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Online Display Of Titanic Related Items From Private Collection
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western union telegram telegraph marconi marconigram sos distress franklin titanic 1912

"SOS / from Marconi operator RMS Titanic / We have struck iceberg / Sinking fast / Come to our assistance /"

Titanic's SOS telegram 'sinking fast' to White Star Line in NYC

Size: 16.8 x 20.0 cm (6.6 x 7.9 in)  ☆

1 OF JUST 2 (KNOWN) !  WIRELESS SOS VIA NEWFOUNDLAND TO NEW YORK !

November 2015 a virtually identical looking "wireless telegram" (also called "marconigram") was up for auction at Heritage Auctions, "The World's Largest Collectibles Auctioneer", Dallas, Texas. The required starting bid was $20,000, with pre sale estimate $32,000 - $48,000. For now it did not sell. According to Heritage the existence of this historical document was not known and thus unrecorded. In June 2016 I coincidentally came to know about the (now) other known telegram then being up for sale, it was very low priced (relatively speaking), and only then I came to learn about the other one from Heritage Auctions. Also my purchased telegram originates from an old private collection. The telegram is addressed to the manager of the White Star Steamship Co. in NYC. As it seems, that company name was an other and/or more official denotation as opposed to the commonly used "White Star Line"; in the newspaper reports following the disaster this company name "White Star Steamship Co. (Ltd.)" is used often, if not predominantly.

Heritage Auctions stated that (this kind of) telegrams at the time were sent "2-up" ("twice"); possibly as a safety measure. So these two telegrams from the earliest hours of 15 April 1912, the very moment of the sinking, may be the only ones produced and surviving. Both emerging almost simultaneously from two different sources is even more surprising, not to say astounding. Still, this telegram appears fully genuine beyond any doubt. Really, it is what it is. The paper is clearly very old and brittle, with fold cracks and separations, and visible fibers. The printed texts display the correct amount of sharpness, and are slightly lowered (indented) into the paper: evidence of old letterpress printing style. Also the typed message is indented into the paper as expected. The typing's visible ribbon structure is authentic, since, looking with a magnifying glass, it shows no dot matrix pattern typical for modern/reproductive printing style. On both telegrams the top half of the typed texts is inked and/or struck only faintly, which suggests the very same typing apparatus for both telegrams at Western Union, NYC. The typing (the message) appears dark gray when compared with the full black printing. So, as for characteristics of paper, printing and typing I can only confirm all findings and subsequent authentication by Heritage Auctions. Furthermore, in my view the authenticity of both telegrams is highly strengthened by their distinct mutual differences. This newly discovered SOS wireless telegram, this "set" of two, is most definitely no fake or hoax but a new paragraph, if not page, in the history of Titanic. ... more

Extra large image (9540 x 7980):  Front (9.5MB)  Back (8.0MB)
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postcard photo konigsbruck germany lager landwehr rekruten soldaten titanic 1912

Probably the 2 'boats' are in fact (horse) wagons or the like. The man far right sits in a 'lifeboat' (wash tub).

Königsbrück marine recruits in 'boats', May 1912, real photo pc

Size: 8.9 x 14.0 cm (3.5 x 5.5 in)  ☆

NEVER SEEN !  MAYBE THE MOST OUTRAGEOUS 'TITANIC' SCENE EVER SEEN !

Let us first have a close look at the chalk writings in German language from left to right and then translate these: "Titanic - Gestorben am 16. April 1912" / "Die Landwehr kommt! ; 4. Komp[anie]. 1. Res[erve]. Reg[imen]t. XII [XI?] ; Königsbrück, 2.-16. Mai 1912" / "Olympic - Noch nicht gestorben" ; "Rettungsboot".  Now in translation: "Titanic - Died/Deceased [sic!] on 16 April 1912" / "The military comes! ; 4th Company 1st Reserve Regiment XII [XI?] ; Königsbrück, 2-16 May 1912" ; "Olympic - Not died/deceased [sic!] yet" ; "Lifeboat". (Of course the "Gestorben am 16. April 1912" is incorrect; Titanic sank in the early hours of 15 April.) What we are looking at is a group of 23 military men, mainly recruits, at the military training camp, since 1906, near Königsbrück in the region of Sachsen. This city Königsbrück is located roughly 25 km (roughly 16 miles) north of the city Dresden in the far east of Germany near the border with Poland.

