My photo of the Titanic sinking


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Nix MacPherson

Guest
I mentioned this in another thread and didn't get much feedback. My grandpa told me when I was about 7 about this photo of the Titanic taken from my great grandmother. Supposedly it was taken accidently from a lifeboat (her was one of the first out) and was totally black save the running lights of the ship at about a 30-degree angle. The photo was framed and sat outside Peoria Illinois until 1973, a year before I was born, when the farmhouse burnt down. The photo went up with it. My father remembers seeing it and once tried to have it authenticated but the focus was too bad for a positive authentication and therefore was never public. I have seen a photo taken at my dad's 13th birthday party and saw the framed photo on the wall and thats when I asked what it was.

Obviously a amateur photo of a photo that was badly taken in the first place could not be ever authenticated, this I know. But assuming that I still had the original, what would something like this be worth? Just curious.
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Since it likely could not be authenticated even if you had the original, probably not much. The problem here is that there are no reliable accounts of people taking photos from the lifeboats and given how dark it was, it's virtualy impossible that anyone could have attempted it without escaping notice. The flash would have been a dead give-away.

Also, cameras in that day and age were rather bulky machines and I don't think anyone could have even so much as brought one aboard a lifeboat without being noticed.
 
Jan 28, 2003
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Someone else once asked about an alleged photo of the sinking, and it was suggested it might have been a still from a movie - ANTR or earlier even.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Cameras in 1912 were certainly small enough to carry off in a boat without being noticed. The Box Brownie had been around for upwards of 30 years and there were plenty of other, more elaborate, cameras that were no bigger than a modern SLR. Whether the film was fast enough and the aperture great enough is quite another thing. The conditions on the night would challenge the best modern cameras and films.

Had anybody taken a photo at the time, you can bet it would have been sold to a newspaper for big bucks. Alleged photos of the sinking have been traced to movie publicity shots. There's a thread on this forum about a photo that turned out to be a still from a 1919 movie about Lusitania.
 
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Nix MacPherson

Guest
Well the photo existed, this much I know. And my family is alot of things, but they wouldn't have made up a story just for my benifit. Nor would it have been sold. How do I know? When I was 9, grandpa gave me this old comic book. I played with it and read it and eventually cut out the images and glued them on my bed as any creative 9-year old would.

This turned out to be X-Men #1. It was in excellant shape before I got ahold of it.

No, the photo was only framed because it reminded great grandma of how lucky she had been when others were not so lucky. Only dad expressed interest in getting it authenticated and then re-hanging it at the house. I suspect that if he had waited until today (and were the photo still in existance), it could be authenticated. But who wants that kind of attention? No its probably best that its gone.

But it did exist. And it was authentic.
 
Dec 31, 2003
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We have a new and unique Titanic legend here! The photograph was, Nix has told us, taken 'accidently'. A long exposure - perhaps a quite literally 'frozen' one - would capture only a blurred line of light; all that was claimed. And, it would be possible despite some movement of either or of both subject and camera. But, all of this would - rather ironically - be only possible *without* 'flash': powder or bulb; then or today.
 
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Nix MacPherson

Guest
I remember telling my fourth grade teacher about this when we were in history and she sent me to the principals office for lying. Still I would have loved to see the real McCoy.
 
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Matt Endacott

Guest
Hey,
Sorry for entering this convo so late, but Nix would it be possible for you to scan the picture you mentioned of your dad's 13th birthday, so we could catch a small glimpse of the picture. Perhaps we could crop the picture and zoom in on it for a better look.
Best Regards,
Matt
 
Dec 31, 2003
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Hello, Nix: Matt has given good advice, and I hope you will be able to share a scan with us. My own remarks were very supportive, and most members would agree that it is unwise - unscientific, in fact - to ever dismiss out-of-hand a legend that lives on, in its quiet way, within a family. Don
 

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