Titanic in the News 10-15 April 1912

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The New York Times, 10 April 1912

Largest Vessel in World to Bring Many Well-Known Passengers Here
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
LONDON, April 9---The White Star liner Titanic, the largest vessel in
the world, will sail at noon tomorrow from Southampton on her maiden
voyage to New York.

Although essentially similar in design and construction to her sister
ship, the Olympic, the Titanic is an improvement of the Olympic in many
respects. Capt. Smith has been promoted from the Olympic to take her
across. There are two pursers, H. W. McElroy and R. L. Baker.

Among the passengers to sail to-morrow on the Titanic are Mr. and Mrs.
H. J. Allison, Mrs. Aubert, Major Archibald Butt, Mrs. Cardeza, Mr. and
Mrs. W. E. Carter, Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Chaffess, Norman Craig, Mr. and
Mrs. Washington Dodge, Mr. and Mrs. Mark Fortune, Mr. and Mrs. W. D.
Douglas, Col. Gracie, Benjamin Guggenheim, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Harper,
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Hoyt, Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus, Mr. and Mrs. J.
B. Thayer, and Mr. and Mrs. George Widener.


Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The New York Times, 11 April 1912

Suction of Giant Liner Breaks Hawsers of the New York, Which Floats
Catch the New York with Ropes Just in Time and Drag Her Away
Suction Theory Shown to be Correct---Enthusiasm as the Titanic Begins
Her Maiden Voyage
Special Cable to THE NEW YORK TIMES
LONDON, April 10---As the great new White Star liner Titanic was leaving
Southampton to-day on her maiden voyage to New York a disaster was
narrowly averted and dramatic proof of the correctness of the much
debated theory of suction was given.

As the Titanic passed from her berth out to the open stream of
Southampton water she sucked the water between herself and the quay to
such a degree that the strain broke the strong hawsers with which the
American liner New York was moored to the quayside, and for some time a
collision between the two vessels looked likely.

The New York began drifting helplessly, stern first, toward the Titanic.
A witness on the shore, describing the incident, says:

“The crowd watching from the quay was breathless with excitement. The
people climbed into railway trucks to see what was going to happen.

“As soon as the New York broke loose the Titanic reversed her engines
and in a brief space of time stopped dead and began to back. Then the
tugs Neptune and Vulcan raced at the New York, and caught her ropes by
the bows and stern, and tried to lug her back to her place. It was
difficult to tell the distances, looking broadside on, but there was not
much room to spare between the New York’s stern and the Titanic’s side.

“However, no one in uniform was hurried. The Master of the Port with a
megaphone stood on the quay issuing orders across the water as calmly as
if he were having tea. He had the New York pulled back to the quay and
there moored securely. Then he let the Titanic go on again toward the
open water. She had backed right away toward the deep water dock while
the New York was being tugged about like a naughty child.”

By Wireless

There are about 1,300 passengers aboard the Titanic, of whom 350 are in
the first cabin. J. Bruce Ismay, Chairman of the White Star Line, is
making the trip and occupies a suite de luxe.

Among the passengers is Clarence Moore of Washington, who came to see
the Grand National run. While here he bought fifty couples of hounds
drawn from the best packs in the North of England. they will be shipped
to America shortly for use with the Loudoun hunt in Virginia, of which
Mr. Moore has been appointed Master for a term of three years. Mr.
Moore, who is usually one of the judges at the International Horse Show
at Olympia, is not coming over for this year’s show.

Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus are returning home after wintering at Cap
Martin. Incidentally Mr. Straus has been investigating the currency
question in Europe for the purpose of deriving information “that will
help us in new legislation for reforming our currency.” Mr. Straus, who
is enjoying excellent health, says he does not look for any great
revival of business until after the Presidential election.

Major Archibald Butt is also a passenger. He spent last week with his
brother, who lives in Chester, and says he had a very pleasant holiday,
but is glad to be getting home again.

Other passengers, besides those mentioned in yesterday’s dispatch to THE
NEW YORK TIMES are W. T. Stead, who goes to speak at the peace
conference in Carnegie Hall on April 21; Robert W. Daniel, the
Philadelphia banker, who takes a champion French bulldog which he bought
here; Col. and Mrs. J. J. Astor, Countess Rothes, who is en route to
join her husband, and Mrs. J. Stuart White.

Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Harris are also on the Titanic. They have been
touring in North Africa. Mr. Harris said the only definite theatrical
arrangement he made here was for Rose Stahl’s appearance in London in
the Spring of 1913 in “Maggie Pepper.”

