Wednesday, March 01, 2023

Thursday Thirteen #299

 Thirteen facts about Titanic. I recently saw the 25th anniversary re-release of the movie on the big screen and was engrossed anew. It's not only a well-made movie, it's a monumentally compelling real-life event. So I'm revisiting it.

1. The ship was almost as long as three football fields. That's longer than most 21st century ships. However she wouldn't be as breathtaking on today's seas because nowadays cruise ships are considerably wider than Titanic.

2. Today's ships are taller, too. Titanic had 10 decks, while today's usually have 12 to 14 (13 being considered unlucky).

3. It had four smokestacks but only three were functional. The fourth was added purely for visual appeal.


An actual photo, not an artist's rendering

4. In 1912, the first-class swimming pool was the height of luxury. (Today's Carnival Magic has two pools and multiple hot tubs.) Titanic also offered first-class passengers a library, a gym, and a squash court. Here's a sign of the times: there were two barber shops on board, but they only catered to men. The ladies either depended on their maids to do their hair or (in second/third-class) handled it themselves.

5. Each first-class stateroom on Titanic included a queen-sized bed, separate sitting room, and private bath. The furnishings were Louis XVI.

6. While much is made of the first-class luxury on Titanic, second-class passengers traveled in style and comfort, too. They had four-poster or bunk beds, not berths built into the wall. Each stateroom had a desk with stationery and a sofa. Second-class had its own library and gym. The men had their own smoking room and access (if requested in advance) to one of the barber shops.

7. Even third-class passengers on Titanic had electricity, running water, and a toilet in each barracks-like cabin. This was far better than third class on most ships at the time. Families on Titanic could travel together, too. It was more common in 1912 for ships to segregate third-class as men on one end, women and children on the other.

6. Each day on Titanic started with a hearty breakfast, no matter which class you found yourself. Third-class could choose between oatmeal or herring or scrambled eggs with ham; second-class had many breads to choose from as well as oatmeal, herring or bacon and eggs; first-class had omelettes, or smoked salmon, or eggs with steak or pork chops and their choice of potato. Back in 1912, it seems the only fruit served at breakfast was in the preserves.

8. While we're talking about food, here are the last desserts served on Titanic: plum pudding in third-class; ice cream with fresh fruit in second; first class passengers could have apple, date and walnut pudding, chocolate and vanilla eclairs, and ice cream with fresh fruit. (I don't believe first-class passengers had to choose and could have gorged themselves on all three if they wished.)

9. Titanic was built to accommodate 3,547 passengers. 2,200 made its first/only voyage. Just 700 survived.

10. The ship took off with just 20 lifeboats, enough to carry 1,100 people. The first lifeboats launched weren't filled to capacity because many passengers didn't grasp the enormity of their situation and took a "wait and see" attitude over being lowered into small boats and riding through icy water.

13. While the loss of life was tragic, it wasn't shared evenly. 62% of the first class survived. 75% of the third class perished.

13. For you numerologists: Titanic took 3 years to build, sustained a 300 ft. gash, and took 3 hours to sink.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.