Titanic Survivors: Michel Navratil (1908 - 2001) and Edmond Navratil (1910 - 1953) AKA “Louis & Lola”/”Titanic Orphans”
Michel and Edmond Navratil were the youngest survivors with the loss of a parent(s) on board. The two boys have a very interesting story. Their parents, Michel Navratil Sr. and Marcelle Navratil, seperated shortly prior to the infamous ship’s departure. Marcelle allowed the boys to stay with their father over Easter, but she became concerned when he had not returned with her children. Michel bought tickets for himself and his two young sons to immigrate to the US without Marcelle’s knowledge. During the sinking, the toddlers were placed onto Collapsible D. Mr. Navratil perished in the sinking of Titanic. The toddlers could not speak a word of English, so they were labelled the “Titanic Orphans”. Upon arrival to New York, Marcelle was contacted and came to New York to pick up her sons.
In later years, Michel spoke out about his experience on Titanic;
“I don’t recall being afraid, I remember the pleasure, really, of going plop! into the lifeboat. We ended up next to the daughter of an American banker who managed to save her dog–no one objected. There were vast differences of people’s wealth on the ship, and I realized later that if we hadn’t been in second-class, we’d have died. The people who came out alive often cheated and were aggressive. The honest didn’t stand a chance.” - Michel Navratil’s account of the sinking
Margaret Tobin was born on July 18, 1867 in Hannibal, Missouri to John and Johanna Tobin; two poor Irish immigrants. Contrary to the myth, she did not survive a flood as an infant not did she have a nanny goat for a wet nurse. Maggie, as she was known back then, was educated by her aunt up to the 8th grade, equivalent to a high school education today. She then began seasonal work in the Garth Tobacco Factory for several years. Pretty soon, Margaret was 18 and had no suitable marriage prospects. In the spring of 1886, she bought a train ticket and moved out to Leadville, Colorado to live with her brother Daniel and hopefully to find a rich miner to marry.
James Joseph Brown
At first sight, Margaret rejected any idea of possibly marrying James Joseph Brown. She had come to Leadville to find a rich husband, and JJ was by no means a millionaire. However, after just a few months of courtship Margaret decided it was better to marry for love rather that money and on September 1, 1886 they were married. Pretty soon they had two children Catherine Ellen “Helen" and Lawrence Palmer “Larry" Brown.
Family Portrait, taken in Leadville
After marrying JJ, Margaret began lessons with tutors, studying reading and literature as well as piano and singing. The happy family lived comfortably for several years in Leadville right up until the US government repealed the Sherman Silver Purchase Act, switching from silver backed currency to the gold standard which is still used today. This was really bad news for Leadville, which mainly relied on silver mining. Long story short, JJ discovered gold, became a millionaire and the family moved down to Denver.
The Family Home in the Capitol Hill neighborhood of Denver
Now for the good stuff.
One of my personal heros, Margaret was an incredible humanitarian, philanthropist, feminist, and activist.
Some of the incredible things she did include (in no particular order):
Organize soup kitchens for poor miners and their families in Leadville, with her two small children in tow no less
Helped form the Denver Women’s Party, was involved in Colorado politics, and was part of the women’s suffrage movement at both the state and national levels
Was fluent in 5 languages
Donated money to the Denver Dumb Friends League (animal shelter, still open today)
Organized the Carnival of Nations, a festival in Denver to raise money for the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception. She had booths representing cultures from all over the world, including Native Americans, which was very much frowned upon. She and her husband JJ also donated quite a bit of their own money to the project. Interesting side note: once the Cathedral was completed, Margaret attended every Sunday she was in town. She was known to walk in a few minutes late (you can literally see the cathedral from her house) so everyone would have to turn around to see what she was wearing that day.
She worked with Ben Lindsey to create a juvenile court and detention system, similar to the system in place today. Before this, children would be tried as adults and sentenced to adult prisons, or left unpunished entirely because the judges couldn’t bring themselves to send child into such awful conditions. Margaret hosted functions (including an annual function at the Opera) and donated some of her own money to help fund Judge Lindsey’s cause.
She ran for state Senate three times
Margaret’s official campaign portrait
She attended the Carnegie Institute
She organized nurses and supplies in a relief station in France where she herself was an ambulance driver
She offered her cottage in Newport, Rhode Island to be used as a hospital
She translated books to Braille for soldiers who lost their eyesight due to mustard gas
She earned the French Legion of Honor Medal for her efforts during the war (really big deal!!)
