Titanic Walks – 5 Lesser Known Items Aboard The Titanic

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Being such a vast ship the Titanic had to cater for a multitude of tastes; in addition, amongst the 2,227 on-board were a host of artists, celebrities and eccentrics, the most notable of which make for some interesting stories told on Northern Ireland tours across the country about the ships Belfast roots.

As such, some unique and surprising items were on the Titanic when it sank, a few of which were found and brought to the surface when the wreckage was successfully located in 1985 allowing us to peep into the personalities and people who were aboard the ship that fateful night. Below, we have compiled some of the more notable items and the stories associated with them.

Opium

According to the ships manifest there were four cases of opium in the Titanic’s hold. It was thought to belong to John Jacob Astor IV who was aboard the ship that night and was the great-grandson of John Jacob Astor who famously made his fortune peddling the drug. Neither Astor IV nor the opium made it to New York but it is thought the drug was being transported to America for pharmaceutical purposes as the American Congress had outlawed the substance for recreational use several years before in 1909.

Perfume

One passenger aboard the Titanic was English chemist and perfume maker, Adolphe Saafeld. While aboard, he reportedly carried with him a leather satchel which contained vials and samples of several dozen perfumes. Perfume was big business in New York at this time and he was making the voyage to convince potential buyers to take on his selection of scents. Saafeld was one of the few survivors of the disaster and would later claim that while he was in one of the myriad smoking rooms, he actually saw the ice berg which crippled the vessel. Even more remarkably was that he left his perfume samples in the panic and they were found largely intact in 2001. The smells were said to still be as potent as ever and numerous attempts have been made to try and replicate the Edwardian perfumes.

Film

One case of film was found aboard, though what was on it is anyone’s guess as it was damaged beyond repair during the sinking. However, according to the manifest the one case of film aboard was set to be delivered to The New York Motion Picture Company. The film company was just one of a myriad of hopeful studious which were set up in the early 1900s; unfortunately they were short lived. It is unknown whether the Titanic sinking, and the loss of their case of film, had anything to do with their downfall.

A Marmalade Machine

The vintage contraption was able to perfectly peel and cut oranges before pulping them into marmalade. Apparently these were quite sought after at the turn of the century as the oranges need to be prepared very precisely in order to get the correct consistency for their tangy preserve. The owner, Miss Edwina Celia Trout miraculously survived the sinking of the Titanic and later claimed damages for the loss of her contraption which reportedly had a value of 8 shillings and 5 pence; in modern money, roughly ten pounds.

Bagpipes

A pair of bagpipes, thought to belong to an Irish farm hand was recovered from the wreckage. Though no one can say for certain which Irish passenger the pipes belonged to, some believe them to be the property of Eugene Patrick Daly. Daly was 29 when he boarded the Titanic, and he had paid handsomely to do so; he would have paid the then princely sum of £7 for his 3rd class ticket. The story goes that when the Titanic sunk he put on his thickest, warmest coat and leapt into the sea. He survived by clinging to some debris. He was picked up by a lifeboat and later filed damages for his lost bagpipes to the value of $50.

Though the tragic maiden and final voyage of the Titanic took place over a hundred years ago, the artifacts and stories remain. Though the closest most will get to the vessel is part of one of many Belfast tours documenting the ships birth, they make for some interesting and thought provoking tales.

Titanic Experience Belfast is a great place to find out more about the titanic and a cheap flight to Belfast can be found on IFlightSearch.co.uk

 

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