Col. and Mrs. J. J. Astor, J. E. Widener and A. G. Vanderbilt joined the
Titanic at Cherbourg.
The escape of the Titanic recalls the ramming of the Titanic’s sister
ship, the Olympic, last Sept. 20 by the British cruiser Hawke.

The Olympic, outgoing, on the north side of the Isle of Wight. The
Hawke, which passing the loner to starboard, was suddenly drawn in, as
if by an undercurrent caused by the liner’s powerful propellers, and
crashed into the steamship’s quarter about twenty feet from the stern.
The Hawke, it so happened, was provided with a ram designed especially
to sink vessels with water-tight compartments, ands it was a surprise
that the great liner was not sunk.

A court-martial of the Hawke’s officers placed the blame on the Olympic,
it being held that the liner should have steered further from the
smaller cruiser. The Admiralty Court also found in favor of the Hawke.

It required almost three months to repair the Olympic.


Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The New York Times, 12 April 1912

The were no stories about Titanic in The Times on 12 April 1912. There was, however, a long front-page article entitled "54,000-TON SHIPS FOR NORTH GERMAN LLOYD". The article reported that NDL had signed a contract for "a ship that will be 4,000 tons larger than the Hamburg-American liner Imperator now in the process of construction and nearly 8,000 tons bigger than the Olympic and the Titanic." The ship, which was expected be the "speediest of its type afloat" and to bear "one of the great names in American history", would join the George Washington on NDL's express service to New York. No details as to exact tonnage, dimensions or speed of the new ship were disclosed, although the article stated that she would cost $10,000,000.

The story went on to report that "construction of a fleet of mammoth liners such as that contracted for yesterday will probably mean that the North German Lloyd liners of the Kaiser Wilhelm II class will probably be utilized for a service from New York to San Francisco via the canal."

None of this, though, ever came to pass. In fact, in its famous 16 April 1912 issue (TITANIC SINKS FOUR HOURS AFTER HITTING ICEBERG...), The Times published a short article stating that the prior report was an error, and that the new ship would instead be a 34,000 ton vessel. In 1913, NDL did in fact launch a ship of that size, named Columbus. Her history appears at www.greatships.net/h omeric.html

(Message edited by mab on April 12, 2002)

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The New York Times, 13 April 1912

[Note: There was again no Titanic news article in this paper. There
was, though, once again a front page story about a new liner, and unlike
yesterday, this describes a real ship.]

The France Develops 27-Knot Speed on Her Trial Spins
Thrilling Contests for Ocean Supremacy Possible---Sails Next Week on Her
Maiden Trip
The new French liner France, which will sail on her maiden voyage from
Havre to New York next Saturday, had her speed trials off Saint Nazaire,
France, yesterday, and the cabled reports of the trials show that there
is added to the transatlantic fleet a vessel that, in speed, is in the
same class as the Cunarders Mauretania and Lusitania. The Mauretania's
fastest day's run averaged 27.4 knots an hour, and the Lusitania has
done nearly as well. As the great Cunarders and the French liner will
sail on the same day of the week from the other side, thrilling
transatlantic races will probably result. Until the coming of the great
French ship there was no merchant vessel afloat that could even approach
the Mauretania and the Lusitania in fast steaming.

In the cablegram to Paul Faguet, the general agent of the French Line,
it was stated that the France averaged 26.5 knots on her trial spins,
and that at times her speed was 27 knots. At no time did the speed
indicators of the new flyer show a speed of less than 25.6 knots.

Yesterday's performance of the France shows that she will be by far the
fastest steamship plying between New York and the European mainland, and
that her only rivals will be the Mauretania and the Lusitania. It is of
course against all transatlantic regulations for liners in that trade to
race, yet it is certain that when the France and one of the fast
Cunarders leave the other side on the same Saturday, as they surely will
in the near future, Capt. Turner or Capt. Charles of the Cunarders or
Capt. Poncelet, who is to command the France, will do their utmost to
land their passengers in New York in time for a Thursday dinner.

The France is in every respect the finest ocean liner ever turned out by
French shipbuilders. Like the big Cunarders, she has four great red
funnels, and like them she has quadruple screws. Her engines are of
both the turbine and the reciprocating type, an arrangement that is
being followed in the construction of some of the new American warships.
The tonnage of the new liner is 27,000 tons, or 5,000 tons less than
that of the Mauretania and the Lusitania. Her length is 732 feet, or 58
feet less than the Cunarders.