Yes, she did survive the Titanic. But there is so much more to the story than Hollywood makes it seem. Margaret was on the deck of the Titanic and used her 5 languages to help get people off the ship. There was supposed to be a training drill the morning before it sank, to this day we don’t know why it was cancelled. Margaret is telling the passengers things like “it’s only a drill, you’ll be back soon” knowing this was the best way to save as many people as possible. Many did not want their families to be separated, or they did not believe the ship was actually sinking. You couldn’t tell until it was too late. It is believed that Margaret would have gone down with the ship had she not been forcibly put onto a lifeboat by two crew members. Once her lifeboat reached the water, Margaret took off her many layers of clothing (she dressed like an onion before leaving her room) and distributed them to the other women and children in her life boat. She then instructed the first class women to begin rowing. This was important to a) prevent hypothermia and b) not be sucked into the ocean by the undertow of the ship when it finally did sink. Once their lifeboat was found by the Carpathia, Margaret used her excellent organizing skills to collect and distribute blankets and clothing to the survivors of the Titanic from the passengers of the Carpathia. She also collected money from the first class passengers and survivors to give the the third class immigrants once they reached New York. She had some difficulty convincing them to donate, so she put a list with all the names of the first class people with the amount that they had given (or not) it didn’t take long for the 1st class passengers and survivors to realize they should donate as to not tarnish their name. She raised $10,000 equivalent to about $250,000 (USD) today. When the Titanic Survivor’s Committee was formed, she was of course appointed chairwoman. She attempted to testify in the Senate hearing but was turned away because she was (shocker) a woman. She did however help fight to change Maritime policy to families first (instead of women and children first) and ensure that there will always.be enough lifeboats, life jackets and properly trained crew members to prevent disasters like this in the future.
When on vacation in Florida her hotel caught fire, and she helped guide the other people on her floor out the fire escape to safety
She sang, yodeled, played the piano and classical guitar
She worked as an actress in NYC, living in the Barbizon hotel (men were not allowed past the lobby, this building was symbolic of a cultural shift in the ‘20s). She also taught acting, and had her own studio in the hotel.
She died in her sleep in 1932 from a stroke brought on by a misdiagnosed brain tumor. She is buried in the Holy Rood Cemetery in New York.
Margaret Brown is so amazing and I can go on about her for days. Forgive my rambling.
Sources: Molly Brown: Unraveling the Myth by Kristen Iversen
Random facts I know (I give tours in her home)
If you have any questions, please ask!
I’m planning on writing about Justina Ford (the first African American female to be a licensed physician in Colorado) next, but if you guys have any suggestions please let me know!
Do you happen to know why so many papers thought all the Titanic passengers were safe?
At 8:27 pm the night after the ship sank a wireless message apparently signed White Star Line was received saying “Titanic proceeding to Halifax, passengers will probably land there Wednesday all safe” was received by Congressman Hughes of West Virginia. Who sent this message, if it was indeed one single message and not a confused mix-up of several messages, is unknown.
So, first, wireless telegraphs were what were being relied on, and most papers basically ‘played telephone’, relaying the same information over and over from few sources. There was an order of precedence in general for telegraphic messages aboard the ships: first, ship service messages; second, personal telegraphs; and finally, press news telegraphs.
Because of the volume of traffic, President Taft eventually ordered that all wireless activity that wasn’t from the Navy to be silenced so the Carpathia
(which carried all those who were rescued)
could get it’s telegraphs through. Still finding that there were little information being received, he asked a Naval ship to contact the Carpathia and find out what was going on, but due to miscommunication (different types of Morse code - American and British - basically a language barrier) this was mostly a waste of time.
Another reason was that it took three days for the Carpathia to reach the dock in New York, so there were no personal interviews conducted before the 18th, which left some people holding out hope.
Then, the White Star Line was roundly admonished for giving false information or withholding what they knew, although they claimed that this was solely because, while they had it on good authority that the ship had gone down and had an approximate number of passengers saved, they wanted to confirm with the Carpathia’s captain to prevent undue anguish to the relatives of those who might possibly still be alive or give false hope to those who had lost someone.
