What started it all

Sep 8, 2006
All of us have a strong love for Titanic in one form or another. What I want to know is what started it all for you? One way or another something sparked that interest. What was it?
Aug 2, 2006
I would write about being on a sinking liner and dying with my family in little naratives i did as a very young child before i knew of the Titanic. yes that is odd i know. Than i was given Titanic: An Illustrated History for a birthday and then i saw the movie by James Cameron and my research flew like a 747 and finally this is were i am now.

John Clifford

Mar 30, 1997
Elyshia, for many of us the interest in the Titanic began when we read Walter Lord's classic "A Night to Remember".

The book was written at a time when Lord did not want the story of the ship to become a forgotten chapter of the early 20th century (my term being used here).
He was able to correspond with many of the survivors and compile their stories for the novel.

Walter Lord later admitted mistakes were made in the book, and some clarifications were made whe "The Night Lives On" was published after the ship's discovery in 1985.
Dec 13, 2006
In 7th grade I was given a book called 'A Night To Remember' by Walter Lord. In 2 days, I had read the entire book. The story and the arogance of those who built her is what captivated me. The fact of here was this ship; the largest in the world going out onto her maiden voyage. The ship was pronounced (by Shipbuilder's Magazine; not the White Star Line) unsinkable by God. It was that fact that made me go "And people believed that?" It colides with an iceberg (an iceberg of all things) and sinks; leaving behind 1500 people to die knowing from the beginning that they did not have enough boats for all of those on board. Through further research, I learned that I had a relative on the ship. Steward Arthur Lawrence. He was the cousin of my Great-Great Grandfather. Still, to this very day, Titanic fasinates me. I am in awe of her design and the fact that no ship has even come close to her elegance since. What I really don't like is the hype waves that come and go. I take it as an insult to people like us who truly appreciate it on a much more deeper scale. So anyway, that's what started my fasination with Titanic.
Sep 8, 2006
Sadly, I have to admit I'm probably one of the few who weren't introduced to the Titanic and the fascination of the subject from Walter Lord's wonderful book. I think like most people after the discovery of the wreck I was taken up by such a discovery. Not even having been born when Dr. Ballard found it I knew nothing of Titanic till I was able to watch footage of them skimming over the bow and understand it. Which was when I was about six. From then on I was utterly fascinated by anything to with the Titanic and maritime history. Though it all reached a fever pitch when James Cameron's film came out. Since then on I have literally devoted my life to the studying of the great ship.
Nov 15, 2006
My intrest in Titanic started when I was just 7 , in 1977. My next door neighbour used to be a deep seas diver. He worked for the navey during the WWII, removing planted bombs and mines from British ships. He had always had a fscination with finding Titanic, and being a neighbour, he would chat to me about the ship, what happened to her and always let me know if there was something on television. My firts film was A NIGHT TO REMEMBER and after watching it, I was hooked.

My neighbours name was Auther Hickey, and anyone who has much knowledge about past plans to find the ship will probably recognise the name. He did however start a company with Doug Woolley in the early 1970s, but many of us know what happened there.

My intrest grew in the early 80s. I still have that facination with the 1980 Lew Grade 'disaster' RAISE THE TITANIC, something that always takes me back prior to the ships actual finding in 1985.

My interest dropped for a couple of years due to illness, my mind concentrating elsewhere, but it all came flooding back last year and this January gone, I started my own little forum on the great four funnel ships.

Dave Gittins

Apr 11, 2001
I first met Titanic in about 1950, when a local junk shop had a coloured print of her. My mother briefly told me the story. I wonder if she had a memory of the story, as she was about 9 years old at the time. Maybe she had seen the anniversary reports that some newspapers used to publish.

I took no more interest until the illustrated ANTR came out. When the wreck was discovered, I got out plotting charts and began to study its implications. After that, one thing led to another.
Feb 4, 2007
Denver, Colorado, United States
This is my first post - how fitting! Hello everyone! My interest in the Titanic started in about 1988 when I was 8 years old. I walked in on my father watching the last snippet of the movie "A Night To Remember" that was showing on TV. I only caught the very very end. My father had watched the whole thing, and I asked him what it was about. He briefly described the film, and I was amazed to learn that it was "all true". Well, I nipped down to my local public library where I "discovered" Robert Ballard's book. I was very affected by it, and haven't gotten over it since.