Capt. Poncelet, who will command the France, is the Commodore of the
Compagnie Generale Transatlantique fleet, and is one of the best known
commanders in the Atlantic trade. He wears the cross of the Legion of
Honor, and has been an officer in the French mercantile marine for more
than twenty-five years.

The France is heavily booked for both her maiden westward and eastward
voyages. Among those who are booked for the westward voyage are Robert
Bacon, the retiring American Ambassador to France, and Mrs. Bacon.

The France will sail from New York on her first eastward voyage on May

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Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The New York Times, 14 April 1912

The White Star liner Titanic which, for a year at least, will be the largest vessel in the world, is due to arrive in New York on Wednesday afternoon at the end of her maiden westward passage of the Atlantic. The Olympic, the Titanic’s great sister, started from New York yesterday on the first voyage that she has ever made as only the second biggest ship afloat. The tonnage of the Olympic is 45,324, while that of the Titanic is 46,328 tons.

When the Titanic steams into the Hudson this week New Yorkers will see a ship that is more than four city blocks long, and which, if stood on end, would be 181.7 feet higher than the Metropolitan Life tower and 270 feet higher than the Singer Building.

If it were possible to drop the Titanic into Broadway, for instance, at Thirty-eighth Street, she would occupy a space more than 92 feet wide, her rudders would be about opposite the Knickerbocker Theatre, while the point of her stem would extend about 80 feet north of Forty-second Street into Times Square.

Twenty-two years ago, when the armored cruiser Saratoga, then the New York, went into commission, she was considered and was one of the crack fighting ships of the world. The Titanic is bigger by more than 5,000 tons than would be a cruiser five times as big as Sampson’s flagship at the battle of Santiago. She is more than 6,000 tons bigger than a battleship twice as big as the great dreadnought Delaware.

The following table shows the tonnage of the twelve largest liners now in the transatlantic trade:

Titanic (White Star)............... .................... .............46,328
Olympic (White Star)............... .................... ...........45,324
Mauretania (Cunard)............ .................... ...............32,00 0
Lusitania (Cunard)............ .................... ..................32 ,000
George Washington (N. German Lloyd).............. .......27,000
France (French Line)............... .................... ............27,000
Kaiserin Auguste Victoria (Hamburg-American).. .........25,000
Adriatic (White Star)............... .................... ............24,541
Rotterdam (Holland-America)... .................... ............24,170
Baltic (White Star)............... .................... ...............23,87 6
Amerika (Hamburg-American).. .................... ............22,500
Kronprinzessin Cecile (North German Lloyd).............. ..20,000

Like her sister, the Olympic, the Titanic is a four-funneled boat, the great stacks rising a fraction over 81 feet above the upper deck, while the distance from the top of the funnels to the keel is 175 feet. As for the passenger accommodations, they are among the most gorgeous of any ship ever built. There are also many innovations for travelers. They who can afford it can in the future have a private promenade deck all to themselves. These private promenade decks are in connection with some of the finer suites and the Titanic is the first vessel to offer this additional luxury.

Other features are the Parisian café and the Palm Room. In the main dining room 600 passengers can dine in comfort at the same time, and there is in addition a French restaurant where 200 more may dine à la carte. Then there are Turkish baths, a swimming pool, a finely fitted gymnasium, and a squash racquet court.

Among the passengers who are coming over in the Titanic are Major Archibald Butt, President Taft’s military aid; Col. And Mrs. John Jacob Astor, Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus, W. T. Stead, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, and J. E. Widener.


Rick Cline

The story from the New York Times is great. To think here we are 90 years to the day later knowing how it would all end.

Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The New York Times, 15 April 1912


Allan Liner Virginian Now Speeding Toward the Big Ship
The Olympic Also Rushing To Give Aid---Other Ships Within Call
Reports French Liner Niagara Injured and Several Ships Caught
Bringing Many Prominent Americans, and Was Due in New York To-Morrow
Narrowly Escaped Collision with the American Liner New York When Leaving
******************** ******************** ******************** ************
CAPE RACE, N. F., Sunday night, April 14---At 10:25 o’clock to-night the
White Star line steamship Titanic called “C. Q. D.” to the Marconi
wireless station here, and reported having struck an iceberg. The
steamer said that immediate assistance was required.

Half an hour afterward another message came reporting that they were
sinking by the head and that women were being put off in the lifeboats.

The weather was calm and clear, the Titanic’s wireless operator
reported, and gave the position of the vessel as 41.46 north latitude
and 50.14 west longitude.

The Marconi station at Cape Race notified the Allan liner Virginian, the
captain of which immediately advised that he was proceeding for the
scene of the disaster.

