Why did the Titanic make an instant hit? What made her a national icon? How could she not? She was the biggest ship ever constructed, by far passing any other ship in size, luxury, and elegance. Think about it, the reason Titanic made a perfect hit, was because this ship by-passed other ships in so many areas, with the exception of speed. Until 1912 none ever thought of a ship, of such magnitude. Lets put it into today’s perspective, if a ship were built that was larger than anything that we could imagine, and by-passed every other ship in every area, she would probably make world news. Today we have ships that would make the Titanic look like a toy boat. But! In 1912, she was as big as they came. Through my knowledge, and my lifetime, I can’t think of a ship that over-awed the world. That’s why the Titanic made an instant hit, because the world had never seen anything like her, and never has since then.
How could she not make a national icon? Her fame went along with her country, the United Kingdom. This was something that Great Britain could be proud about. If America built a ship today that was as equally stupendous as the Titanic, would we not be proud of it? This was a sign of technological advancement for her country, and her people. It was an age where everything was getting bigger and better. An age when the automobile was making it’s first seen on the world page, an age when flying started its page in history. It was an age when, for the most part the world was at peace; none of the major World Wars had been fought yet. The Titanic was just as example of that age.
You could probably guess her main purpose; she was built to carry passengers between two great countries. She was built and designed to hold people in the utmost elegance, luxury, and comfort.
Fully booked, she would be able to hold well over 3,000 passengers and crew.
The Titanic had different classes just as any other ship. You have first class, second class, and lastly third class. It was kind of like a layer cake, the foundation of these layers consisted of sweaty stokers, firemen, and trimmers. Then you have the first layer of people, third class, poor immigrant families coming to America to start a new life. Then you have even another layer, getting better financially as the layers go. Second-class passengers, a little better off then those in third class, were people coming back from Europe, maybe spending time with family, or sight-seeing, just normal people in the world just trying to make a decent living. Then you have the cream of the crop, the sweet frosting on two layers of human life. First class passengers, prominent leaders in the world of art, wealth, political offices, writers, presidents of railway companies, bankers, and merchants. Such a distinguished group of people, for such a distinguished ship.
First class passengers paid $69,000 to sail in one of three first-class suites on the Titanic, and the third class passengers paid only $640. They both paid different amounts of money to travel on the same ship, going to the same place, and would get there the same time.
Now lets talk about some of the better-known people on the Titanic and try to put it in today’s view. Imagine if all of the people I’m about to bring to your attention would happen to board the same ship.
Compare Colonel John Jacob Astor, the wealthiest man in the world, to Bill Gates! Compare Molly Brown, to Martha Stewart! Major Archibald Butt, military aid to the president, to president aid Peter Pace! Compare, Charles M. Hays, president of the Grand Trunk Railway, to Cecil Groves, the president of Southwestern Airlines! Compare, W. T. Stead, a famous author, to Ethan Hawke, a famous author! Compare Francis D. Millet, one of the best-known American artist, to Diego Velasquez, he too is a famous artist! Compare Isidor Straus, owner of the Macy’s Department store, to Ken Hicks, the owner of JC Penny’s!
Now you can grasp the people of importance on the Titanic’s maiden voyage.
Not only was Titanic a perfect vessel, but she also had a perfect crew. The Captain had more than 40 years experience at sea. From the Chief Officer down to the Sixth Officer, each had 10 years or more experience at sea.Titanic was not built to sink; she was built as a dream, built to out stand the elements. Built to have a profitable career, not just make her first and only voyage.