Miss Edith Louise Rosenbaum (Edith Russell)

Edith Louise Rosenbaum

Miss Edith Louise Rosenbaum, 33, was born to a wealthy Jewish family in Cincinnati, Ohio on 12 June 1879.

Better known as Edith Russell, she boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg she held ticket 17613 which cost £27 14s 5d, and occupied cabin A-11.

Edith Russell was reporting on French fashions at Paris' Easter Sunday races and decided to return to the states on the Titanic.

She wrote the following letter to her secretary back in Paris which she posted from Queenstown.

My Dear Mr Shaw:
This is the most wonderful boat you can think of. In length it would reach from the corner of the Rue de la Paix to about the Rue de Rivoli.

Everything imaginable: swimming pool, Turkish bath, gymnasium, squash courts, cafes, tea gardens, smoking rooms, a lounge bigger than the Grand Hotel Lounge; huge drawing rooms, and bed rooms larger than in the average Paris hotel. It is a monster, and I can't say I like it, as I feel as if I were in a big hotel, instead of on a cozy ship; everyone is so stiff and formal. There are hundreds of help, bell boys, stewards, stewardesses and lifts. To say that it is wonderful, is unquestionable, but not the cozy ship-board feeling of former years. We are now off Queenstown. I just hate to leave Paris and will be jolly glad to get back again. Am going to take my very much needed rest on this trip, but I cannot get over my feeling of depression and premonition of trouble.

How I wish it were over!
Yours sincerely, Edith

Edith had tried to get insurance on her numerous amounts of luggage and belongings but was told the ship was unsinkable so insurance was unnecessary.

When undressing for bed, Sunday night, Edith felt a slight jar followed by a much stronger second impact. As she was on the starboard side, she could see the berg glide by her window.

After a time of confusion and indecision, she had her steward retrieve one treasured possession from her stateroom. A small toy pig covered with white fur. Winding its tail caused it to play a piece called the Maxixe. She eventually left the Titanic on lifeboat 11.

World War I provided Edith with the opportunity to become possibly the first female war correspondent as she spent time in the trenches with the troops.

She traveled extensively during her life, weathered other catastrophes including car accidents, tornadoes and even another shipwreck, and attempted without success to find a publisher for her account of the Titanic sinking.

In her latter years she lived in a hotel in London where she became increasingly eccentric and disagreeable. Her final years were spent threatening lawsuits against everyone who committed what she perceived as transgressions against her, from hotel maids to those who delivered food to her. She lived in filthy surroundings in her hotel and rarely allowed hotel maintenance/janitorial employees to do any cleaning. Upon her death a maid commented to a London reporter that "Old Edy was the contrariest old hag what ever crossed my path."

She died in London on 4th April, 1975 at the age of 95, never having married and leaving only a couple of scattered cousins as survivors.

Credits
Randy Bryan Bigham, USA
Phillip Gowan, USA
Arthur Merchant, USA

Pictures

Edith Russell 1921 passport pic
 
Edith Rosenbaum Russell from a portrait by Arnold Genthe
(1920) 
 
Edith Rosenbaum
(1911) 
 
Edith Rosenbaum with her lucky pig, photographed shortly after her rescue from Titanic
(1912) 
 
Edith Russell on the set of 'A Night to Remember'
(1957) 
 
Edith Russell, her lucky toy pig and her Titanic dress
(1953) 
 
Edith Russell holding her lucky pig
(1958) 
 
Edith Rosenbaum in 1912
(1912) 
 
Edith [Rosenbaum] Russell's Pig
(1975) 
 
Edith [Rosenbaum] Russell, 1975
 
Edith Rosenbaum in 1910
 
Edith Russell in 1934
(1934) 
 
Star Denies She's Quitting
(1953) 
 
Edith 'Russell' Rosenbaum
(1919) 
 
Edith Russell in old age
(1974) 
 

Articles and Stories

New York Times (1911) 
 
New York Times (1912) 
 
 
New York Times (1918) 
 
Women's Wear Daily (1911) 
 
Women's Wear Daily (1912) 
 
Saved from ocean thanks to a toy pig
Doncaster Evening Post (1974) 
 
Fragment of Edith Russell's Lucky Pig to Sell at Auction
(2011) 
 
New York Times (1912) 
 
The Sun (New York) (1912) 
 
Brooklyn Daily Times (1912) 
 
New York Times (1975) 
 
Women's Wear Daily (1911) 
 
 

Videos

Titanic Survivors: Lightoller, Boxhall, Edith Russell
 
RMS Titanic: Survivor Stories and Original Footage
British Pathe 
 
Link and cite this biography
(2017) Edith Louise Rosenbaum Encyclopedia Titanica (ref: #245, updated 22nd July 2017 15:25:01 PM)
URL : https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/edith-russell.html
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