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Ocean liners: Arrival OLYMPIC

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Ocean liners: Arrival OLYMPIC

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Photograph shows the ship Olympic docked in New York City, on the same day that the Titanic left Southhampton, England. (Source: researcher G. Voudouris, 2015)

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. The largest ship afloat at the time it entered service, the RMS Titanic was the second of three Olympic class ocean liners operated by the White Star Line, and was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Thomas Andrews, her architect, died in the disaster.

RMS Olympic was a British transatlantic crossing ocean liner, the lead ship of the White Star Line's trio of Olympic, Titanic, and Britannic. Construction of Olympic began three months before Titanic. Olympic and Titanic were constructed side by side. Titanic collided with an iceberg in the North Atlantic and Britannic struck a mine and sank in the Kea Channel in Greece in 1916. Olympic's attracted considerable worldwide attention from the press and public. Following her first arrival in New York, Olympic was opened up to the public and received over 8,000 visitors. More than 10,000 spectators watched her depart from New York. Following the Titanic disaster, Olympic was redesigned and her improved safety features were featured prominently in advertisements. During the war, Olympic is reported to have carried up to 201,000 troops and other personnel. Her impressive war service earned her the nickname "Old Reliable." During the 1920s, Olympic remained popular and fashionable and attracted the rich and famous of the day; Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford, and Douglas Fairbanks. Prince Edward and Captain Howarth were filmed on the bridge of Olympic for Pathé News. One of the attractions of Olympic was the fact that she was nearly identical to Titanic. On 18 November 1929, as Olympic was traveling to Titanic's last known position, the ship suddenly started to vibrate violently, and the vibrations continued for two minutes. It was later determined that this had been caused by the 1929 Grand Banks earthquake. Changes in immigration laws in the United States in the 1920s restricted the number of immigrants and a major reduction in the immigrant trade for the shipping lines. At the turn of 1927–28, Olympic was converted to carry tourist third cabin passengers as well as first, second and third class. Until 1930 there had been around one million passengers a year on the transatlantic route, but in 1934, the shipping was badly affected by the Great Depression and passengers had dropped by more than half. Olympic ran at a loss until she was withdrawn from service and sold for scrap in 1935. Decorative elements were removed and sold at auction before she was scrapped, and now adorn buildings and a cruise ship. Olympic had completed 257 round trips across the Atlantic, transporting 430,000 passengers on her commercial voyages, traveling 1.8 million miles.

Titanic was the most luxurious and greatest steamship ever built. Among 2,435 passengers many were prominent figures. John Jacob Astor IV, a real estate millionaire, famous for marrying is his wife Madeleine on September 11th 1911, sailed on the Titanic with his pregnant 18-year-old wife. Astor went down with the Titanic on 15 April, 1912. His wife, Madeleine, survived. J. Bruce Ismay, the chairman and managing director of the White Star Line. He was the person who sketched the first plans for the Titanic on a napkin in 1907. Captain Edward John Smith, nicknamed the millionaires captain. Thomas Andrews, the designer of Titanic. Lady Duff Gordon, a top fashion designer, and the first English designer to achieve international renown. Lady Countess Rothes (Lucy Noël Martha Dyer- Edwards) who steered the lifeboat she was in, to safety. Isidor Straus, a founder of Macy’s department store who remained on the Titanic and was last seen sitting with his wife Ida on deck chairs waiting for the end to come. Margaret Tobin Brown was the wife of the Colorado mining kingpin J.J. Brown. Famous for taking control of lifeboat 6 when the crew in charge of that particular lifeboat refused to go back to look for survivors. Benjamin Guggenheim, a wealthy industrialist, heir to the Guggenheim mining fortune. The Band: Brailey, Bricoux, Hartley, Hume, Krins, Taylor and Woodward who played to keep the passengers calm as the ship was sinking.

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01/01/1912
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Bain News Service, publisher
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Library of Congress
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