One of the most enduring legacies of the 20th century is the Titanic disaster. While most people see it as nothing more than a great tragedy that’s been played out one too many times on the big screen, few consider the relatively unknown stories of its real-life crew and passengers.
Though tragic, these stories are a reminder of the remarkable heroism that people showed when faced with certain death. A little-known fact about James Cameron’s 1997 movie was that American businessman Benjamin Guggenheim really did remark, “We’ve dressed up in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen,” during the sinking, refusing to contemplate leaving the ship while women and children were still onboard.
The video below provides a haunting glimpse of Titanic’s cabins and hallways at the bottom of the North Atlantic:
When the Titanic was built, its owners wanted it to be the grandest and largest ocean liner of its day. Unable to compete with the Cunard Line which operated the then-fasted ships in the world, White Star wanted its ships, namely the Titanic, to be the last word in luxury.
A testament to the luxurious features of Titanic is the fact that so many of them remain intact to this day, as the video above hauntingly demonstrates. When it set sail for New York in 1912, the Titanic was the second ship in the world possess a heated swimming pool. The first ship to possess one was its sister ship, the Olympic, which set sail on its maiden voyage the year before.
The facilities on Titanic were so good that many of its second class passengers said that what they experienced was the equivalent of first class on any other ship. For those in third class, it was the first time many of the people traveling had experienced running water and electricity.
The footage above was first posted to YouTube in 2010 but recently resurfaced on Reddit.
One commenter wrote, “Elegant yet so creepy. This ship will always remain a magical mystery.”
Sadly, Titanic’s luxurious design was one of the reasons that so many people died that fateful night in April 1912. Its designers decided that the ship’s suggested number of lifeboats would have made the decks look too cluttered, and, because of this, it carried the bare minimum.
When the Titanic sank, its passengers and crew adhered to the policy of women and children first. Only 706 people survived, but if the lifeboats had been filled to slightly more than their stated capacity, it’s been estimated that an additional 540 people could have lived.