Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Should we, or should we not?

In my opinion the Titanic sank for a reason.

The sinking of the Titanic has been a magnet to underwater ship-explorers. Even in 1912, after the Titanic sank, there was talk of trying to find her. They soon found out they really didn’t know where she was when she sank, nor how deep it was where she hit bottom.
But as the years went on, so did technology towards underwater exploration. Many different groups of people set out to find the great wreck, but all still came back empty-handed.
Not until July of 1985 did the American and French research team find the wreck. Once again the Titanic made world news, and once again she was in the spotlight. Now that the ship was found, it raised possibilities of going down in a small submarine that could withstand the deep-sea pressure. Exactly one year later, Bob Ballard and two other undersea explorers went, for the first time, down to the wreck. There was doubt in the minds of those going down to the wreck; they still didn’t know that the ship had broken in two. They didn’t know what to expect, what if all the rigging was intact, that would create a great hazard to maneuvering about the ship. Would the Titanic even be recognizable? Or would she be sitting perfect on the ocean floor?
As Bob Ballard and the other researchers reached the ocean floor, they tried to locate the Titanic. The submersible they were using, the Alvin, sprang a leak in her batteries. Now they only had a couple of minutes on the ocean bed and they had not seen the Titanic. Peering through the small portholes of the Alvin, a massive wall of black steel loomed up right in front of them, that was the only glimpse of the ship they got that time. The leak in the batteries would become critical if they didn’t surface.
Since that July in 1986, numerous dives have been made to the Titanic. Several people have spent more time with the Titanic underwater, than the Captain spent with her on the seas.
One thing is certain; the Titanic is in a state of complete devastation. The ship broke in two in between the third and fourth funnels; and all of those funnels are gone. In one square mile there are boilers, teacups, beds, tables, engines, wine bottles, suitcases, chairs, and the list could go on
The beauty of the ship is now gone, her once proud hull glimmering in the bright sunlight, now is encrusted in rusting steel. Where her four behemoth funnels stood are now just gaping holes on top of the ship. Her once proud stern, the beauty of the ship, where at the end of Titanic’s short life, men and women alike met their fate, now lays almost unrecognizable due too the impact that she suffered when she hit the ocean floor.
There she will sit until countless ages have taken their toll on her, and there is nothing left but small piles of dust in the salty water.
Men will probably always go to her to seek just one more fact, something nobody else knows. Titanic may be sitting 2 ½ miles below the surface of the sea, but ask anyone what the most well known and famous shipwreck is, and they’ll tell you, it is the Titanic.
The Titanic will never be forgotten. She will always be alive in history.

Even though the Titanic is one among the many sea wrecks that litter the ocean floor, she still, to this day captivates the minds of underwater explorers, historians, and people like me. What more can be said? Titanic is still truly a great ship.
Some have talked and thought to bring the Titanic up out of the depths. That’s going too far! It’s impossible to “raise the Titanic.” When she sped down through the depths, she hit the bottom at a great speed; the bow sliced through the mud and is buried in 60 feet of mud. The stern plunged with huge air pockets inside, and when it hit the ocean floor the air burst through the steel and it crumpled and fell apart. So, in order to raise the Titanic’s bow, you would be trying to lift over 33,000 tons of rusted steel out of 60 feet of mud, and where the pressure per square inch is 6,000 pounds! And even if you were able to get a grip of it, it would probably crumple in its weakened state. The stern would be completely impossible to raise, all it is, is twisted and crumpled steel. It is a graveyard, many brave men were killed there and to go and cause that much disruption would be disregarding death, and for that reason alone we ought to have respect for it.

When you think about the night of April 14, 1912, and everything that took place, I just don't see how it could be right to go and raise the mighty Titanic!!!
But, all of this is my opinion.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

'Nearer My God To Thee'

The Titanic's band played a major role on the night of April 14, 1912, & the morning of the 15th.

All of these brave men met their fate in the chilling waters of the Atlantic Ocean, none survived. Shortly after impact, the band was asked to play ragtimes, waltzes, and other various tunes. The Captain hoped that the calm music would help quell any panic passengers might be feeling.
In almost every book that I have read, the Titanic's band comes in somewhere, their bravery and fortitude that fateful night was astounding. Everyone regards them as brave men willing to lay down their life for women and children, and they were calm about it. Many a man found comfort in the different tunes that they played that night.
Wallace H. Hartley once stated that if he should ever die at sea, the last song he would play would be 'Nearer My God To Thee'. There are some suggestions of what the band really played last. Some think it was the ragtime, 'Autumn,' or 'Nearer My God To Thee'. It's really something that everyone has to decide for themselves, out of all my knowledge, I would strongly think that the bandmaster led the band in the old hymn 'Nearer My God To Thee'. And there's more proof leading in the direction that this was the last song they played.
I cannot comprehend that kind of bravery, standing and playing till you could no longer keep balance because of the angle of the ship, and doing all of this for other passengers. A lot is thought of the rich men in first class, but not enough attention or honor is given to the Titanic's band. They should take first prize in bravery and self sacrifice.
Would not the beloved hymn cause the remaining passengers on deck to ponder where they were going to spend eternity, just the very name 'Nearer My God To Thee' causes you to think.
After the disaster, the White Star line charged the widows and the fatherless for the band uniforms that were lost!!!
The band leader had over 40,000 people attend his funeral.

