Titanic Blog

7 Rare RMS Titanic Artifacts on Display Before Permanent Retirement


Titanic treasures available to view now before permanent retirement on Aug. 1


Las Vegas, July 13, 2016 – Due to popular demand, seven rare artifacts recovered from RMS Titanic’s wreck site will be on display for an extended period of time at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition inside Luxor Hotel & Casino and are available to view now through Monday, Aug. 1, 2016. The special display , which include paper documents, textiles and personal belongings of actual passengers aboard the “Ship of Dreams,” were brought in for a limited three-month engagement on the anniversary of the Ship’s sinking on April 15. On August 1, the remarkable treasures will be permanently retired from public view and returned to Premier Exhibitions’ monitored conservation facility, only available to historians, archeologists and other qualified researchers.


Titanic is as fascinating to audiences today as it was when it set sail on its maiden voyage in 1912,” said Alexandra Klingelhofer, vice president of collections for Premier Exhibitions, Inc. “We are pleased we are able to extend this special display to help tell the story of the Ship and some of its passengers before their permanent retirement, which is essential in order to preserve them and keep Titanic’s memory alive for generations to come.”


The rare artifacts include:

  • Declaration of Intention Form: 2nd class passenger Franz Pulbaum, a machinist originally from Germany, clearly intended to become a U.S. citizen upon his return to New York City. He had been on a business trip to Luna Park amusement park in Paris.  The form would have been used to allow him a smooth disembarkation. Pulbaum’s signature and personal information is still legible on the naturalization form. Pulbaum never became a U.S. citizen, he went down with Titanic.
  • White Star Line Receipt for “One canary in Cage”: Recovered from Marion Meanwell’s alligator purse, this small receipt fragment appears to confirm that 3rd class passenger, Mrs. Meanwell (nee Mary Ann Ogden), a milliner from Eastbourne Sussex, England agreed to transport a relative’s canary from Southampton to Cherbourg.  Additional information suggests that Chief Purser Hugh Walter McElroy took responsibility for the bird, while transport payment was provided by Mrs. Meanwell.
  • Cotton Pajamas: This pair of men’s pajamas is made of white cotton with blue stripes.  No maker marks were found, they are a size medium with button shirt and drawstring bottoms.  The deterioration around the neck and body appear to reflect normal wear and tear.
  • Pair of Gloves: This degraded pair of cotton gloves was originally white and probably belonged to a gentleman. They are still attached at the cuff, so they had not yet been worn.  The gloves were recovered from a suitcase containing unmarked pajamas, jackets, and other clothing.
  • Waiter's Pad Blank Page: Waiters from the exclusive à la carte restaurant on board would jot down lunch and dinner orders on pads such as this for the chefs to prepare in the galley.  Unlike the First Class Dining Saloon, which cooked in larger quantities, the à la carte restaurant prepared each individual meal to order.
  • Pair of Socks: This is one of three pairs of cotton and silk socks recovered from a single suitcase.  These were neatly folded by the owner for his Titanic journey.  While the clothing in this passenger’s suitcase was of good quality, these socks have been darned in several places, showing a thrifty character as well.
  • Left Shoe: This men's leather shoe fragment consists of the welt, top cap and partial quarter with the insole.  Attesting to the meticulous care under which all artifacts are conserved, this shoe has never been previously exhibited due to its fragile condition. 



The Loss of the S.S. Titanic, Its Story and Its Lessons (excerpts)

Titanic Anniversary 2015

By Lawrence Beesley

Second-Class Survivor, RMS Titanic


The night was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen:  the sky without a single cloud to mar the perfect brilliance of the stars, clustered so thickly together that in places there seemed almost more dazzling points of light set in the black sky than background of sky itself; and each star seemed, in the keen atmosphere, free from any haze, to have increased its brilliance tenfold and to twinkle and glitter with a staccato flash that made the sky seem nothing but a setting made for them in which to display they wonder. They seemed so near, and their light so much more intense than ever before, that fancy suggested they saw this beautiful ship in dire distress below and all their energies had awakened to flash messages across the black dome of the sky to each other; telling and warning of the calamity happening in the world beneath…     She [Titanic] was absolutely still – indeed from the first it seemed as if the blow from the iceberg had taken all the courage out of here and she had just come quietly to rest and was settling down without an effort to save herself, without a murmur of protest against such a foul blow.,, from the first what must have impressed all as they watched was the sense of stillness about her and the slow, insensible way she sank lower and lower in the sea, like a stricken animal…


