Titanic Blog



Along with its passengers and crew,  it is reported that twelve dogs were also onboard Titanic for Her unforgettable maiden voyage. The twelve canines were brought onboard by ten of Titanic’s First Class passengers and their families, including John Jacob Astor.


Only three of the twelve boarded Titanic at Southampton with the rest boarding at Titanic’s first stop, Cherbourg. Some of the dog breeds included French bulldog, Pekinese, Chow, Pomeranian, Airedale, and Great Dane, with a number of breeds unknown.

Titanic was very dog-friendly, with excellent kennel facilities by all accounts for the canines onboard. It has been reported that there was even supposed to be a dog show  on Titanic on April 15th.

Out of the twelve dogs onboard only three survived Titanic’s tragic sinking, a Pekinese and two Pomeranians.   The Pomeranians were brought onto lifeboats by their mistreses, Margaret Hays and Mrs Elizabeth Barrett Rothschild.  A Pekinese named Sun Yat Sen was saved by his master,  Henry S. Harper, in Lifeboat 3.

Image Credit: Wikimedia (note:this photograph does not contain an actual passenger from the Titanic)



One of the most well-known stories about Titanic’s survivors is that of the little Navratil children, also known as the “Titanic Orphans.” Michel, 4, and Edmond, 2, were traveling on Titanic with their father under the false surname “Hoffman.”

After separating from and losing custody of his two young boys to his wife Marcelle, Michel Navratil decided to take his boys and emigrate to America.  While his boys were staying with him over the Easter holiday, he traveled with them from France to England where he boarded Titanic under the alias “Louis M. Hoffman, ” a widower.  While onboard the Ship, this second-class passenger kept to himself as much as possible to avoid conversation with others, and only let the boys out of his sight once.


How the Navratil Children Survived the Titanic Sinking

After Titanic’s collision Mr. Navratil wrapped up Michel and Edmond warmly and   placed them in Collapsible D.  Once on Carpathi,a it was discovered the boys spoke no English and had no parent or guardian with them.  First-Class passenger Margaret Hays volunteered to take both boys to her home in New York and keeping them together until family members could be  contacted and arrangements made.

Back in France their mother, Marcelle, did not know the whereabouts of her boys until she saw their picture in the newspaper. After identifying herself as the boys’ mother, the White Star Line gave Marcelle passage to New York on Olympic where she reunited with her boys.  They returned to France on the Oceanic.

Michel Navratil’s body was recovered from the ocean and identified as Louis M. Hoffman.   Presumed to be of Jewish descent because of his name, he was buried in the Baron de Hirsch Cemetery in Halifax.



Photo credit: Library of Congress


The story of John and Nelle Snyder is truly that of a fairy tale. Nelle was only 23 and John 24 when the newlyweds boarded Titanic as the final leg of their honeymoon. As First Class passengers, the couple could not have anticipated the adventure they were about to encounter while onboard Titanic.

After Titanic’s collision with the iceberg there are reports that crewmen not only asked for women and children, but also newlyweds to come forward to be placed in lifeboats first. Mr. and Mrs. Snyder did just that and were placed on Lifeboat 7 that evening, joining a few select Titanic survivors who would live to tell their tale.

The incredibly lucky couple went on to live a full and joy filled life in Minneapolis. John went on to accomplish opening an automotive company, serving in World War I, along with raising three beautiful children, one girl and two boys, with his wife Nelle. Mr. Snyder passed away at that age of 71 while on the golf course suffering a massive heart attack. Mrs. Snyder passed many years later at the age of 94.


In January of 1912 coal miners came to the decisions to go on strike for minimum wages, causing complications in the shipping industry. As the strike went on more and more ships were being ported due to lack of fuel. White Star Line made an announcement that the speed of Olympic and Titanic would now be dropped from 23 knots to 20 knots to save coal.

Good news came when the goal strike ended on April 6, 1912. The bad news was there wasn’t going to be enough time to get newly mined coal to the docks before Titanic’s maiden voyage. In order to lift the speed limitations placed on Titanic, White Star Line would have to take coal from other IMM ships docked in Southampton, putting those ships out of service.

Passengers who had already booked voyage on the now out of service ships had to find a new vessel to travel on, most turning to Titanic. Crewmembers that relied on the now cancelled voyages for work were also affected. As it came time to hire crew for Titanic’s maiden voyage, lines were out the door of people looking for work on the most luxurious Ship of Her time, not knowing the tragedy that lay ahead


Victor and Maria Peñasco y Castellana were just one of the many newlywed couples on Titanic for her maiden voyage. After enjoying a romantic Parisian honeymoon, Victor and Maria booked passage on the grand Ship, headed to New York, as the final leg of their honeymoon before heading back to Madrid.

When Victor told his mother about their plans to board Titanic, she expressed her concern of a premonition and told the couple the voyage would bring bad luck. Despite her begging Victor not to take the trip, the couple left discretely, telling no one.