The fact that J. Bruce Ismay (president of the White Star line) sent multiple telegraphs from the Carpathia asking that the Cedric (another White Star liner) be held up in New York to await the Carpathia’s arrival to carry himself and the surviving crew of the Titanic back to England at the first possible moment was considered suspect and senate subpoenas were issued that blocked this move.
There were also reports that the wireless messages stating the Titanic was safe were from amateur pranksters.
The Eagle, Bryan, Texas, April 16, 1912
The Scranton Truth, Pennsylvania, April 16, 1912
Nevada State Journal, Reno, Nevada, April 16, 1912
The Buffalo Commercial, New York, April 22, 1912
Finally, it was speculated that employees of Marconi
Wireless Company, specifically Chief Engineer
Sammis, and possibly the inventor Marconi himself, in collusion with the two wireless operators aboard the Carpatha, were involved in withholding the information in order to profit off the details of the sinking by selling the exclusive rights to the New York Times.
Both operators, Cottam and Bride, gave their exclusive stories and received $750 and $1000 respectively from the New York Times thanks to Sammis.
Marconi said that, while he did say the operators were free to make as much money as they could from the story, he certainly never ordered them to withhold any information.
The San Francisco Call, California, April 26, 1912
It was said that Sammis had ordered the telegraph operators aboard the Carpathia to “keep your mouth shut” and it was speculated that this was a gag order about the Titanic sinking in general.
However, these messages were sent to the Carpathia only about an hour and a half before they docked.
Sammis admitted it was true he’d authorized the telegrams in his name and helped set up the meeting with the reporters, but that he had only meant for the operators to not tell anyone about their personal experiences before speaking to the journalists, and justified his actions by claiming that he did it with the best of intentions. He said he was only trying to help the operators, one who had taken part in the rescue and one who survived the sinking, to make the most money possible, that he was trying to “spruce the men up, make them feel happy”, that he had done “nothing he was ashamed of”.
He was also asked if he had ordered the operators to keep quiet before this, to which he answered no, that there were 150 - 200 other vessels that also needed to use the stations and that it would be unfair for the Carpathia to monopolize them all the time, especially because the Carpathia’s messages needed to be retransmitted by another ship to reach shore some of the time. Cottam, the Carpathia’s wireless operator, also denied he’d been asked to “kill any message regarding the Titanic story” by Sammis or anyone else.
The Topeka Daily Capital, Kansas, April 18, 1912
Many of the messages sent to the Carpathia from people asking for updates went unanswered. Marconi himself had sent a multiple messages to the Carpathia asking why no news was forthcoming, about whether people like Astor, Guggenheim, and Isidor Straus had been rescued, and received no answer. Even the President’s request for information, specifically about
Archibald Butt, was ignored (although that one wasn’t signed in his name - they probably would’ve answered it if it had been!).
Marconi explained that this was probably because the Carpathia’s operators were busy sending personal messages to victim’s friends and family members. The Senate inquiry cast doubt over this, wondering why they would pointedly avoid answering messages from the owner of the company that employed them, and that it seemed that the operators were not doing very much telegraphing during these days at all - although Sammis reported the two men had sent upwards of 5000 words or 500 separate personal messages.
Harold Cottam gave testimony at the inquiry that he hadn’t been answering any requests for information because he was busy with official traffic and passengers personal messages (like Marconi said and like protocol demanded).
Cottam recounted that on Tuesday, after 36 hours with no sleep and almost 24 hours of constant telegraphing, he fell asleep at the job because he was so exhausted. Harold Bride, the second operator of the Titanic, came to relieve him, despite
injuries to both of his feet and his back. He had been resting in the Carpathia’s hospital. From that time Bride continued to help Cottam, preparing messages to be sent and taking over when Cottam rested.
A Spanish Tragedy on the Titanic, Víctor Peñasco and María Josefa Pérez
When the Titanic steamed out of Southampton on her fateful journey on April 10th 1912, the highest of high society shared the voluminous interior of the ship with people from all walks in life and from many countries of origin. Among this cosmopolitan mélange there were ten people from Spain: nine passengers and a crew member. The only casualty recorded among the list of Spanish passengers was its wealthiest member, Víctor Peñasco y Castellana.
Víctor was travelling with his wife, María Josefa, known as Pepita, and her maid, Fermina Oliva. They were on the final stretch of a lavish honeymoon that had lasted more than a year and left big sums of money in the tills of the finest restaurants, hotels, and jewellerers across Europe.
