FAQs
(Trivia)


Who christened Titanic?

Officially, no one; unofficially, Mrs. Joseph Bruce Ismay. Despite the White Star Line's tradition of not christening their ships, Florence was reported to have said quietly from her seat in the reviewing stand as the ship was released down the slip, "I name this ship the Titanic, and may God bless her and all who sail in her."

What notable White Star Line ships were present in the River Lagan to witness Titanic's launch?

Olympic, Nomadic and Traffic. Delivery of Olympic to her owners coincided with the launch of the new hull, and she was used to transport the officials and distinguished guests of the White Star Line to her registered homeport of Liverpool after the completion of the launching ceremony. The new tenders Nomadic and Traffic were designed to service Olympic and Titanic when they began service to France and were kept on hand in Belfast to help celebrate the launch of Titanic and transport the luminaries to Olympic.

Who was the first Master of Titanic?

Captain H.J. Haddock, RNR. Captain Haddock signed on ship's articles as Master on 25 March 1912. He was relieved by Captain E.J. Smith, RNR, who signed on articles on 1 April 1912.

On what day did Titanic's maiden voyage begin?

2 April 1912 in Belfast. If a maiden voyage is defined as the first trip in which a ship carries fare-paying passengers, then Titanic's maiden voyage began when she made the run from Belfast to Southampton. According to Stephen Cameron in "Titanic: Belfast's Own", the Belfast Newsletter of April 1912 reported that Titanic carried a Mr. Wyckoff Derholf (Van der Hoef), who booked first-class passage from Belfast to New York. If there were others, history doesn't record them, but the presence of Mr. Van der Hoef would be enough to qualify Belfast as the port of origin for Titanic's maiden voyage.

What was the original name of the third ship in the Olympic class?

Gigantic artwork Gigantic may very well have been the name originally conceived for the third ship of the Olympic class. In addition to numerous contemporary reports, there exists at least one sheet of contemporary artwork, published before the launch of Harland & Wolff hull number 433, that shows the name of the ship to be Gigantic. My personal belief is that Gigantic was, in fact, the name originally considered, mainly because it's a natural extension on the theme of Greek creation mythology that appears to be associated with this class of leviathans. In short: Zeus, once elected ruler of Olympus, fought the Titans in a battle that lasted a hundred years. After the Titans were defeated and banished, Zeus' next threat came from the Giants, who stacked mountain upon mountain to reach the heights of Mount Olympus. After a desperate struggle, Zeus was victorious over the Giants. I believe that Lord Pirrie and Bruce Ismay were inspired by the impressions of size and might suggested in these mythic battles and after modifying the key names with the traditional White Star Line suffix of —ic, originally planned to name the Largest Steamers in the World: Olympic, Titanic and Gigantic. The myth associated with this name, though, is that someone in the White Star Line hierarchy (usually identified to be Ismay), changed the name after the loss of Titanic to tone down the perceived arrogance of the name. There is, however, evidence that HW 433 was officially named Britannic by the time the keel was laid, months before Titanic's ill-fated maiden voyage. Gigantic may have originally considered as a possible name for the third Olympic-class liner, but it seems clear that the loss of Titanic played no part in the decision to officially name HW 433 as Britannic.

Of the ships that flew the White Star Line burgee, which ones survive today?

Nomadic and R.M.S. Queen Mary. The latter was built for the Cunard White Star Line and as such, flew both Cunard and White Star house flags from her aftermast.


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