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72″ Remote Controlled RMS Titanic Model Ships

August 31st, 2012

Picture of a 72 inch model of the RMS TitanicZOMG. It appears someone has actually raised the RMS Titanic!

Handcrafted Model Ships has just announced the release of a limited edition 72” (six feet long!) version of their RMS Titanic model boat. At 6” long – yes, six feet in length – this model is truly deserving of its name. Both massive and beautiful, contracted with real cherry, birch, maple, and rosewood, this namesake is built precisely to scale using the plans of the actual RMS Titanic. More than that – this Titanic model ship is actually sailable. That’s right, she’s seaworthy (well, lake-worthy, anyway) and remote-controlled. You can take this ship to the local lake or pond and recapture the grandeur of the RMS Titanic’s maiden voyage – minus its unfortunate fate. Just be mindful of any mallard ducks on said pond, as they might get driven under the surface by the power of the massive wakes coming off this monster.

It’s pretty exclusive, too; only one of ten ever sold. A very rare model, indeed. Plus, for those very rare and privileged collectors, five copies each of her sister ships – the RMS Olympic and RMS Britannic – are also available. But first, a little history.

Picture of a 72 inch model of the RMS TitanicThe ocean liners RMS Titanic and her siblings, belonged to the Olympic class, which were designed to be the epitome of elegance and size. Luxury at sea. The eponymous RMS Olympic, first of its class, is distinguished by the fact it didn’t sink early in its career. While we all know of the Titanic’s untimely end, it’s not commonly known that the RMS Britannic, following massive refits in the wake of her sunken sister, fell even faster – and in the same ‘bow-down’ fashion, upon striking a German mine during WWI. Her captain attempted to ground her, keeping her engines moving in the chaos that surrounded her rapid sinking. As the crew abandoned the ship and her stern rose from the water, one of the lifeboats, filled with would-be survivors, was drawn into the operating propellers, and completely destroyed.

Needless to say, history has not been kind – downright cruel – to the Olympic class ocean liners. It seems their biggest claim to fame, sardonic as it may be, is that they sunk in a truly spectacular fashion. But would we, honestly, have even remembered them, and so vividly, were it not for the tragedies they underwent?

To that end, these lovely model cruise ships allow you to relive the elegance and glory for which these ships were meant; the joy and hope with which they were built. The potent dream of their designers.

So, take the wheel, and rewrite history! Bask in the beauty of these gorgeous giant model cruise ships, allowing them the destiny of which they were deserving, but were sadly, never afforded. Let them live again as you explore a bygone era in all its majesty, limited only by your imagination.

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RMS Titanic Gets New Life

July 27th, 2010

RMS Titanic Expedition

RMS Titanic Expedition


There was an interesting article on Yahoo News today talking about a brand new expedition to the Titanic wreckage site. The new expedition is expected to be the most “advanced scientific mission” to the Titanic wreck since it was initially discovered.

Scientists plan to use computer imaging technology to thoroughly scan what remains of the Titanic on the bottom of the ocean in an effort to “bring it back to life”. While the scientists will not be bringing back any actual treasure from the Titanic site, they hope to bring back enough data to provide a brand new look into the enormous cruise liner.

Here is the article in its entirety:

RICHMOND, Va. – A team of scientists will launch an expedition to the Titanic next month to assess the deteriorating condition of the world’s most famous shipwreck and create a detailed three-dimensional map that will “virtually raise the Titanic” for the public.

The expedition to the site 2 1/2 miles beneath the North Atlantic is billed as the most advanced scientific mission to the Titanic wreck since its discovery 25 years ago.

The 20-day expedition is to leave St. John’s, Newfoundland, on Aug. 18 under a partnership between RMS Titanic Inc., which has exclusive salvage rights to the wreck, and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts. The expedition will not collect artifacts but will probe a 2-by-3-mile debris field where hundreds of thousands of artifacts remain scattered.

Some of the world’s most frequent visitors to the site will be part of the expedition along with a who’s who of underwater scientists and organizations such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
Organizers say the new scientific data and images will ultimately will be accessible to the public.

