George Achilles Harder

Mr George Achilles Harder

George Achilles Harder


New York Herald, 17 April 1912

Mr George Achilles Harder was born on 22 October 1886 in New York City, the son of Victor Achilles Harder and Minnie Mehl.

Harder graduated from the Pratt Institute and in 1909 joined the Essex Foundry, later part of Central Foundry of which he was chairman until 1938.

Harder and his new wife, Dorothy Annan Harder boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passengers. They occupied cabin E-50 (ticket number 11765, 55 8s 10d).

The couple were rescued in lifeboat 5.

According to George's grandson, Mr and Mrs Harder had saved three things from the Titanic (apparently taken from the cabin and still owned by the family today): Mrs Harder's fur coat, a bottle of brandy, and a button hook for Mrs Harder's shoes.

The couple are the subjects of a well known photo taken on the Carpathia. The photograph shows them in discussion with Sallie Beckwith.

Whilst returning to New York on the Carpathia, Harder and some other survivors (Frederic K. Seward - Chairman, Karl H. Behr, Molly Brown, Mauritz Bjrnstrm-Steffansson, Frederic Oakley Spedden and Isaac Frauenthal) formed a committee to honour the bravery of Captain Rostron and his crew. They would present the Captain with an inscribed silver cup and medals to each of the 320 crew members.

Mr Harder was one of the Titanic survivors who testified before the U.S. Senate Investigative Committee.

The Harder's were frequently asked to lecture about the Titanic disaster but they refused. Like so many other men who escaped, George Harder found the stigma of surviving the Titanic disaster difficult to live down. Many people looked down upon the men who saved themselves when over one hundred women and children went to their deaths. It was only during the last few years of his life that George Harder spoke to his two daughters about the sinking - giving them details that he thought nobody ever knew. He perhaps may have forgotten that his testimony before the U.S. Senate Investigation was still on record.

In the years following the disaster Dorothy suffered from kidney problems, she died young in 1926. After her death George remarried and his second wife, Elizabeth, was 15 years his junior.

George's father, Victor Achilles Harder, died in New York in August of 1914, and his mother, Minnie Mehl Harder died there in early December of 1934. A brother, Victor A. Harder, Jr. died in 1941, and the unnamed sister listed in his obituary, Hortense Whelan, died in 1980 at the age of 89. That same year, George's second wife Elizabeth died at the age of 79. His son, George Achilles Harder, Jr., died in 1989.

When he died on 26 May 1959, George Achilles Harder was living at 531 East Seventy-second Street, New York City. He was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, just a few hundred feet from the grave of Wyckoff Van der hoef, a fellow Titanic passenger who perished in the sinking.


Michael A. Findlay, USA

References and Sources

Senate Hearings, 8 May 1912, Testimony
New York Times, 30 May 1959, Obituary
Register of Death State of New York
Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
United States Senate (62nd Congress), Subcommittee Hearings of the Committee on Commerce, Titanic Disaster, Washington 1912
Don Lynch & Ken Marschall (1992) Titanic: An Illustrated History. London, Hodder & Stoughton. ISBN 0 340 56271 4

Credits
Michael A. Findlay, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA

Pictures

George Harder 1920 passport

GEORGE HARDER 1920 PASSPORT

 
Mr. and Mrs. Harder

MR. AND MRS. HARDER

 

Articles and Stories

12.45am -– A Time to Go!

Titanic Research  (2008) 

12.45AM -– A TIME TO GO!

 
Astor Put Boy By Wife's Side

Worcester Evening Gazette  (1912) 

ASTOR PUT BOY BY WIFE'S SIDE

 
Mrs. Dorothy A. Harder

New York Times  (1926) 

MRS. DOROTHY A. HARDER

 
TEN FROM THIS STATE ON TITANIC

Newark Evening News  (1912) 

TEN FROM THIS STATE ON TITANIC

 
HARDER BLAMES VESSEL'S SPEED

Brooklyn Daily Eagle  (1912) 

HARDER BLAMES VESSEL'S SPEED

 
SORROW AT HARDER HOME DESPITE HOPEFUL MESSAGES

Brooklyn Daily Times  (1912) 

SORROW AT HARDER HOME DESPITE HOPEFUL MESSAGES

 
TITANIC SURVIVORS HONOR CAPT. ROSTRON

New York Times  (1912) 

TITANIC SURVIVORS HONOR CAPT. ROSTRON

 
BROOKLYNITES ARE LOST AS TITANIC SINKS

Brooklyn Daily Times  (1912) 

BROOKLYNITES ARE LOST AS TITANIC SINKS

 
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    (2014) George Achilles Harder Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #144, accessed 24th July 2014 04:21:16 PM)

    URL : http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/george-achilles-harder.html