With the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s sinking in 1912, many would like to see pictures of the wreck site as well as pictures of the ship as it was before the sinking. Many websites and several books provide these pictures, though some sources are better than others. This piece lists eight of the better sources to find pictures of the Titanic.
The Titanic was the largest ship of its day. Constructed inBelfast, Ireland starting in 1909, Titanic was 883 feet long and 93 feet wide, and it weighed 45,000 tons. It had two giant reciprocating engines powered by 29 boilers, and it had a rudder 78 feet 8 inches high. During its sea trials, it reached a maximum speed of 21 knots, which was extraordinary given its size. Because of the ship’s technological features, including watertight bulkheads and watertight doors operated electronically, a shipbuilder magazine labeled the ship as “practically unsinkable.”
The ship’s maiden voyage launched on April 10, 1912 from Southampton, England en route to New York City. The ship carried several of the world’s wealthiest and most prominent individuals, including businessman John Jacob Astor IV and his new wife, Macy’s owners Isidor and Ida Straus, industrialist Benjamin Guggenheim, Sir Cosmo Duff Gordon and wife Lady Duff-Gordon, and millionaires Margaret “Molly” Brown.
The evening of April 14, Titanic struck an iceberg, and the unthinkable happened as the ship sank into theAtlantic Ocean. Only 710 of the 2227 on board survived, as ship carried too few lifeboats for everyone on board. Survivors were rescued by the passenger steamship Carpathia later on the morning of April 15.
The Titanic remained undiscovered on the floor of theAtlantic Oceanuntil 1985, when an expedition team found the ship. Several other teams have made subsequent dives to the wreck sites, and videos of these dives are available on the various Titanic documentaries.
Titanic Pictures in Books
Although many Titanic books contain pictures, three titles are especially valuable for finding pictures of both the ship before the sinking and the wreck site.
One of the newest books available is Titanic in Photographs, which provides many rare pictures that were previously unavailable. These pictures were compiled by authors Daniel Klistorner, Steve Hall, Bruce Beveridge, and Art Braunschweiger, and Scott Andrews, who also wrote the excellent two-volume series Titanic - The Ship Magnificent.
Two other books of interest feature illustrations rather than pictures. Both involve famous Titanic illustrator Ken Marschall, who has made a name as a Titanic historian and is featured in several Titanic documentaries. The two titles worth reviewing are Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic and Titanic: An Illustrated History. The latter was written by Donald Lynch, another famous contemporary Titanic historian.
Titanic Pictures on the Internet
Quite a number of Titanic pictures are available all over the Internet. A few collections are more notable than others, and these are listed below.
History Channel provides two galleries of Titanic photos, including Titanic: Before and After and Titanic: Aboard the Ship.
This website provides more than a dozen Titanic galleries, including one that focuses on the ship's construction in Belfast in the years before the sinking.
Another gallery featuring 50 pictures of the ship and the wreck site.
The galleries available from National Geographic focus heavily on the wreck site, but they are worth checking out.
The pictures on this site focus on both the wreck site and the artifacts retrieved from the wreck. The company that runs the site owns salvage rights for the Titanic itself.