“For the first time, we’re really going to treat it as an archaeological site with two things in mind,” David Gallo, an expedition leader and Woods Hole scientist, told The Associated Press on Monday. “One is to preserve the legacy of the ship by enhancing the story of the Titanic itself. The second part is to really understand what the state of the ship is.”

The Titanic struck ice and sank on its maiden voyage in international waters on April 15, 1912, leaving 1,522 people dead.

Since oceanographer Robert Ballard and an international team discovered the Titanic in 1985, most of the expeditions have either been to photograph the wreck or gather thousands of artifacts, like fine china, shoes and ship fittings. “Titanic” director James Cameron has also led teams to the wreck to record the bow and the stern, which separated during the sinking and now lie one-third of a mile apart.

RMS Titanic made the last expedition to site in 2004. The company, a subsidiary of Premier Exhibitions Inc. of Atlanta, conducts traveling displays of the Titanic artifacts, which the company says have been viewed by tens of millions of people worldwide.

“We believe there’s still a number of really exciting mysteries to be discovered at the wreck site,” said Chris Davino, president of and CEO of Premier Exhibitions and RMS Titanic. “It’s our contention that substantial portions of the wreck site have never really been properly studied.”

RMS Titanic is bankrolling the expedition. Davino declined to state the cost of the exploration other than to say it will be millions of dollars.

The “dream team” of archaeologists, oceanographers and other scientists want to get the best assessment yet on the two main sections of the ship, which have been subjected to fierce deep-ocean currents, salt water and intense pressure.

Gallo said while the rate of Titanic’s deterioration is not known, the expedition approaches the mission with a sense of urgency.

“We see places where it looks like the upper decks are getting thin, the walls are thin, the ceilings may be collapsing a bit,” he said. “We hear all these anecdotal things about the ship is rusting away, it’s collapsing on itself. No one really knows.”

The expedition will use imaging technology and sonar devices that never have been used before on the Titanic wreck and to probe nearly a century of sediment in the debris field to seek a full inventory of the ship’s artifacts.

“We’re actually treating it like a crime scene,” Gallo said. “We want to know what’s out there in that debris field, what the stern and the bow are looking like.”

The expedition will be based on the RV Jean Charcot, a 250-foot research vessel with a crew of 20. Three submersibles and the latest sonar, acoustic and filming technology will also be part of the expedition.
“Never before have we had the scientific and technological means to discover so much of an expedition to Titanic,” said P.H. Nargeolet, who is co-leading the expedition. He has made more than 30 dives to the wreck.
Bill Lange, a Woods Hole scientist who will lead the optical survey and will be one of the first to visit the wreck, said a key analysis will be comparing images from the first expedition 25 years ago and new images to measure decay and erosion.

“We’re going to see things we haven’t seen before. That’s a given,” he said. “The technology has really evolved in the last 25 years.”

Davino said he anticipates future salvage expeditions to the wreck, and Gallo said he doesn’t expect the science will end with one trip.

“I’m sure there will be future expeditions because this is the just the beginning of a whole new era of these kind of expeditions to Titanic — serious, archaeological mapping expeditions,” Gallo said.

RMS Titanic is still awaiting a judge’s ruling in Norfolk, Va., on the 5,500 artifacts it has in its possession.
The company is seeking limited ownership of the artifacts as compensation for its salvage efforts. In its court filing for a salvage award, the company put the fair market value of the collection at $110.9 million.

U.S. District Judge Rebecca Beach Smith, a maritime jurist who is presiding over the hearings, has called the wreck an “international treasure.”

-Taken from Yahoo News

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Titanic at the Bottom of the Ocean – Rediscovering the Titanic

June 3rd, 2010

RMS Titanic Models are best kept off the bottom of the ocean.