Martin Pirrie

Dec 30, 2000
My first recollections of Titanic are at a very young age at school and filled me with embarrassment and confusion as I explained in Dave Gittin’s thought provoking book, “Titanic: Monument and Warning”.

Brian R Peterson

My first encounter with the ship magnificent came in 1993 when I was in sixth grade. We had the Reading is Fundamental program, and I have picked up a book about King Tut, but set it down in favor of the paperback "Exploring the Titanic" After seeing the fold out cutaway I became obsessed with the ship, and now have a library of almost every Titanic book published.
Mar 22, 2003
Chicago, IL, USA
My interest started in 1963 when I picked up this paperback edition of ANTR and read Walter Lord's Forward to the book. That did it for me. Over the years I collected other books and articles including photocopies of some 1911 and 1912 Scientific American articles on the Olympic and Titanic. It also sparked an interest in the history of wireless telegraphy systems which was right in line with my developing career in wireless systems engineering at the time. Renewed interest was also sparked with the discovery of the wreck back in 1985, but serious research into the disaster awaited until the end of 2000 when I finally had some time to put into it.

Mike Poirier

Dec 31, 2004
Hmmm... I remember seeing ANTR around 1983. That sparked my interest and of course, having Marshall Drew (whom I am sorry to say I never met) living in the same beach community- it certainly increased my interest. I remember reading the anniversary interview Marshall gave and to a 9 year old it was touching and sad.
Jan 28, 2007
Not very interesting but my interest came from hearing my grandpa talk about it being in the newspapers when he was a kid, he had told me about the "unsinkable ship" and how it was big news when it went down.
Interest kicked up further when I saw an issue of National Geographic featuring the photos from Ballard's expedition in the 80's.
Dec 6, 2000
My story is almost the same as Sam's above. 7th grade for me, 1963, only I borrowed a hardback edition from my school library.

Renewed interest with the discovery of the wreck, joined the THS in 1988, and first contact with the online Titanic community about 1995.

Jason D. Tiller

Dec 3, 2000
Niagara Falls, Ontario
My interest started in 1985 at the age of 9, while at camp singing When The Great Ship Went Down, but at the time I didn't know if the song referred to an actual ship or not. It wasn't until two years later that I found out the answer, when the book Titanic by Thomas Bonsall was given to me. After that, I watched Titanic (1953) and A Night to Remember, and I was hooked. Watching the former in the scene when she strikes the iceberg had me spellbounded; I couldn't take my eyes off the television.

Interest waned for several years due to no money for books, but it was renewed when Titanic (1997) was released. I then joined the THS in 1998 and serious research began in late 1999.

Mindy Deckard

Aug 29, 2005
Mine started in 1994, when the library in my hometown got a cool new book called "Titanic, An Illustrated History" (ever heard of it? LOL)

The librarian at the time encouraged me to check it out and read it. I was the first person to check it out. I remember checking out the pictures and being mesmerized with Ken Marschall's paintings. When I got to the end of the book I saw that there were additional reads. I checked them all out and devoured them.

It is funny because now I present on the Titanic and I always reference that book. Even when I did my NTSC conference and presented my paper "Historical Stereotyping in Edwardian Era Adolescent Literature" I referenced the book several times.

By the way, my local library had to retire the book. I think I wore it out checking it out so many times!

Matthew Lips

Mar 8, 2001
Add me to the list of those who read Walter Lord's ANTR. That soon had me scrambling for other books, and soon I was devouring Geoffrey Marcus' terrific Maiden Voyage.

I seem to remember, though, that the first time I ever actually heard of Titanic was my father telling me something when I was probably about nine or so years old, about this fabulous big ship which hit an iceberg and sank on her maiden voyage. That alone was intriguing enough to set me on the trail of much more comprehensive information!

Richard Otter

Mar 5, 2005
For me it was watching ANTR as a small child, about 35 year ago. Looking at it now the model work is no match for the latest computer techniques. But, the film still has the power to move me.

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