Photographic Treasure Trove

Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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I know that when the Fr. Browne photos came to lightr it was a FANTASTIC find. How likly do you all think it is that another cache of Titanic photos will be found? Is it still possible that someone has a private collection in a trunk in an attic and doesn't know it's historical significance?

David
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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I think the most likely to have unseen photos would be the passengers who left at Cherbourg. They had sunlight to take photos by and several hours in which to do it. Maybe there is a tin box somewhere in Europe waiting to be found.

One thing that is a revelation is to see prints of photos made from the original negatives, which are still around in many cases. There are fine examples in Michael McGaughan's book. Some time ago I saw a new print of the photo of Harold Bride being carried off Carpathia. That's another impressive shot, especially given the flash equipment of the time. Too often we are given reproductions of reproductions and the results are very poor.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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I always wondered if photographs were taken onboard during the voyage down from Belfast. My thought is that any future treasure trove will be of pictures taken during the departure from Southampton- the crowd was certainly large enough to support my guess that at least one photographer took a bunch of pictures and then, for whatever reason, chose not to make them public. An interesting thought is the possibility, however remote, that film has survived ABOARD the Titanic. Chances are slim to almost none that such is the case, but given that motion picture film WAS salvaged from the Lusitania, anything is possible.
 

Kyrila Scully

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Apr 15, 2001
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I can't remember where I read it as I have over 50 books about Titanic, but I do remember reading that there was a man aboard who was a motion picture photographer and had his equipment aboard. It is doubtful any film has survived in that environment and pressure unless it was sealed in treated leather or metal cans, like some other items that survived that wouldn't have otherwise. Even then, many motion pictures made at that time have deteriorated to powder under better circumstances.

Kyrila
 

Kris Muhvic

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Sep 26, 2008
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Hello- I was about to say something that I thought I was sure of, however now I'm confused. Hope someone can help me out here.
In the deck plans published in Wade's "Titanic: End of a Dream", there is a little room, next to the Lounge Bar, marked "dark room". Now I always assumed this was for developing photographs. In Eaton & Hass'"Triumph & Tragedy", this same room (under the stairs?)is noted as a "cloak room".
Are these plans an example of Olympic/Titanic differences, one more updated than the other, or a detail that is just...wrong?
Would appreciate any input-

Yours-
Kris
 
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Christine Geyer

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James, we had contemplated about the possibility of any "surviving" film-material or photos in the thread "Photographs taken on board" (Archive>General). I had wondered if we'd ever salvage any cameras including taken shots on oard. Daniel Rosenhine had then told me that RMS Titanic Inc. had indeed found a camera with 11 photo plates. But it is not known if it's possible to develop them or if any attempts to try so have ever been made. I have sent a mail questioning RMS Titanic Inc. but they don't seem to answer any questions.

In addition I'm sure that anywhere in the world, in any dusty attiy storeys still forgotten boxes or albums with photos are rottening, taken either at the departure or even by cross-channel passengers, taken onboard. I could imagine people who just don't see any "need" to publish those. Unfortunately.... Or otherwise the pics are just not recognized. It would be great if someday someone goes through the estate of their descendants and find such a treasure. What a thought... *sigh*

Many regards
Christine
 

Jim Kalafus

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KRIS- Most likely it is "cloak room." Photographic chemicals have a, shall we say, distinct odor, and had there been a dark room on the Titanic it would probably have been placed somewhere remote from the First Class areas.

CHRISTINE- That is interesting about the recovered camera. I'd like to know if it was in a sealed container (in which case the plates MIGHT be salvaged) or simply found on the sea floor.
 

Dan Cherry

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Mar 3, 2000
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Christine,
D'OH! I missed the perfect opportunity to find out about the camera (Which I heard the '11' referred to the number of FRAGMENTS of film found) - I recently attended a dinner where the guest speaker was G. Michael Harris who was on last year's Titanic expedition (2000). He was a very nice person and after the presentation took as much time as was necessary to answer the attendee's questions or listen to their comments, etc. I spoke with him briefly and had small talk, but never asked about any artifacts...

I'll think next time, honest!

Dan
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
Oooh !
sad.gif


I didn't know it was fragments... What a disappointment!! So then it doesn't make an important difference if it was found in a container or not. Fragment is fragment. Sh...

Dan I can imagine there's so much to ask in relatively little time. So I forgive you ;) It must've been a very interesting meeting. Wish I had this opportunity. What was the theme of Mr. Harris speak ?

