titanic-museum-bransonMissouri has long been a mecca for Titanic historians, both amateur and expert. The famous museum there features artifacts, special exhibits and a variety of original information about the ill-fated ocean liner, which struck an iceberg and sank in the early-morning hours of April 15th, 1912. Now there is a new Titanic exhibit less than two hours away from the Branson Titanic Museum, in Joplin, MO. This new attraction, which will only run for a short time, is being offered by a private collector who will then raffle off some of the items for a good cause, making the trip from Branson well worth it if you are planning a visit for early April, 2019.

1.  A Collection Like No Other In the World

IsmaycartoonThe new Titanic exhibit, which is now on display at the Joplin History and Mineral Museum, features artifacts collected by the gallery’s president, John Shirley. Shirley hopes to educate the public about the ship and its rich history, which has always been a source of interest for people all over the globe. Perhaps it is the beauty of the ship itself and the stories of the human condition that resulted from the sinking, in which 1,503 people lost their lives. Some of the survivors’ names have gone down in history as well, including socialite Molly Brown and the often-reviled Bruce Ismay, one of the original designers of the ship, who abandoned Titanic during the sinking and who was largely blamed for the disaster by the the American and English Titanic inquiries. Ismay became a recluse, and disappeared from public life after the disaster.

This display, which will include about 50 items from Shirley’s private collection, has never been seen before. Some items are directly from the ship itself, including a vial of preserved rusticles that were taken from the wreckage. These formations are appearing all over the ship as it is reclaimed by the North Atlantic, where Titanic lies in pieces. Some experts believe that these rusticles, which contain bacteria that are consuming the remains of the ship, will devour it completely over the next few decades.

2.  Documenting History of the World’s Worst Maritime Disaster

One of the most fascinating pieces in Shirley’s collection is a record of the ship’s Irish workers, many of whom worked in the bowels of the ship to stoke its massive engines with coal. These boards do not contain names; instead, they feature the shipbuilder’s emblem and the serial number assigned to each worker. At the start of the day on board, the ship’s timekeeper would note which employees would show up and record the hours worked. These boards were also how workers obtained the tools they needed to perform their daily tasks, which makes these artifacts so unlike any others that have been on display at past exhibits.

titanic-new-movie-Titanic-wreckShirley says these boards are an important artifact for understanding the shipbuilding and seafaring industry and that he tried to assign names to the serial numbers to discover their identities. Sadly, however, the Titanic Museum in Dublin informed Shirley that most of the workers’ records had been lost or destroyed, so the numbers are all that remain.

Survivors are also being documented in Shirley’s collection, including Millvina Dean, who was the last survivor of the Titanic tragedy to pass away. Dean had no memories of the actual sinking, as she was only two months old when she and her family boarded the ship, but she did have many memories of her mother’s own recollections. Dean died in May of 1999 and is memorialized in a portrait that is featured in Shirley’s collection.

3.  Amazing Auction Opportunities for Titanic Historians

MillvinaDeanShirley’s exhibit, which runs through April 20th, will also feature a few raffle items that he hopes will raise money for the museum. For fans of James Cameron’s Titanic film, an autographed cast photo will be up for grabs, which is sure to grace any film buff or autograph hunter’s collection. Shirley will also be raffling off a photo of the ship as it looks today, along with a piece of wood, coal and a rusticle that came directly from the wreckage. The winners of these items will be announced at the close of the exhibit.

If you want to add a bit of panache to your visit, you can attend a reception at the museum on the final day of the exhibit, April 20th, from 3-5 p.m. You will have the chance to mingle with other guests and learn more about the museum and its president’s dedication to the memory of the Ship of Dreams.

 

 

 

 

 

 

{ 0 comments }

Those who have always dreamed of boarding Titanic will soon get their chance, or at least a closely-replicated experience of it. A replica of the ship, which has been under construction in China since 2016, is finally starting to take shape. However, unlike the Titanic replica being funded under Australian businessman and politician Clive Palmer, this model will be permanently dry-docked in China for display purposes only. While this may not sound exciting, there is actually a great deal more in store for those who plan to visit this replica upon its completion.

1. A Shaky Start 

This massive Titanic replica is the brainchild of Su Shaojun, who is currently president of Seven Star Energy Investment Group in Lishui, Zhejiang Province, which is located in southeastern China. Shaojun has always been a big fan of James Cameron’s Titanic and began to consider building a realistic replica of the doomed ocean liner as part of a theme park he’d been planning. ClivePalmer1Shaojun began to realize his dream when he approached Zheshang commercial bank for a whopping $200 million loan to help fund it. By 2016, he was able to launch the project, and construction on the replica began. However, several years later, the project was hampered by rising steel costs and employees who were unhappy about undelivered wages. For a few months, it looked as if Shaojun’s dream might die before being realized.

2. The Dream Goes On

Fortunately, for the president of Seven Star Energy Investment Group and all those who dreamed of stepping aboard this callback to a time when mighty steamships ruled the oceans, economic factors changed and work on the Titanic replica resumed. Today, the ship, which is said to have cost $220 million to construct, is taking shape on the banks of the Qijiang River. While the ship will sit in drydock, those who visit it will thrill to the details they experienced from the beloved film, including an exact copy of Titanic’s grand staircase, where Jack and Rose had some of their most romantic and unforgettable moments. titanic2-1Shaoujun had a few ideas for his replica that would give visitors both a historical and Hollywood experience. For example, he and his team had originally planned to simulate the ship’s sinking as an interactive theme park experience; however, after receiving severe backlash from the public and from families who lost ancestors on that ill-fated voyage, he scrapped that idea and decided to make the replica the epicenter of a massive resort that he hopes will draw people from all over China and beyond.