Attempting to find the wreckage of Titanic, and raise her from the ocean floor, had been an idea circulating around since shortly after the sinking. Until September 1, 1985, no attempts to do so were successful. The joint American-French expedition, led by Jean-Louis Michel (Ifremer) and Dr. Robert Ballard (WHOI), managed to find the wreck by way of a side-scan sonar from Knorr and Le Suroit. The French ship Le Suroit began searching a 150-square-mile target zone on June 1985 using a deep-search sonar. Le Suroit covered 80 percent of the zone, with the American ship Knorr covering the remaining 20 percent. Titanic was discovered at a depth of 2.5 miles, and more than 370 miles south-east of Mistaken Point, Newfoundland. This was about 13 miles from where fourth officer Joseph Boxhall determined where Titanic was originally located. Ballards crew used approximately 2.33 miles worth of rope in their attempt at surfacing Titanic. In 1986, the first manned dives to the wreck were conducted by Ballard in the submersible Alvin.

In 1982, Ballard requested funding from the U.S. Navy for his Titanic project, but was only given it on the condition that he first examine the sunken U.S. nuclear submarines USS Thresher and USS Scorpion in a covert manner. The discovery of Titanic’s wreckage led to arguments of whether or not she had split during her descent being put to rest at last, as it was visibly seen that she, indeed, did split apart. The stern lied about 600 meters away from the bow, and faced opposing directions. Her bow had hit the ocean floor under the fore peak, and went sixty feet deep into the ocean floor silt. The bow was still mostly intact, aside from parts of the hull that had collapsed. The collision apparently had forced water out of Titanic through its hull, blowing off one of the steel covers weighing about ten thousand tons. The stern section appeared to be in worse condition than the bow, as it had been torn apart during its descent most likely. This is probably due to air that was trapped inside of it being antagonized by conflicting pressures between the outside and inside, causing an implosion. Damage was likely increased due to the sudden collision with the ocean floor, causing the decks of the stern to collapse.

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Titanic – The Famous Band

June 1st, 2010

Titanic Model Ships are shipped with everything except the band.
The band of Titanic is one of the most mysterious and legendary tales that comes from the ill fated ocean liner. Titanic’s eight-member band was led by Wallace Hartley, and upon panic of the passengers during Titanic’s sinking, assembled in the first-class lounge to play in an effort to keep everyone calm. As the ship continued to plunge, the band moved to the forward half of the boat deck, and continued playing even when their doom became apparent. All members of the Titanic band died that night while playing. However, the final song they played is still up to much debate.

Mrs. Vera Dick, a first-class Canadian passenger reported that the final song played by the band was the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee”. However, reports indicate that Mrs. Dick had left by way of lifeboat an hour and twenty minutes previously, and could not have been there to witness the final song played by the band. Although, the band’s leader, Hartley, did say once to a friend that if he were on a sinking ship, “Nearer, My God, to Thee” would be among the songs he would play. Harold Bride, one of the wireless operators, reported in 1912 that he had heard the song “Autumn” just before the ship sunk to the depths of the sea. This account of Harold Bride was popularized in the Walter Lord book A Night to Remember. Despite this, neither the hymn “Autumn”, or the closest version to it, waltz “Song d’Automne”, were in the White Star Line songbook for the band. This still remains the best testimonial as Bride was the only person who could have possibly heard the band’s last song, as he floated off the deck just before the ship went down.

The questioning of whether or not the band played “Nearer, My God, to Thee” as their final farewell is thought to have originated as a myth from the wrecking of SS Valencia in 1906 in Canada, which may have had an impact on Mrs. Dick’s selective memory. Furthermore, two versions for “Nearer, My God, to Thee” exist, including a British version and an American version that have very different musical settings. In the film A Night to Remember, the British version is used; while the 1953 film Titanic incorporates the American version as its swan song.

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Titanic – Causes of the Disaster

May 21st, 2010

RMS Titanic Model

Construction of the Titanic Hull

The Titanic was originally thought to have sunk from the iceberg cutting a gash into Titanic’s hull. However, sonar technology has discovered from the buried impact point of the ship that the iceberg actually hit the hull causing it to buckle, and thus let water flow freely into Titanic. While the steel plating used for Titanic was arguably the best carbon ship plate available at the time, detailed analysis of small pieces of the steel plating from Titanic’s wreck hull discovered that the one to one and a half inch thick plates were composed of a metallurgy that loses elasticity in icy waters, thus becoming brittle and susceptible to cracks. The steel plating was determined to have a high content of phosphorous and sulfur. The high content of phosphorus is known to create fractures, while sulfur forms grains of iron sulfide that make cracking easier, and the lack of manganese makes the steel less ductile.

