Photos taken on April 15, 1912 (x-posted)


Hello everyone, so basically I just set up a profile to get your expert opinions.. I know that there are no photos of the sinking and I know how heavy cameras were in the early 20th century but I have to confirm this anyway.

A friend of mine, a really old, really nice man, is moving and while cleaning out his house he gave me a photograph (and the negative) of the titanic sinking because "he knows I am into maritime history" (which I am). Of course I inquired how he got it and he said he knew one of the survivors who back in the 60s bequethed him the negative since he was a journalist and also, on his request, wrote him a letter confirming that he (the survivor) had taken the photo from one of the lifeboats.

In short I have a photo, negative and letter and, while the photo is quite convincing, I am convinced only someone living under a rock would have kept this in storage for 50 years. Also, considering the 100th anniversary just passed it seems..odd. But stranger things have happened and I have known him for ages.

So what do i need to do to figure out where this photo came from? The national archives? Photo forensics? Titanic historical society?

Thanks in advance for any help!

Titanic sank at night (actually, the wee hours of the morning) in very dark conditions, so getting a photo of the sinking would be difficult even with today's equipment. If this photograph was taken before the lighting aboard Titanic failed, it might have been possible to get an image.

One of the best things you could do is to scan the photo and post it here; there are many expert people here who are familiar with a lot of subtle factors that might prove or disprove this photo as real. I urge you to do two things before posting it: One, MARK IT COPYRIGHT. Two, watermark it.
I'd love to see an actual photo of the sinking, but I'd also like to know how someone was able to sneak a camera past the officers and smuggle it aboard a small lifeboat?I think cameras back then had to be fitted on tripods?
Jake: Actually, Kodak's box camera had been around since 1888, and it used roll film instead of glass plates. The famous hand-held Kodak "Brownie" - cheap, durable and easy to use - was introduced in 1900. There was even a pocket Kodak, using a smaller roll film. It is not inconceivable that someone might have had one of these devices in one of Titanic's lifeboats, but what is questionable is whether conditions would have permitted getting an image. Father Francis Browne, who took the famous photos of Titanic on the first leg of her maiden and only voyage, is known to have been partial to Kodaks, though it's not known for certain what he used aboard Titanic.
Items of this kind have cropped up before:

The picture mentioned in that thread was never disclosed but the description matched a well-known publicity still from ANTR. It's an old thread, so any internal links might not work.


It sounds like the one I have. I researched ANTR simply because of age of the photograph. I'll post it here as after hearing that OP discribe his photo I am thinking maybe it is the same thing.


Well, I told myself I'd make some inquires before I threw it in my filing cabinet and so I have. Thank you everyone so much for the help!
Yeah, that's it - the very same pic. But publicity stills from ANTR do have some value, especially if you have the negative!

What, by the way, was the name of the survivor mentioned in this tall tale?
If any should think this model work in ANTR is far from convincing, take note that survivor Anna Turja thought it was very realistic. After viewing a screening she is said to have demanded "If they were close enough to film it, why didn’t they help?”

Yes, I have heard of brownie cameras, but I didn't know if handheld ones existed then, and if if they did, I had the idea that they'd be big and bulky, hence the thought of having a hard time smuggling one into a lifeboat.


Mystery solved! Yes I had heard that some (or perhaps only one) survivor found that movie difficult to watch.

So there is a market for this photo and negative? I will have to look into that!

Bob - I will look for you when I get home today and post here.

Jake: A standard Brownie of the early 20th Century was considered quite compact in its day, perhaps seven inches long, four deep and four high. They were cheaply made, with a cardboard body covered in a leatherette-type material. Lens was fixed-focus, with no adjustments possible - it was point-and-shoot. Selling price was all of one dollar - equivalent to nearly $26.00 today, still cheap for a camera. What Kodak was up to was the "Gillette razor principle" - their money was actually made on film and processing. The ad slogan was, "You press the button - we do the rest."

Here's a link to a page about the original Brownie:

Kodak Brownie Camera Information - The Original | The Brownie Camera Page
Jake: Maybe bulky by the standards of our generation, where one small device contains a telephone, Internet-capable computer and camera. I had a Brownie Six-20 from the 1930's when I was little, passed on by older members of the family. It was about the same size as the Brownie No. 1, and I never thought of it as bulky. Of course, part of that was having never been exposed to more compact devices. Forty or fifty years ago, things like telephones, portable radios and small appliances were big and heavy by today's standards. But that never occurred to us then. I can easily remember when you could not BELIEVE that an entire radio could be contained in a case the size of a cigarette pack. It was nearly science-fiction then.