What caused Irene Harris broken arm

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Richard Coplen

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Hey all,
just wondering what exactly caused Irene Harris's broken arm during the voyage? Where and how did she fall?
 

mary mason

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Aug 24, 2003
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i may be wrong, but i *think* she slipped on either a muffin/cupcake or the wrapper of one and i think she was on the stairs at the time. i remember reading something like that on a titanic forum.
 
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Richard Coplen

Guest
Really?! How embarrassing! Can you just imagine slipping and falling down the stairs in front of all those high-flyers as they gracefully ascended and descended that magnificent staircase!!!!!!! I bet she was mortified!
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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As she was sitting on the teacake at the bottom of the stairs and nursing her broken elbow she probably said something like "What a day! It can't get much worse than this!"
 

mary mason

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Aug 24, 2003
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this is what Judith Gellers book, "Titanic: Women And Children First" says about it:

"....Earlier in the day she had slipped on a teacake coming down the stairs to her cabin from the reading room and had broken her arm."
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Which of course just begs the question of what the teacake was doing there! These days, she'd be able to sue - like the woman who slipped on a grape in Tesco.
 
May 12, 2005
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Rene Harris broke her arm after slipping on what she called a "wet place" on the grand stairs. I don't recall off hand in which account she claims that it was from the oily residue of a teacake. Maybe it's her ubiquitous Liberty magazine story. But I do know that in a 1940s radio interview she said it was "a wet place where something had been mopped up."

Of course, as happened with well known survivors who were regularly called upon to relate their experiences, details Rene gave tended to vary from one telling to the next.

As to her being embarrassed by her fall - not Rene! She had too much of a devil-may-care personality for that. Besides she was in great pain. That's what her mind was on. Actually, there was no reason to be embarrassed. Quite the opposite. Rene said her fall became the talk of the voyage, that fellow passengers sent round cards and notes of sympathy to her cabin and that when she and her husband appeared in the restaurant for dinner, people crowded around their table offering their well wishes for her recovery.

An interesting aside is that Rene, in "My Scrambled Autobiography," her unpublished memoir, claims she was accident prone. But whatever her predicament, she was all smiles - she radiated cheer her whole life. In her manuscript she said she had previously broken her arm after slipping on an icy sidewalk and that in later years she broke her leg. As a theatre producer, you can imagine the jokes she made to friends about that!