The Royal Mail Ship Titanic (RMS) was officially launched by the White Star Line on May 31, 1911. It was built in response to their competitor's new ocean vessels, the Mauritania and the Lusitania, which had broken the White Star Line's records for size and speed.
This image was taken at the end of the construction of the Titanic and clearly shows just how massive the ship was. If placed upright, the ship at 883 feet long, would have been taller than any building at the time.
Robert Ballard discovered the wreck of the RMS Titanic in 1985 after many years of failed expeditions. To find the wreckage, he had to design new technology which he called Argo, a remotely controlled deep-sea submersible.
Emilio Portaluppi is believed to have been the real Jack Dawson. Portaluppi accidentally boarded the Titanic with a second-class ticket, he was actually supposed to be on another ship. Invited aboard by John Jacob Astor IV and his wife Madeleine Talmage Astor, he reportedly had a crush on Madeleine.
Madeleine Talmage Astor is believed by some to have been the real Rose from the movie Titanic. She was saved in the disaster. However, it has never been suggested that she actually had an affair with Emilio Portaluppi.
Business mogul John Jacob Astor IV was the richest passenger on board, but he was also one of the richest people in the world at the time. He and his wife were aboard the Titanic because his wife was pregnant and wanted to have their baby in America. Sadly, he didn't survive the accident.
This is a picture of the iceberg that punctured all five of the ship's watertight rooms meant to keep it afloat.
Here is a closer picture of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. The black marks on the iceberg were said to be lines of paint left behind by the ship. If the Titanic had collided head-on with the iceberg, there is a good chance the ship would not have sunk.
It was not widely believed that the ship's hull had actually torn in half before sinking until the discovery of the wreck. The stern and bow were found a third of a mile apart, confirming that it did in fact break into two sections.
One of the most memorable sights of the interior of the RMS Titanic was the Grand Staircase. Unfortunately, there are no known photos of it. This photo is actually the staircase of Titanic's sister ship, the Olympic. The two ships had identical staircase constructed. However, what the magnificent staircase looked like after the shipwreck would make your jaw drop.
This is what was left of the Grand Staircase in the wreckage - not much, obviously. While filming the movie Titanic, director James Cameron stated that the replica staircase broke free and floated away unexpectedly. It is believed that this is exactly what happened to the actual staircase as well.
The RMS Titanic was loaded with nearly 6,000 tons of coal for her maiden voyage. It burned roughly 690 tons a day, with crew members working day and night to shovel the coal into boilers to produce steam power.
There were about 700 crew members on the Titanic. Edward J. Smith, the man with the white beard in the middle of the front row, was the Captain. It was rumored that the Titanic voyage was supposed to be his last trip before his retirement. The other men were various officers and engineers.
Captain Edward Smith's bathroom was found in the wreckage of the Titanic. The porcelain tub was still largely intact but covered in barnacles.
The Titanic carried various passengers, including two newlyweds, Mr. & Mrs. George A. Harder, who were aboard for their honeymoon. The wife survived the shipwreck, but her husband unfortunately died. The photographer, who captured this photo and the activities of other passengers sold the rights to his photos for a mere $10, but they would be worth much more in years to come.
This was probably one of the 350 first-class standard cabins that included a single bed. There were also 39 private suites available on the ship, and each had a private bathroom in addition to the bedroom. Some private suites even had wardrobe rooms and were decorated in the luxurious style of the French monarchy.
Since the crewmen were worried that the lines would not support the weight, many of the lifeboats were launched below capacity. The first boat to launch was holding less than half of its 65-person capacity, and another left carrying only 12 people.
More than 700 survivors from the sinking were rescued by an ocean liner called the Carpathia. The survivors were all suffering from the effects of the cold, stress and hypothermia. Luckily, they were handed warm clothing by the passengers of the ocean liner.
This is the first thing that was found by Robert Ballard in his 1985 expedition. The boiler was identified as being identical to that in the picture from 1911, and the next day Ballard discovered the largest part of the wreck using his Argo technology.
The Titanic had three gigantic anchors, each weighing a little more than 10 tons for a total of 31 tons. One of the three anchors was found still in its compartment in the wreckage.