Víctor and María Josefa were young, rich, and deeply in love with each other. Víctor was a nephew to King Alfonso XIII’s prime minister, José Canalejas, and his family’s wealth was matched by very few others in the country; María Josefa’s was one of them. On board, the couple performed the rituals of their class, attending balls, playing cards and flaunting their glamour and opulence.
On the evening of April 14th, Captain Smith hosted a dinner for first-class passengers. Dressed in their finery, Víctor and María Josefa tarried awhile after the banquet chatting with some Argentinian friends of theirs. Later, they returned to their suite and began getting ready for bed. It was at this moment that a loud noise resonated throughout the ship, from bow to stern. Víctor put his dinner jacket on and went up on deck, where, in polished English, he asked a group of officers what had happened. Their answer terrified him: the ship had hit an iceberg and the prospects were not encouraging.
Returning again to his suite, Víctor instructed Fermina and María Josefa to put their lifejackets on and the three hurried outside. Víctor, who was known as a quintessential gentleman, proved to be exactly that. María Josefa and Fermina were directed to lifeboat 8, which was under instructions to get as far away from the disaster as it could.
When María Josefa understood that only women and children were going on the boat, she clinged to his husband and refused to leave his side. The Countess of Rothes, witnessing the terrible scene, dared to intervene and spoke to María Josefa in Italian to convince her to get into the boat. “Take care of her,” Víctor told the Countess. Knowing he wasn’t going to survive the sinking, he told his wife, “Pepita, que seas muy feliz.” (“Be very happy, Pepita.”) When he was sure his wife was safe on the lifeboat, he stepped back and went to help his fellow passengers. The last time he saw his beloved wife was when Officer Wilde ordered the boat to descend into the Atlantic.
Víctor’s body was never recovered, or if it was, it was among the unidentified group of 150 corpses. His death certificate states he is buried at Fairview Cemetery in Halifax, Nova Scotia, something that was possibly orchestrated to allow his widow to remarry, which she did six years later. She died in Madrid in 1972, aged 83. Her loyal maid Fermina died in 1969, aged 98.
My mother had a premonition from the very word ‘GO.’ She knew there was something to be afraid of and the only thing that she felt strongly about was that to say a ship was unsinkable was flying in the face of God. Those were her words.
Divers prepare to explore the wreck of the Lusitania, 1935. The Lusitania, a similar design to the more famous Titanic, was a passenger liner sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915 during Germany’s policy of unrestricted submarine warfare around the British isles. The sinking killed over 1,200 people and dramatically increased tensions between the United States and Germany.
Fuck coworkers who make you feel bad for liking the things you enjoy! Whenever I'm on my break/lunch, I love to sit down and read books about Titanic and her passengers/crew. Some of the elderly people who work at my store enjoy listening to me speak about Titanic and reading bits from my books to them but some of our younger ones like to make fun of me and say things like "You still reading about that fucking boat?" or brand my interest in Titanic as "stupid shit". Fuck these people for real.
They feel intimidated because they’re not smart enough to retain historical facts. -Abby
Ok, so I love the movie Titanic. I’ll start there. I was in the 4th grade when it came out and I was OBSESSED. I thought it was so romantic… and sad… and That Music… MAN. But now, as an adult, I’m skeptical about some things.
So I’ve always interpreted the last scene of the movie as Rose dying and going to heaven or “home” with Jack on the Titanic (all the other passengers that are standing there clapping are ones who died during the tragedy). So there Rose is, finally reunited with Jack. But the kicker is, she knew Jack for like 2 days before he died. He was instrumental in her changing her life for the better and all, but it was two (2) days.
Rose eventually met someone, settled down with them and started a family. However, when she dies, she goes to “heaven” with JACK?
Like is her late-husband up there on the clouds looking down like “What about me, Bitch?”.