Impact

Many speculate that Titanic could have been spared had it hit the iceberg head on instead of attempting to maneuver around it. The resulting impact from a head on collision would have probably been absorbed by the naturally stronger bow, only killing a few of the passengers near the bow. Furthermore, a forward collision would have likely have resulted in only two – four compartments flooding, which the Titanic was designed to be able to handle.

Speed

Another cause of the disaster according to the British Inquiry read “that the loss of the said ship was due to collision with an iceberg, brought about by the excessive speed at which the ship was being navigated”. The Titanic was thought to be travelling at her normal cruising speed of 22 knots, less than her top speed of 24 knots. Maintaining normal speed was a common practice in iceberg prone areas, as it was thought that icebergs of a threatening stature could be seen in enough time to be avoided successfully. The sinking of the Titanic caused the British Board of Trade to begin regulating the speed of vessels traveling in iceberg waters. Popular culture speculates that J. Bruce Ismay instructed Captain Smith to increase speed in order to make an early landfall, and this can be seen in the blockbuster hit Titanic, that was released in 1997. However, little to no evidence suggests this being a possibility.

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Titanic – Salvaging the Remains

May 19th, 2010

Titanic Model Ships

Large debris comprised of ship pieces, furniture, dinnerware, and personal items were scattered over a square mile. It seems that all wood, carpet, and human remains were consumed by undersea organisms. Dr. Ballard and his team refused to bring up any artifacts from their Titanic expedition, as they deemed doing so to be grave robbing. However, international maritime law permits that artifacts must be recovered in order to establish salvage rights to a shipwreck. Since then, the Titanic has underwent a number of court cases revolving around ownership of artifacts, and the wreck site. RMS Titanic, Inc. was given rights to ownership of salvaged artifacts, and became criticized for taking items from the wreck. Approximately 6,000 artifacts were removed from the sunken Titanic, where many were put on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England.

These attempts at salvaging artifacts from Titanic are allegedly causing her to decay at a faster rate than she would on her own. This is thought to be the case by scientists such as Robert Ballard, who believe that tourists landing on the deck of Titanic in submersibles are promoting a faster decay of the once unsinkable ship. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates that between the extra visitors and the underwater microbes that have been eating away at Titanic’s steel since its sinking, “the hull and structure of the ship may collapse to the ocean floor within the next 50 years.” Ballard has written a book entitled Return to Titanic, published by the National Geographic Society, which includes photographs of the deteriorating promenade deck and the damage caused by submersibles landing on the ship. Titanic’s mast is nearly completely deteriorated, stripped totally of its bell and brass light, and a gash on the bow section runs through where block letters once spelled “Titanic“. Also, the brass telemotor that used to house the ship’s wooden wheel is dismantled to an almost unrecognizable point, and the crow’s nest is completely deteriorated.

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Titanic – Investigating the Disaster

May 17th, 2010

Model of the Titanic

Investigations into the Titanic disaster were planned before the survivors were even brought back to New York. The United States Senate brought an inquiry about on April 19, just one day after Carpathia brought the survivors to New York. The inquiry chairman in the Senate, Senator William Alden Smith, decided to round up passengers and crew for their accounts of what happened while the incident was still freshly imprinted in their minds. Smith also subpoenaed British citizens who were still on American soil, keeping them from returning to the United Kingdom until the inquiry was over on May 25.