The man to the left of the central wooden sign wears a 3-stripe "chevron" on his upper arm. If my research has been correct, this would make him a "Hauptgefreiter" of the Kriegsmarine (navy). This would then indicate that most of the 23 men are recruits for the navy (and the two "boats" thus making more sense). As it seems to me, these novices had just completed their two-week basic military training: "2-16 May". Also it seems plausible that the photo was taken either on or one day after that final training day, 16 May, which was one month after the Titanic disaster. The 3rd man from the left is waving a flag, but I have been unsuccessful in identifying what flag. Also the man far right is holding a flag (monochrome color?), sitting in a wash tub with written in chalk "Rettungsboot" ("Lifeboat"). This wash tub must somehow have been elevated, for the "sea water" to be added later by the photographer. Another man holds a rope attached to this "lifeboat". It remains unclear why the group of military men have theatrically staged these two "vessels" Titanic and her sister ship Olympic. Perhaps this was following some sort of drill with two teams competing. In any case it appears inexplicable to present the two ships in this manner. ... more

Extra large image (6690 x 4270):  Front (3.1MB)  Back (1.7MB)
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mourning woman book titanic sinking disaster photograph titanic 1912

Also in my collection (RPPC): an aged man with book "Story of the Wreck of the Titanic" by Marshall Everett.

mourning woman book titanic sinking disaster photograph titanic 1912

Although just smaller than a postcard, this glass negative photo print shows every detail in the lace collar.

Mourning woman with book on the disaster, real photo c1912

Size card: 14.5 x 12.0 cm (5.7 x 4.7 in)  Size photo: 11.2 x 8.4 cm (4.4 x 3.3 in)  ☆

TRULY STUNNING INSANELY RARE & STARTLING ONCE IN A LIFETIME FIND !

In the immediate aftermath of the Titanic sinking there was a huge demand for books, postcards, memorabilia etc. on the subject. As such the so called "instant books" on the Titanic disaster were produced in no time and sold door-to-door by salesmen and -women. Also featured on this website (page 5) is an extremely rare postcard for recruiting colporteurs for the famous 1912 book "The Sinking of the Titanic and Great Sea Disasters" compiled by Logan Marshall. This real photo portrait of the elder woman now shows the other famous 1912 book: "Sinking of the Titanic - The World's Greatest Sea Disaster" by Thomas Russell.

Judging by the card stock, the photo print, its aging and also how the elder woman is dressed up, this photograph should date from shortly after the sinking disaster. Apparently the woman is in mourning; she wears a black hair bow, a bar shaped mourning pin (brooch), and multiple thin black ribbons embroidered in her lace collar and sleeves. (In Victorian and to lesser extend Edwardian era the mourning etiquette was important, complex and strict. People would go through several stages of mourning, depending on their relation to the deceased one. In Victorian era, 1837-1901, this process could take up to about 2.5 years in total.) Furthermore it would seem logical to pose with a book title which was still topical at that moment and also relating to the deceased person. Altogether the woman apparently had just lost a loved one in the Titanic tragedy, and even maybe, although far from likely, was a surviving passenger herself. ... more

Extra large image (6930 x 5730):  Front (6.0MB)
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harland and wolff wolf saw hand tool handtool back tenon titanic 1912

Old, antique, but still perfect for today's job. It is often said that pre-WW2 saws will outclass any modern saw.

14" back saw (tenon) c1900, from Harland & Wolff shipbuilders

Size: 15.5 x 48.0 cm (6.1 x 18.9 in)  Blade: 35.5 cm (14.0 in)  ☆  Weight: 600 gr (21 oz)  ☆

NEAR IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND H&W ARTIFACT !  MAYBE USED ON OR FOR TITANIC !

Harland & Wolff, founded 11 April 1861, was the exclusive builder for White Star Line ships including Titanic. The Irish company still exists today, now mainly specializing in offshore construction. On the rare occasion that an antique H&W shipwright tool is offered for sale, it may or will be accompanied by a provenance document from a family descendant. Occasionally the name or initials of the shipyard worker (or contractor) may even be engraved in the wood or the metal of such personal tool. As a result, authenticating such handtool in regards to its original owner will then be easier and more conclusive.

