There was a large amount of mail sent with the Titanic. There is in general much mail between Norway and America. According to the information from Kristiania (Oslo) Post Office, all mail sent from the town in the period Good Friday afternoon up to the morning three days later, is assumed lost by the Titanic disaster. There were 29 bags of mail en route to Canada and the United States as well as 75 registered letters.
I decided to try to find out more about these 75 registered letters if possible. Through the Kristiania (Oslo) postal archive for 1912 I was lucky enough to find quite a good description of many of these letters.
In May 1912 Kristiania (Oslo) sent a message to those who had sent registered letters with the Titanic. In the message was information that the letter was suggested lost, and that the question of compensation was discussed between the Norwegian and the British Postal administration. Those who received such letters were:
19 May 1912 - Mr. Supreme Court Lawyer Hummel Johansen, Kristiania (Oslo) that a registered letter was sent to Mr. Scott Rex, Attorney at Law, Grand Forks, N. Dakota.
22 May 1912 - To the Postal Dal about one registered letter sent from Dal to Moundville, Sask. Passed through the Sorting Office 7 April at 5.45 o'clock in the afternoon. - It was requested that the original sender be informed.
22 May 1912 to the Postal Clerk Kloften about a registered letter sent from Kloften to Torkogin, Ontario. - It was requested that the original sender be informed.
22 May 1912 - To the Chief Postal Clerk Grunerlokken (Kristiania) post office about two registered letters. One to Evanston, Illinois and one to Glendine, Montana. - It was requested that the original sender be informed.
28 May 1912 - To O. T. Nordsveen, Ulnes, Valdres about a registered letter to Minneapolis.
30 May 1912 - To Centralbanken of Norway, Kristiania about a registered letter to Knut Espeland, Wallace, N. Dakota, and one registered letter to Nat. City (probably national City Bank), New York.
30 May 1912 - To Christiania Bank og Kreditkasse, Kristiania about a registered letter to Nat. City (Probably National City bank), and to American express, New York.
30 May 1912 - To Den Norske Creditbank, Kristiania about a registered letter to Heieelbach, New York.
On the 30 June 1912 Kristiania Post Office published a list about some of the letters which were lost due to the Titanic disaster:
Delivery number 6619 and 6631 to Toronto, Ontario; 7182 to Greenspring, Mont.; 7449 to Anderson, Indiana; 1572 to Wallace, N.D.; 6678 to Elmhurst, N.Y.; 6909 to Curon, Ohio; 6682 to Philadelphia; 150 to Glendive, Mont.; 152 to Evanston, Ill.; 6630 to Seattle, Washington; 6975 to Grand Forks, N.D.; All these to New York City: 31; 7096; 1662; 3113; 1432; 1456; 1491; 6971; and 6969.
On 7 December 1912 Kristiania Post Office sent letters to these Post Offices about registered letters which were lost during the Titanic disaster:
Fredrikshald (later changed name to Halden), Kristiania, Drammen, Hamar, Lillehammer, Porsgrunn, Skien, Mandal, Haugesund, Stavanger, Bergen, Molde, Alesundm, Trondheim, Bodo, Svolver, Tromso, Hammerfest, Vadso. The letter to Vadso Post Office was about a registered Letter sent from Undal Post Office in the Mandal area. I have written a separate page about this letter. The other one had been sent from Aseral Post Office. In a local history book for the small village Aseral I found that many people had emigrated to America.
Up to this date I thought I was finished with writing about the Norwegian mail on board the Titanic. I did not think it was possible to find out more about that.
Recently I had a letter from Mr. Victor Johnson, Racine, Wisconsin, USA. Mr. Johnson is related to the Danish American Claus Peter Hansen, who lost his life on the Titanic.
Mr. Johnson informed me that he had watched some live pictures of the Titanic taken from the ''Robot'' on the television. They sent pictures up taken of some of the interior, including the mail room. Interestingly enough some of the mail bags were still there although pretty well disintegrated. No doubt many people will now want to get the mail bags up to the surface, and investigate their contents.
There was also one request about one ordinary letter which could have been sent on the Titanic. the people n Norway probably received their first information about the Titanic disaster on 16 April 1912 through an article in Norways largest newspaper Aftenposten. The newspaper wrote that the Titanic was supposed to be being 'towed to Halifax'.
Due to the information on 16 April in Aftenposten there was a possibility that the ship might have been saved with its passengers, cargo and the mail.
However, H. Dietrichs, Jarl Johansgt. 18, Kristiania wanted to know whether a letter sent by him had been sent with the Titanic. He wrote to Kristiania Post Office on the 17 April 1912 about a letter sent by him to Toronto. Kristiania Post Office wrote to Diethrichs that his letter could not have been sent with the Titanic.
On 6 June 1912 H. Dietrichs again wrote to Kristiania Post Office complaining that his letter had not arrived at Toronto.
Kristiania Post Office sent on the 20 May 1912 these claims for compensation for lost registered letters on the Titanic to the Postal Administration in Norway:
No. 31 from O. T. Nordsveen, Ulnes, Valdres about a letter to Inga Nordsveen (Inga Wefald) Minneapolis, Minn.
No. 6975 - Lawyer Hummel Johansen, Kristiania about a letter to Mr. Scott Rex, Attorney at Law, Grand Forks, N.D.
No. 6619 - Norenberg & Belsheim, Kristiania about a letter to the Maple Leaf Milling Co., Ltd., Toronto.
Centralbanken in Norway, Kristiania about a letter to Knut Espeland, Wallace, S.D., and a letter to National City Bank, N. Y.
All claims for compensation were refused by the Kristiania Post Office in a letter sent to those involved on 9 December 1912.
The Christiania Bank og Krditkasse had sent a claim for NOK 19,85 for expenses with the registered letter the bank had sent with the Titanic.
The Centralbanken did not accept the refusal of compensation. The bank sent a letter to Kristiania Post Office on 9 December 1912, where the bank claimed that if was the duty of the Norwegian Government to pay compensation for the lost letter of the Titanic.
It may be a good idea for other researchers to find out what happened to the registered letters sent from their own country that were sent with the Titanic.
Arne Mjaland, Norway
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Arne Mjaland (1998) Seventy-five Registered Letters Were Sent (from Norway) With the Titanic in 1912 Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #3938, accessed 22nd June 2017 12:13:33 PM) URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-letters.html
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Added to Encyclopedia Titanica Thursday 14th October 2004, last updated Sunday 2nd April 2017.