First Class Saloon Steward Frederick Dent Ray had worked on other White Star liners, Majestic and Olympic and he was on Olympic in Belfast early in 1912 during minor repairs. In a letter to founder and president of the Titanic Historical Society, Edward Kamuda, Ray wrote that at that time he had been transferred to the nearly completed Titanic . Thomas Andrews was keenly interested in overseeing her construction and was on site often to talk to yard workers and personally inspect her progress. According to Ray’s testimony at the American Inquiry, he served Andrews meals on board during the final weeks of fitting out before her maiden voyage:
Senator Smith: Did you know Mr. Andrews, of the shipbuilding firm of Harland & Wolff, who built this vessel?
Mr. Ray: Yes, sir. I was at Belfast and waited on him around there on the Olympic and the Titanic.”
“September 13, 1969 Dear Mr. Kamuda, I am writing to inform you of our change of address… I have just written to Mr. Washington Dodge (a Titanic survivor F. Dent Ray served in the dining saloon) telling him much about the same as I am going to tell you. The reason for moving to a bungalow is to do away with the stairs and to get a smaller place, also to be nearer the family. Another thing is we have to reduce the furniture in doing as I came to a music stool which I made for my wife some fifty odd years ago. When I came across some packing in the seat, I knew it was here all along, it was two layers of new carpet from one of the staterooms of the Titanic. I must explain how it came into my possession. When the ship was being fitted out I used to nose around looking at the men working and one day I saw a man fitting the carpet…. …Now this happened to be on C deck 1st class state rooms and as one man was cutting the carpet I saw it was about six inches too wide and he had to cut that much to waste. I said what are you going to do with that, he replied, ‘Throw it away.’ I said I would like to have it to show my wife what nice carpets they are putting in the ship — and so I took it home — some time later I was looking around for something to pack the seat of a music stool for my wife which I was making and came across this carpet and found that it was just the thing doubled. It made quite a good seat of course it was under the upholstery so yesterday it came out as good as new, to see the light of day after over fifty years…. Yours very sincerely, F. Dent Ray”
Carpet yarn from Titanic comes in your choice of a glass-enclosed frame with felt matte, a photograph of the carpet which it came from in the Titanic Museum Collection and a Titanic broadsheet.
Unframed in clear lucite case $950.00
A Certificate of Authenticity will accompany your artifact with the Society’s Great Seal and the President/Founder, Edward S. Kamuda’s signature:
Certificate of Authenticity
Royal & United States Mail Steamer Titanic
Your name as an owner and date imprinted on the Certificate.
A decade ago when the THS Collection was being moved and photographed by Karen Kamuda, tiny loose pieces fell from some of the items while they were being unwrapped and conserved. Three types in all are available.
- Cane From Chair on Titanic
- Carpet Yarn (or thread) from Titanic
- Cork from Mrs Astor’s Lifejacket (No longer available as of July 2013)
These historic artifacts as described have been documented and illustrated in The Titanic Commutator, the Society’s official journal of record and are displayed in the Society’s Collection.