Thursday, April 11, 1912 – 100 years ago today   Leave a comment

Morning: Capt. Smith takes Titanic through some additional practice turns on her way to Queenstown to test her maneuverability.
11:30 AM: Titanic drops anchor in Queenstown harbor, about two miles out. 113 3rd class and seven 2nd class passengers come on board from tenders, along with 1385 bags of mail. Seven lucky passengers leave the Titanic.

1:30 PM: The anchor is raised for the last time and Titanic leaves on her first (and last) Atlantic crossing, headed for New York harbor. The estimated number of souls on board is somewhere around 2227. (The exact total is unknown because of discrepancies in the passenger & crew counts.)


Captian Edward J. Smith

Captian Edward J. Smith


Posted April 12, 2012 by Joni in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , ,

The menu offered to the Titanic’s 1st passengers 100 years ago today!   Leave a comment

This menu was recently auctioned off for 76,000 pounds (US $122,000) and is witness to the decadence 1st class passengers were awarded aboard the Titanic.

1st class menu for April 10, 1912

1st class menu for April 10, 1912

Titanic’s first day of work – 100 years ago today   Leave a comment

April 10, Wednesday – Sailing Day:
7:30 AM: Captain Edward J. Smith boards Titanic with full crew. Officers have spent the night on board. Smith receives sailing report from Chief Officer Wilde.
8:00 AM: Entire crew mustered, followed by brief lifeboat drill using only two starboard boats, No’s 11 and 15.
9:30 to 11:30 AM: Second-and-third-class boat-trains arrive and passengers board ship.
11:30 AM: Arrival of first-class boat-train from London at dockside. First-class passengers board and are escorted to cabins.
Noon: Titanic casts off and is towed from dock by tugs.
During downstream passage into River Test under her own steam, the water displaced by Titanic’s movement causes all six mooring ropes on the New York to break and her stern to swing toward Titanic. Quick action narrowly averts a collision by only four feet. Departure delayed for an hour. This incident (along with the Olympic-Hawke collision) indicates unfamiliarity with ships of this size by those handling them.
1:00 PM: Titanic resumes 24-mile trip downstream to English Channel en route to Cherbourg, France.

4:00 PM: Boat-train from Paris arrives Cherbourg. Late arrival announced.
5:30 PM: Cherbourg – passengers finally board tenders and wait to be ferried out to Titanic.
6:30 PM: Titanic rides at anchor in Cherbourg harbor, all lights ablaze. Twenty-two cross-Channel passengers disembark, and some cargo is unloaded.
8:00 PM: 274 Cherbourg passengers are all aboard and tenders return to shore.
8:10 PM: Anchor raised and Titanic leaves for Queenstown, Ireland, taking her through the English Channel and around England’s south coast.

100 years ago today, Titanic was leaving Southampton, England   Leave a comment

Just before noon on April 10, 1912, (100 years ago today!) Titanic began her ill-fated voyage from Southampton to New York. Captain Edward John Smith was in command. Her first stop was in Cherbourg, France, about 70 miles away, and then Queenstown, Ireland.

In the photograph, mooring lines are being cast off and five tug boats are moving Titanic out to sea. Her huge propellers will not start turning until she is in deeper water.


Titanic Leaving Southhamptom

Titanic, assisted by tug boats, is leaving Southamptom, England on it's maiden, and ill-fate voyage.

Titanic’s coal workers were unsung heroes   5 comments

Titanic’s infamous “Black Gang” refers to the numerous men who worked deep within the bowels of the ship, to keep it moving.  Titanic was set up in such a way that the members of this hardworking group were never seen by passengers.  There were gangways and staircases for the exclusive use of the boiler room attendants.  They were given the name “black gang” because of the coal dust that settled on their faces and torsos (they were almost always shirtless due to the intense heat from the boilers).  The water pressure in the boiler rooms, which were usually 2 or 3 stories below the water line, would have been double what it is at the surface.  The temperatures in these areas ranged from burning hot in the boiler rooms, to freezing cold in the coal storage bunkers.

When Titanic set sail, there was a coal strike going on.  Because of the strike, Titanic carried enough coal to sail to the US and back, instead of counting on being reloaded in America.  This coal accounted for a significant amount of the weight aboard the ship.  Because of this, “trimmers” were used to keep the coal level and even within the bunkers, so it did not affect the trim of the ship. Wheelbarrows full of large chunks of coal were moved into the boiler rooms, where the boiler workers would break them down into smaller pieces about the size of a man’s fist.  They would then shovel a specific amount of this coal into the boilers, and spread it out along the grates inside.  Titanic has double boilers, meaning that there was an access door on both sides.  The men worked in tandem so that these doors were never open at the same time, which could cause the fire inside to draft out potentially burning the workers.

Bosses in the boiler rooms were never very popular, because they would “knock” the workers on the head if they made a mistake.  It wasn’t uncommon during this time, to hear someone in a bar telling a story of a boiler boss who was whacked with a coal shovel, and thrown into a boiler, only to be ejected into the sea with the ash and slag from the burning embers.

The Titanic’s “black gang” shoveled about 820 tons of coal a day, a ton and a half for every mile she traveled.

