Survivors' clothes

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WarrenHarding

Member
Hello Everyone -
Does anyone know if any of the survivor's clothes or artifacts that they wore &/or brought with them into the lifeboats survive today? I know the pig survives and Lady Duff Gordon's kimono - but any other clothes, purses, etc.? Are they in museums or private collections? What about the jewelry that was worn that night in the boats? What about the officer's uniforms or staff?

Thanks -
 
IcySofter

IcySofter

Member
This is only a guess, but Molly Brown had a home in Denver turned to a museum and she may have saved the dress she was wearing that night. I believe there are a few items such as tiny purses, boots and such at various Titanic sites in the USA. Seems I saw a boot at the exhibit in Las Vegas. The Vegas exhibit also had a bit of jewelry.
 
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WarrenHarding

Member
Thanks! I forgot about Molly - I will email the museum and see if her dress is there. Great suggestion -

Thanks!

WH
 
W

WarrenHarding

Member
Hello IcySofter -
I reached out to the Molly Brown Museum as you suggested - they responded and could not have been nicer. They have never been able to trace Mrs. Brown's clothes that she wore and was wearing when she arrived in NYC.

Again, extremely nice - if you have any questions regarding Mrs. Brown, don't hesitate to reach out to them.

Thanks for the referral.

WR
 
Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
One of the most poignant items found in a lifeboat and may survive to this day is the wedding ring belonging to Titanic victim Elin "Gerda" Lindell, She and her husband were on the Titanic till the very end and at one stage even got aboard Collapsible A. But they were washed out when the wave hit them and the lifeboat floated free after Steward Brown cut the ropes. The couple managed to swim back to Collapsible A but were severely hypothermic when they reached it. Edvard Lindell managed to climb on board but soon drifted into unconsciousness; Elin did not have the strength to get on board and survivor August Wennerstrom hung onto her arms as long as he could but was unable to pull her in. Eventually he was forced to let go and she drifted away to her death.

One assumes that Elin asked Wennerstrom to take her wedding ring and pass it to her husband, who was in the boat. But when Wennerstom checked, Edvard too was dying and passed away soon afterwards; he was given a sea burial to join his wife. The ring remained in the floor of waterlogged Collapsible A when its survivors, including Wennerstrom were helped onto Lifeboat #14 by Lowe and his crew. But almost a month later, the crew of the Oceanic saw the drifting Collapsible A with 3 bodies still in it (Beattie, O'Keefe and an unidentified fireman); they were given a proper sea burial but the ring was also found. This was returned to the Lindell family and as far as is known, is still there. I recall reading during the 2012 centenary of the sinking that the descendants still had the ring.

Another item that was found on board Collapsible A was Richard Norris Williams' fur coat. He had taken it off before swimming to the boat and so how the coat got there is bit of a mystery. A White Star official named Harold Wingate had the coat cleaned as best as possible and returned to Williams. But I do not know what happened to it later.
 
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TonyAlleyne

TonyAlleyne

HMS ROYAL NAVY 1969-1972
Member
Hello Everyone -
Does anyone know if any of the survivor's clothes or artifacts that they wore &/or brought with them into the lifeboats survive today? I know the pig survives and Lady Duff Gordon's kimono - but any other clothes, purses, etc.? Are they in museums or private collections? What about the jewelry that was worn that night in the boats? What about the officer's uniforms or staff?

Thanks -
Yes, items of clothing such as the nightdress worn by socialite, Ms Margaret Welles Swift who, along with Dr Alice Leader and Marion Frederick Kenyon escaped in lifeboat #8. The nightdress is currently on display at the Worcester City Art Gallery And Museum. Just recently I have become custodian to two items of jewellery belonging to Titanic survivor, Mrs Marion Frederick Kenyon which were first auctioned at Beloit Auction Service, Inc, Wisconsin in 2012 to mark the 100 year anniversary. Ten years later a U.K. owner of Mrs Kenyon’s jewellery artefacts put them on eBay U.K. and I had to buy the two jewellery items. The previous owner/custodian also once owned Margaret Welles Swift’s nightdress before it was given to the museum.
 

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Seumas

Seumas

Member
There are a few descendants of survivors with claims to items like gloves and shawls that they claim their ancestors wore but I would always take those claims with a wee pinch of salt.

A couple of the numbered badges the stewards wore are still extant if I recall correctly.

Before reluctantly taking up his post aboard the Titanic, Chief Officer Harry Wilde purchased a WSL regulation captains cap in anticipation of his expected promotion to captain of the Cufic. Sadly he never lived to take up the command but his grandchildren still have the cap in their possession today.

An expedition from a number of years back excitedly claimed to have found a toiletry bag with some of Murdoch's belongings which included a pipe, razor and long thermal underwear (with initials WM) and a WSL officers button.

