Amazing finds


Rachel Boland

It is amazing what you find while going through boxes...Here is my Titanic book find story!

Does anyone here have an original copy of or seen a copy of the 1912 book 'Nearer My God To Thee - The Story of the Wreck and Sinking of the Titanic?' If you can find an original copy, it is a fun read. Amazing what was told by survivors then, and what we know now...

How I came into posession of TWO of these books! I am not talking reprints, these are the original 1912 editions published after the sinking. About 5 or 6 years ago, I was browsing through some old books that my late grandfather had, and came across a copy of the above mentioned book. I was so excited! I read it from cover to cover.

Then, just last year, I was going through some boxes in storage of old books that my grandparents had bought (you know, at flea markets and antique shops, etc). I was looking for the original set of Zane Gray books for my dad, when I came across ANOTHER copy of the book (Nearer My God To Thee). I was floored!!! I put it aside and continued looking for the books for my dad (I did find them by the way). I took the Titanic book to the house, and noticed it was in very good condition. There was a piece of paper in the front with my grandmothers handwriting that said "purchased at an estate auction, Nov. 1968 paid $5.50" Anyway, I was looking through it and there to my surprise was Mrs. Astors signature! It was signed on her photo. Upon further looking I came across a few other signatures that I can't recall now, I think one was of Capt. Smiths widow, but not to sure. I wanted to see if they were authentic, so I took them to a book appraiser and he said that they were authentic signatures, and offered me $5,000 for the book. I turned him down! Anyway, my nephew was looking at it (he was 4 at the time) and said that someone has scribbled on one of the pictures of a man. I had never seen any signatures on a mans photo in the book, so I was curious that maybe it was scribbled in by someone (you sometimes find that in old books). I looked at it under a magnifyer, and to my shock, it was the faded signature of J. Bruce Ismay!!! I am taking the book to a handwriting expert to have him look at all the signatures to verify they are real. I would look now to see the other signatures, but the book is in my safe deposit box. I was told by an antique dealer that many copies of this book with signatures have turned up over the years.

The other original copy (the first one I found) I gave to my friend Scott who is performing the role of George Widener in the musical Titanic (the tour).

Anyone else have a story like this? Amazing finds?

Jose C. River de Cosme


About 13 years ago, when i was in college, I was given A Titanic book by this 70ish year old friend I had. It had a picture of the Titanic on it. It is titled Sinking of the Titanic by Fred Miller,written in 1912. I forgot all about it. I forgot all about it until a few months ago when I came across it. BOY was i surprised. It has real photographs. As i tried to read it, I realized that whole chapters were missing, not ripped out but missing. It is not in mint condition but very, very good condition. One page in coming out and the cover is a bit worn. I would like to find out how much it is. Although I don't care, it has just sentimental value.

Anyway just wanted to share

Mike Herbold

Feb 13, 2001
Depending on the condition, they are going from $30 to $100 on eBay, unless, of course, they are as amazing as Rachels's. You might try watching eBay for awhile to get a better idea of its value.

mark bray

Hello. I do not know if this is really that amazing, but I am really good friends with a relative of Mahala and Walter Douglas and she just sent me a video--Discovery of Titanic, (I have the book), and she gave it to me as a gift and in the memory of Mahala and Walter--who died in the sinking. It surely is amazing to me and I am honored to have it. I just wanted to share what I think is something very amazing. Thanks!

Mark Bray
Boiling Springs, SC
[email protected]

Mike Poirier

Dec 31, 2004
Unfortunately I think your expert was incorrect. Madeline Astor and J Bruce Ismay were both scarred by the disaster and no doubt would not be signing books. ( especially with the widow of captain Smith )it seems like a hoax perpetuated by the previous owner before your grandparents purchased them. If you truly believe these are the people's signatures ( and I highly doubt they are ) you should photocopy them and send them to the Titanic International Society or Titanic Historical Society. Their historians would be able to tell you right away.

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