If it never happened


James Doyle

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Jul 30, 2002
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This may sound like an odd question, but I was just thinking. If the Titanic disaster never happened, and Titanic was just another beautiful ocean liner of the early 20th century, what would never happened in return? For instance, this board and website would never have existed. It will be interesting to see what examples people will come up with.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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It's just as uncertain to determine what would never have happened as it is to determine what would have happened. Along with certain things that may never have happened - the many books and movies, the museums, this board - there may also have been various possibilities in world order, such as a person to resolve world hunger, or equally, a person crazy enough to destroy, say, Paris or some other major city, with a bomb or other horrific means, killing millions of people. Either one of these people could possible have descended from a Titanic survivor who otherwise had died. There, perhaps, wouldn't have been the lessons learned so abruptly that it brought about changes, such as the development of the IIP and higher bulkheads or lifeboats for all, resulting in even more deaths later on in the twentieth century. Still, there may have come more ships of the Olympic class, and White Star, instead of the name being cast away into nothing around 1960 (when it was), could have become the forerunner of today's major lines... The possibilities are endless! Just like any other event in history, there is a countless array of variables of differentiation with which we'd contend in the case of said event not having occurring or having occurred differently. To ask what what would never have happened or what would have happened in the event that Titanic never sunk is the same as saying what would never have happened or what would have happened in the event that you or I had never been born. Who knows?...

As for it being an odd question, not at all. It's natural for humans to wonder about the possibilities should things to have happened differently than they did. On the other hand, it's not as odd as it is impossible to answer. It's one of those things that, maybe, we're better off not knowing...
 
Dec 2, 2000
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James, a shorter version of what Mark is trying to say is that history doesn't really reveal it's alternatives. I think that it may be possible to get a sense of what might have been if we take a look at what affect Titanic was known to have had on maritime law, and safety of life at sea. None of which would not have occured or would have been a longer time in coming without the distater to move things along. It might help to look at the movers and shakers such as Colonel Astor who died and what might have been had they lived.

All speculative of course, but interesting.
 
L

Laura Melinda Varjo

Guest
I've thought about this before, as a minor thought. Maybe not, we would still speak about her(not this often), but I'm sure this ET website would not be created,nor any of the Titanic related movies, documentaries...nothing to inspire me about Titanic. Then, I would have a different hobby.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>James, a shorter version of what Mark is trying to say is that history doesn't really reveal it's alternatives.<<

Michael, that's partially right, but not trying to be harsh, I wasn't merely "trying" - I gave a detailed explanation, which would naturally be longer, and was necessary, as far as I'm concerned, but it was clear, so the attempt was successful.

What I also meant was that the possibilities are endless, period, because there are too many unknown variables and factors involved in the progression of events through time. No human could possibly be able to consider all those alternatives. You may ask, "Could 'this' or 'that' have happened if the Titanic hadn't sunk?" I would say, "why not?" Some alternatives, such the development of maritime law and the existence of this site, are easy alternatives to ascertain, but not all possibilities are.

One strong possibility: Leo DiCaprio wouldn't be as rich as he is now, hehe.
 
May 1, 2004
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This is a daydream question, don't you think?

So, daydreaming...

A lot of ordinary people who were on the ship would have remained known only to the people who met them. Eva Hart, Violet Jessop and others would not have related the stories of their lives. Major Peuchen would have been just another Toronto businessman. Would we have cared to know about them?

Major Archie Butt may or may not have resolved the differences between Taft and T. Roosevelt. Would that have kept Woodrow Wilson out of the White House?

Mr. Stead would have delivered his lectures on spiritualism, and G Bernard Shaw and A Conan Doyle would not have sparred about British heroism or the lack of same in the newspaper [I forget which paper - probably the Times]

I would not be typing this message. I would be on my way home from the library - in the snow. Ewww.

I would not have several Titanic books at home. There would not be any 'Titanic books' published, unless for the nautical enthusiast. Would Walter Lord have written solely about World War II? What would Eaton and Haas have done?

There would have been no 'Titanic' movies. Oh, those lovely costumes!! (The Germans did a propaganda film based on the sinking, but their ship was called Atlantic, wasn't it?)

Since my stomach wants its supper, I will no longer daydream.

Marilyn P.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>There would have been no 'Titanic' movies. Oh, those lovely costumes!! (The Germans did a propaganda film based on the sinking, but their ship was called Atlantic, wasn't it?) <<

Marilyn,

No. The German Propaganda film was released in 1943 and was ironically the first movie about the Titanic to be entitled Titanic. Atlantic was either British or American and was the first full-length feature about the Titanic (or a 'Titanic-like' ship) released in 1929-30.