Fred Clarke of Liverpool
P.C. Taylor of Clapham
G. Krins of Brixton
Wallace H. Hartley of Dewsbury (Bandmaster)
Theodore Brailey of Notting Hill
Jock Hume of Dumfries
J.W. Woodward of Headington,
All died the night of April 14, 1912, leaving behind children, and widows.
May they never be forgotten!!!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Titanic's moral purpose

Why did the Titanic make an instant hit?
What made her a national icon? How could she not? She was the biggest ship ever constructed, by far passing any other ship in size, luxury, and elegance. Think about it, the reason Titanic made a perfect hit was because this ship by-passed other ships in so many areas, with the exception of speed. Until 1912, none ever thought of a ship of such magnitude. Let's put it into today’s perspective, if a ship were built that was larger than anything that we could imagine, and by-passed every other ship in every area, she would probably make world news. Today we have ships that would make the Titanic look like a toy boat. But! In 1912, she was as big as they came. Through my knowledge, and my lifetime, I can’t think of a ship that over-awed the world. That’s why the Titanic made an instant hit, because the world had never seen anything like her, and never has since then.

How could she not make a national icon? Her fame went along with her country, the United Kingdom. This was something that Great Britain could be proud about. If America built a ship today that was as equally stupendous as the Titanic, would we not be proud of it? This was a sign of technological advancement for her country, and her people. It was an age where everything was getting bigger and better. An age when the automobile was making its first scene on the world page, an age when flying started its page in history. It was an age when, for the most part the world was at peace; none of the major World Wars had been fought yet. The Titanic was just as example of that age.

You could probably guess her main purpose; she was built to carry passengers between two great countries. She was built and designed to hold people in the utmost elegance, luxury, and comfort. Fully booked, she would be able to hold well over 3,000 passengers and crew.
The Titanic had different classes just as any other ship. You have first class, second class, and lastly third class. It was kind of like a layer cake, the foundation of these layers consisted of sweaty stokers, firemen, and trimmers. Then you have the first layer of people, third class, poor immigrant families coming to America to start a new life. Then you have even another layer, getting better financially as the layers go. Second-class passengers, a little better off then those in third class, were people coming back from Europe, maybe spending time with family, or sight-seeing, just normal people in the world just trying to make a decent living. Then you have the cream of the crop, the sweet frosting on two layers of human life. First class passengers, prominent leaders in the world of art, wealth, political offices, writers, presidents of railway companies, bankers, and merchants. Such a distinguished group of people, for such a distinguished ship.
First class passengers paid $69,000 to sail in one of three first-class suites on the Titanic, and the third class passengers paid only $640. They both paid different amounts of money to travel on the same ship, going to the same place, and would get there the same time.
Now lets talk about some of the better-known people on the Titanic and try to put it in today’s view. Imagine if all of the people I’m about to bring to your attention would happen to board the same ship.
Compare Colonel John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in the world, to Bill Gates! Compare Molly Brown, to Martha Stewart! Major Archibald Butt, military aid to the president, to president aid Peter Pace! Compare, Charles M. Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Railway, to Cecil Groves, the president of Southwestern Airlines! Compare, W. T. Stead, a famous author, to Ethan Hawke, a famous author! Compare Francis D. Millet, one of the best-known American artist, to Diego Velasquez, he too is a famous artist! Compare Isidor Straus, owner of the Macy’s Department store, to Ken Hicks, the owner of JC Penny’s!
Now you can grasp the people of importance on the Titanic’s maiden voyage.
Not only was Titanic a perfect vessel, but she also had a perfect crew. The Captain had more than 40 years experience at sea. From the Chief Officer down to the Sixth Officer, each had 10 years or more experience at sea.Titanic was not built to sink; she was built as a dream, built to out stand the elements. Built to have a profitable career, not just make her first and only voyage.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

"Unsinkable Titanic"

What made the Titanic 'unsinkable'? Or better yet, what made the papers, magazines, and builders leave the impression that she was 'unsinkable'? The Titanic was only a ship, an ocean liner designed to transport passengers from one great continent to another.

