Titanic Blog


Bertha Watt was just 12 years old when she boarded Titanic with her mother, Elizabeth Watt. During her time on the Ship Bertha made friends with Marjorie Collyer, an eight year old girl from England. Bertha was placed in Lifeboat 9 with her mother and was rescued by Carpathia the night of the sinking.

In 1923 Bertha married Leslie Marshall, a Vancouver doctor, and became a Canadian citizen. Unaffected byTitanic’s disaster Bertha continued to cruise the Pacific with her husband. After her mother’s passing Bertha continued to maintain a friendship with Marion Wright, whom they met on Titanic. Bertha was one of the last remaining Titanic survivors when she passed in 1993.


Elizabeth Watt, also known as Bessie, boarded Titanic with her daughter Bertha in Southampton. Mrs. Watt was on her way to meet her husband in Portland, Oregon. Onboard the Ship she spent the majority of her time with her new friends Marion Wright and Kate Buss.

Mrs. Watt was rescued by Lifeboat 9 on the night of the sinking. After arriving in New York on the Carpathia, she went to stay with her brother until she was able to return to Oregon. Three days after docking in New York, Mrs. Watt attended Marion’s wedding as the only bridesmaid. The two women stayed close after returning to Oregon and visited each other frequently.  Mrs. Watt passed away in 1951.


Titanic Artifact:

This artifact, recovered from Titanic, is a form of currency known as a “Silver Certificate”. Silver Certificates were common during the Victorian Era. This type of currency is now obsolete but once promised that there would be a dollar’s worth of silver in the US Treasury and that the owner of the bill could exchange it for that silver at any time.


Titanic Photo:

This photo shows a view of the bow on Titanic. Despite the famous scene from the James Cameron movie, passengers were never allowed this far forward on the Ship. Heavy docking equipment like the auxiliary anchor and narrow access catwalks made this area particularly hazardous.


Titanic Artifact:

Vases of fresh flowers were often found in public and private rooms on Titanic.  This hourglass shaped vase with a ruffled flute rim was used in the first-class rooms. The White Star Line logo is visible on the body near the base of the vase.


Titanic Photo:

This underwater picture shows the port side of the bow section of Titanic. The rip in the hull can be clearly seen on the right side of the image, with the stern resting several thousand feet away.  The small rectangular windows allowed light to enter Titanic’s famous suites. The larger square windows on the left are the “Private Promenade,” which was reserved exclusively for those booking the best shipboard accommodations in the world.


Titanic Photo:

This picture shows the telemotor is all that remains of Titanic’s wheelhouse. The telemotor is a device for controlling Titanic’s enormous rudder, which is located hundreds of feet away. Hydraulic signal pipes can be seen disappearing into the deck. This is where Quartermaster Hichens spun the wheel in a desperate attempt to avoid the iceberg.


Titanic Photo:

This picture displays a close-up of Titanic’s well deck and forecastle (the forward part of the main deck).  The open door leads to the lamp room where navigation lamps and hazardous fuels, such as kerosene, were kept. Navigation lamps were used to signal other ships about location.


Titanic Artifact:


This picture shows a steel and brass door that was one of several safes onboard Titanic. The circular manufacturer’s plaque on the front reads: ”THOMAS PERRY & SON LD. BILSTON FIRE-RESISTING SAFE.” Centrally placed is a shield flanked by a lion and a unicorn, with a banner stating in French  “DIEU DROIT ET MON.”  The emblem is a replication of the seal of the British monarchy with their motto: “God and My Right.” By using this seal, the person indicated that they probably had royal patronage.

Thomas Perry & Son was established in 1806 as an iron foundry that produced armor plates.  During the nineteenth century, they also became respected for the high quality portable safes they produced.



Titanic Photo:


Passengers traveling onboard Titanic carried an average of two luggage pieces per person. Luggage intended for off-board use was placed in a trunk and put in the Ship's hold.  Clothing and other personal items needed for onboard usage were placed in a separate trunk and carried to cabins by a steward.

Luggage size and contents varied by type of passenger. A simple carpetbag was sufficient for many in Third Class, but for many first-class passengers a portmanteau was in order. A portmanteau is a specialized traveling trunk that opens in half, similar to a book, revealing compartments and drawers where clothing could be kept in an organized manner. Portmanteaus could be very large and were usually kept out-of-sight in a separate luggage room.

Baggage tags were marked as either "Wanted in Cabin" or "Not Wanted in Cabin,” tracking where luggage was designed to go.  If luggage was misplaced, passengers had to report to the Baggage Master, who would arrange recovery of the trunk. This process always provided considerable delay and was highly discouraged.

At the end of the voyage, the baggage dispatch process was reversed; luggage in the hold and cabins were gathered and sorted by class in rough alphabetical order. Passengers would pick out their luggage from the shelter on the dock, and then proceed to customs for declaration and inspection.