Today, 103 years later, we still remember those who perished and those who survived the sinking of RMS Titanic at night in the cold North Atlantic.

Titanic at Cherbourg Harbor in France Part 1

Titanic at Cherbourg Harbor in France

On April 10, 1912, Titanic left Southampton for Cherbourg, its second port of call.  Here some of the wealthiest passengers boarded for the trip to New York City.  Concluding their travels, the Astors and Margaret Brown, as well as many others, traveled from St.Lazare Station in Paris to the great maritime center in Cherbourg.  Today, the 1933 center is now part of La Cité de la Mer, a maritime museum featuring exhibits about underwater exploration and the voyage of Titanic as well as the deepest aquarium in Europe.  Here one can see life-size models of underwater vehicles used in the exploration of Titanic’s wreck site, including the Nautile and Alvin.


In celebration of the 103th anniversary of Titanic’s visit to this great port, RMS Titanic, Inc. partnered with the Museum with a loan of 35 recovered artifacts which contribute to the visitors’ experience in the Museum’s interactive exhibition.  In a small central jewel-like gallery, the artifacts speak to the construction of the ship, its gourmet restaurants, the divisions of class society, and the personal stories of passengers while surrounded by the sites and sounds of the ship’s last moments.  The experience is enhanced by the opportunity to stroll the quay with its expansive view of the harbor today – and imagine the great Olympic liner, Titanic,  just outside the harbor, its lights twinkling in the evening dark, as it weighed anchor, and set sail for Queenstown, Ireland, its last port of call.


Blue Carafe with Stopper

Blue Carafe with Stopper - Titanic The Artifact Exhibition


In spite of the fragile quality of glass, many glass artifacts were recovered from the wreck site debris field.  Many objects were issued by the White Star Line for use on board Titanic.  These included butter plates, vases, and glassware for table service.  All of these would have been marked with a White Star Line logo, usually an etched image of its swallowtail flag.  However, some personal objects belonging to passengers have also been recovered.


One special artifact is this delicate hand-blown glass carafe and stopper, which definitely belonged to a passenger.  It could have been used to pour water but also to decorate a night stand or side table. Less than 7” tall, it has a flask shape with a loop handle and the remains of a hand-painted floral design around the body.

What is more interesting is that the stopper and the carafe were recovered 7 years apart: the stopper in 1987 and the carafe in 1994.   The two pieces, which were recovered ¼ mile from each other, probably came from a cabin in the stern section and separated during the sinking. The different locations of these two artifacts highlight the impressive scattering of objects that occurred when the ship broke apart.  

The Cherub

Cherub - Titanic: The Artifact ExhibitionTitanic’s opulent forward Grand Staircase descended through seven decks from Boat to F Decks with entrance halls on every level.  Its elegant glass dome and 50-light chandelier illuminated the staircase ornamentation including the carved oak banister adorned with inlaid iron and gilded bronze scrollwork. The D Deck landing, with its large central candelabra, served as the first-class reception hall for passengers boarding the Ship and entering the Dining Saloon.  


The originally-gilded bronze statue resembles a rosy-cheeked, plump child – or wingless cherub – which was a popular decorative element in Edwardian England.  It held aloft an electrically illuminated torch (now absent), attached at the chest and stomach.  This cherub is missing its left foot although molded drapery and ribbons are visible on the body. Substantially smaller than the larger cherubs of the main landings, it is thought to be a light standard fixture from a side post newel on the aft staircase on C Deck which was destroyed when the Ship broke apart.


