Mr Adolphe Saalfeld

Mr Adolphe Saalfeld was born in Germany in 1865.

A self-made businessman, he was chairman of the chemists and distillers Sparks, White, and Co. Ltd. In 1912 he was married to Gertrude and living in Manchester, they were and would remain childless.

Saalfeld boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a first class passenger (ticket no.19988, £30 10) and occupied cabin C-106.

(Courtesy of Günter Bäbler)

He wrote to his wife from the Titanic:

I just had an hour's roaming about on this wonderful boat. I like my cabin very much ? it's like a bed-sitting room and rather large. They are still busy to finish the last things on board.

According to a later statement Saalfeld claimed that he had been in the smoking room at the time of the collision, he saw the iceberg and after the collision went down to his cabin. Among the items Saalfeld left behind were a collection of concentrated perfume oils which he hoped to market in America. In a recent dive to the wrecksite the oils were recovered intact, there are plans to recreate the fragrances

I saw a few men and women go into a boat and I followed and when lowered, pushed off and rowed some distance, fearing...Titanic sinking,,,As we drifted away gradually, saw Titanic sink lower and lower and finally her lights went out, and others in my boat said they saw her disappear. Our boat was nearly two miles away but pitiful cries could be plainly heard. No one in our boat knew how many lifeboats were on Titanic but...there was ample time for saving every soul on board had there been sufficient boats.

Mr Saalfeld was rescued in lifeboat 3.

The Captain and Officers of the Carpathia did all that was possible to make us comfortable and to those that were sick or injured, they gave their tenderest care. The icebergs were huge and the weather extremely rough on the voyage to New York.

Adolphe Saalfeld passed away at Kew Gardens in Surrey on 5 June 1926. He was still chairman of his firm which would continue in business until 1954. When his estate was settled on 16 July 1926 his assets were reportedly worth £46,902.

Contract Ticket List, White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
Names and Descriptions of British Passengers Embarked at the Port of Southampton, 10 April 1912 (PRO London, BT 27/780B)
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183
The Mail on Sunday (UK), 8 April 2001, Eau de Titanic
RMS Titanic, Inc, Press Release, 21 June 2000, Carpathia - 'The Most Famous Rescue Ship In the World'
David Pybus (2001) Adolphe Saalfeld & The History of Perfume (Online) [Accesed 23 July 2001]

Denis Cochrane, UK

Brian Meister, USA


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Link and cite this biography

(2017) Adolphe Saalfeld Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #257, updated 25th August 2017 06:08:02 AM)

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