~ museum quality, handcrafted, custom-built wooden model ships ~
- circa 1912 -
The British luxury passenger liner RMS Titanic sank on April 14-15, 1912, en route to New York City from Southampton, England during its maiden voyage. The tragedy claimed about 1,500 lives - many from prominent American, British, and European families. Among the dead were the noted British journalist William Thomas Stead and heirs to the Straus and Astor fortunes.
The great ship - at that time the largest and most luxurious afloat - was designed and built by William Pirrie's Belfast firm Harland & Wolff to service the highly competitive Atlantic Ferry route. It had a double-bottomed hull made out of one inch thick steel that was divided into 16 presumably watertight compartments. Because four of these could be flooded without endangering the liner's buoyancy, it was considered to be unsinkable - a fact that was greatly touted by the press at the time. In fact, White Star advertised Titanic and her sister ship - the Olympic - simply as the "largest and finest steamers in the world".
Shortly before midnight on April 14, at a point about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, the ship collided with an iceberg and five of its watertight compartments were ruptured - causing the ship to sink about two and a half hours later. Inquiries held in the United States and Great Britain alleged that the Leyland liner Californian, which was less than 20 miles away all night, could have aided the stricken vessel had its radio operator been on duty and thereby received the Titanic's distress signals. Only the arrival of the Cunard liner Carpathia 1 hour and 20 minutes after the Titanic went down prevented further loss of life in the icy waters.
The glamour associated with the ship, its maiden voyage and its notable passengers magnified the tragedy of its sinking. Legends arose almost immediately around the night's events, those who had died and those who had survived. Heroes and heroines - such as American Molly Brown - were identified and celebrated by the press and Hollywood. The disaster and the mythology that has surrounded the tragedy has continued to fascinate millions. Numerous theories as to the actual cause of her sinking are still being debated and speculation as to the amount of wealth that sank with her seems unlikely to ever end.
As a result of the disaster, the first International Convention for Safety of Life at Sea was called in London in 1913. The convention drew up rules requiring that every ship have lifeboat space for each person embarked (the Titanic had only 1,178 boat spaces for the 2,224 persons aboard); that lifeboat drills be held during each voyage; and - because the Californian had not heard the distress signals of the Titanic - ships at sea must maintain a 24-hour radio watch. The International Ice Patrol also was established to warn ships of icebergs in the North Atlantic shipping lanes.
On September 1st, 1985, the wreck of the Titanic was found lying upright in two pieces on the ocean floor at a depth of about 13,000 feet. The ship was subsequently explored several times by manned and unmanned submersibles under the direction of American and French scientists. The expeditions found no sign of the long gash previously thought to have been ripped in the ship's hull by the iceberg. The scientists posited instead that the collision's impact had produced a series of thin gashes as well as brittle fracturing and separation of seams in the adjacent hull plates, thus allowing water to flood in and sink the ship. In subsequent years marine salvagers raised small artifacts and even a 20-ton piece of the hull from the wreckage.
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These custom built desk-top display models of R.M.S Titanic and other
passenger liners are handcrafted from mahogany wood.
Replicated using plans of the authentic ship and built to museum quality, these fully assembled models make a life long gift or collectible.