What of Titanic's lifeboats? Every ship that was registered, was required to carry enough lifeboats for how big the ship was.
The Titanic carried the total of 20 lifeboats, she had the capability to carry 48. Alexander Carlisle the first head designer at H&W, suggested that the Titanic should be fitted out with 48 lifeboats, more than enough for every one on board. But the final decision went to the chairman of the White Star Line. He stated that he did not want 48 lifeboats 'festooning' the deck of the Titanic, it would "scare people away." Carlisle was curious to know how lifeboats, life saving devices could scare people away. Sadly it was not his decision.
With only 20 lifeboats she could only accommodate 52% of the passengers she was designed too carry. The British Board Of Trade stated that a vessel of over 10,000 tons must carry 16 lifeboats, with the capacity of 5,500 cubic feet, plus enough life-rafts and floats for 75% of the lifeboats. These regulations were completely out of date! The Titanic was over 46,000 tons, but the White Star Line was not breaking any rules by only having 20 lifeboats, instead of 48.
With the lifeboats the Titanic had, she could seat 1,178 passengers. Titanic could accommodate 3,200 passengers and crew fully loaded, on her maiden voyage she carried 2,229 passengers and crew.
Out of the 16 lifeboats, each one could seat 65 people, out of the 4 collapsible, one could seat 47 people.

These are lifeboats from the Titanic after the disaster in New York. No one really knows what became of them.

The Titanic was one of the first ships to have a new design of watertight compartments. The idea was, that if a ship has separate so called 'watertight compartments,' a ship could withstand critical damage. If a ship was in some sort of wreck, or collision, having separate compartments would stop the flow of water from making its way through the whole ship. With the flick of a switch from the bridge, all of the Titanic's watertight doors could be shut at the same time.
The Titanic had 16 watertight compartments, and it was said that she could still float if 3 or 4, of her compartments were completely flooded.
She was also designed with a double bottom!

This is a well known picture of one of the Titanic's watertight doors.

This is one of the 16 watertight bulkheads!

The Shipbuilder's magazine stated that the Titanic was 'unsinkable', just as the Irish news broad casted! Thomas Andrews, the chief designer said that she was "practically unsinkable."
A White Star Line public brochure stated that they were designed to be 'unsinkable'.
On June 1, 1911 the Belfast Morning news described the watertight system and said she was 'practically unsinkable.'
People believed it too...
Passenger Margaret Devaney said "I took passage on the Titanic for I thought it would be a safe steamship and I had heard it could not sink."
Passenger, Thomson Beattie, wrote home "We are changing ships and coming home in a new unsinkable boat."
Man put to much confidence in what man had to offer.

When a Titanic deck hand was asked if the Titanic was unsinkable, his reply was "not even God could sink this ship."
It's a proven fact, no ship is 'unsinkable.'

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Capt. John E. Smith

Captain: John Edward Smith

{“I cannot imagine any condition which would cause this ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel. Modern shipbuilding has gone beyond that”!!!}

Solidly built, slightly above medium height, he was handsome in a patriarchal sort of way. His neatly trimmed white beard and barrel like chest, coupled with his clear eyes, gave him somewhat of a stern countenance, an impression immediately dispelled by his gentle speaking voice, and urban manners. Passengers and crew alike respectfully and affectionately knew him as E.J. He was a natural leader, radiating a reassuring combination of authority, confidence, and good humor.

He earned about $100,000 a year!

His residence in 1912 was Southampton, England!

He was born in Hanley, Stoke, England!

Age at the time of the disaster, 62!

As he spoke to the press, "When anyone asks me how I can best describe my experiences in nearly 40 years at sea, I merely say, uneventful. Of course, there have been winter gales, and storms and fog and the like, but in all my experience I have never been in any accident of any sort worth speaking about. I have seen but one vessel in distress in all my years at sea - a brig, the crew of which were taken off in a small boat in charge of my third officer. I never saw a wreck and have never been wrecked, nor was I ever in any predicament that threatened to end in disaster of any sort. You see, I am not very good material for a story."

There was one mishap when he was the captain of the Olympic on her fifth voyage, sailing down the Solent River at the normal speed of 18 knots. She turned to round Bramble Bank and slowed to 11 knots and took the commander of the 7000-ton cruiser HMS Hawke by surprise, who was unable to avoid collision. The Hawke got too close to the Olympics stern area, and the suction from the Olympic pulled the lighter ship towards her, which ended up in a collision. After the two ships collided, the bow of the Hawke was buried deep in the Olympic stern area.

"The Olympic is unsinkable, and Titanic will be the same when she is put in commission." He continued, "either of these two vessels could be cut in halves and each half would remain afloat almost indefinitely. The non-sinkable vessel has been reached in these two wonderful craft." "I venture to add," concluded the Captain, "that even the engines and boilers of these vessels were to fall through their bottoms, the vessels would remain afloat."

