Chicago Tribune



Arthur Tree Brings Pictures

of Giant Floes in Which

Titanic Met Doom




Steamer, Warned by Wireless,

Threaded Way Safely Among

Monster Icebergs

Photographs of the ice floes south of Cape Race, where the Titanic was sunk, were brought to Chicago yesterday by Arthur Tree, son of the late Judge Lambert Tree. Mr. Tree and his party reached New York harbor on the steamship Carmania last Sunday, after having been caught in the ice floes of the tail of the Grand Banks—almost in the location where the Titanic was sunk.

The photographs were taken by Mr. Tree’s son, Arthur Ronald Tree. When the films were developed and prints made one of them shoed a picture of a gigantic iceberg that bore startling resemblance to the sphinx. Others disclosed vast fields of ice over which the waves broke like the reefs of a rock bound shore.

Mr. Tree showed reluctance to discuss his experience, but was induced to give a sketch of the Cape Race district.

Come Through Ice Floes

“We left Queenstown on Sunday, April 7,” he said. “We were out but a few days when the warning came by wireless from other posts that the ice was running far south off Cape Race. The course of the boat was altered to bring us south of the regular path of steamships, but even then we did not avoid the icebergs. We first noticed them Thursday morning. The ship was engulfed in a grayish brown fog, so thick you could scarcely see the length of it. The thermometer dropped to 32 degrees. We were enveloped in a cloud.

“Toward noon the wind blew up in a south-easterly direction and carried away the mist. Then we found ourselves in a sort of bay of clear water, completely surrounded by icebergs. There were some of them which rose above the water about the size of a piano. Others loomed above us for perhaps 200 or 300 feet. We seemed to be in an open space about five miles or so in radius.

Monster Floats Near Steamer

“To the south was one monster that gleamed pink, blue and white in the sun’s rays. To the north and west were huge fields of floating ice.

One great berg resembled a monster loaf of sugar, so squarely was it cut. About it was an apparently unbroken field of ice that was hardly visible. It was explained that this ice was the most dangerous, for among these low hanging cakes, over which the waves beat like a reef, were the dangerous ice bergs which the seamen call ‘growlers.’

“These growlers are mammoth submerged ice bergs, and most to be feared by seamen. While they may be every bit as large as the white objects, they cannot be seen. It may be that the Titanic struck a growler. We lay in this ice bay for several hours, unable to find a way clear. At noon we received a marconigram from the steamship Niagara, in distress. You will remember that it was rammed. The Carmania would have gone to her assistance, but word was received that this was not necessary.

Fishing Boat Held Prisoner

“In the open water with us was a large full rigged ship, also a fishing boat. We exchanged wigwag signals with the fishing boat and learned that it was the Ste. Pierre, from Ste. Severaine, near Secamp, the place where benedictine is made. They informed us that they had been ice locked for a week, unable to get out. As the days grow on the sun came out, and we saw the little fishing boat looking for a passage to the north. The boat had sailed out to fish with the Gloucester, American, and Nova Scotia fishermen off the grand banks and had been driven southward by the ice.

“The little boat found a passage and the Carmania followed it, turning around in its course and sailing east for an hour before being extricated. This so delayed the Carmania that id did not arrive in New York until Sunday. But there were no harrowing escapes. Everyone acted extremely sensible. The ladies were cheerful.. They played deck games and displayed no outward emotion.”

Photo Caption: The Iceberg Sphinx of the Desert Sea, (Photograph taken last Thursday near Grand Banks of Newfoundland by grandson of late Lambert Tree of Chicago.) This photograph was made off Cape Race from the deck of the steamship Carmania last Thursday afternoon. There is no way of telling that the iceberg in the picture is or is not the one which the Titanic struck Sunday night. The photograph was made by Arthur Ronald Tree, the son of Arthur Tree, who is now at the Blackstone hotel.

Chicago Tribune, Thursday, April 18, 1912, p. 5, c. 1

Relates to Place:

Chicago, Illinois, United States
New York City, New York, United States
Queenstown, Cork, Ireland

Relates to Ship:



Thomas E. Golembiewski


Encyclopedia Titanica (2011) PHOTOGRAPHS ICE THAT SUNK LINER (Chicago Tribune, Thursday 18th April 1912, ref: #13541, published 22 August 2011, generated 11th July 2020 02:22:18 AM); URL :