Titanic Blog


Lucy, Lady Duff Gordon (1863-1935) first married at the age of 18. With her marriage ending in divorce, Duff Gordon was left with a daughter, Esmé, to support. She turned to dress making and opened Maison Lucile. Her designs quickly became popular and Lucy started to be known as “Lucile” professionally.

After the business became successful, Lucy hired Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon as a business partner to handle financial matters. Their relationship developed outside of work and the couple married in 1900.

Lady Duff Gordon did not plan on traveling on Titanic, but she and her husband set voyage on the Ship due to urgent business matters in New York. Lady Duff Gordon and her husband, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon, made it safely onto Lifeboat 1, occupied by only 12 passengers.



The SS Californian was a cargo vessel that departed from London on April 5, 1912 and was en route to Boston, Massachusetts. She carried with her no passengers and a crew of 55 men and under the command of Captain Stanley Lord.

On April 14, 1912 Captain Lord ordered that the engines be stopped as the ship encountered an icy field. Californian decided to stop for the night and would resume voyage in the morning. After the decision to stop voyage for the night Captain Lord spotted another ship's lights in the distance. When Lord asked Californian's wireless operator if he knew of any ships in the area, the wireless operator said it was Titanic.

Californian's wireless operator attempted to warn Titanic of the ice fields but was interrupted by Titanic's wireless operator, Jack Phillips, as he was trying to catch up on personal messages that needed to be sent. Californian's wireless operator then called it a night turned off his headset and went to bed. Twenty-five minutes later Titanic's first distress call was sent out.




Since the opening of Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition many employees and visitors have felt, heard and witnessed paranormal activity inside the Exhibitions.  One of the most haunted Exhibitions is Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at The Luxor Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas.

Paranormal activity inside Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition at The Luxor has ranged from feeling as if someone is following you to actual ghost sightings. One of the bizarre events that took place at the Exhibition at The Luxor involved a photo of Bruce Ismay. While the morning crew was opening the Exhibition they noticed a photo of Ismay on the floor, leaning against the wall, undamaged. When the manager went to review the surveillance footage to see how the picture got on the floor, what he saw was unbelievable. The picture began to shake and then very gently was moved to the floor, with not a person in sight.

Not only have events happened when the Exhibition is unoccupied, but they also occur when various staff members are around. We have heard time and time again from employees and guests about seeing a woman with her hair in a bun, wearing a black period dress with a white collar.  On one occasion a photo crewmember was setting up in preparation for the Exhibition to open. During set up he noticed a lady walking down the Grand Staircase, which puzzled him because he never saw anyone walk up and the doors weren’t open yet. He proceeded and asked the lady if she would like her photo taken, there was no reply. As the crewmember went back to work he suddenly felt someone behind him and when he turned it was the same lady. Again he asked if she would like her photo taken and he got no response. The lady slowly disappeared and didn’t show herself again for a few days.

While we don’t believe any of the ghosts haunting Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition mean to cause any harm, one thing is for sure, their spirits live on just as the story of Titanic does.



Third- class accommodations on Titanic, often known as steerage, were among the best at the time. The White Star Line wanted to appeal to every class when designing Titanic’s interiors. Third-class cabins were designed to hold two to six passengers, grouped by family or gender. Furnishings, including bunk beds, washbasins, electricity and heat, helped catch the attention of many immigrants making their way to the United States to start a new life.

Once passengers were on board Titanic they stayed in their respected areas based on class. You could often find third-class passengers in the General Room. This room served many purposes for passengers including a nursery, lounge and a general gathering area. Children in Third Class spent their time playing games on the poop deck or exploring parts of the Ship they had access to.


Francis Browne was given a first-class ticket as a present from his uncle to board Titanic for the first part of Her maiden voyage. While onboard the Ship he took dozens of photographs of passengers, crew and the Ship itself.

Browne’s ticket only allowed him to get as far as Queenstown, Ireland. During his time on Titanic, Browne befriended a wealthy couple that offered to pay for him to continue his travels to New York. As Browne was studying for the priesthood he requested permission from his superior to travel to New York, and his superior replied with a stern “GET OFF THAT SHIP”. Browne did as he was told and departed Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland.

After the tragedy Browne’s photos started popping up in newspapers around the world. Some of his images included the last photograph taken of Captain Smith and the only photo taken of the Marconi room. In 1915 Browne was ordained into priesthood making him Father Francis Browne.



