Jun 4, 2003
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Does anybody know why Mrs. J. White, a first class passenger, remained in her cabin all the time and whether she could walk away and save herself easily since she obviously had a kind of a health problem? Also, she seems to be quite rich, travelling with a maid and a very young manservant who unfortunately died. Why did she want a manservant and how did she become so rich? Her husband probably or what? Thanks!!!
 
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Jason Rodway

Guest
I read somewhere that Mrs.White had some sort of accident when boarding the ship which led to a foot injury I believe.

Regards

Jason.
 
Mar 10, 1998
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George,
Mrs. White supposedly had "leg problems" that kept her from walking great distances. I have copies of some letters she wrote demanding that a renewed passport be delivered to her home even though she didn't live far from the passport office. There was a bit of a tug-of-war between her and the passport office as they thought it ludicrous that she was insisting she was unable to get to their office to pick the passport up when she wanted it for a trip to Europe (if she was able to go to Europe, why couldn't she make it to their office?).

Her family already had money but she got some from her husband. They married in 1894. I've seen her claim in one document that Mr. White died in 1897 and in another she says he died in 1902. Don't know what THAT says about her. I've always seen her as a gripy, unreasonable type of old woman. Definitely not my favorite among the survivors. Just my $.02.

Phil
 
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Jason Rodway

Guest
Phil, if I can be so bold just after my second posting.>>She is not one of my favourites either. She sounds far too up her own business to care for anyone else. She seems to have no regret for her poor manservant at all. What does that say about that generation and their dealings with those who take care of their every need. It's a bit beyond me. Best wishes to you.

Jason.
 
Mar 10, 1998
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Thanks Jason. Yes, I doubt if she was someone I could have enjoyed being around much. But, having to "give the devil *her* dues," she did apparently do some very nice things to try to help out the family of her manservant after his death (that according to present day family members of his). I have a slide presentation I use with photos of select passengers when I'm asked to give a "Titanic talk" and Mrs. White is included. I always see audience members shaking their heads when I finish my brief comments about her. (Their favorite always seems to be Annie Stengel.) I'll find an example of her (Mrs. White's) letters later and post it.

My best,
Phil
 
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Jason Rodway

Guest
Thank you for your response Phil. I do feel very welcome on this site. I am sure that she did a great many charitable deeds, and I would not like to create any doubt about that. From her photographs she looks like a very affable women. But if I were on the wrong side of her, I would imagine life could be hell on the receiving end of that electric cane.
Regards

Jason.
 

Pat Winship

Member
May 14, 1999
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Jason wrote:

"I would imagine life could be hell on the receiving end of that electric cane."

Lightoller confirmed that view:

"Dynamos were still running, and deck lights on, which, though dim, helped considerably with the work; more than could be said of one very good lady who achieved fame by waving an electric light and successfully blinding us as we worked on the boats. It puzzled me until I found she had it installed in the head of her walking stick! I am afraid she was rather disappointed on finding out that her precious light was not a bit appreciated. Arriving in safety on board the Carpathia, she tried to make out that someone had stolen her wretched stick, whereas it had been merely taken from her, in response to my request that someone would throw the damn thing overboard."

Lightoller Titanic and Other Ships

Pat W.
 
Dec 12, 1999
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Hi everyone,

And to think that Mrs. White's famous cane was stolen years later by a person attending a cocktail party hosted by her nephew. It is still uncertain if the person who took Mrs. White's cane knew of its history. It was apparently a very attractive cane according to her family. She regularly attended the opera with it even after the Titanic.

Mrs. White was proud of being a survivor and even went to the trouble of having her gold eyeglass case inscribed "Survivor of Titanic." An interesting lady to be sure. Eccentric and feisty as ever, she still maintained a large circle of friends. Despite her unusual behavior, she was still loved by her family. She traveled everywhere, gave to those less fortunate and lived at the plush Plaza Hotel in Manhattan until her death.

Michael Findlay
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Lightoller's reaction is very much the same as mine would have been, and I suspect any other sailor as well. Night vision is precious when grubbing around in the dark, especially in a crunch. Bright lights would not have been in the least bit welcome.
 
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chris anthony

Guest
hi. i was wondering if anybody knows anything about ella white's cane that she used in the lifeboat. I know it had a light, but does anybody know what it may have looked like?
Thanks,
Chris
 
Aug 30, 2005
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Hello. I was recently reading about mrs. Ella White and i came across her testimony during the inquiries. She stated this about the sinking:

--"Then we turned and went back, and lingered around there for a long time, trying to locate the other boats, but we could not locate them except by hearing them. The only way they could locate us was by my electric lamp. The lamp on the boat was absolutely worth nothing. They tinkered with it all along, but they could not get it in shape. I had an electric cane - a cane with an electric light in it - and that was the only light we had."

I've looked for images of a cane w/ a lamp on google but i found nothing. Does anyone have any info about these types of canes (i.e. who made them, what they looked like, etc.) Also, did she use this cane for her injury while boarding, or did she have it prior to her embarkation on Titanic? Any facts or info would help. Thanks

Andy

Moderator's note: This post was in another thread started today in this subtopic, but has been moved here. JDT]
 

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