What survivor clothing still exists


David Seaman

Hello all,
I was just thinking about certain collections that I know are out there and was wondering if any personal clothing or effects (shoes, jewellery etc) that was in the lifeboats still exists.
Obviously the most famous pieces I can think of are Lucile Duff-Gordons Kimono and Edith Russells shoes in Mr Lords collection. I would believe that much of the jewellery is passed down within the family and many people wouldn't even know that it was on board Titanic if they do not know their family history well.
Also, I would be interested in knowing if Dorothy Gibson's (she is popping up everywhere) dress is still in existance. I have heard that she wore the same items in "Saved from the Titanic" as she did off Titanic.
Any info would be greatly appreciated

Take Care
Harold Lowe's cap survived for a long time after the disaster, although it is apparently lost now (there's a charming anecdote about it that his son related to us). Several buttons from the jacket he wore that night are still extant.
Hey David,
It's been mentioned on other threads but Lady Duff-Gordon's kimono still exists--safely ensconced in the closet in my "Titanic" room about 4 feet from where I'm sitting right now. Several people that are members of ET had their photos taken with it back in January when we had our South Carolina Titanic dinner and maybe one or more could send in a photo. The Charlotte Observer Newspaper in Charlotte, NC is going to do a 90th anniversary story on Titanic and plans to include a photo of it as well. And there is a photo of it on the ET gallery right here. Randy Bigham can tell more of its history--apparently it was not designed by Lady D-G herself.

Hi David,

There are numerous personal effects still owned descendants of the Titanic's passengers and crew. Two examples that come quickly to mind are:

Survivor Louise Kink Pope saved the shoes that she wore that night as a four-year-old girl, and also the blanket that she was wrapped in. When Louise passed away almost ten years ago, her family inherited these items.

Survivor Marion Wright Woolcott's robe is still owned by her family in Oregon, and was on display until recently in the town library where she lived.

Hope this helps....

Mike Findlay

There is the possibility that the fur coat worn by Lucy Duff Gordon - it is either squirrel or moleskin depending on which source is consulted - is still in the possession of a family member. The lifebelt Lucy saved, signed by the crew of boat 1, is not known to exist. Neither is the one Cosmo saved. Cosmo also is believed to have kept his tweed cap but that has since disappeared.

Lucy's kimono dressing gown, now with Phillip Gowan who has agreed to have it conserved, was not a "Lucile" creation, as Phil pointed out (he is spilling all kinds of beans today!) but that of the Italian artisan Fortuny from whom she purchased textiles.

Thank you everybody for replying,
I find it fascinating that so many different pieces are still in existance. It is such shame that quite a few pieces have gone missing over the years, and some of them being very important pieces such as Lowe's cap. This being said, any piece of Titanic's history that is lost is a great disappointment.
I have always been in awe over the kimono and have seen a couple pictures of it always think it is strange that a fragile garment can last longer than over 45000 tons of steel.
Thanks once again, I look forward to seeing what other items are still in existance.
Take Care
Stanley Tutton Lord, son of Captain Lord, had kept many of his father's uniforms after his death. Unfortunately, he did not leave a will as to the disposal of these items after his death. After S. T. Lord died in December of 1994, Captain Lord's uniforms were taken to the dump by people cleaning out the house, who were unaware of the significance of these items.

That is a horror story. It's too bad someone who knew the value of those items wasn't there to supervise.

I get sick every time I think about it. I would have loved to have had even just a hat of his.
A tragically common tale, Tracy.

Very sadly, by the time Boxhall died he and his wife were living in a council flat. His wife survived him by some years, and when she passed away some items were returned to the family...but the flat was also cleared out pretty swiftly. Goodness knows what was disposed of at that time. But this generous couple had already dispersed a good many of their belongings among family members by the final years of their lives, so some wonderful items were passed on that way.

There are quite a few personal items that survive from the perished officers...a lock of James Moody's hair, a model ship Murdoch built, Murdoch's telescope. Come to think of it, there are quite a few telescopes surviving - I've looked through those belonging to Lowe and Boxhall as well. Quite a feeling to hold an item so intimately connected with their careers at sea, and to wonder what they saw using them in their daily rounds of life aboard ship. Lowe's has a very direct connection with the Titanic disaster - it was one of the presentation items Rene Harris gave him, and it still bears the inscription commemorating his role in the disaster.
Hi Tracy & Inger (How you both been?)
Thanks once again for posting these stories for us to share. It could almost bring tears to your eyes just thinking about that valuable pieces of history are no longer with us.
I wonder what leads these items to be thrown out. It is obvious the people who are cleaning up simply do not know about such items significance but it is strange that they do not know the history behind the people who owned them. I can understand some events were to painful to retell but they must have had their "good tales" to unwind. I guess one will never know.

Take Care
David Seaman
Not exactly clothing but here is Mrs. Astor's lifevest -seen here in 1991 in Fall River at the Marine Museum. I understand THS no longer has an exhibit there. Photo courtesy of Brian Meister- we stopped in on our way back from Halifax back in '91- strange to think how all these people were once together in the same space and time-and now spread out all over the globe.