White Star Line had over the years built up a clientele of passengers that would not dream of crossing the Atlantic with out E.J. Smith as their captain. He was the epitome of an old seadog, he may have had the look of a fearsome man, but to the contrary he was very soft spoken. He was gentle and a natural leader, which passengers and crew put their trust and confidence in. He had a quite voice and a ready smile. He was very popular with officers and men alike, the crew knew him to be a good kind-hearted man. They looked upon him as a sort of father.

On Wednesday, April 10th, Sailing Day, shortly before, Captain Smith, left his home at Woodhead, a red-bricked, twin-gabled home on Winn Road in Southampton. Smith was wearing a bowler hat and a long overcoat. The local newspaper boy Albert "Ben" remembers him coming out and saying to him, "'Alright son, I'll take my paper.'" The boy gave the departing captain his paper. Smith turned around to wave good-bye to his wife Eleanor and twelve-year old daughter, Helen, who stood in the doorway, not knowing that they would never see him again. He then entered his waiting taxi. His ride from Westwood Park took him through the center of Southampton and down the hill to the docks. Little did he know he was going to be the captain of what has become the most famous shipwreck of all time!

Captain John Edward Smith did not survive the Titanic’s sinking.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Queen Of The Seas

In all my years I have never seen a poem on the Titanic. Not in books, or the Internet, so I thought I would try my hand at writing poetry.
This poem is at the end of a book I wrote called, "Titanic's Moral Implications." This is the first poem I have ever written.
It took two months of going over and over it to perfect it.
Hope y'all enjoy...


Her keel was laid down on March 31st

At a shipyard in Belfast where tolls were the worst.

Through the months and through the years

Workers worked with sweat and tears.

And through the months and through the years,

She was constructed with pain and fears.

Once afloat just an empty shell,

Waiting for workers to make her run well!

The Titanic was a beautiful boat

Something that would cause fine men to gloat.

Sea trials she passed with no great concern;

Taking it with ease at every turn.

Built to tower over all,

She acquired fame, but it cost her a fall!

She was known as unsinkable

Queen of the Seas,

But that could not stop her from breaking up dreams.

She then departed to see land no more,

With the greatest luxuries man could afford.

Titanic was regarded as a dazzling sight,

But size and power couldn’t keep her from fright!

Once the passengers were mostly in bed,

Came the dreadful cry “iceberg dead ahead.”

They then didn’t know it

But soon found out,

She would not make it there was no doubt.

The pain was unbearable that fateful night,

For the Captain and crew their lips they did bite.

One minute she sailed

Next minute she stopped

Hit by an iceberg that wrenched her apart.

“Women and children” was the cry,

Get them away

With no delay.

The bravery of men

Abounded that night,

Standing aside that others might live,

Staring at death

Like brave men they did.

Oh grave where is thy victory?

Oh death where is thy sting!

As their loved ones departed

Too see them no more,

The only thing left, was a door.

The door of eternity open wide,

To receive these men as they died.

“Nearer My God To Thee” was heard that night,

Upon the waves of untold fright.

Titanic plunged with a moan,

She died with a great groan.

Behind her she left hundreds of souls

Where cold would soon take its toll.

Titanic was gone

As soon as she came.

She lost her glory,

But gained great fame.

James Daniel McEntire

Please do not copy, or use this material in any other way, without the author's permission!!!

Friday, January 12, 2007


This time I'm going to explain a bit about the Titanic's massive propellers!!!
The top three pictures you see are what the propellers look like today. They haven't changed much from the day when they were constructed, bronze does not rust like steel.


Steam ships have propellers to drive them through the icy, choppy, or calm seas.
The Titanic had three huge propellers, two three bladed ones, measuring 23ft & 6in, weighing in at 38 tons of solid bronze metal. The center propeller was slightly smaller than her two sisters, the middle one came in at 16ft, & 6in, also weighing in at 17 tons of solid bronze metal.
Each of these propellers were driven by a separate engine, the two side propellers had a reciprocating, four cylinder, triple expansion, direct acting, inverted engines, creating 30,000 hp.
The center propeller was driven by a completely separate engine. The leftover steam from the reciprocating engines went to a third, low pressure, Parsons turbine engine, creating 16,000 hp.

Just by looking here we see the immense proportions Titanic's propellers were given.

If you notice, the men in these pictures seem over-awed at the size of these massive propellers. They completely dwarf the men that built them.

As I will explain at a later time, these propellers would play a major role the night of April 14, 1912...
I did some research, and come to find out, the propellers on the Titanic are bigger than the propellers on the biggest cruise ship to this day.
You really never see the propellers on big ships like this when they are in service, but without them, you're not going anywhere. They play a vital role in the ship getting from point A. to point B.
The propellers on a ship are like the wheels and tires on a car!!!

Well that's all for now, but that's just the "tip of the iceberg" as they say.