Chorus girl at TITANIC game
Photo shows crowd at baseball game to raise funds for the survivors of the RMS Titanic, Polo Grounds, New York City. (Source: Flickr Commons project, 2008)
The beginning of the twentieth century was a period of dramatic change for women in the West. In the late Victorian period women were constricted by a patriarchal social structure. But the early twentieth century saw the creation of the Suffragette movement, the catalyst for the rapid social change that occurred over the rest of the century. With career options other than marriage and motherhood opening up to them, women engaged with politics, served in the two world wars, made an impact on the artistic and literary worlds and experienced social and sexual liberation. Between 1880 and 1910, the number of women employed in the United States increased from 2.6 million to 7.8 million. Women's organizations in towns and cities across the U.S. were working to promote suffrage, better schools, the regulation of child labor, women in unions, and liquor prohibition. By emphasizing traditional traits, female social reformers created new spaces for themselves in local and then national government even before they had the right to vote.
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.
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.