R.M.S. TITANIC: First-Class passenger Caroline Bonnell's printed promotional plan of the Titanic's First-Class accommodations that was used by her on Titanic and saved from the sinking in her coat pocket. The plan is dated 29/3/12, one of only three such plans to exist and thought to be the only example of this date to survive the disaster.
This rare plan is being offered for sale at the Titanic and Ocean Liner Auction in Devizes held by Henry Aldridge and Son on 22 April 2023.
The outside reads "'White Star Line. Southampton-Cherbourg- New York Service (Via Queenstown Westbound, and Via Plymouth Eastbound) R.M.S. 'Titanic.' (Combination of Turbine and Reciprocating Engines). Triple Screw - 45, 000 Length, 882.6 Breadth, 92.6 One Of The Two Largest Steamers In The World. Plan of First Class Accommodation."
Inside, embellished with the famous bright red White Star burgee, it shows the detailed ground plans of every First-Class cabin over several decks; plus First-Class Smoking Room, Lounge, Gymnasium, Restaurant, and Staircases, with 7 margin vignettes showing photographs of the rooms and an image of the ship at sea; and with details of the facilities offered:
"Restaurant. - In addition to the regular Dining Saloon there is a large modern a la carte Restaurant, on Deck B, where meals may be obtained at any time between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m. at fixed charges. The Restaurant is under the management of the Company, who have appointed Mr. L. Gatti, late of Oddenino's Imperial Restaurant, London as manager. Turkish, Electric and Swimming Baths. - A fully-equipped Turkish Bath is situated on Deck F, consisting of the usual steam, hot temperate, shampooing, and cooling rooms… A Gymnasium, fully supplied with modern appliances, is situated on the Boat Deck, and is open for exercise by Ladies and Gentlemen during the same hours as the Baths… A Squash Racquet Court is provided on Deck F, and is in charge of a professional player. A Verandah Cafe and Palm Court situated on Deck A, where light refreshments are served."
The vast majority of these plans were dated from December 1911, some were distributed to First-Class passengers who purchased a ticket to sail on the Titanic. However, this March example shows minor revisions to the original plans; many made their way on board with the passengers to aid them in finding their way around the ship however, very few are documented to have survived.
Passengers were initially told that they were being placed into the lifeboats as a precaution and that they would likely return to the ship. Because of this, some passengers left their valuables on board but took items with them which would be necessary or helpful in the event they returned to the ship.
Caroline Bonnell was a 30 year old, American First-Class passenger travelling home aboard Titanic, and was headed to Youngstown, Ohio, along with her aunt Elizabeth Bonnell, and her relatives George and Mary Wick and George's daughter, Mary's stepdaughter, Mary Natalie Wick. The family boarded the Titanic in Southampton, UK. Caroline shared cabin C-7 with Natalie Wick. In Southampton on Wednesday 10th, April 1912, Caroline boarded the Titanic along with her family, including her aunt, Elizabeth Bonnell, who was going to America to visit her family.