Few events in history have attracted more attention than the sinking of the Titanic. The RMS Titanic was a passenger liner that struck an iceberg on her maiden voyage from Southampton, England, to New York City, and sank on 15 April 1912, resulting in the deaths of 1,517 people. Making it one of the deadliest peacetime maritime disasters in history.
The Titanic was built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, UK, and designed to compete with their rival Cunard Line’s Lusitania and Mauretania.
The Titanic was intended to be the largest, most luxurious ships ever to sail. The designers were Lord Pirrie, a director of both Harland and Wolff and White Star, naval architect Thomas Andrews, Harland and Wolff’s construction manager and head of their design department, and Alexander Carlisle, the shipyard’s chief draftsman and general manager. Carlisle’s responsibilities included the decorating all interior state rooms and all common spaces used by its visitors.
It surprised me to learn that iron beds were specifically made for and used throughout the ship. It was also interesting to find out how the quality and ornateness of the beds was determined by the level of the accommodations. First class state rooms had beautifully detailed beds. Whereas 2nd class state rooms and general passage rooms had beds that reflected the amount that patrons were obviously paying for them.
I visited a Titanic display that came to Los Angeles one year. It was a fascinating collection of recovered artifacts for the actual ship. As you might expect, I was particularly interested in the stateroom accommodations and the metal beds they had set up. It was an exact replica of the original photo’s I’ve attached here.
Each bed really represented the status of the passage and stateroom. The fanciest staterooms had the fanciest beds and the general passage rooms were extremely plain, with little decorations on the walls or furniture.
As you can see, the First Class State Rooms had beautifully detailed woodwork and rich velvet wallpaper. So needless to say, those beds had to be commensurate with the first class surroundings.
Although a terribly tragic episode in history, the photo’s of the ship help keep alive the memories of those people that unfortunately lost their lives on April 15th 1912.