The Virginian at midnight was about 170 miles distant from the Titanic
and expected to reach that vessel about 10 A. M. Monday.

2 AM M., Monday---The Olympic at an early hour this, Monday, morning,
was in latitude 40.32 north and longitude 61.18 west. She was in direct
communication with the Titanic, and is now making all haste toward her.

The steamship Baltic also reported herself as about 200 miles east of
the Titanic, and was making all possible speed toward her.

The last signals from the Titanic were heard by the Virginian at 12:27
A. M.

The wireless operator on the Virginian says these signals were blurred
and ended abruptly.
******************** ******************** ******************** ************
Special to The New York Times
HALIFAX, N.S., April 14---A wireless dispatch received to-night by the
Allan line officials here from Capt. Gambell of the steamer Virginian,
states that the White Star liner Titanic struck an iceberg off the
Newfoundland Coast and flashed out wireless calls for assistance.

The Virginian put on full speed and headed for the Titanic.

No particulars have been received as to the extent of the damage
sustained by Titanic.

The Virginian sailed from Halifax at midnight on Saturday night, and
would probably be 300 miles off this coast when she picked up the calls
from the Titanic for assistance.

The Allan liner has only about 200 passengers on board and would have
ample accommodations for a large number of persons in case a transfer
from the Titanic was necessary. The Virginian is a mail steamer, and so
she is not likely to take the Titanic in tow.
MONTREAL, April 14---The new White Star liner Titanic is reported in
advices received here late to-night to have struck an iceberg.

The news was received at the Allan line offices here in a wireless
message from the Captain of the steamer Virginian of that line.

It was stated that the Virginian had been in wireless communication with
the Titanic, that she had reported being in collision with an iceberg
and asked for assistance.

The Virginian reported that she was on her way to the Titanic.

The Virginian sailed from Halifax this morning, and at the time the
wireless was sent she is reckoned to have been about abeam of Cape Race.
She has 200 passengers on board, but can accommodate 900 more of the
Titanic’s passengers should their removal be necessary.

The message from the Virginian’s Captain was sent by wireless to Cape
Race, and thence by cable to Halifax, and then by wire to Montreal.

The Allan Line officials here expect to bear further news at any moment.
Many Near the Titanic’s Course---Prominent Persons Aboard
The White Star liner Titanic, the largest ship in the world, which
sailed from Southampton on last Wednesday, is on her maiden voyage to
New York and has aboard a large list of passengers, among whom are Major
Archibald Butt, President Taft’s military aid; Mr. and Mrs. John Jacob
Astor, Mr. and Mrs. Isidor Straus, Alfred G. Vanderbilt, J. E. Widener
of Philadelphia, Robert W. Daniels, a Philadelphia banker; Mrs. J.
Stuart White, the Countess Rothes, Mr. and Mrs. Henry B. Harris,
Clarence Moore of Washington, F. D. Millet, the artist and President of
the Consolidated American Academy of Rome; C. M. Hays, President of the
Grand Trunk Railway; J. Bruce Ismay, President of the International
Mercantile Marine, the corporation that owns the Titanic; Benjamin
Guggenheim, Mr. and Mrs. Harry Widener, Mr. and Mrs. G. D. Widener, and
W. T. Stead.

Other ships beside the Virginian may have received the Titanic’s
wireless for help. The Cincinnati of the Hamburg-American Line is due
here to-morrow, and should be close enough to reach the Titanic in a few
hours’ steaming. The Cunarder Mauretania, the fastest vessel in the
world, is also bound this way and should have been within the Titanic’s
wireless zone.

To the southeast of her and also heading westward at noon on Sunday was
the Prinz Adelbert of the Hamburg-American Line, bound from Hamburg for
Philadelphia. A little west of the Prinz Adelbert and to the southward
was the Steiermark of the same line, bound here. Almost directly south
of the latter was the Amerika. [A misplaced line of type which appeared
here has been omitted.] To the direct west of the Amerika was the rPinz
[sic] Friedrich Wilhelm, the North German Lloyd liner, bound from this
port to Plymouth. In her vicinity and directly south was the White Star
Line steamship Baltic.

The last report received in New York from the Titanic was at 2:15 A. M.
yesterday. She was then 1,284 miles east of Sandy Hook, and in that
message her commander said that he expected to reach New York in time to
dock late to-morrow afternoon.

Since that message no word was received from the Titanic until the news
from Montreal last night.

