Photographs taken on board

Barry Whatton

Member
Dec 19, 2006
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Has anyone ever heard of any evidence to suggest that someone may have taken any photographs on board the Titanic after the collision?

Considering the fact that the hobby of photography was well established by 1912, surely it is not beyond the realms of imagination to suggest that some enterprising passenger would have attempted to take some photographs of the events taking place.

Because it was a maiden vogage I would have thought there would have been some members of the press would on board and they would have realized what a scoop they would have regardless of the outcome.

Would it not have been possible that photos may have been taken, but both the camera and operative had perished.
 

Dave Gittins

Member
Apr 11, 2001
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Not impossible, but I think it highly unlikely that anybody did it. It would have required the use of the very large magnesium flash guns of those days. Anybody going round the decks firing one of those things would have been very conspicuous. I reckon Lowe for one would have told him to get the hell out of there and stop blinding people.
 
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Daniel Rosenshine

Guest
Hello,

From Hustak's book I know that one passenger wanted to take a photo of one of the boats (#8) hanging over the side. However I think he got distracted and never ended up going to fetch his camera. I'm sure he's not the only one who wanted to take photos, but as far as I know, no one did. Dave is right about those magnesium flashes. Coming to think of it, someone ought to have used one, perhaps the ship on the horizon would have seen the LIGHTS better.

Daniel.
 
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jean leysman

Guest
I'm sure someone must have taken a photograph after the collision. I don't think the chaos on the ship would have stopped them from using their camera's There were some very keen photographers aboard.
If not outdoors then surely indoors where they didn't need the magnesium flash.
 
May 12, 2005
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If a similar disaster happened today I wouldn't be surprised if every other passenger had a video camera out but I can't imagine people then worrying over such things at a time like that. We do know people were taking pictures before the disaster but only a few of those images have survived. Pity. What interesting scenes all those other cameras - now rusted and irretrievable - must have recorded!

Randy
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
That's one thing that fascinated me too for a long time yet, Randy (ah - it's you again
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) And remember the film-camera of Mr. Henry B. Harris and the pictures on it. It is said that he'd done a lot of filming onboard. A very silly question, I have to admit, but: If it would've been stored in a leather-cover or suitcase - the film would certainly be disturbed nevertheless, wouldn't it ? But just imagine how extraordinary it would be if it could be recovered and still had something on it...
 
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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
Something along the lines of the "Rose" drawing perhaps?
 
May 12, 2005
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Christine,

I don't approve of disturbing the Titanic but I agree it is intriguing to wonder what is there.

Elaine,

Things like the Rose drawings might not be things too far-fetched to imagine, actually - some French postcards and photos I've seen of the 1900-1910 vintage rank from naughty to downright filthy. So 1912 society even had pornography to content with, though hardly on the scale of today.

Randy
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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Although I'm generally against the salvage efforts, I think that any photographic films found SHOULD be recovered, and if possible developed-there probably wouldn't be anything earth shattering on them, but any pictures taken after the ship left Ireland would be terribly important images in their own right. Likewise, although again it probably would not tell us anything too extraordinary, the desire to find the ship's log is a good one. Where DID it go?
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
Ahem... just to make sure I don't get misunderstood - - - I actually didn't think of pornographic things *deeplyahsamed*
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. From what I know Mr. Harris had his (film-) camera onboard and made use of it alot, for example leaving the port at Southhampton. I just allowed myself to dream a lot about them finding the camera and still having the moving pictures on it...
 
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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
Uh, oh, when I mentioned the "Rose" drawing, I wasn't talking about the nudity of Rose, I just meant that the drawing had been on the bottom of the ocean for over 80 years and the paper hadn't disintegrated! Must have been strong parchment paper!
Elaine
 
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Elaine R Barnes

Guest
Addendum: I should say the drawing was supposedly on the bottom of the ocean for 80 years.....
 
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Daniel Rosenshine

Guest
There's been plenty of paper found at the bottom of the ocean (Titanic-wise that is). I've never heard about Mr. Harris making use of his camera. The couple described by Beesley often gets misunderstood as being the Harrises.

Beesley was in second class, and thus the passengers standing next to him were second class as well. The couple that he thought were husband and wife, were William Harbeck and his mistress Yrois.

...... unless there is other evidence that Harris did use his camera.

I think I have mentioned this elsewhere on the board, but during the latest salvage expedition to Titanic, they recovered a camera, with I think 11 negatives. I could be wrong, and if there was anything much, such as new images, surely there would have been a big hoopla about it by now.

Daniel.
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
Elaine, yes, it's like a miracle how the paper "survived" through all the years. I've seen some things made out of paper at the Titanic-Exhibition in Hamburg and was most impressed by a letter that was hand-written with a pencil and was completely and easily readable. But that's of course even a great work of the conversations laboratory.

Daniel, that's very interesting. I'll have to check my literature cause I don't remember exactly where I've read about it. But I will come back to you in every case. Yes, it might've been Beesley... Argh - wish I could go home right now and have a look (sitting at work actually).

I haven't heard about them finding a camera with negatives. That's exciting!!! If you ever hear more about it please tell me. But I'm afraid you're right. If there would've been something to see on the negatives it would've been a bomb. Or maybe they're still working on it.. who knows what they do behind their closed doors and what they might've salvaged without anybody knowing it...

Many regards,
Christine
 
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Christine Geyer

Guest
Michael, thank you !! I've read the report and - at least - tried to get an answer from them about the development of the negatives by sending a mail, even though I don't think that there's a big chance that they'll answer. Nevertheless I'm rather curious about it.

Regards
Christine
 
Jan 8, 2001
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Christine, you're welcome
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I hope you get an answer, because I'm very interested as well! Wouldn't that be wild if there were pictures of the last sunset for instance!!

Michael.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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I will be quite surprised if any photgraphic materials remain intact after submersion for so many years. The film or paper backing may survive, but the emulsion which contained the image was essentially a form of gelatin not much different than the strawberry or orange stuff (Jello in the U.S.) mothers feed to kids. I would suspect the gelatin would long ago have either dissolved or been consumed by one-celled critters. However, one can always hope for a miracle.

--David G. Brown
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
If any film survived, I would think it would have to be in a watertight container that's tough as well. VERY tough as the pressure that far down is something like 3000psi.

God only knows how it could be conserved once it was exposed to oxygen, to say nothing of light.

Cordially,
Michael H. Standart