Valuables on board


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I wasn't sure if this is the right place to pose this question, but here goes. Given that there were many very wealthy people on the Titanic, and that few, if any, took their valuables with them the night of the sinking, what happened to all the jewels, money, etc.? I have seen pictures of some of it that was recovered, but that seems like a tiny fraction of what must have been on the ship. Is the rest still at the bottom of the sea? Or was the location of the purser's safes in the part that is under the sea mud? Or have scavengers with sophisticated equipment stolen it?
 
I beleive that many valuable items are still on the titanic. but what's your definition of valuable? everything on the ship has a great value to it now. the items that are under the sea are mainly on th ground, this is called the debris trail. but i know that some items could be under the mud. as far as scavangers, it's sad that they must steal from a grave. even if the grave is a ship. I have mixed feelings about scavanging, on one hand, it's a good way to learn, but on the other, those items belong to a human, even after death it still belongs to the families.
 
mathew, i was actually looking for an educated opinion or facts that have come to light on this. this is not to put you down, because you have taken a lot of grief lately, but anyone could have written what you wrote.i was looking to learn from my more learned others what may have happened to "all that loot," particularly the women's jewels.and did they ever find carter's car? anyone?
 
Hi Caroline--

In Ghosts of the Abyss, they sent an ROV down into the cargo holds. There were a lot of promising shapes, but nothing they could positively identify as a car.

In Ken Marschall's report of what they saw on that expedition, he also notes that their ROV made it to the First Class Purser's office. They didn't send it inside (too messy), but they thought they saw some "solid-looking metal boxes or cabinets" that could have been the safes.

Whether there's still anything in those safes is another question. I've heard stories that the pursers emptied out the safes and put the contents into bags that they hoped to off-load into the lifeboats (obviously, they never made it), but I don't recall what the sources were.

--Jim
 
Caroline,
In Eaton and Haas' book "Titanic: Triumph and Tragedy", there are several pages of reproduced insurance claims made by several passengers of lost items, such as jewelry, money, pieces of intrinsic value, etc. Also lost with the ship were unknown amounts of money, cash, and the Rubiyat jewel-studded book. Unless the money and book were stored in something to protect it from the elements, these are likely gone.

Major Peuchen was said to have left a large amount of stocks in his cabin, but again, paper items not protected in leather bags or in somewhat sealed conditions are likely long ago consumed by organisms.

James Cameron and crew went back to the purser's office in 2005 and found several pieces of rotting furniture (desks, cabinets) as well as a large metal two-handled locker. They did not attempt to open it as far as I know.

In their 2001 expedition, and included in the Ghosts of the Abyss DVD, Cameron's team went into the cargo holds and saw what was interpreted to be a touring car's headlamp, a fender and a tire protruding from the debris under the fender. However, when searching for something like the Renault, they might have been seeing what they WANTED to see. I personally interpreted the debris as they did, but they drew no conclusion as to what the pile of debris actually was, and moved on.
 
dan and james--

i can see that the money might have disintegrated, but as far as anyone knows, all those jewels are still down there?unless of course, the jewels were loaded into sacks and the sacks landed in a different place than the wreck? and no one seems to know where the jewels are? not that i'm planning an expedition down there to go get it...
 
>>i was looking to learn from my more learned others what may have happened to "all that loot," particularly the women's jewels.and did they ever find carter's car? anyone?<<

Quite probably, it went nowhere. I don't know of a lot of it being recovered, though there may have been some trinkets in the debrs field beyond the odd comb or mirror. Since recovery from inside the wreck is proscribed by the Admiralty court in the United States which holds jurisdiction, that's probably where it's going to stay.

Any paper currency is probably long gone unless it's protected in leather such as what was found in Major Peuchen's wallet.

I saw the GoTA footage that Dan mentioned several times, including the footage in that cargo hold. They might have found what was left of the Renault...it certainly looked like it to me...but then looks can be decieving.

Whether or not there was anything left in the safe is open for debate. I suspect if there's any real "treasure" on the ship, it would be in whatever vault was used for shipments of gold specie. For obvious reasons of security...precious metals tend to draw some attention from some really unsavoury characters...shipping lines were not keen to advertise the fact if they had any aboard.
 
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