The Titanic undoubtedly ran into the same ice field off the Grand Banks
that was reported by the Cunarder Carmania on her arrival yesterday.
The ice was so thickly jammed that crevices between the pieces could not
be seen, and great icebergs, to the number of at least twenty-five, were
drifting about in the field. The French liner Niagara, which is due
here to-day, encountered the ice, and in making her way through it had
two holes stove below the water line. The steamers Kura and Lord Cromer,
both of which have arrived in New York in the last few days, were
damaged in making their way through the ice packs.

Last Wednesday when the Titanic left Southampton for New York a disaster
was narrowly averted as the Titanic passed from her berth out into the
open water stream. The big liner sucked the water between herself and
the quay to such a degree that the strain broke the hawsers with which
the American liner New York was moored to the quayside. For a while it
looked as if t he two vessels would collide.

The New York drifted helplessly stern first toward the Titanic and had
not the Titanic reversed her engines and come to a dead stop it is
certain that the Titanic would not now be on her way to New York. Tugs
that were near by steamed to the aid of the New York and pulled her back
to the quay. As soon as the New York was made fast the Titanic got
under way toward the open water.

At the piers of the White Star Line at the foot of Twentieth Street,
North River, it was stated at 1:20 o’clock this morning that up to that
time the line had not received any word from the Titanic beyond the
information conveyed in press dispatches.

The Titanic is a luxuriously fitted out vessel. One may get an idea as
to the immensity of the Titanic when it is known that in length she will
stretch over four city blocks and would be considerably higher, standing
on her end, than the highest building in New York.

The vessel has accommodations for 3,500 passengers and carries a crew of
860. She was built in the River Laffan at Belfast and was launched May
31 of last year. Among those who saw her take to the water was J.
Pierpont Morgan.

Capt. Smith, the commander of the Titanic, was in command of the Titanic’s sister ship Olympic at the time of her collision with the cruiser Hawke in the Solent last year.


Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The Times, 11 April 1912


Although the new White Star liner Titanic, which sailed on her maiden
voyage from Southampton to New York at noon yesterday, has the same
dimensions---length 882ft., breadth 92ft.---as her sister ship the
Olympic, her gross tonnage of 46,382 tons is 1,004 tons greater, and
thus she is the largest vessel at present afloat.

This difference is accounted for by the fact that the measurement spaces
have been considerably increased in the later vessel. Thus on the top or
boat deck several extra rooms have been provided forward of the
gymnasium,and the same has been done on the upper promenade or A deck,
which contains the lounge, the reading room, and the smoking room with
its two verandahs commanding a view aft over the stern. An innovation on
the promenade or B deck consists of two elaborate suites, each with
sitting room, two bedrooms, bathroom, and servants' room, which in the
height of the season cost £870 each. Reserved to each of them is a
private promenade space on the deck, the whole in each case occupying as
much room as four suites costing £400 each. These private promenades are
enclosed with steel screens pierced with large oblong windows, and the
interior walls are half-timbered and rough-cast, the roof being formed
with oak beams. On the same deck the restaurant, which with its à la
carte service has proved a most successful institution, has been
considerably increased in size, and on one side it has been provided
with a Café Parisien, decorated with trellis-work and creeping ivy,
which, however, is not growing. The service of plate, which comprises in
all about 10,000 pieces, was supplied by the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths
Company (Limited), of 112, Regent-street, W. The accommodation on the
upper, saloon, and main decks, distinguished as C, D, and E, has been
increased by the addition of a number of suites and of staterooms with
wardrobes, and more space has been thrown into the reception room
attached to the dining saloon, the seating accommodation of which has
also been increased so that over 550 persons can dine simultaneously.

For the rest, although there are naturally numerous small improvements,
which experience has suggested, the vessel is substantially the same as
her sister, and the various features of the latter, such as gymnasium,
Turkish bath, squash rackets court, and swimming bath, have been
maintained, showing presumably that they have been appreciated by the
travelling public. The propelling machinery consists of the same
combination of reciprocating engines and turbines as is fitted in the
Olympic, and in view of the modifications introduced in the propellers
of the latter vessel after she had been in service, with the result of
increasing her speed, it will be interesting to see whether the Titanic,
in which no doubt these improvements have already been embodied, will
show still better results.


Mark Baber

Dec 29, 2000
The Times, 12 April 1912

The White Star liner Titanic, on her maiden voyage to New York, left
Queenstown yesterday. She had a good passage from Cherbourg and arrived
at the Irish port shortly before noon. On her departure at 1.30 she had
on board 350 saloon, 300 second, and 740 third-class passengers, 903
crew, and 3,814 sacks of mail.


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