Wednesday, January 30, 2013
"THE UNSINKABLE TITANIC" I am tired of hearing this silliness that the Titanic was advertised as being unsinkable.
I know many will sit and think I am off my rocker in saying this. But I am really tired of hearing this being stated as fact. It is part of popular culture.......This is not at all true.
The term "practically unsinkable" was used for many ships. The Titanic was never singled out as being unsinkable.
The Shipbuilder magazine in 1910 and 1911 in writing about the Olympic Class of ships ( Olympic, Titanic, Gigantic ) said in dealing with the watertight compartments, that basically by pushing an electric switch, the watertight doors can be shut making the ships practically unsinkable.
The Olympic was just as unsinkable as the Titanic.
For that matter go back to the RMS Adriatic of 1907 and the newspaper accounts go on about the electric switch that will close the compartments making her practically unsinkable!
So the Adriatic was just as unsinkable as the Titanic too.
The ads for the Lusitania and Mauritania go on about compartments in the days before the Titanic. In one piece I have they talk about how the sub dividing of the ships makes them practically unsinkable.
So they were just as unsinkable as the Titanic. You can see how the list is growing.
This was an over used and over advertised topic. It just became fashionable to use with the Titanic and specially after she sank. No one really gave it much thought "TILL" the Titanic sank. Then suddenly the "practically" in unsinkable vanished!
The mind set of the time with all the new major ships of Cunard and White Star was that they were large lifeboats in themselves. The emergency boats were just to ferry passengers if need be to another vessel in an emergency. There was never thoughts of these major liners sinking. It was out of the realm of the Edwardian mind.
I have not found one advertisement stating this fact. White Star never ever advertised the Titanic as unsinkable, or for that matter the Adriatic that way. The statement for many vessels would be practically.
By the way also the Titanic and Olympic carried more lifeboats than almost any other ships of the day including the Lusitania and the Mauritania.
The argument is that the Titanic was bigger. Well, it was larger in the 1st class areas, but carried about the same amount of passengers as those other vessels.
So I am also tired of that fabrication dealing with lowering the lifeboat numbers on the Titanic because she was unsinkable. Nonsense!
Everyone did it.. Just it takes away from the story if you tell the truth. The Olympic also had the same number of lifeboats as Titanic. Surely not enough, but more than almost any other ship of the time.
Had the Lusitania hit the berg, the death toll would have been perhaps been even higher. Not only because she had less lifeboats than the Titanic. But also the design of her watertight bulkheads would have allowed her to list far easier than the Titanic. This may have caused only one side of the lifeboats to be lowered.
The term was as I said over used. But one must understand if you read the scientific papers of the day the Lusitania, Mauritania, Olympic, Titanic, Adriatic, and few others were practically unsinkable. What made it all the greater was until 1912 none of them sank.
The Titanic was the first of a long list of "practically unsinkable" ships that wasn't.