While the phrase “women and children first” had been coined before the tragedy on Titanic, it is famously associated with the fateful night of April 15, 1912 when Titanic struck an iceberg and sank to the bottom of the North Atlantic. Throughout the 2 hours and 40 minutes that it took Titanic to succumb to its fatal wounds, the passengers and crew of the Ship were faced with a horrible predicament: how do you get 2,228 people off a sinking ship with only enough capacity in the lifeboats to fit 1,178 people? Around 12:05 a.m., 25 minutes after Titanic struck the iceberg; Captain Smith made the order to uncover the lifeboats. Pursuant to existing general maritime rules, coupled with the chivalry of the day, the order of “women and children first” was given. However, their fate could also be determined by what side of the Ship passengers attempted to get in a lifeboat.

First Officer Murdoch, who was in charge of launching the lifeboats on the starboard side, took the order to mean women and children first. After loading the lifeboat with all women and children in his vicinity, he would then allow men to fill the remaining spots in the boat. However, Second Officer Lightoller, who was in charge of launching the lifeboats on the port side, took the order literally, and would not allow any men in the lifeboats regardless of any vacancies available. By the time Titanic eventually sank at 2:20 a.m., all of the lifeboats had launched, and there were still some 1,500 people on board the doomed ship. Of the 2,228 passengers and crew, 531 were either women or children and they made up a staggering proportion of the 706 saved passengers demonstrating the effect of the order “women and children first.”



The early twentieth century was the golden age of amusement parks. Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York was home to several of the largest amusement parks:  Steeplechase Park, Luna Park and Dreamland. Steeplechase Park, which opened in 1897, was the brainchild of George Tilyou.

In 1902, Frederic Thompson and Elmer ‘Skip’ Dundy ran their ‘A Trip to the Moon’ ride at Steeplechase. By the next year, they had opened the fantasy-inspired Luna Park on almost 40 acres of land next to Steeplechase. One of the rides at Luna Park was The Scenic Railway – actually an early roller coaster. On the other side of the Atlantic was another Luna Park located near Porte Maillot in Paris, France. This Luna Park opened in 1907/9 to great success and featured exciting rides and roller coasters such as ‘Le Scenic Railway’.

But what is the connection to Titanic?  Second-class passenger Franz Pulbaum’s luggage had a number of postcards and documents connecting him to both Luna Parks. In fact, it appears that he worked as a mechanic, most likely for amusement rides, perhaps at both parks. This was a unique job for an interesting young man that will forever be remembered as a Titanic victim.


Concluding Olympic’s maiden voyage, White Star Line’s Managing Director, Bruce Ismay, noted a number of changes he wanted to make to Titanic. His changes were made to improve Titanic and ensure she was the largest in size and the grandest Ship of her time.

After Olympic’s first sailing Ismay noted the excessive size of the deck space. He decided to increase the size and luxury of the B-Deck suites on Titanic by removing the under-used promenade deck. He also enclosed the forward end of Titanic's A-Deck with windows so passengers could still use the promenade in severe weather conditions. Another modification that was made during Titanic’s construction was adding the French sidewalk café, Café Parisien, for First-Class passengers to use.



In 1912 Margaret Brown departed on a trip to Egypt, Rome and Paris with her daughter Helen. Once Margaret got news of her ill grandson she was forced to return home early and booked passage on the first available ship, Titanic.

On the night of the sinking Margaret was placed in Lifeboat 6. The lifeboat left Titanic with 21 women, two men, and a twelve-year-old boy onboard. Once rescued by Carpathia, Margaret’s knowledge of other languages enabled her to help other survivors who spoke little English. Beyond gathering extra blankets and supplies for other survivors, she rallied and convinced first class passengers to donate to those survivors who had lost everything in the disaster.

Upon arriving at Pier 54 and getting off Carpathia Margaret Brown was interviewed by reporters. When asked to what she attributed her survival she responded, “Typical Brown luck, we’re unsinkable.”


During the 1900’s British shipbuilders were dominating the industry. More specifically, Harland and Wolff shipyard was the leading shipbuilder during this time. The industry assisted in the growth of Belfast’s booming economy during the 20th Century.

The reconstruction of Harland and Wolff’s shipyard accommodated the building of Olympic and Titanic. Along with the actual assembly of these ships, this helped Harland and Wolff employ over 15,000 workers, 3,000 of which worked on Titanic. Workers lined up early in the morning to secure work for the day at Harland and Wolff.

Men in the shipyard worked long days under very strict rules and regulations such as only being allowed approximately 7 minutes for the entire day to use the restroom. Many shipyard workers lived in 4 bedroom terrace houses that were lit by candlelight and heated by coal fires. Larger families often occupied these homes.