A British inquiry helmed by Lord Mersey began on May 2nd, and lasted until July 3rd. During which, the testimony of the passengers and crew aboard Titanic, and crew members from Californian and Carpathia were taken into account. Investigations led to the assumption that safety rules were out of date, and new laws were needed in order to prevent a similar disaster from taking place. The improved safety laws included: improved hull and bulkhead design, access throughout the ship for more efficient passenger movement, better lifeboat requirements, improved life-vest designs, regular safety drills, improved passenger notification, and more advanced radio communication laws. Investigations also led the inquiry team to discover that while first-class passengers had plenty of lifeboat space, third-class passengers were not even aware of where the lifeboats where, or even easy access to get to them if they did.

The SS Californian and Captain Stanley Lord were found to have failed in properly assisting Titanic. It was discovered that while the Californian had observed the lights of Titanic at 10:10 pm, and had attempted to warn by radio the Titanic of the icebergs ahead, they were angrily dismissed by Jack Phillips, the wireless operator of Titanic. By 11:50 pm, officers aboard Californian had noticed Titanic’s sharp turn, giving them a port side view, and had attempted Morse light communication between 11:30 pm and 1:00 am. However, Californian’s Morse lamp reportedly had a distance of only four miles, making it invisible to Titanic officers. Captain Lord relieved his post at 11:30 pm, and Second Officer Herbert Stone notified the Captain at 1:15 am that Titanic had fired five rockets. The Captain gave instructions to continue attempting communication with Morse lamp, then went back to sleep. Three more rockets were seen at 1:50 am, and Stone noticed that Titanic appeared to be listing. At 2:15 am, Captain Lord was notified that the ship was no longer visible. To this, Lord asked if any of the rockets had colors in them, and he was informed that they were all white. The Californian eventually responded at 5:30 am, when Chief Officer George Stewart awakened the Wireless operator Cyril Evans to inform him of the rockets that had been seen during the night. They were then notified by Frankfurt that the Titanic had sunk, and the Californian then set out to help.

Inquires dictated that Californian was closer than 19.5 miles to Titanic, and that if Captain Lord had awakened the wireless operator after the first rockets were seen they would have been able to save many lives. In 1990, a re-opening of the Titanic inquiry found that Californian was farther away from what the British inquiry had found, and the while distress rockets could have been seen, the Titanic herself would not have been visible from Californian.

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Sinking of the Titanic – Burials and Memorials

May 14th, 2010

RMS Titanic Replica

The White Star Line commissioned the cable ship CS Mackay-Bennett from Halifax, Nova Scotia to fish the dead bodies of Titanic victims still afloat in the water. Three other ships helped the search, including Minia, Montmagny, and Algerine. Each ship contained embalming supplies, undertakers, and clergy members to assist in retrieval and handling of the dead. 333 victims were recovered, of which 328 were retrieved by Canadian ships, and the other five by North Atlantic steamships. Bodies of the deceased were given numbers, aside from the six buried at sea by Carpathia. In may, over 200 miles away from where the Titanic had sunk, the Oceanic discovered three bodies that were determined to be from Collapsible A lifeboat which became overcame with passengers attempting to board as the Titanic sunk. Three people died while on this lifeboat, and were left by Fifth Officer Harold Lowe when the other survivors aboard were rescued.

The mass amount of casualties in the water caused the CS Mackay-Bennett to run out of embalming supplies in very little time. Being that the health regulations only allowed for embalmed bodies to be brought back to port, Captain Larnder of the Mackay-Bennett and the undertakers made the decision to preserve only bodies of First Class passengers. This decision was reached in order to visually identify wealthy men in case financial disputes over large estates occurred. This resulted in the third class passengers and crew being buried at sea.

The recovered bodies were preserved and taken to Halifax, where coroner John Henry Barnstead developed a detailed system to identify bodies and protect any personal possessions found. The relatives from the deceases traveled from all across America to claim identified bodies, and a temporary morgue was established in a curling rink where undertakers were called from Eastern Canada to assist in. Some of the recovered bodies were shipped to be buried in their hometowns, while the unidentified were buried with designated numbers in order of which they were found. The majority of the bodies (150) were buried in three Halifax cemeteries, which were Fairview Lawn Cemetery, Mount Olivet, and Baron de Hirsch. Among the bodies recovered were floating wreckage from Titanic, that have since been preserved in the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic in Halifax.