On the night of April 14, 1912 Victor and Maria had just returned to their cabin for the night when Titanicstruck an iceberg. After realizing the damage, Victor, Maria and their maid, all proceeded to the port side of the Ship. Victor then placed his wife and their maid in Lifeboat 8. That was the last the couple ever saw of each other.

Back in Madrid, Victor’s mother was oblivious to the tragedy until she read about Titanic’s disaster in the local newspaper. After realizing Maria was not going to inherit Victor’s wealth because his body was never found and identified, Victor’s mother created a fake death certificate to present to Madrid officials, granting Maria her rightful inheritance.


Immediately following Titanic’s disaster on April 15, 1912 the White Star Line charted the Mackay-Bennett to help recover Titanic’s victims from the North Atlantic.  The cable ship was able to recover a total of 306 bodies.  Out of the 306 bodies, 116 were not recognizable and were prepared and buried at sea. Mackay-Bennett then returned to Halifax, Nova Scotia, with the remains of 190 of Titanic’s first, second, and third class passengers and crew recovered from the sea.


Once the bodies were onboard Mackay-Bennett they were labeled along with any belongings found with the body. Back in Halifax preparations for Mackay-Bennett’s arrival were underway, including transforming the city’s Mayflower Curling Rink into a temporary morgue for the victims. Today the victims of Titanic lay in three different cemeteries in the city of Halifax, with about half left unidentified.



Miss Allen was in her First Class cabin when her Aunt’s maid informed her that the baggage room was overflowing with water. Miss Allen dismissed the maid and her information and told her to return to her cabin. A few minutes later when the maid’s cabin began to fill with water Miss Allen, her Aunt, her cousin, and her Aunt’s maid all began to make their way to the Boat Deck.

As the group of women approached the Boat Deck the band was nowhere to be seen or heard. Miss Allen also recalls her experience on the Boat Deck as rather quiet and orderly. The four women proceeded to get into Lifeboat 2 as directed and were lowered down. Once in the water they were rowed away from the Ship.

As they sat in the lifeboat they began to watch Titanic’s stern rise until the lights onboard went out. As the Ship began to plummet bow first into the water screams intensified from the remaining passengers onboard until Titanic sank.

Once Carpathia arrived at the disaster site, Lifeboat 2 was the first to be rescued and Miss Allen was the first passenger to board Carpathia. Miss Allen lived until the age of 85.



Whether First or Third Class, the amenities were far greater on Titanic than on any other ship, including the dinner menu. Meals on the Titanic were one of the highlights of the day, as there were not a lot of activities onboard, and were usually drawn out for hours.

The Third Class Dining Saloon was located on the F Deck, which was two floors below the dinning hall for first class. The food served to third-class passengers was fairly basic, but for the time period was considered exceptional for third class, including fresh breads and fruits at every meal.

If you were traveling in second-class on the Titanic you ate on Deck D. The meals for second class were a three-course meal with an abundance of options that were sure to satisfy every palate. The food was similar to that served to first class minus the extra “fluff” they often used in first class.

For first-class passengers on the Ship dinner was a social event each night. The dining room for first class was also located on the D Deck. The meals prepared for First Class were an extravagant eleven-course meal served with the best wines.



Richard Norris Williams was a skilled tennis player traveling First Class on Titanic with his father Charles Duane Williams. After the disaster, Richard recounted his experience on Titanic to a family member.

On the night of April 14, 1912, Richard recalled standing on the Boat Deck with his father as they watched numerous lifeboats being filled and then lowered. As they stood on the Boat Deck the water level grew onboard and Titanic began to sink.

As the water reached their waists Richard recalled watching one of the Ship’s funnels come crashing down on his father. A rush of water from the collapsed funnel forced Richard toward overturned Collapsible A, where he waited with others until they were rescued.

Once on Carpathia, Richard realized his legs were badly frozen from the icy water. Doctors onboard Carpathiarecommended amputating both legs, but Richard refused, insisting he would recover. Richard did recover and went on to win multiple tennis championships.


The irresistible beauty of RMS Titanic has contributed to the public’s long-running fascination with the Ship. The luxury liner was one of a kind in Her day. Inspiration for décor inside the Ship came from different time periods in history, and it took ten months to fully outfit Titanic.

The Third-Class General Room, which was accessible to all third-class passengers, was paneled in pine and finished with white enamel. The design was minimal and more utilitarian then the other classes, yet still incredibly sleek and beautiful.

The Second-Class Library featured furniture made of mahogany and covered with tapestry. Furnishings for the library were designed in a Colonial Adams style; a design trend popular about 100 years before Titanic was built.

The First-Class Reception Room was decorated in an adopted Jacobean English style and had white paneling carved in low relief. More ornate than second-class, the Jacobean English style was stylistically quite different. Drawing from an even older design phase, this motif was popular as far back as the early 1600s.