28 April 2012

Massachusetts' connection to the Titanic

RMS Titanic
Traveling from Southampton, England, to New York City, the maiden voyage of the luxury liner RMS Titanic ended in disaster. On April 15, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg in the North Atlantic Ocean and sank, along with more than 1,500 passengers and crew members. Slightly more than 700 people survived, after being loaded onto lifeboats and picked up by the RMS Carpathia.

Over the years, this maritime disaster has captured the hearts and interests of people worldwide, from books and movies to memorabilia. In 1963, the tragedy inspired Edward S. Kamuda to found the first and original Titanic Historical Society in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. Its museum contains rare artifacts given to the Kamudas and the society by survivors (and their descendants) from the Titanic. The collection includes the cork life jacket worn by Mrs. John Jacob Astor (whose husband went down with the ship); clothes and personal effects Selena Rogers Cook wore that night; Ernest Allen's Seaman's Discharge Book; ship menus; personal accounts and diaries; and much more. The museum also holds a nearly nine-foot Titanic model, blueprints from the builders of the ship, 100 years of memorabilia and reproductions, and even a 27-foot collapsible lifeboat used in James Cameron's Titanic movie.

Unlike Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit, the Titanic Historical Society in Massachusetts does not have many items from the 1985 and later salvage expeditions.

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