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Sinking of the Titanic – The Survivors

May 12th, 2010

Titanic 1912 Model Ship

Out of the 2,223 people aboard Titanic, only 706 people survived the disaster. Most of the deaths were caused by hypothermia from floating around in the 28 degree water. With water at this temperature, the human body can usually withstand no more than fifteen minutes. The least likely to survive were the men of the 2nd and 3rd class, and 92 percent of male passengers in second class died. Overall, only 20 percent of men survived.  The men in first class survived at a rate four times higher than men in second class, and twice as high as men in third. As for the third-class, less than half survived.

The children and women on board Titanic survived in greater numbers, but they were not without their deaths. In the first class, six of the seven children survived, 100% of the children in second class survived, but less than half survived in third class. 96 percent of women survived in first class, 86% in second class, and less than half in third class. Out of the officers on board Titanic, four of the eight survived; twenty-one of the twenty-nine seamen survived; all of the seven quartermasters and 8 lookouts survived; three of the thirteen leading firemen survived, with forty-five other firemen surviving; twenty of seventy-three coal trimmers survived; four of thirty-three greasers survived; one of the six mess hall stewards survived; sixty of the three-hundred and twenty-two stewards survived; eighteen of the twenty-three stewardesses survived; three of the sixty-eight restaurant staff members survived; and all of the postal clerks, guarantee group, and eight-member orchestra died.

Furthermore, more British passengers died in relation to American passengers. The reason for this is unknown, but some speculate that it was due to the British being more polite than American’s who were thought to be selfish and brutish. According to witnesses, Captain Edward John Smith shouted out as the Titanic sunk to “be British, boys, be British!”.

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Sinking of the Titanic – The Carpathia and The Rescue (Final Minutes)

May 10th, 2010

Model Titanic

By 2:10 am, Titanic’s stern began rising from the water, exposing its propellers, and the waterline had reached the boat deck by 2:17 am. The last two lifeboats were taken off the deck with Collapsible B upside down, and Collapsible A half filled with water. Soon, the forward funnel collapsed, and smashed into the bridge and onto many people frantically floating around the water. Panicked, several passengers on the deck began jumping overboard in attempts to reach lifeboats, while others made way for the stern. As the stern began to rise ever higher into the air, unsecured objects began falling toward the dark ocean water below, striking passengers on their way. As the stern climbed into the air, the electrical system flickered in its final moments before giving out completely, leaving the remaining passengers in total darkness. The stress from the sinking Titanic caused the ship to break into two parts between the last two funnels as the bow became went underwater completely. The stern became adjusted, but then began another vertical fall into the ocean, and shortly after 2:20 am, the entire ship was beneath the ocean.

Of the eighteen lifeboats that made it off of Titanic, only two of them came back to rescue the people dying in the freezing Atlantic waters. Lifeboat 4 came back to rescue five people, two of which died eventually. And about an hour later, Lifeboat 14 came back to rescue four more people, one of which died. Others managed to make it onto the last two lifeboats that floated off of the deck. The sixteen other lifeboats that did not come back for other passengers cited reasons such as a fear of people swamping the boat and capsizing it, and worry of being pulled under by the suction of the sinking Titanic. RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene at 4:10 am and began rescuing survivors from their lifeboats. By 8:30 am, Carpathia had rescued the last of the survivors in the lifeboats and left for New York at 8:50 am.

Carpathia docked at Pier 54 on Little West 12th Street in New York, greeted with thousands of people who heard of the Titanic’s fate, and came to comfort the survivors. The news of the Titanic sinking brought great shock to people who were confused that so many people could die aboard a ship with such advanced technology. Newspapers began filling with stories of the Titanic, and charities popped up to help victims and their families cope with the disaster. Southampton was deeply affected by the Titanic’s sinking, and according to Hampshire Chronicleon nearly 1,000 local families were affected directly by the sinking of Titanic. More than 500 households lost a member on Titanic, and nearly every street in the Chapel district lost more than one resident.

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