10 Pics Of The Titanic Before The Iceberg Accident

Ironically billed as an unsinkable ship, the RMS Titanic was the world’s largest and most luxurious cruise ship of its time. While the ship proved to, in fact, be very sinkable, it became one of the most famous ships in history – and one of the most famous maritime disasters. We’ve collected photos that show what the Titanic was truly like.


The journey of the Titanic started in 1909 at the Harland & Wolff Shipyards for the White Star Line in Belfast, Ireland (now Northern Ireland). The Titanic was built alongside its sister ship, the Olympic, which unlike its more famous twin, had a long career on the high seas. These ships were so much larger than contemporary ships, according to The Ultimate Titanic, that the shipyard had to be modified to accommodate construction of the mammoth liners. The Titanic was designed by James Andrews and constructed by 15,000 workers over three years, most of whom survived the effort.


Three years and $7,500,000 (£1.5 million) later, and the RMS Titanic was ready to embark. The ship ironically advertised as “unsinkable” was set to take its maiden voyage from White Star Dock in the English port of Southampton. According to the SeaCity museum of Southampton, the disaster had a dramatic impact on the city: 500 households had family members who perished onboard.


Passengers arrived in Southampton and boarded the Titanic from 9:30 to 11:30 AM on April 10, 1912, according to Thought Co. According to Titanic Facts, there were a total of 1,317 passengers onboard the Titanic. According to Titanic Facts, there were 324 first-class passengers, 284 second-class passengers, 709 third-class passengers, and 906 crew. According to Dummies, a third-class tickets cost £3–£8, second class cost £12, a first class ticket was £30, and a first-class suite was a whopping £870, or $100,000 today. Those cabin prices in today’s prices range from $350 to $3500.


The Titanic is known for its luxury, but it also had fairly comprehensive medical care onboard. According to Richard A. Glenner and his colleagues in their paper “Titanic Medical Care: Second to None,” there was a whole team of surgeons onboard the Titanic, led by head surgeon Dr. William Francis Norman O’Loughlin. Like everything else about life onboard the Titanic, medical care was differentiated by class. Every third class passenger was given a medical exam before boarding. In particular, according to Glenner, the medical staff were screening for trachoma, a contagious eye disease that could cause blindness.


The grand staircase of the Titanic is undoubtedly one of the most iconic features of the RMS Titanic, both because of its beauty and because, according to Ultimate Titanic, it showed a level of opulence that was unprecedented in travel at that time. The staircase was made of polished oak and featured a domed glass ceiling and a clock. This staircase took passengers to the first-class dining room, according to Ultimate Titanic.


The ill-fated voyage set sail at noon on April 10, 1912. Although passenger boarding started earlier that morning, crew hires and supplies loading started a week earlier on April 3. A tremendous amount of food and libation was needed to furnish the culinary side of the White Star luxury. For example, they loaded 75,000 pounds of fresh meat, according to Titanic Facts – and that figure didn’t include ham and bacon, sausage, or poultry. There were also 40,000 fresh eggs; 40 tons of potatoes; 15,000 bottles of ale; and 8,000 cigars. All of that and more were in the holds and cabins when the ship set sail that day.


The Titanic had a few stops to make before sailing into open ocean. The first stop was Cherbourg, France, where more passengers boarded, including some of the most illustrious of the ship’s passengers. According to Encyclopedia Titanica some of these included the “Unsinkable” Molly Brown, John Jacob and Madeleine Astor, and the Duff Gordons, Lady Lucy and Sir Cosmo. The real estate mogul Astor was the wealthiest person onboard, according to History on the Net. Lady Lucy Duff Gordon was a famous designer and stylist. This photo was taken from the shore at Cherbourg while the ship was docked there.


This room is a prime example of the opulence of the Titanic. This cabin, stateroom B-58, was a first-class berth. A member of the Ryerson family or a governess employed by the family stayed in this room, according to Encyclopedia Titanica. First class staterooms were decked out in different period styles, according to Titanic and Co., including Louis XVI, Louis XV, Georgian, and Queen Anne. According to Titanic and Co., second-class cabins held two to four beds per room, and were decorated similarly, if more simply, to the first-class cabins. Third-class rooms consisted of simple bunk beds, two to six per room.


Shelling out the money for the first-class cabin meant getting access not only to ritzy private digs, but also exclusive lounge areas and unprecedented accommodations, like a squash court, pool, Turkish baths, and a gym, according to Titanic and Co. This photo shows the first-class lounge located on the ship’s Promenade Deck. Like some of the first class cabins, this room was decorated in the French Louis XV style. This was where first-class passengers would have read, gathered, and played cards during the voyage, according to Titanic and Co.


This dining room was a thing of beauty. According to Ultimate Titanic, the hall could fit 532 diners at a time, which was the largest ship dining room ever built up to that point. It was decorated in a Jacobean style and was based on the dining room at Hatton Hall in England. With a room so fancy, you bet that the food eaten there was fancy, too. According to Titanic Facts, the first-class dinner menu on April 14, 1912, offered items such as Consommé Olga, filet mignons lili, roast squab and cress, and peaches in chartreuse jelly.