A Barrel of Earth

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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
I am never ceased to be amazed at what Titanic carried in her hold on that fateful voyage. I noticed that the American Express Co. was shipping " 1 barrel earth". Does anyone know what that is, is it short for earthenware, or was Dracula making the trip?( uh, oh , I'd better not say that, I may start a new rumor).
Thanks,
Elaine
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Elaine- there is something called "Fuller's Earth" which is something pharmacists use I believe. This may be what it was. I will check it out. Dracula, huh? ANOTHER obsession of mine!
 
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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
Shelly,
Thanks for the info. I know I souldn't have mentioned Drac since it may end up in the "Titanic myths" section!
Have a good one!
Elaine
 
Dec 8, 2000
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Aagh! Nosferatu! What a film. All those coffins of earth.

Unfortunately (?) fuller's earth is a lot more prosaic than a resting place for the Transylvanian count and his mob.

It's a soft, friable clay that absorbs grease and was used in the textile industry to clean, bleach and scour cloth, particularly woollen cloth. It assisted the fullers in, er, fulling the cloth, if you will. (Well, how boring can you get?) Another use is in refining fats and oils, including petrol.

As to why American Express were importing it? Maybe for its use as a 'filler' (not fuller!) in papermaking. It's also used as a coating for printed papers. Fuller's earth was (is?) mined in England and other parts of the world, but also in the US. Maybe it was a particular sort/grade of fuller's earth?

My grandma was still using it as a household cleaner in the 1980s - and there were no American Express cheques (damn!) or vampires in her house.

On a lighter note, it's also the name of a hysterical science show spoof Peter Sellers did back in the late 1960s/early 1970s.

Ok, that's probably too much information.

Cheers,

F
 
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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
Thanks Fiona! SOMETHING clicked in my pea-brain when Shelley mentioned Fuller's earth, but I couldn't remember what it was.
Have a good one,
Elaine
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Fi- Nosferatu has been remade sort of- and has just opened in the US as Shadow of the Vampire! Now I need to get a funnel connection here. Nosferartu was a rip-off of Bram Stoker's Dracula,- Mrs. Stoker sued for copyright infringement-(Mrs. Stoker was at one-time the sweetie of Oscar Wilde). Bram was the manager for Sir Henery Irving- dear friend of Charles Frohman, who died on the Lusitania. Max Schreck who played the ominous and unwholesome vampire slipped into film obscurity with as much mystery surrounding his life as the famed Count. Nosferatu is also the name of a UK Goth band I understand. What a world!
 
Jan 18, 2005
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Not to change the subject...much, but I was trying to find the meaning of nosferatu, not just "Oh it's another name for vampire" but the actual translation, and also the history of nosferatu. If any of you could answer this for me or direct me to the best link to find out this information I would appreciate it greatly.
 
Apr 11, 2001
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http://www.parascope.com/en/articles/vampires03.htm
This should tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the meaning of Nosferatu. My Roumanian friend tells me the meaning "Unclean One" is probably the best translation. Oh, the things we learn here at ET. Now that would be a great novel- Drac being transported in that case of Fuller's Earth- not on the Demeter- but in the hold of Titanic! What possibilities...
 
Jan 18, 2005
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ok, thanks. My wife just threw me a twister. She said that there was a rumor of a cursed sarcophagus(sp) onboard and each of it's previous owners had died "strangley" and the rumor was that this is what "caused" the sinking. Any one ever heard that one?
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Oh yes- The Mummy's Curse! That's a legend about the ship which has had much play in the tabloids and still resurfaces from time to time. I think we may have a thread on it here on the board somewhere. I remember it made the cover of one of the U.S. scandal sheet tabloids called the Weekly News right after the discovery back in 1985- I saved a copy. Okay- we have Dracula, the Mummy- and now all we need is Frankenstein's Monster and Wolfman to have a blockbuster!
 
Feb 18, 2006
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Dracula on the Titanic, oh my. When you consider that the rescue ship was named "Carpathia" the coincidences just keep getting better!
Anyone want to take a crack at writing that story? The Lugosi or Langella Dracula probably makes more sense than the Nosferatu guy, but who can say?
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Only a temporary brush with death, though, until he was revived from the ice in the next film. Frankenstein's monster was last seen riding off into the sunset on an iceberg, so he'd be best qualified for inclusion in a Titanic story. But why stop there. A modern audience likes value for money.


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