The Titanic is a topic that is famous worldwide, has a variety of proven facts, and perhaps even more elements shrouded in mystery. From the number of passengers on the vessel, to what caused it to sink, there are often differing accounts and even conspiracy theories behind some of the events. The historic vessel was built to be unsinkable and the height of mass travel during the Victorian era. It is quite impossible to know exactly what happened on that fateful day near Halifax, Nova Scotia, but one thing is for certain: the history of the Titanic may not be what we think.
One of the most famous and interesting aspects of the sinking of the Titanic is the sense of valor and duty that is described. Captain Edward Smith stayed aboard the vessel and went down with the ship, women and children first were directed into the lifeboats, and the band played on. These are common things associated with the sinking of the Titanic, but what made these people so much different than those reported as being selfish in more recent wrecks? In the lap of luxury, there is no doubt that the passengers of the Titanic expected to be rescued, but wouldn’t the same be true for those who have survived recent wrecks? Perhaps the sense of duty and valor described during the sinking of the Titanic is simply a romantic view on what was just a chaotic event (although most numbers support that these events are accurate).
Safety is a huge concern on modern day vessels, but why was it so lax during the days of the Titanic. There were clearly not enough lifeboats to accommodate the large number of passengers, but how did a vessel of that magnitude pass safety inspections, especially because the boat was so highly publicized. Furthermore, how are these companies still in business to this day? There are a variety of reports that suggest the ship was built using inferior grade rivets and other corners greatly cut. White Star Lines and Harland and Wolff still construct ships to this day. There may have been an investigation into these companies and the corner cutting that took place, but these are not widely publicized.
How accurate are the accounts of the escape portrayed? Up until recently there were surviving members of the Titanic, but now there are no first-hand accounts of the sinking of the Titanic. Although there are a few stories outlined, of the large number who survived there are few stories to highlight exactly what happened. This could very well be due to the fact that the experience was far too traumatic to speak of, but one would think that survivors would come out in troves in order to tell their story.
These questions and many more are just part of the appeal that attract individuals to the Titanic and its amazing story. Some of these questions may be answered as we learn more about the vessel, while some may never be answered. Either way, past, present, and future of the Titanic continues to captivate individuals of all walks of life.