Recovered during RMS Titanic, Inc.’s 1987 expedition, the cherub has been conserved and treated on several occasions, preserving it for future generations.  Today, this beautiful cherub reminds us of both the beauty and tragedy of Titanic and its enduring legacy. 


The rare cherub statue is on display now through Feb. 28 at Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition inside Luxor Hotel and Casino. This is the Cherub’s first Las Vegas appearance and is available to view to those who purchase general admission tickets to the Exhibition. The limited-time display is the latest artifact to be installed at the Exhibition in almost two years.   

Titanic’s Band of Courage

Titanic: Band Of Courage

One of the most enduring and poignant stories of Titanic is that of musicians Wallace Hartley, John Clarke, Percy Taylor, Georges Krins, Theodore Brailey – the quintet - and John Hume, Roger Bricoux, and John Woodward – the trio.  The quintet typically played in the first and second class reception halls at lunch and dinner, while the trio played outside the á la carte restaurant for first class passengers. Although each had a different reason for accepting the contract to serve on Titanic, all hoped to increase their fortune with passenger tips.

To qualify for this job, all had to be excellent musicians with the capability of playing every song in the White Star Line Song Book – some 300 tunes ranging from ragtime to classical to hymns.  They also had to be polite and engaging to appeal to their clientele.

And yet when they realized their horrible fate, all eight joined together to play – something they never did – to offer comfort to passengers and crew.  John ‘Jock’ Hume, with irrepressible spirit, is reported to have said to Violet Jessop whom he passed on the stairs: ‘Just going to give them a tune to cheer things up a bit!’

This year in co-operation with TH Entertainment, LLC , Premier Exhibitions, Inc. produced Titanic: Band of Courage, a salute to these brave men who played until the end.  Through interviews with Titanic experts, family members, and letters, viewers can get a better sense of who these heroes were and see images of a recovered violin attributed to Wallace Hartley.  In the background are the strains of their music played in the 1912 style.  And whether or not “Nearer My God to Thee: was the last song on Titanic, the two renditions unite the viewer as never before to this Band of Courage.

As Lawrence Beesley, a second-class survivor, later wrote:

“Many brave things were done that night, but no more brave than by those few men playing minute after minute as the ship settled quietly lower and lower in the sea…”

Titanic: Band of Courage (DVD) and CD of just the music are available from Amazon, iTunes, and other sites.  Visit the Titanic Store for other mementos of Titanic’s legacy.  http://www.thetitanicstore.com/


Titanic Under Water

One of my most memorable dives on the Titanic site was the exploration of the Bruce Ismay Suite, located on the port side of the bow section, on the B Deck. This was one of the two largest and most luxurious passenger suites on the ship. It’s also the same suite James Cameron modeled his set after in the movie Titanic, the suite Rose and her fiancé were staying in---and the suite where Jack sketched Rose lying on the couch.

      On the dive we used the three man submersible Nautile,  as well as the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Robin.  The Nautile was standing in front of the B Deck entrance.  It was far too big to enter the wreck; using it would have been extremely dangerous. So the much smaller Robin, measuring approximately 2x2x1.5 feet, was launched from the Nautile, connected to it by a cable. The maximum length of that cable was 250 feet.  The Robin was equipped with three video cameras, two lights and a camera for still photography.

      The bedroom in the Ismay suite was difficult to identify because some of the wall had collapsed.  But we clearly saw the private promenade, which allowed us to find the bathroom in the suite.  In that bathroom we saw a beautiful white marble countertop and sink with a wood cabinet underneath.  Near the sink was a large wooden armoire, lying on its side. The coffered ceiling of the suite was partially intact.  A great deal of debris, including electric cables and pieces of wood, was lying on the floor.  The Ismay Suite was a wonderful way to appreciate the grandeur of Titanic, and the high quality of cabins offered to the first class passengers by the White Star Line.