After the ship struck the iceberg, a call would have gone out to the engineers and boiler room crew that were off duty, to come assist the pump operations.  It was their hard work and dedication that kept the Titanic afloat for as long as she was.  Firemen kept several of the boilers running, to power the lights on the ship, which stayed on until the she went under. Most of the “black gang”, the engineers and firemen did not survive the tragedy.  The ladders that led out of the boiler rooms and coal bunkers were steep and hard to navigate in normal circumstance.  With the ship listing dramatically during the sinking, they would have been nearly impossible to climb. They probably didn’t even try.  It is believed that most of them did not drown, as you would expect, but were probably crushed when the ship listed and the huge boilers rolled onto them.  Some would have been killed when the miles of pipes in the bowels of the ship became dislodged and sprayed the workers with boiling hot steam.

The passengers onboard Titanic were unlikely to have seen even one member of the “black gang” during the short voyage, and were probably unaware of the bravery and sacrifice that saved many lives.


Although she was seperated from 5 month old Asaad on Titanic, they were reunited on the Carpathia!   2 comments

Name: Assad Alexander Thomas/Tannous

Born: Wednesday, November 8, 1911

Age: 5 months old

Last Residence: in Hardin, Lebanon

3rd Class passenger

First Embarked: Cherbourg on Wednesday, April 10, 1912

Ticket No. 2625 , £8 10s 4d  ($12.70)

Destination: Pennsylvania

Rescued in lifeboat #16

Disembarked Carpathia: Thursday, April 18, 1912

Died: Friday, June 12, 1931

Assad Alexander Thomas, 5 months old, was born November 8, 1911 in Lebanon. He boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as a third class passenger and was accompanied by his mother Thamine and his uncle Charles.

Assad and his mother were separated during the sinking and Charles carried the baby to lifeboat #16. It is said that he begged for the child to be rescued, and Winnie Troutt took it upon herself to take the child into the lifeboat and care for him. Luckily, he was reunited with his mother, Thamine, on the Carpathia!

Assad died June 12, 1931.



I received a message from the descendants of this family, informing me that Thamine and Assad were reunited on the decks of the Carpathia.  I had originally had Asaad listed as an orphan, but I am happy to report this is not so.  Thank you for the update, Mr. Fedorchak.

Peter Fedorchak commented

Actually this statement is untrue. I am a descendent of Thelma   or Thamine Tannous, anglecized to Thomas. She was Assad’s mother and they   were reunited on the Carpathia. She had the same ticket number of Assad 2625   and lived till she was 78 years old passing in 1974. Assad unfortunately passed   at an early age when he was 20 yrs old.

Posted April 6, 2012 by Joni in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , ,

The burns her daughter suffered, delayed Elna Stroms departure for America, and placed them on the Titanic   3 comments

Name: Elna Matilda Ström (Persson)

Born: Thursday, August 3, 1882

Age: 29 years

3rd Class passenger

First Embarked: Southampton on Wednesday, April 10, 1912

Ticket No. 347054, £10 9s 3d ($15.88)

Died in the sinking/Body Not Recovered

Wilhelm Strom (Elna Matilda Persson), 29, was born August 3, 1882. Her parents were Per Ulrik and Kristina Persson from Södermanland, Sweden. Elna Strom was Swedish-American, she married Wilhelm Strom and the couple lived at 3905 Grapevine Street, in Indiana Harbour, Indiana.

Elna Strom boarded the Titanic at Southampton with her daughter, Selma Matilda Strom (Thelma) and her brother Ernst Ulrik Persson. (Her father spelled her name Thelma (or Telma) but newspapers and the White Star line spelled it Selma.) Elna & Selma had been visiting her parents in Sweden. A few days before the trip Selma burned her hand with hot water, so they had to postpone the trip home in order for her burns to heal. That delay put them on the Titanic. Onboard Selma had to visit the nurse daily to have her bandages changed.

While the ship was sinking, the Stroms made their way up to the boat deck, but they came too late to get on any of the lifeboats. At 02.15 a.m. they were all seen on the deck when there was a violent lunge and Ernst lost his grip and never saw them again.

Sadly, both Elna and Telma died in the sinking, and Elna Strom’s body was never found. Her brother, Ernst was rescued.

The Mansion House Fund paid 874.08 Kr (£48) to Elna’s parents on January 23, 1913. They also received financial relief from the American Red Cross.

Case number 437.(Swedish). A wife, 29 years of age and daughter of 3 were returning from a visit to relatives, were drowned. They were accompanied by her brother, who was saved. The husband, employed in a steel mill in Indiana, was terribly shocked and distressed by his loss. He spent his savings in coming to New York to search for his wife, and in assisting his brother-in-law who did not immediately secure work. Later he suffered a severe injury and required hospital treatment for several weeks. ($500).

Elna’s husband travelled to New York to try to identify his daughter among the children who survived the sinking. When he was unable to find her, he was joined by his brother-in-law, Ernst Persson and they travelled back to Indiana together. Wilhelm found Ernst a job at Standard Forgings, where Wilhelm worked as an ironworker.

Wilhelm Strom wrote on June 20, 1912 to the consulate in New York asking for help.

“Because I would like to have the case up to court as soon as possible so that I could in my despair got some compensation for the fact that I have lost everything I owned” The consulate asked him to contact the Red Cross.

The size of damage claims paid to Wilhelm Strom is unknown.

Elna Strom and unidentified family member

Elna Strom and unidentified family member