The sinking of the Titanic on the fateful night of April 14th, 1912 was one of the most notorious disasters of the last century. It was a stark reminder in an age of technology and innovation that humankind can never have absolute dominion over the sea.
Built to rival the Cunard’s passenger liners, which transported thousands of immigrants to America, the Titanic was designed to not only capitalize on the immigrant trade, but to be so luxurious that it would become the vessel of choice for society’s elite.
The ship was built in Belfast by Harland and Wolff, and thanks to its watertight compartment system, the Titanic was widely proclaimed to be unsinkable. As well all know, this was not the case, and a seemingly minor collision with an iceberg sealed her fate.
But there was so much more to the sinking of the ship than the iceberg. Despite receiving numerous ice warnings, she did not slow down, and it has recently emerged that she left Belfast with a fire raging in her coal bunker which would have weakened her hull.
The 1,503 human lives which were needlessly lost in this tragedy are the reason why Titanic continues to fascinate generations. The sinking took over two hours and had she carried more than the minimum legal requirement of boats, no lives would have been lost.
Titanic carried people from all walks of life, and their stories have been retold countless times in literature and on the big screen, beginning with Saved From The Titanic – filmed just 29 days after the sinking and featuring one of its survivors, Dorothy Gibson.
The most famous retelling of the story, however, is James Cameron’s Titanic. Released in 1997, the director went to extraordinary lengths to adapt the story for the big screen and simultaneously created star-crossed lovers Rose and Jack who broke the hearts of millions.
Despite the class barriers which dominated life on-board the Titanic, penniless artist Jack is able to win the heart of wealthy socialite Rose, and, in true Hollywood fashion, the course of their love was not to run smoothly on the doomed liner.