Sunday, July 29, 2012


Encyclopedia Titanica is a great online resource for Titaniacs and anyone interested in learning more about the ship.  I've been spending some time with its lists.

It has lists of passengers, which can be sorted by class (1st, 2nd, 3rd), lifeboat, and "survivor or victim."

I'm finding them eerily fascinating.

Of course, I wanted to look up some of my Titanic friends.

First, I looked up Anna Danbom, whose boarding pass I got at the Brucemore exhibit.  Here she is, with the picture courtesy of
Look!  On her lap, there's a tiny child. That's her son, Gilbert Sigvard Emanual.  He's just 4 months old at the time of the voyage.

The Brucemore exhibit didn't let on that she'd had a son.  He was lost, too.

What must it have been like for Anna and her husband Ernest, as they struggled on the sinking ship with a baby? As a mom, I remember that fierce protectiveness that comes along with being a mom of a newborn.

Yet both she and her child perished.

I also looked up Walter Douglas.  Oh, here's his picture, from the Brucemore website:

I remembered that the Brucemore exhibit said his body was recovered and buried here in Cedar Rapids.  So there was some information about Douglas on the "Descriptions of Bodies Recovered" page of Encyclopedia Titanica:

N0. 62. - MALE. - ESTIMATED AGE, 55. - HAIR, GREY.
CLOTHING - Evening dress, with "W. D. D." on shirt.
EFFECTS - Gold watch; chain; sov. Case with "WDD"; gold cigarette case "WDD"; five gold studs; wedding ring on finger engraved "May 19th, 84"; pocket letter case with $551.00, and one £5 note; cards.

You may or may not know this (I didn't), but White Star commissioned a ship to go out and recover bodies.  With the crew on board that ship, the Mackay Bennett, were an Episcopal priest and an embalmer.  They quickly realized that there were more bodies floating at the wreck site than they could take back.  

I cannot imagine this scene.

Alan Wolf, who wrote my favorite book (so far) about the Titanic, The Watch that Ends the Night, imagines this scene very movingly.  I'll share some passages from that book in a later post.  

Meanwhile, back to those lists . . . 

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