* The First Movie About The Sinking Was Released 29 Days After the Titanic Sank
The Titanic disaster has captured the imagination of many film makers for decades spawning films such as Roy Ward Baker’s A Night To Remember and James Cameron’s 1997 film Titanic and the first film to document and dramatise the events of the sinking was released a mere 29 days after the ship had sunk.
Saved From The Titanic starred a young actress, Dorothy Gibson, who had actually been on board the Titanic and survived the disaster. The film sees Gibson playing herself and telling fictionalised versions of her parents and fiancé about her ordeal on the ship. Real life footage of ice bergs and of Titanic’s nearly identical sister ship, Olypmic, were used in the film and Gibson added to the authenticity of the film by wearing the same dress she had worn on the night of the sinking.
Sadly, the psychological strain of the sinking and re-living it for the film really took its toll on Gibson and she suffered a mental breakdown not long after the film’s release.
* Only Three Of Titanic’s Four Funnels Were Real
The Titanic’s mighty engines were powered by large coal-burning furnaces and these furnaces produced smoke and excess steam that needed to be safely ventilated away from the ship. This was achieved through the use of funnels or Smokestacks and the Titanic’s design, with four funnels towering above its decks, is one that is instantly recognisable around the globe. However, only three of its four funnels actually worked with the forth being added for aesthetic purposes.
When building the Titanic and her sister ship the Olympic, The White Star Line wanted to break its rival Cunard’s record for the largest passenger liners afloat. Cunard held that title with its ships Lusitania and Mauritania, both of which had four funnels. When designing the Titanic, White Star knew they could have no less funnels than their rivals for fears that the ships would not look as big or that potential passengers may think that less funnels meant less speed.
* After Titanic, The White Star Line Built A Bigger Version, Which Also Sank
After the tragedy of the Titanic’s sinking, The White Star Line reviewed the design of the planned third Olympic-Class liner, the Britannic. The ship was now to include the addition of a double hull and the raising of the ship’s watertight bulkheads, from E deck all the way up to B deck. The Britannic also had added lifeboat capacity and a far superior method of launching them in the form of new motorised davits. The Britannic would carry lifeboats with enough space for 3,600 people, more than the maximum capacity of crew and passengers that the ship could accommodate.
The Britannic was launched in February 1914 and following the outbreak of the first world war later that year, she entered service as a hospital ship to serve the eastern Mediterranean. Britannic was repainted white with a green stripe and large red crosses to identify her as a hospital ship and not a war ship. On her 6th mission to rescue injured troupes, Britannic hit a mine off the coast of the Greek Island of Kea and sank in 55 minutes, under half the time it took the Titanic to sink, with a loss of 30 lives.
Interestingly, Violet Jessop, a lady working as a nurse aboard the Britannic, was also on the Titanic when it sank and survived both disasters.