rms titanic

3

Water-stained violin proven to be the one that played Nearer my God to Thee by Wallace Hartley as the Titanic sank is found. [x]

It is the instrument that he played as the ship went down in the Atlantic, and that he later used as a buoyancy aid once Titanic went down.

The violin was discovered only by chance when the son of an amateur musician found it in his attic. It was given to his mother by her violin teacher and was left gathering dust.

The discovery was almost too good to be true, prompting experts to have the relic forensically examined by some of the most revered scientific bodies in Britain.

Now, after seven years of testing at a cost of tens of thousands of pounds, the water-stained violin has been proven to be the one played by Hartley on the night of the tragedy.

These pictures show how incredibly well-preserved the rose wood violin is despite its age and it being exposed to the sea for 10 days after the sinking.

There are two long cracks on its body that are said to have been opened up by moisture damage.

The photos also show the corroded engraved silver plate screwed onto the base of the fiddle that provided scientists with they key proof of its authenticity.

The historic violin, said to be worth a six figure sum, will go on public display at the Belfast City Hall, where Titanic was built, at the end of March.

Negotiations are also under way to exhibit it in museums around the world including America. It is likely to be auctioned off in the future.

Titanic experts have described it as the most important artefact associated with the infamous liner to have come to light.

3

April 14th 1912: Titanic hits an iceberg

On this day in 1912, at 11.40pm, the RMS Titanic hit an iceberg. The Titanic was the largest and most opulent passenger liner the world had ever seen, attracting notable dignitaries to its maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. The vessel was built in Belfast for White Star Line, with the intention of trumping the company’s rivals at Cunard. The Titanic was lauded as an ‘unsinkable’ ship, but subsequent examinations have suggested some fatal flaws in the ship’s design, in addition to a lack of lifeboats, which only could accommodate half the passengers. Just four days after setting sail, on April 14th at around 11.40pm, the Titanic hit an iceberg. The collision caused a massive gash in the ship’s hull, dooming the vessel to sink. As the ship filled with water and slowly sank, its over two thousand passengers rushed to lifeboats. The panicked evacuation was haphazard, with lifeboats lowered despite not being at full capacity. The ship’s final hours saw a number of particularly touching stories, including the elderly Straus couple who stayed in their cabin to die together, the violin players continuing to perform as the ship sank, and Benjamin Guggenheim changing into his formal dress and declaring “We are dressed in our best and are prepared to go down like gentlemen.”  The Titanic finally sank at around 2.20am, leaving thousands to die of hypothermia in the freezing ocean. Over 1,500 people died in the tragedy, with around 700 survivors rescued by the Cunard’s Carpathia. The demise of the ‘unsinkable’ Titanic shocked the world, and the tragic fate of a symbol of early twentieth-century optimism continues to captivate people’s imagination.

8

the Titanic musicians

“I don’t suppose he waited to be sent for, but after finding how dangerous the situation was, he probably called his men together and began playing. I know that he [bandmaster Wallace Hartley] often said that music was a bigger weapon for stopping disorder than anything on earth. He knew the value of the weapon he had, and I think he proved his point.”

3

Unseen Titanic, from the April 2012 edition of National Geographic

Top: The First Class promenade on A Deck

Middle: The single surviving davit on the Boat Deck

Bottom: The Turkish Baths, only discovered on recent dives to the wreck - the art nouveau tiles, submerged in freezing salt water under incredible pressure for over a century, are in perfect condition

8

My Infinite List of Favourite FilmsTitanic (1997)

Titanic is a 1997 American epic romantic disaster film written and directed by James Cameron. A fictionalized account of the sinking of the luxurious RMS Titanic, it stars Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet as members of different social classes who fall in love aboard the ship during its ill-fated maiden voyage.