This carpentry back saw of the type "tenon" (because of its 14" blade), although used, is still in very good condition, with its teeth sufficiently sharp, and a nice patina with light pitting but without rusting. There is no manufacturer's mark to be found, however there may be one being covered by the small brass plate. The saw blade counts a rather moderate 10 teeth per inch, thus making it "10 tpi" (teeth per inch), UK style, or "11 ppi" (points per inch), US style. Apparently this carpenter tool is a "rip saw" (working along the wood grain) as opposed to "crosscut saw" (working across the wood grain), however saws from this time period often served either purpose. To elaborate on this: sharpening each individual tooth for crosscutting is more complicated and more time consuming. ... more


pre sinking disaster rare scarce postcard olympic titanic 1912

"860 Feet", but overall length 882.5 ft. Very rare early card; maybe therefore quite unknown and underrated.

Issued late 1909 : earliest postcard / depiction Olympic &  Titanic

Size: 8.7 x 14.0 cm (3.4 x 5.5 in)  ☆

VERY SCARCE !  ALMOST TOO HARD TO FIND !  EARLIEST VIEW OF THE SHIPS !

This promotional postcard's nautical scene, a drawing by an unknown artist, appears to be the first visual impression of Olympic and Titanic released for press and public by White Star Line. You will find this very same illustration in 1909-1910 newspaper pages reporting on these mammoth liners then being built. Just like on this postcard issued/authorized by WSL, also the media often stated the ships' length to be "860 feet". That however was builder's style measurement; the overall measured length was an extra 22.5 ft: for Olympic 882' 5", for Titanic 882' 9", 269.06 m. (The explanation for their marginal size difference of 4 inch (10 cm): really I have no clue!)

In the drawing two masts are visible, however in the New York Daily Tribune of 30 May 1909 the 2nd mast is absent in the very same drawing (see image nr 3)! Interestingly, one month later, on Wednesday 30 June 1909, it was decided by Bruce Ismay, head of WSL, to have a 2nd mast installed:

New York Tribune, Fri. 9 July 1909, Page 7:
NEW LINERS AS TWO-MASTERS - J. Bruce Ismay's Plan for the Equipment of the Titanic and the Olympic. - J. Bruce lsmay, president of the International Mercantile Marine Company, who arrived here on the White Star liner Oceanic a week ago Wednesday, has decided to add another mast to the new steamers Olympic and Titanic, now under construction at Belfast. He saw the Cunarder Lusitania [Lusitania was the pride of rival Cunard Line] departing for Liverpool a few hours after his arrival. Her four funnels and two masts impressed him so favorably that he decided then and there to add a mainmast to the new White Star leviathans, both of which were designed to carry only a foremast. Mr. Ismay is one of the few steamship men who don't see much use in a mast on a big passenger steamer. The hauling up of hold baggage can easily be accomplished by a small boom, or it can be transferred to the pier by an electric traveller, and the carrying of a mast for appearance sake is not good business. Practically no steamers except those of the Old Dominion Line come into this port with a single stick, and the similarity in design of Titanic and Olympic to these coastwise vessels has brought forth much comment in shipping circles. It is thought that if some means can be found to carry the wireless antenna on the new ships sir Ismay may again change his mind and send over the four-funnelled monsters with no masts at all. ... more


postcard photo redruth whitsum fancy fair titanic 1912

Low left in faded photo: "Redruth Fancy Fairs 1912. No.3" (perhaps referring to a booth No.3; see image nr 6).

Redruth fancy fair, act supporting 'Titanic', real photo pc 1912

Size: 8.8 x 13.9 cm (3.5 x 5.5 in)  ☆

NEVER SEEN IMAGE !  1912 SNAPSHOT OF LOCAL SUPPORT FOR SURVIVORS !

Redruth is a town or village in the region of Cornwall in the far south-west tip of England. Redruth's well-known "Whitsum fair" on the local Fairfield site started off some time before 1900. This historically interesting real photo postcard (by the way unposted), thus not printed, is a well composed snapshot of a theatrical act on the subject of the Titanic disaster. Without the informational signs displayed on the stage this postcard would not have gained my attention and subsequently not have been publicized globally via this website. It just would have remained another tucked away and long forgotten postcard respectively historical document. Since this is an antique real photo postcard (RPPC) and no reference or mentioning is to be found on the internet it altogether is outright extremely rare. The photo dates from shortly after the sinking, which is evident from the lower left caption: "Redruth Fancy Fairs 1912. No.3.". Judging by the spectators' clothes and also considering this Whitsum fair obviously held sometime between Spring and Autumn (as is custom for fairs), this photo should date from the period May to September. Probably we are not looking at the actual performance but a free preview in order to attract spectators for an indoor event (movie? theatre?). Just a photo detail: in the far top left corner appears to be a bell, and just below that the bell's rope end.