PH Nargeolet


When it comes to celebrating moms and honoring those who’ve gone before us, Titanic offers some of the most interesting ties to both Mother’s Day and Memorial Day. May is not only a time to appreciate and celebrate mothers, but it also gives us time to reflect on those we’ve lost and remember them with fondness. This month our experts are sharing their most memorable stories from Titanic that link to mothers, love and loss.

Perhaps one of the most well-known stories surrounding Titanic love and loss is that of Isidor and Ida Straus. Their bond was so strong that not even a sinking ship could keep them apart. After spending most of their lives as a couple, Mrs. Straus could not bear to be separated from her husband. As our expert and director ofTitanic research Bill Sauder put it,” Upon reaching the lifeboats, Mrs. Straus elected to stay on board, saying "I will not be separated from my husband."  Seeing that she was adamant, it was suggested that Mr. Straus could accompany her into a lifeboat, an offer he in turn refused; "I will not go before the other men.” They could have easily used their age or position as a screen and quietly left Titanic, but did not.” Their story goes down in history as one of the greatest love stories involving the Ship.

Though much of what surrounds Titanic involves great loss and tragedy, there were also moments of relief and rejoicing. For Madame Marcelle Navratil that moment came when she saw her two boys on the cover of a newspaper after the Ship sank. She’d been left all alone after her husband kidnapped their two sons, changed their names on their passports and boarded Titanic. They too were left all alone after their father succumbed to the sinking. Quickly dubbed ‘The Titanic Orphans,’ the boys were taken in by a family in New York City. It wasn’t until after their mother saw them in the newspaper that they were finally reunited with her – 32 days after the sinking. It is this particular story that resonates the most with our director of underwater research, PH Nargeolet.

With so many stories of love and loss, families and friendships it’s difficult to think about Titanic and not associate it with those special days set aside reminding us to take time out and appreciate people. This year we honor both mothers and those we’ve lost, whether in battle or in unthinkable tragedies, and celebrate the lives of those who remain near and dear to us. We wish you all a very special Mother’s Day and Memorial Day.



The month of May is known for celebrating Mother’s Day and Memorial Day in the United States, and we asked our experts what Titanic story they found most inspiring about mother’s specifically and anyone else on the Ship.
PH Nargeolet 
For me, the most moving story of a Titanic mother involves a woman who never set foot on the ship. Madame Marcelle Navratil lived in Nice, France. She was the mother of two young boys, ages two and four. She was also unhappily married to a tailor. Shortly before Titanic set sail, her husband Michel kidnapped their two boys, changed the names on their passports and took them on board the Ship hoping for a new life in America. For several torturous days, a frantic Madame Navratil, still in Nice, had absolutely no idea what had happened to her children. Then, shortly after Titanic sank, she picked up a newspaper and saw a photo of two familiar little faces – two boys who’d been nicknamed “The Titanic Orphans”. Their father had died in the tragedy but these mysterious children had survived the unthinkable. They were being cared for by a family in New York City. Madame Navratil confirmed the boys’ true identities and set sail for New York. Thirty-two days after the sinking of Titanic she was reunited with her sons.
Bill Sauder
The story I find most inspiring is the story of Ida and Isidor Straus. He was the co-owner of Macy's department store and the couple was traveling together in First Class after a long vacation in France. Upon reaching the lifeboats, Mrs. Straus elected to stay on board, saying "I will not be separated from my husband."  Seeing that she was adamant, it was suggested that Mr. Straus could accompany her into a lifeboat, an offer he in turn refused; "I will not go before the other men.” They could have easily used their age or position as a screen and quietly left Titanic, but did not.



A Look at the Experts

RMS Titanic, Inc. was formed for the purpose of exploring the wreck of Titanicand its surrounding ocean areas; obtaining oceanographic material and scientific data; and using the data and retrieved artifacts for historical verification, scientific education and public awareness. Serving as the exclusive salvor in possession of the wreck site, RMS Titanic, Inc. is committed to engaging the global community in Titanic’s story through educational, historical, scientific and conservation based programs.

