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A black and white photo of the Titanic, taken from the side, sailing on the ocean.

History

CREATION

A picture of the Titanic during the construction of her hull.

The RMS Titanic was a cruise ship owned by White Star Line, a British shipping company which was founded in 1845 and closed in 1934. The company was succeeded by one known as Cunard White Star Line. However, this company closed only 15 years later in 1949. The Titanic was built by the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. This private company, founded in 1861, is still in business today. Construction took two years and had a crew of three thousand men. The ship was designed by Thomas Andrews, the naval architect at Harland and Wolff. Andrews died as a passenger on the Titanic’s maiden voyage.

CAPTAIN

The captain of the Titanic was a man named Edward John Smith. Smith was born in Hanley, Staffordshire, England and began his career as only a teenager when he became a crew member of the Senator Weber. This ship was only the beginning, however, as Smith’s skill lead him to White Star Line in only 13 years. He has been the commander of ships such as the Baltic, the Majestic, and the Adriatic - each more impressive than the last. He continued his work, earning the title of a “millionaire’s captain,” taking the role of captain on the maiden voyages of White Star Line as one of their most highly-respected employees. The Titanic's voyage would be his last before retirement. He truly took his honor with him, staying on the Titanic through his last moments as he did his best for the passengers and other crew.

The HMHS Britannic, one of the TItnaic's sister ships.

SISTER SHIPS

The Titanic is known by many due to the tragedy of its sinking. Knowledge not so common, however, is that she had two sister ships - the HMHS Britannic, which came after, and RMS Olympic, which came before. Construction of the Olympic began a year before that of the Titanic and took approximately the same amount of time due to the similarity of their designs. Despite their similarities, these ships had very different careers. The Olympic sailed for 24 years before being retired and sold as scraps by the White Star Line company. The Britannic was not built until after the Titanic sank, and had a design which was reinforced because of this. The changes made included a double-plated hull to prevent sinking from scraping an iceberg and enough lifeboats to hold all passengers aboard the ship. However, the Britannic sank in April of 1912, leading to the White Star Line company’s eventual close after losing two ships in such a short span of time.