RMS Titanic was a British passenger liner that sank in the North Atlantic Ocean in the early morning of 15 April 1912, after colliding with an iceberg during her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City. Of the 2,224 passengers and crew aboard, more than 1,500 died in the sinking, making it one of the deadliest commercial peacetime maritime disasters in modern history. Under the command of Edward Smith, the ship carried some of the wealthiest people in the world, as well as hundreds of emigrants from Great Britain and Ireland, Scandinavia and elsewhere throughout Europe seeking a new life in North America. Titanic only carried enough lifeboats for 1,178 people—slightly more than half of the number on board, and one third of her total capacity. On 14 April 1912, four days into the crossing and about 375 miles (600 km) south of Newfoundland, she hit an iceberg at 11:40 p.m. ship’s time. The collision caused the ship’s hull plates to buckle inwards along her starboard side and opened five of her sixteen watertight compartments to the sea; the ship gradually filled with water. Just under two hours after Titanic foundered, the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia arrived on the scene of the sinking, where she brought aboard an estimated 705 survivors. The disaster was greeted with worldwide shock and outrage at the huge loss of life and the regulatory and operational failures that had led to it. Public inquiries in Britain and the United States led to major improvements in maritime safety. One of their most important legacies was the establishment in 1914 of the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS), which still governs maritime safety today. The wreck of Titanic remains on the seabed, split in two and gradually disintegrating at a depth of 12,415 feet. X
Davey found it surprisingly easy to kiss Jack on the open
deck, barely giving a thought to anyone who might catch them. It was almost
midnight so most normal folks were tucked up in bed for the night as it was,
and besides, it was fun to be a little impulsive. Jack didn’t seem to have many
reservations either, kissing Davey hungrily like they hadn’t been to bed
together twice in one evening already. It felt like fire and danger and scandal
and Davey could definitely become accustomed to the thrill of it.
When a loud bell rang out above them, cutting through the calm
night, Davey’s little daydream was shattered. That fire he’d felt suddenly
started to blister and he leap back guiltily. Looking up into the darkness
above the ship, Davey expected to see someone angrily pointing at them,
alerting another crew member as to what they were doing. Instead he heard
“ICEBERG. RIGHT AHEAD.”
The call was surprisingly clear, shouted into a telephone 15 metres up in the
air and travelling through what had been tranquility. Davey was frozen, still
in shock from the interruption and confused by the warning, but Jack had a
little more sense about him. He hurried to the railings of the ship, climbing
up a couple of rungs so he could grab a nearby rope and swing out a little over
the side of the boat to get a look at what was happening. What he saw, he could
Gracie has a part of the X-Men lead by Magneto and Professor X, or as they knew them Erik and Charles. Since the moment Gracie layed eyes on Erik, they fell completely and utterly in love. Gracie finds troubles in liking Erik, but it only gets worse. But it all starts at the moment they met…
Prompt: “It’s not justice - it’s a massacre.” -via Pinterest
Journeying through the night, Titanic arrived at Queenstown, Ireland just before noon. Similar to its stop in Cherbourg, the ship was anchored 2 miles out of the harbor at Roche’s Point. Small tenders ferried passengers and over 1,385 sacks of mail to the gigantic vessel. Departing later that afternoon, Titanic made its way around the coast of Ireland while the sun started to set. As the hills of the green mountains started to disappear behind Titanic, a 3rd class passenger named Eugene Daly picked up his pipes and began to play for his peers, a familiar Irish tune, ‘Erin’s Lament’. In 6 days, Titanic would make her journey across the Atlantic to her next and final stop. — (As soon as I was done inking my entry, I realized that I didn’t leave a space for the written description part. Oops! Haha)
Joseph Philippe Lemercier Laroche (May 26, 1886 – April 15, 1912) was a Paris-educated Haitian engineer.
He was the only black passenger on the ill-fated voyage of the RMS Titanic.bHe got his pregnant French wife and their two daughters onto a lifeboat; they survived, but he himself did not. At the age of 15, he was sent to Beauvais, France to study. After he graduated with an engineering degree, he married Frenchwoman Juliette Lafargue. However, he was unable to find work matching his qualifications due to the color of his skin in a racist society. Tired of living off of his wine seller father-in-law, he decided to return to Haiti with his growing family. His uncle, Cincinnatus Leconte, the President of Haiti,arranged a job for him as a math teacher. His mother purchased first class passage for them aboard the liner La France. When he and his wife learned of the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique’s policy against children dining with their parents, they exchanged their tickets for a second class passage aboard the Titanic. Laroche died in the sinking of the Titanic. His body was never recovered. His wife returned to Paris with her daughters Louise and Simonne Laroche and gave birth to their son, Joseph Lemercier Laroche. Laroche, a three-act opera based on his life, was an official part of the 2003 National Black Arts Festival and was scheduled to premiere at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center on July 18.