Monday, August 10, 2009

A photograph that has been mislabeled for years.

This is not who all the books say it is...........

I have seen this photograph in too many books listed as a photo of John Jacob Astor IV at the Ship Train Station in England, waiting to head to the Titanic. It is NOT John Jacob Astor!

This photo was taken by a Father Browne at the Boat Train Station on April 10, 1912. But it is of another Astor, John J. Astor and his new wife Madeline were not even in England when this picture was taken.

It is a photo of William Waldorf Astor (1848-1919). Most probably he was there to see someone off. It was not J.J. Astor and his wife, cause they were never on this train. They got on the Titanic in France. But for years it has been listed as the last photograph of Astor, and even Browne originally got it wrong.

I had always thought it wrong and not J.J. Astor. William Astor was a bit heavier and full faced. John Jacob Astor IV was quite slender and had a narrower face.

Father Browne was one of the few people to join the Titanic at Southampton and leave in Ireland. He traveled with another family. His and only that other family are the only photos of part of that voyage to survive.

After so many years of one error after another in more books than I can mention, this is NOT the last photograph of John Jacob Astor the IV. But I am sure 100 books and websites yet to come will still make this same mistake in the future...