels marked such an increase in size that specially laid-out joiner and boiler shops were prepared to aid in their construction, and the space usually taken up by three building slips was given up to them. The keel of the Titanic was laid on March 31,1909, and she was launched on May 31,1911; she passed her trials before the Board of Trade officials on March 31, 1912, at Belfast, arrived at Southampton on April 4, and sailed the follow3
ing Wednesday, April 10, with 2208 passengers and crew, on her maiden voyage to New York. She called at Cherbourg the same day, Queenstown Thursday, and left for New York in the afternoon, expecting to arrive the following Wednesday morning. But the voyage was never completed. She collided with an iceberg on Sunday at 11.45 P.m. in Lat. 41° 46' N. and Long. 50° 14' W., and sank two hours and a half later; 815 of her passengers and 688 of her crew were drowned and 705 rescued by the Carpathia."
Titanic - From a photograph taken in Belfast Harbour. Copyrighted by Underwood and Underwood, New York.
This image (or other media file) is in the public domain because its copyright has expired. This applies to the United States, where Works published prior to 1978 were copyright protected for a maximum of 75 years. See Circular 1 "COPYRIGHT BASICS" PDF. Works published before 1923, in this case 1912, are now in the public domain.
TEXT and IMAGE CREDIT: The Loss of the SS. Titanic: Its Story and Its Lessons. Author: Lawrence Beesley. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1912. Original from: the University of Michigan. Digitized: Oct 3, 2008. Length: 301 pages.