Movie vs Historical

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Hi George,

There are few places on the net where you can actually read the exact transcripts from the Senate hearings of the passengers testimony. It is a lot to read through but VERY enlightening! Many passengers and crew alike testified that the ship broke in two before sinking and that the ships stern reached a 90 degree angle before the slow wakeless plunge.

I was shocked to see that the majority of the people saw it this way, not the way Lightoller reported it. People like Gracie also were incorrect in their testimony only because they were under water (like Lightoller) swimming for their lives! But as Lightoller said, "A lot of whitewash was used in those hearings"

Oh! the crew testimony also mentioned the coal fire several times too. Amazing stuff that is fully documented yet lost in history because most people only read what is published in popular books.
Hello Jeff, David

Well, I found some information here the other day which caused me to make the addendum post above. This site has grown in leaps and bound since James Cameron's movie. Back then this site was 'ok', but now I see that this is a regular gathering place for all Titanic enthusiasts alike.

David, I did read some of the Testimonials here and it appears that there is alot more information not presented then what I originally read. Much of the information I am reading now wasn't available at the time I originally collected. So bascially I am retracting my comments. Yes, more then likely James Cameron DID add his Hollywood flair to the film...but it could be more accurate than I was lead to believe. Now I see there are many more testimonials saying that the Titanic did raise up and sink vertically. Yet much of the information I had prior stated that it sank more like that in the movie "A Night To Remember". Here I found out there was much more to Lightollers testimony. The information I had was truncated and in many different places. Also there is alot of grey areas. So much of the new information I am finding out now is that a great number of the people were really not sure what happened. As Jeff stated, there was the darkness, the pain and agony from those in the water as well as everyone probably being half numb from the cold anyway. Also most of the testimonials are from those that were anywhere from 1 to 2 football field's distance away from the sinking ship. But as you pointed out with "whitewash", I am lead to believe that there very well could have been an initial coverup to perhaps protect the interests of the White Star Line. Also, I see more testimonials based on what people heard as well as seen. And much of this was not brought to light earlier (at least not to me and my prior readings). Yet, by and large, a greatest majority of those that testified really were not sure what happened. So all in all there is still much brushing up I have to on my part.

Jeff, yes, there is alot of controversy about the angle of descent. I could very well say to that even though the baker was riding the outside of the rails, he could very well have, hung on if the angle was about 45 deg or greater. But by and large I MOSTLY heard that the Titanic's stern reached somewhere a little bit above this figure. I guess the actual angle may never be known. I guess now I will take it there it was more than 45 but perhaps less than 90. But as you mentioned because of the cold and the darkness and the shear scale and magnitude of the sinking, it could affect the accuracy by one which testifies. I mean if you do think you have the largest man made moving object that is rearing up on end like a huge building hundreds of feet in the air. Typically not what you would think of how a ship would sink at the time. So it must have been an awful spectical to behold to say the least. Also for those in the water like Lightoller, the viewing angle would make a tremendous difference as well. I guess it is one of those things that we may never fully know. Yes, for the longest time, I thought the depictions in Walter Lords book as well as the Movie "A Night To Remember" were perhaps the most accurate. But there is alot of new information to take a look at now.

Yes, Jeff, you will be hearing more from me. I can see that you and Mike are regulars here and I have seen posts from both you and him scattered about here and there.

As for myself, I will say that I do not consider myself a die hard Titanic nut as it doesn't consume my life as I do have many many more interests. But I am a fan enough to know a good portion of it's history. I do have a small collection of Titanic reproduction items as well. I also have a nice 32" long wooden model of the ship in my livingroom. As for books...well, I lost count. I have alot of books on the Titanic. One of my favorites is the Ken Marschall picture book (title escapes me at the moment). His artistry and detailing is absolutely stunning. I refer to that picture many times.

Oh, Jeff...or anyone for that matter. Do you know where I can get a really detailed copy of the deck plans? I have a really good one on my computer and also on my James Cameron Titanic Explorer CD-Rom. But I want a large poster that I can put on my wall. I'd like to be able to point out parts and rooms on the ship at a glance. The original H&W plans that are printed in books are old, small and lack the detail. I am pretty sure someone has redone these by now. Yes? I mean if they have been redone for computer, they should have a good updated poster sized printed version, right?

Is there a section here in E. Titanica that I could perhaps refer to?


Jason D. Tiller


The baker, can't remember his name right off hand, the one that was reportedly drunk through the whole thing

That would be Charles Joughin. Actually, he was not drunk and he maintains that in his testimony, which can be accessed HERE.​
I don't know if this topic has been discussed before, but what about all those fire engine red fire "extinguishers?" cones in the third class hallways? I don't recall ever reading about them, so does anyone know if those red cones were actually on the real Titanic? Robert H. Gibbons

The conical extinguishers are correct for the period, but so too are smaller, cylindrical ones. There is no photographic evidence of what was used down in the working or third-class alleyways. There is a photo of Olympic's reception area that reveals one of the cylindrical extinguishers, but that's also a fancier area. So, to answer your question...we don't know.

I spent some time researching this with Ken Marschall. We corresponded with a couple of Fire Museums in the UK. Essentially, we came up empty-handed....those conical extinguishers could have been used and may not have been used aboard Titanic.

I got involved in the research because I was building my re-creation of the Marconi Silent Room. I originally put an extinguisher there, but eventually was convinced to replace it with fire buckets full of sand.

I call him "jo-fin" because that's how Walter Lord spelled out the pronunciation in one of his books. Recently, though, I heard Don Lynch pronounce it a different way, based on his research. So, I don't know. I've grown accustomed to "jo-fin," and habits are hard to break at my age.

Hmmm... I believe Mike Findlay had contact with the family and they pronounced it Jock-en.
I am sure it went through many variations over the years. I've always been a little leery of his account. I am sure parts of it are true, but it sometimes comes across as exaggerated. But anything was possible that night so who is to say.

Remember the Monty Python sketch?

Specialist: Ah! Mr Luxury Yacht. Do sit down, please.

Mr Luxury Yacht: Ah, no, no. My name is spelt "Luxury Yacht," but it's pronounced "Throatwarbler Mangrove."

There's also "Featherstonehaugh," pronounced "Fanshaw."

And "Cholmondeley," pronounced "Chumley."

Joughin? Jocken? At least it's plausible.


sharon rutman

It's funny how preceptions of historical people change in different Titanic movies. In A Night to Remember Ismay comes across as likeable and self effacing. He defers to Andrews as the man who built the ship, mocking himself as "only the office boy." Although he can't bear to see her go down, he genuinely seems anguished in the lifeboat. In Cameron's Titanic, on the other hand, Ismay comes across as a cold-blooded greedy capitalist corporate slimeball who is obsessed about publicity and the bottom line. He displays no feeling at all when he is in the lifeboat, deliberately turning his back on Titanic as if she didn't matter anymore. So much for turning up in New York Tuesday, eh!
"And "Cholmondeley," pronounced "Chumley."".

So how would you pronounce "Cholmondeston" (it's about eight miles east of Cholmondeley Castle)?

A young man named Cholmondeley Colquhoun
Once kept as a pet a babolquhoun
His mother said: "Cholmondeley
Do you think it quite colmondeley
To feed your babolquhuon with a spolquhoun?

Any excuse for ratbaggery!
>>It's funny how preceptions of historical people change in different Titanic movies.

Well, Sharon, historical people are at the mercy of the screen writers. I think it's called "having an agenda."
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