Much of what is known today aboutTitanic comes from the hard work and dedication of researchers and historians. Without their efforts some of the Ship’s greatest mysteries would remain unsolved, and the stories of her passengers and crew would begin to dissipate. We are proud to have a few elite experts on our team who contribute to these efforts: Paul-Henri Nargeolet (PH), director of underwater research; Bill Sauder, director of Titanic research; and Alex Klinghofer, vice president of collections.

With more than 30 dives under his belt, PH contributes to the oceanographic and scientific research involvingTitanic, and is integral in preparing an archeological report of the expeditions.As a leading authority on the wreck site, he has lead five expeditions and supervised the recovery of 5,000 artifacts. Having been to the wreck site more than anyone in the world, his plethora of knowledge pertaining to the science of Titanic and underwater exploration makes him a tremendous asset for RMS Titanic, Inc.

Contributing to the historical facts behind the Ship’s construction, its passengers and its crew, Bill has over 25 years of experience with Titanic’s story. He’s worked with Ken Marshall, maritime artist; Robert Ballard, wreck site discoverer; and James Cameron, creator of the 1997 film, Titanic among others. His expertise is unmatched in the architecture, mechanics and art of the Ship.

A nationally recognized museum profession with a rare combination of curatorial and conservation experience, Alex oversees the preservation of the artifacts. She spends most of her days at the laboratory where she and her team work painstakingly to ensure each artifact is prepared with delicacy and perfection. Having previously served as a collections assessor, grant reviewer and presenter for regional and national museums and cultural organizations, she provides a wealth of knowledge in Titanic’s history and the connections between artifacts and the Ship’s passengers and crew members.

Without these skilled professionals on RMS Titanic, Inc.’s team, carrying on the legacy of this great Ship would not be possible. Each of them bring tremendous amounts of knowledge and experience, and a passion for telling the story of Titanic, her passengers and her crew. They will all be featured more prominently in future newsletters as they continue to share a behind the scenes look into the world of RMS Titanic, Inc.

Paul-Henri Nargeolet – Director of Underwater Research
I graduated from the French Naval Academy in 1968.  I was trained as a naval officer and spent 25 years in the French Navy.  My expertise was in diving, both on the underwater demolition team and as a deep submersible pilot.  In 1985 when the Titanic wreck was discovered by a joint French American expedition, the French asked me to be the leader of the exploration and recovery expeditions----a dream job I couldn’t possibly say no to.  A year later I left the French Navy to join IFREMER (French Institute for Research and Exploration of the Sea) and commanded six expeditions to the Titanic wreck site.


Bill Sauder – Director of Titanic Research
My first job was as a tour guide on the Queen Mary in 1978. A position opened up in management and I was promoted to Exhibits Coordinator, in charge of design and updating out displays. When Dr. Ballard discovered the wreck, I was asked to help identify the many thousands of photographs brought back, and contributed to his first three books. From there I went on to work on the Cyberflix "Titanic: Adventure out of Time" game (the first serious computer model of the interiors of Titanic), and then acted as a consultant for several Jim Cameron projects, including the movie.  I had been working for Premier Exhibitions as a consultant since 2000, but was asked on permanently as Director of Titanic Research in 2011.

Alexandra  Klingelhofer – VP of Collections
I have always been interested in archaeology, history and art, through books, movies and travel – imagining what life was like in the past. With a Bachelor of Arts degree in ancient near eastern studies – Hittites, Babylonians and Phoenicians – I changed direction from archaeology to get an MSc (Master of Science, UK) degree in object conservation. I joined Premier Exhibitions, Inc. in 2008 to oversee the care of its Titaniccollection. With a goal to preserve the legacy of Titanic, I conserve, monitor and protect the items in my care so that they can be used to educate the public through exhibitions, programs and publications. Having acquired a wealth of information about material culture, people and societies from Egyptian burials to mid-20th century folk art over the course of my career, I have discovered that researching Titanic’s stories is equally fulfilling and allows me to contribute to the general knowledge of this iconic Ship and its passengers. Through research, I try to link them to the real world of the past and make them relevant to the present. Every artifact has a story – it’s just a question of finding it.