Olympic Reports from 1911 and Waldorf Astor


I spent a very enjoyable hour or so looking through the London Times' reports of the Olympic's early months of sailing. It took you back in time to see reports about the "new White Star Liner" Olympic along with reports about the forth coming Coronation of George V and Queen Mary with a map of the route of the Royal Procession around London. There is also references to the concluding stages of the Asquith Government's Parliament Bill which was to abolish the House of Lords' veto. There was also an article to President Taft's Anti-trust speech and the possibility of Home Rule for Ireland.

Regarding the Olympic, there was an exchange of telegrams between the Mayors of New York and Southampton at the time of the Maiden Voyage in June. I wonder if there was such an exchange was planned at the time of Titanic's Maiden Voyage? The report of the civic inspection of the Ship by the Mayor and other dignitries on 9th June describes the ship as being the subject of much marvel and adulation. I alse learned that, like the Titanic 10 months later, the Olympic's Maiden Voyage was under threat of delay due to a coal strike and the voyage was only made possible by agreement that more coal than usual would be loaded at New York. The departure of the Olympic was remarkable for how she completely dwarfed all the other ships that were laid up because of the strike including, by remarkable coincidence, the American Line's "New York" which almost collided with the Titanic at the exact same stage of her Maiden Voyage.

The reports of the collision with HMS Hawke in the editions of 21-23 September were very refreshing as accounts I have read of the incident in "The Riddle of the Titanic" and elsewhere have been very dry. The Times reported that there were many celebrities on the ship when the collision occurred including three Members of Parliament and Waldorf Astor who presumably was some relation to JJ Astor. It also went into vivid detail about the damage to both ships and the account of a passenger from San Francisco who was getting ready for Lunch when the force of the smash nearly knocked him off his feet as he stood in his cabin. The report also says that Olympic is the largest and most beautiful ship in the world and she has a sister ship called Titanic was launched in May and will be joining her the following year.

It must have been a thoroughly miserable experience for those aboard being put on tenders at Cowes to be sent back to Southampton. However, the crew was treated to a colour film at a cinema in Southampton of the ship in motion using a technque called "kinecolor". I wonder if this film still exists and how it was made? I've never seen or heard of any colour film dating from as far back as 1911.
 

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