I have to admit I feel mistrustful when it's about RMS Titanic Inc. Nobody really knows what they do behind closed doors, I feel they don't really give out proper information or material. They don't answer any questions/letters sent to them. Still there is no complete list/catalog of artifacts they recovered, which I'm desperately waiting for. But maybe I simply have a persecution complex... !?

Many regards
Christine
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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"...but given that motion picture film WAS salvaged from the Lusitania, anything is possible."

What motion picture!? That sounds fascinating!

I seriously doubt that recovered film would be the moving kind. I'm guessing that film would have been eaten up faster than paper. The enticing thing to remember, however, is that in 1912, still pohotos were printed from GLASS negatives, and are certainly still intact. The question is whether the image on the glass is still there.

There were a number of photographers travelling on board, one was a man from Seattle that White Star hired to be Titanic's publicity photographer for the trip. Kate Bortner knows his story better than I.

David
 
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Andrew Williams

Guest
David-I personally think the chances of anymore photographs or old cinema films depicting this once famous ocean liner are pretty slim now.
However, to nourish all your minds I suppose it wouldn't do any harm if I told there is possibly one of the best photographic collections, that still remains in private hands to this day.
It gives the read an insight of a completely different way of life in Britain spanning back roughly to 100 years. If you would like to check the Francis Frith collection on (www.frithbook.co.uk) your'll understand precisely what I mean.
One of the tiles is called:- Around Southampton, and if you turn to page's 34 & 35, there's a vessel called the S.S. Finland which is stationed upright directly inside the famous Trafalgar Dry Dock. This photo was taken in 1905.
On the other hand, there'll just might be the occasion when something rather unusal will appear out of the blue. WHO KNOWS! Just recently one example did come out of the limelight and is called:- The Iceberg-----Resurfaces!


Regards-Andrew W.
 

Eric Sauder

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Nov 12, 2000
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Hi, David:

Here's the text from a post I made back in January on this message board regarding the salvaged Lusitania film:

***

"I don't know too much about the film (and what follows is from memory), but here are the basics:

"In 1982, Oceaneering did some salvage work on Lusitania and brought up a number of remarkable items, including propellers, windows, pillar bases, a whistle, etc. One of the less spectacular items (to Oceaneering anyway) was one reel of a four reel film called "The Carpet from Bagdad." Although the film had been eaten away at the edges (the sprocket holes were gone for the most part and the film could never be run through a projector again), quite a number of frames were able to be cleaned and printed. A documentary about the salvage work was made in 1983, and several of the frames from the film were shown. (Sorry, I can't remember the name of the show. It was something like "The Lusitania Files.") For film historians it was quite a find since no known copy of the film exists.

"Wish I could tell you more.

Eric Sauder"
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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David, Eric and others: What makes the whole concept of motion picture film surviving aboard the Titanic so interesting is that the ideal storage environment for the nitrate based film is one with a consistently cold and dry atmosphere. So, if a cannister of motion picture film was stored inside of something watertight- and if no condensation built up in the cannister over the last 89 years- the film might still be at least partially salvagable. I've been looking, admittedly not that fervently, for any surviving William Harbeck films and would love the opportunity so see something of his work salvaged from the wreck. Since the Marvin's cabin is in the intact forward section, it seems like only a matter of time until someone enters it so perhaps something will be found there. But, probably not.
 

Dave Hudson

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Apr 15, 2011
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James,

True, it's definitly cold enough, I highly doubt that there would be a watertight container strong enough to keep out the 6000 psi pressure. even if there was something strong enought to stay dry, chances are it wouldn't hold something as trivial as film.

Eric,

WOW! That's incredible! I had no idea that that was even possible!

David
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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David- Yes, I highly doubt it, too. Have since the beginning, which is why I phrased it "chances are slim to none that such is the case" in my initial posting. You had mentioned glass plate negatives- a number of those were found on the wreck of the Central America (1857) but, if memory serves me right, they were never exposed. I'm checking to see how well a glass plate negative would fare after being immersed for 89 years. Daguerreotypes, which were negative images printed on glass and set upon a black backing to make them appear positive, and Ambrotypes, which were the next step in the photographic process, have been recovered from pre-Civil War wrecks in a variety of conditions ranging from nearly unrecognisable to barely damaged, so -again depending upon the conditions they have been subjected to at the wreck site- glass plate negatives which had already been exposed and "fixed" might survive.
The chances of that happening are marginally better than the chances of intact motion picture film being recovered, but are still slim.