Personally I'm not 100% convinced that they belonged to Murdoch, they could just as easily have been the property of engineers William Mackie or William McReynolds or William "Billy" Moyes.
 
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Arun Vajpey

Arun Vajpey

Member
Does anyone know if any of the survivor's clothes or artifacts that they wore &/or brought with them into the lifeboats survive today?
I don't know if this counts, but just over a year ago ET member Sean T posted a picture of a postcard that he bought at an on-line auction, and obviously still has it. I got interested and did some painstaking research over the next 6 to 7 months and solved at least part of the mystery. To put a long and convoluted story short, see below.

The postcard was mailed by Titanic survivor Alice "Adelaide" Louch (whose husband Charles Louch was lost in the sinking) on 25th April 1912 just before she boarded the White Star liner Celtic on her way back to England. The recipient was a Mrs Sarah J Donaldson, a widow living in Ionia, Michigan and a 9th generation descendant of the Mayflower pioneers. I was unable to find out how exactly Adelaide Louch knew Mrs Donaldson but it almost certainly was to do with the Church with which both families had strong connections. Sarah Donaldson's then deceased ex-husband (they were divorced before he died) Ichabod Donaldson had some sort of British connection but I was unable to find out the details.

It appears that Sarah Donaldson helped the grieving and penniless Adelaide Louch secure a return passage to England within a week of the latter's arrival in New York on board the Carpathia. This was achieved through Sarah's relative (distant 'nephew'?) Pastor Charles M Donaldson, an influential freemason with a lot of connections. That explained the postcard, which is therefore a collectible item that Sean acquired.

4 years later, Adelaide's son Clarence Louch, on his way to settle down in California, went out of his way with his fiancee Frances Gould to remote Lewistown in Montana where Charles Donaldson was officiating at the time. He solemnized their wedding.
 
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Peter Kyhl

Peter Kyhl

Member
Third class passenger Carla Andersen was buried in the nightdress she wore that night in 1980.
 
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WarrenHarding

Member
Yes, items of clothing such as the nightdress worn by socialite, Ms Margaret Welles Swift who, along with Dr Alice Leader and Marion Frederick Kenyon escaped in lifeboat #8. The nightdress is currently on display at the Worcester City Art Gallery And Museum. Just recently I have become custodian to two items of jewellery belonging to Titanic survivor, Mrs Marion Frederick Kenyon which were first auctioned at Beloit Auction Service, Inc, Wisconsin in 2012 to mark the 100 year anniversary. Ten years later a U.K. owner of Mrs Kenyon’s jewellery artefacts put them on eBay U.K. and I had to buy the two jewellery items. The previous owner/custodian also once owned Margaret Welles Swift’s nightdress before it was given to the museum.
Thank you for the response and for including the picture of the necklace. Both noted and appreciated.
 
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april mann

Member
Hello Everyone -
Does anyone know if any of the survivor's clothes or artifacts that they wore &/or brought with them into the lifeboats survive today? I know the pig survives and Lady Duff Gordon's kimono - but any other clothes, purses, etc.? Are they in museums or private collections? What about the jewelry that was worn that night in the boats? What about the officer's uniforms or staff?

Thanks -
My Mother-in-law (age 13 at the time)was in lifeboat #14 with her Mom, who had a wool cape. Later, this cape was given to a National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, England and it is still there. I too have a hand-sewn sewing kit that Madeleine had with her on the ship.
 
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WarrenHarding

Member
My Mother-in-law (age 13 at the time)was in lifeboat #14 with her Mom, who had a wool cape. Later, this cape was given to a National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, London, England and it is still there. I too have a hand-sewn sewing kit that Madeleine had with her on the ship.
How wonderful! Thank you for your kindness in sharing this wonderful information with us.

Noted and appreciated.

WH
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

Staff member
Moderator
Member
A nightgown worn by second class passenger Karolina Bystrom has survived and is currently on display, at the Titanic Exhibition in London, England. As well, a pair of boots and a blanket which belonged to Louise Kink is also on display at said exhibition.
 
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WarrenHarding

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Thank you, Jason, I appreciate your taking the time to respond. Have you been to the museum to see the exhibits? Impressions?

Again, thank you for taking to the time to respond!

WH
 
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Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

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Moderator
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Thank you, Jason, I appreciate your taking the time to respond.
You're most welcome, Warren!

Have you been to the museum to see the exhibits? Impressions?
No I'm on the other side of the pond. A friend of mine who happens to be related to Quartermaster Robert Hichens visited the exhibition a few days ago and posted photos on his Instagram, including one of Bystrom's nightgown. But from what I've seen, the exhibit is not all that accurate. The interiors for one thing, are nothing like what they actually were on board and some of the so called 'facts' stated in the exhibition, are not correct. So I'm not all that impressed.
 
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