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Ever since the RMS Titanic sank on its maiden voyage in 1912, people around the world have been fascinated by this disaster. More than half the ship’s 2,223 passengers died on what people considered a practically unsinkable vessel. When the 1997 movie, “Titanic,” came out starring the dreamy Leonardo Dicaprio, a new generation became enthralled with the tragedy and romance. These five additional facts will interest those who can’t get enough Titanic lore.
5 Doomed Again
If sinking once wasn’t bad enough, the Titanic is now being destroyed by rust-eating bacteria. By 2030, 50,000 tons of iron may be reduced to a rust stain. Seems a shame that the ship would be discovered by a French-American expedition in 1985 after being lost for more than 70 years, just to disappear again less than 50 years later.
4 The Lone Japanese
The Titanic sailed with only one Japanese passenger aboard. Masabumi Hosono was a civil servant whom the Japanese Ministry of Transport had sent to Russia and London on business. Post-iceberg, he got a seat on a lifeboat. He lived to regret what at first seemed good fortune. Hosono was reviled in the press as a stowaway who’d disguised himself as a woman. Japanese school textbooks painted him as immoral and dishonorable for failing to embody the Samurai spirit and go down with the ship.
3 Lost Key
Before the Titanic left Belfast, the captain did some last-minute shuffling of the crew. David Blair, originally second officer, wound up with no job on the Titanic. However, he retained the key to the Titanic’s binocular case. The crew realized they were missing the key after they’d left port and planned to buy replacement binoculars in New York. Binoculars come in really handy for everyday ship functions, such as seeing icebergs.
2 First Class Vs. Steerage
Accommodations varied widely on the Titanic, as anybody who saw the movie realizes. But you might not know how big the price gap was. For $4,200, you got a sitting room, two bedrooms, private deck, private bathroom and two dressing rooms. However, more than half the passengers were at the other end of the spectrum, paying $36.25 for a bare bones spot in steerage. The ship’s wealthiest passenger was Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, who was worth $87 million. The poorest passenger had a much shorter name and is long since forgotten.
1 Women Workers
Since superstitious sailors consider women on ships bad luck, not many worked aboard the Titanic. Only 18 of the 900-person crew were female. However, these women were extremely lucky. Seventeen of them made it onto lifeboats and survived.