SALT LAKE CITY — The R.M.S. Titanic was a glorious and impressively large ship that sank April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Depending on your level of commitment to Leonardo DiCaprio movies, episode one of Downton Abbey or turn of the century tragedy, you might already have a replica of the Heart of the Ocean necklace and serve your Sunday meals on copy White Star Line china. However, there are still a few details about the sinking of the Titanic that you may not know.
Most people already know the ship was ill-equipped to deal with the sinking due to lacking sufficient lifeboats and boasting that God himself wouldn’t dare send the Titanic to the bottom of the ocean. Here are six facts about the unsinkable ship you may not already know.
1. On-board news
The daily newspaper “The Atlantic Daily Bulletin” was printed so passengers would have the latest news, advertisements, stock prices, horse-race results, gossip and the ship’s menu.
2. Cancelled Drill
A lifeboat drill was scheduled April 14, but for unknown reasons, Captain Smith cancelled the drill that could have been the key to a quick and speedy evacuation of the sinking ship the next day.
3. Hygiene optional in steerage
The third class passengers, more than 700 people, shared two bathtubs. Although few on board had private bathrooms, the lack of bathing facilities seems a bit extreme. Then again, their tickets only cost about three British pounds.
4. Decorative Funnel
The iconic four funnels of the Titanic make the ship look grand and impressive — and the designers knew it. However, only three of the funnels were operational and served to release steam from the boilers. The fourth one is purely ornamental.
5. Delivering the mail
The R.M.S. initials before the name Titanic stands for Royal Mail Ship. The official responsibility of the ship was to deliver mail for the British post. The Sea Post Office on board employed five mail clerks, who were responsible for over seven million pieces of mail on board. Strangely, no mail has been recovered from the wreck of the Titanic.
6. Local ties
A Utah woman, Irene Corbett, was on board the Titanic when it sank. She had traveled to England to further her medical education and work as a missionary for the LDS church. Her name was found on a registry of passengers who boarded at Southampton, but was not on the list of survivors rescued by the Carpathia.
Corbett was one of 14 second class female passengers who died that night.