In the photograph there are 3 paper signs mentioning Titanic, with referrals to her sinking and the support of survivors. Even on my high-res scans the signs' (smaller) text portions are almost impossible to read. These however became readable after dramatically increasing image contrast. It was only after my patiently looking and guessing and analyzing that the extremely blurry and distorted words and sentences became identifiable. (The only (slight) doubt I have is with this one word "Saddened", on the far left sign.) "NOW SHOWING Saddened teens bringing Clothes for the Survivears [sic!] of the TITANIC & new sets Shown at each Performance". "NOW SHOWING The Disaster Of The World's Largest Liner TITANIC". "Memorialising Calamity With the Titanic"? Please see the close up images of the stage signs. (Immediately to the left of the diagonal beam is a sign seemingly showing an image of Titanic. Still, my enhancing of the image contrast could not affirm this any further.) Without the identification of these text portions this postcard would have been less interesting and less significant in a cultural and historical perspective. ☆

Extra large image (6590 x 4220):  Front (1.8MB)  Back (2.2MB)
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hull rust iron steel the big piece titanic 1912

In 2001 an 18-wheel trailer combo overturned and a 'wrecker' picked up this and many more hull fragments.

Small rust chip (2.8 cm /1.1") from The Big Piece (8 m / 26 ', 17ton)

Size: 2.8 x 2.25 cm (1.1 x 0.9 in)  ☆

TOUCHING TITANIC !  RARE WRECK FRAGMENT OF THE FAMOUS VESSEL !

In 1996 a first attempt was made for raising The Big Piece: a ca. 3.8 x 8 m (ca.12.5 x 26.5 ft) starboard C-Deck hull portion originating from cabins C-79 and C-81 (both unoccupied in 1912). Only 60 m (200 ft) beneath the sea surface the cables from the diesel filled flotation bags snapped and the roughly 17 ton steel fragment went all the way back down, to the ocean floor, at a depth of 12,415 ft (3,784 m). Two years later, 10 August 1998, a new attempt was successful, with 5-inch (12.7 cm) nylon ropes attached to 6 diesel filled flotation bags.

To stop further deteriorating of the steel, a long-term conservation and restoration procedure was initiated soon after. For desalination (sodium chloride (salt) removal) the hull section was placed in a large container of water with a sodium carbonate solution for 18 months and attached to the object were sacrificial aluminium/magnesium anode blocks (which would be attacked by the salt in the steel). During this long period the Titanic artifact was on display at multiple locations in USA. For the next conservation and restoration stage, in September 1999 it was transported to Santa Fe, Mexico, starting with another 3 months of submerging for further desalination. Then the piece was hoisted into dry air and waterjet cleaned at a pressure of 3,000 psi in order to remove loose rust and rusticles. The Big Piece was then coated with tannic acid to stabilize remaining corrosion, and treated with a microcrystalline wax to prevent further corrosion. Finally, hard to believe but apparently true, the conservation team applied a protective coating in... color black! ... more

Extra large image (2480 x 2000):  Front (1.0MB)  Back (0.9MB)
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norman hardy art drawing sketch titanic 1912

In the old days, quote (") and period (.) were much used. For that, and topicality, sketch 'must' be from c1912.

Norman Hardy drawing c1912, after Henry Reuterdahl painting

Size: 9.4 x 15.5 cm (3.7 x 6.1 in)  ☆

AUTHENTIC TIME-PERIOD ART PIECE !  SMALL SIZE BUT GREAT QUALITY !

This postcard-size sketch with graphite pencil and also black ink was supposedly taken out of a sketchbook. After comparing it with other "Titanic" drawings and paintings, I noticed that the exact scene is freely copied from an expressionistic painting by Henry Reuterdahl (1870-1925), done in the weeks after the sinking, see image nr 2. As a Swedish-American painter, Reuterdahl was famous for his nautical artwork. In contrast with him, the internet provides no information whatsoever on this Norman Hardy. Nonetheless, it is a good quality drawing; skillful, high in contrast, dynamic, dramatic, expressive. The full horror of Titanic's terrible demise is expressed to the greatest extend possible. Although the sketch could be from a much later date, my guess would certainly be 1912. My presumption is strengthened by the artist's use of quote(") and period(.), which was a very common practice during the early 1900s. ☆

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