3.  What Does the Future Hold For Titanic 2?

Shaojun hopes to raise a theme park around his Titanic replica, including the addition of hotels and indoor beaches. However, the ship will be the crown jewel of the attraction, where people can stay in majestic staterooms, just as the original passengers did. There will also be interactive tours of the ship’s grand staircase and boiler room to replace the plans for the ill-advised disaster experience. Eventually, the massive replica will be able to hold 2,400 passengers and over 900 staff, and Shaojun hope that those who visit will remember what Titanic represents to many people and that he and his company can capture the noble spirit of the original. While no date for the resort’s opening has been set, Shaojun has revealed that visitors to his Titanic will be able to enjoy on-board restaurants, a full-service bar, a ballroom, and a full-size movie theater. These amenities, along with the ship’s hotel rooms, are sure to draw thousands of curious and excited Titanic enthusiasts. One thing is certain: no matter what this amazing replica offers its visitors, they are sure to come away with an experience they will likely never forget.

What do you all think about Titanic 2?  Would anyone want to visit her? Are many people willing to pay so much money to visit her whether she is above or below water? A trip to see Titanic 2 may come at a high price, which begs the question… is it live or Memorex? Are Titanic historians even interested in this second new version of Titanic? What about Clive Palmer? There are a lot of questions being asked about whether this project will actually come to fruition, or will it once again fail to see the light of day?

Titanic_II

{ 0 comments }

titanic_movieer_signed_by_14_castmembers_-_authentic_with_coa_a51d724eThe winter of 1996 saw the premiere of a film that would forever change the way Hollywood framed historical events. James Cameron’s Titanic, which featured a poignant romance against the backdrop of one of the world’s most famous and ill-fated ocean liners, made Jack and Rose household names and stars out of Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet. The film made over $1.8 billion worldwide and was only recently eclipsed by another Cameron movie, Avatar. Now that Titanic has celebrated its 21st anniversary, this begs the question: should Cameron or another director reboot the film, and if so, what are the options for those who have been waiting to get back to Titanic? [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

h&wBelfast, Ireland, has always been a haven for shipbuilding. Toward the start of the 20th century, this industry was booming and the greatest shipyard of them all, Harland and Wolff, was turning out ships like the famed (and doomed) R.M.S. Titanic. At one point, this business employed a huge number of people who lived in the city, and the shipyard covered over 300 acres of land. When construction on Titanic began in March of 1909, it was to be the yard’s crowning achievement and the largest ship ever built by human hands. However, Harland and Wolff is likely seeing its final days in business and is now up for sale, a sad decline from being one of the grandest ship-building organizations to have ever existed. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

ticehurstThe story of Titanic, those who died aboard her and those who survived have always held sway over the imaginations of historians both professional and amateur. Some of these individuals even devote their lives to ensuring those involved with the Titanic disaster, which took place April 14th-15th of 1912, and one such man was Brian Ticehurst. Ticehurst, 82, who passed away at his Southampton home on November 3d after a long illness, spent much of his life documenting the passengers who lived in the area, as well as bringing their stories into the public light. [click to continue…]

{ 0 comments }

Curse or Courage? Titanic II Plans Maiden Voyage

October 31, 2018

The Golden Age of the White Star line, which gave rise to massive ocean liners like Titanic and Olympic, ended with the sinking of the former, the following inquiry, and the Depression years that were to follow. While the merger with its former chief competitor, Cunard, temporarily saved White Star from vanishing into history,  it […]

Read the full article →

Titanic II: The Dream Resumes

September 30, 2018

Although the R.M.S. Titanic vanished beneath the freezing waters of the North Atlantic Ocean in the wee hours of April 15th, 1912, she has never vanished from human memory. Perhaps it is the drama and the fight for survival that has kept the stories alive over 100 years later, or maybe the controversies and myths […]

Read the full article →

Oceans of Time: The Journey of the Hebrew Pocketwatch

September 1, 2018

Over 1,500 people perished in the early-morning hours of April 15th, 1912, when the R.M.S. Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in just over two hours. There are many great tales to be told from that night, from the courage of Molly Brown to the tragic tale of how ship violinist Wallace Hartley and the […]

Read the full article →

A Titanic Tug of War: Bids for Artifacts Continue

July 31, 2018

No one who experienced the sinking of Titanic could ever have guessed how the fate of the great ship, which struck an iceberg on April 14th and sank in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic on April 15th, 1912, would endure for over a century. Today, millions of people are still fascinated with Titanic, […]

Read the full article →

The Shocking Truth Behind the Search for Titanic

June 30, 2018

When Titanic vanished beneath the waves of the Northern Atlantic Ocean in the early hours of April 15, 1912, it would remain far below the depths for nearly 75 years, untouched and unseen. For decades, a lack of seafaring and ship salvage technology would keep Titanic hidden from sight. However, that all changed in the […]

Read the full article →

Proud Passengers in Peril: The Tale of Colonel Archibald Gracie IV

May 31, 2018

Most people know the story of Titanic: the majestic ocean liner that sank into the depths of the North Atlantic on her maiden voyage from Belfast to New York. However, what some may not know is that the ship carried high-ranking military men who had impressive careers and a long military pedigree. While their names […]

Read the full article →