Movie List:

Atlantic (1929-30)
Titanic (German; 1943)
Titanic (American; 1953)
A Night to Remember (British; 1958)
S.O.S. Titanic (American; 1979)
Raise the Titanic (American; 1980)
Titanic (American miniseries; 1996)
Titanic (American; 1997)
**Chambermaid on the Titanic (nation and release date unknown, which is why I put it last)


A very reality-based response. These things, of course, are determinable. Since the ship did sink, and wondering "what if..." is pointless, really, but a lot of people continue to explore the possibilities, perhaps out of guilt and sorrow, perhaps due to an inborn desire for some to make it as if those people didn't die. Whatever allows a person to feel more comfortable with a tragedy, that's his/her individual choice. Each person must find solace and come to terms with such an event in his/her own way.

Take care and I hope the information helps.

--Mark
 

John Melish

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May 17, 2004
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Very interesting topic.

Creation of the Ice Patrol would have been delayed as well as new regulations concerning the number of lifeboats required. Maybe there would have been another incident with a berg years later on an even bigger scale. Just pure speculation on my part.
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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Its unlikely, since when before the Titanic had there been a major berg disaster?

But I must agree 1 is already bad enough!
 

Jeremy Lee

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Apprantely not many ships that hit bergs do sink, and few had such a large loss of life (if not the largest)

BTW Thanks for the link Michael!
 
Dec 2, 2000
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>>Apprantely not many ships that hit bergs do sink,<<

Well, maybe and maybe not. That website posts the known incidents going back some two centuries. Unfortunately, that can also be very misleading as it cannot speak to the ships last seen sailing off into the sunset never to be heard from again. In fairness, the North Atlantic offers a lot of ways to get dead, with storms being the most frequent culprit, but icebergs were an ever present threat. The sad fact is that up until recently, if a ship was lost, there were rarely survivors. Even if the passengers and crew survived the sinking, they stood little chance of survival in and open boat.

This genereously assumes that there was an open boat of some kind to make it to.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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>>Apprantely not many ships that hit bergs do sink,<<

Hi, Jeremy!

Sometimes we get so caught up in the Titanic saga that we forget other news was happening at the same time. A newspaper article came out of New York on May 7 (1912) that gives just a tad of perspective to the Titanic's encounter with the ice. This isn't the entire piece, but it should be enough to get across the idea:

MARINE LOSSES OF 1912 BREAK RECORD

Present Year Will Go Down in History as Most Disastrous Ever Known to Ocean Going Vessels.

TITANIC WRECKS [sic] ADDS CLIMAX TO LONG LIST

Thirteen Ships Lost in January, Twelve in February and Twenty-Two in March -- Five Now Overdue.

NEW YORK, Tuesday, May 7.--The year 1912 will go down in history as the greatest in point of marine losses. For the first quarter of the year these aggregated about $10,253,500, and on top of these comes the Titanic's loss, ship and cargo being estimated at $12,500,000. In these figures no reckoning is made of passengers' baggage, estimated to be $1,600,000.

Underwriters are hard hit, particularly those in Liverpool and London. The German transport companies los[t] about $375,000, through reinsurance of the Titanic. The White Star line retained $750,000 of the risk on the vessel. Underwriters are readily agreed that the loss by the sinking of the Titanic is the largest on record in connection with one vessel.

In the month of March, twenty-two vessels were lost totally, and the value of ships and cargoes was $3,633,500. February's losses were $1,910,000 and those of January $3,000,000. Thus, excluding any other losses for April other than the Titanic, the total for the first 105 days of the year reaches the amazing sum of $21,043,500. To this must be added also $1,710,000, the value of five large steamships overdue and uninsurable, making a grand total of $22,753,500. . . .

Five Now Long Overdue.

The five large steamships overdue and practically uninsurable . . . are the Mountoswald, Augsburg, Belle Ile, Erna and Koombana. Unfortunately, in each case the prospects are considered to be black. The loss of general cargo in the Oceana is estimated in the table at $500,000, but no account is taken of the cost of raising the gold and silver, including an estimate of this cost and assuming a total loss in the case of each of the five missing vessels, a sum of at least $1,710,000 must be reckoned.

*****************


Best wishes!

Roy
 

Jeremy Lee

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Jun 12, 2003
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Thanks Michael and Roy,

Probably the sinking of the Titanic was THE thing in maritime disasters in 1912 and even today its so well known that all other shipwrecks then or by ice were just being overshadowed by the Titanic!
 

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