In This Issue
When rich and famous passengers aboard Titanic are mentioned, the Astors are usually at the top of the list. Industrialists, bankers, the movers and shakers that built this country were celebrities in the Gilded Age and their comings and goings were reported in newspapers and their society pages. Miss Madeleine Talmage Force and Colonel John Jacob Astor were the most notorious couple during their controversial courtship. Like the celebrities of today, they were THE story and were followed incessantly by reporters and photographers. Miss Force and Colonel Astor were hot topics. Their daily routine was followed and newspapers contained information not written about ordinary people––however theirs appeared in delicious detail and is reprinted in this journal.
At 11:45 am on the morning of April 14, 1912, Hamburg-America liner, S. S. Amerika’s Captain Knuth ordered a message transmitted reporting the location of two large icebergs in the North Atlantic to the Hydrographic Office in Washington, D.C., stating that his ship “passed two large icebergs in 41 27N, 50 8W on the 14th of April” signed “Knuth, 10:51p[m]”. Otto Reuter, Amerika’s wireless operator sent the message and it was received by the Marconi operator on Titanic who sent it to the station at Cape Race because Amerika’s apparatus was not powerful enough. This same message was not passed on to the bridge of Titanic and she was heading towards those coordinates. Several hours later Titanic apparently struck one of those two icebergs and sank. Otto Reuter tells his story of that historic wireless message and how he gave his copy to Edward Kamuda.
Wireless operator Reuter must have taken pride in S. S. Amerika. When she went into service in 1905, she was the largest ship in the world until early 1906. Passenger accommodation was ahead of any predecessor and included such refinements as suites with a private bathroom. Lavishly decorated throughout, Amerika boasted unique shipboard features––electrical medicinal baths, a winter garden of lush greenery, a nursery and the first ever passenger elevator aboard an ocean liner. The elevator was a great attraction and made 1,825 trips during her maiden voyage. Amerika possessed another innovation––a Ritz-Carlton restaurant, the first a la carte restaurant on the North Atlantic. The separate dining room seated 120 guests. The concept proved so popular, Ritz-Carlton restaurants were installed on other Hamburg-America liners and later copied by Cunard, White Star and other steamship lines.
Royal Crown Derby was one of the companies that supplied china for use on board the Titanic. The Company archives hold a file of correspondence relating to the Olympic and Titanic orders, the original pattern and a booklet advertising the Titanic. An investigation by Royal Crown Derby’s curator, Jacqueline Smith, gives an interesting insight into the processes involved in the purchase of just one element of the fitting of these ships.
Its hard to believe that twenty-five years have passed. On September 1 (2010) we asked THS Message Board members what they were doing when they learned the Titanic had been found. For those who took the time to reply, we’ve printed a variety of answers.
THE COURTSHIP AND WEDDING OF MADELEINE TALMAGE FORCE AND COLONEL JOHN JACOB ASTOR
By Edward and Karen Kamuda
THS’s PROJECT FOR 2012 UPDATE TITANIC CENTENNIAL MEMORIAL
OTTO REUTER’S WIRELESS MESSAGE WARNED TITANIC OF ICEBERGS
By Karen Kamuda
S. S. AMERIKA
Compiled from news accounts
LISA MACK, USCG, BECOMES COMMANDER OF THE INTERNATIONAL ICE PATROL
THS 2011 TITANIC HERITAGE TOUR CONVENTION–– COLONEL J. J. ASTOR’S RHINEBECK AND THE HISTORIC HUDSON VALLEY
ROYAL CROWN DERBY CHINA ON THE OLYMPIC AND TITANIC
By Jacqueline Smith
SEPTEMBER 1, 1985––THE DISCOVERY OF THE TITANIC––25 YEARS ON
2011 THS Dues Renewal Form notice; Dave Bryceson donates £1 to the Salvation Army (Folkestone) for every copy of his book sold; student collecting data on all previous works on Titanic for a play; Simon Mills has good news––an update on Sargeant W. Sharpe; old Titanic accommodation plans, real or reproduction?; identification and significance of a silver cup engraved with date April 14, 1912 on board S. S. Celtic; The Titanic Museum to be featured on the Travel Channel’s “Mysteries of the Museum” and a Titanic Historical Society romance.
An assortment of children’s books with a Titanic theme reviewed by Tim Trower: Titanic 2020 by Colin Bateman; Tyler’s Titanic by Bernard Ryan, Jr.; The Stowaway on the Titanic by Corinne Brown and A Possum’s Night on the Titanic by Jamey M. Long.
A collage of postcards, etc.,with strong connections to Colonel Astor and Madeleine Force. Photos on this page are from the Kamuda collection unless noted otherwise
The Engineers’ Memorial in Southampton has undergone a much needed facelift in time for Titanic’s 100th anniversary. All the weathered bronze was cleaned and restored to its original beauty. Photo: Kate Finnegan