"Not even God himself could sink this ship."When the British ship Titanic steamed out of Southampton bound for New York on April 10, 1912, it was the largest and most sumptuous luxury liner that had ever sailed. It was a monument to the promise of technology and to Victorian elegance, magnificently appointed with oriental carpets and crystal chandeliers. It was thought to be unsinkable.
-- Employee of the White Star Line, at the
launch of the Titanic, May 31, 1911
First-class reception room of the Titanic,
published in The Shipbuilder, 1911
National Archives--Northeast Region, New York City, Records of District Courts of the United States
Confidence was so high that the owners and builders rejected plans calling for as many as 64 lifeboats. Although the number of lifeboats on the Titanic (20) exceeded government standards, the boats would only accommodate about half of the 2,228 people aboard. In one of history's great ironies, the Titanic sank on its maiden voyage, after colliding with an iceberg off the banks of Newfoundland. More than 1,500 people died in the accident.
U.S. Navy daily memorandum reporting the Titanic's collision with an iceberg,
April 15, 1912
Lifeboat filled with survivors of the Titanic waiting to be rescued
Records relating to the Titanic are in NARA's Northeast Region (New York City). They are in case files of a limitation of liability suit brought by the ship's owners 3 years after it sank.
Additional images related to the Titanic are available in the Online Catalog.
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