Titanic Facts For Kids
You might have heard of the famous RMS Titanic luxury ship which sadly sank after hitting an iceberg on April 15, 1912 on her very first voyage.
Let’s explore some awesome facts about the Titanic.
On 30 April 1907, at a dinner between J Bruce Ismay and Lord William James Pirrie, the idea to build the Titanic sprang to mind.
They wanted to build a ship that was even better than the luxury Cunard line on the Atlantic.
Once they’d decided what they were going to do, the planning went full steam ahead.
It took 3 years to build and cost $7,500,000 (equivalent to $400 million today).
8 of the 3000 construction workers – who were paid $10 per week – died during construction.
The Titanic was built in Belfast in the Harland and Wolff shipyard by the White Star Line company. It was owned by JP Morgan, an American tycoon.
The big launch
After her launch in Belfast, Ireland on 31 May 1911 in the presence of about 90 crew members and a crowd of about 100,000 people, she took 62 seconds to travel the slipway sliding on 22 tons of soap and tallow.
It was a grand occasion. On 2 April 1912 the Titanic sailed for Southampton from Belfast.
On 10 April 1912 she sailed from Southampton docks on her first Atlantic crossing to New York.
The journey was meant to take 137 hours.
The captain was Captain Edward J. Smith, who was a master at sea with over 43 years’ experience.
Lots of people say that he actually ignored iceberg warnings as he was trying to set a new time record. This isn’t true. That would be very irresponsible!
What was the Titanic like?
The Titanic was almost as long as three football fields, as tall as a 17 storey building, with four smoke stacks; only one of the smoke stacks was for decoration to give the ship a balanced look.
The engines used more than 800 tons of coal daily and the top speed was 24 knots (27 miles per hour).
She was one of the first ships to have a telephone system and electric lights in all bedrooms, with four elevators, a heated swimming pool, a gym, two libraries and two barber shops.
There were 840 staterooms, 9 decks and 10,000 light bulbs. Wow!
The cost of a First Class ticket was $4,350 (£875). It was $1,750 for a Standard Class ticket and $30 for a Third Class ticket.
The Third Class tickets were mostly for families who were emigrating to the United States.
In many cases they had sold everything to get onto the Titanic and to give them some money to get started in America.
Those were some seriously expensive tickets!
All about the passengers and crew
Titanic could carry about 3,547 people when fully loaded, which is both passengers and crew but they sailed from Southampton with 2,223 on board.
1,324 were passengers and 885 were crew.
There were 13 honeymooning couples too.
When the Titanic sank, the total number of survivors was around 705. Of these, 492 were passengers most of them from First Class, along with 214 crew members.
All 25 engineering officers died whilst trying to keep the ship afloat.
Two dogs survived and the band played music till the ship went under.
Unfortunately, none of the band members survived.
What supplies did the Titanic have on board?
Here are just some of the supplies the Titanic carried (she certainly did carry a lot!):
75,000 pounds of fresh meat
40 tons of potatoes
1,000 loaves of bread
10,000 pounds of sugar
40,000 fresh eggs
6,000 pounds of butter
15,000 bottles of ale
The sinking of the Titanic
On 14 April 1912 the Titanic received warnings of icebergs in the area from other ships. The lifeboat drill for that day was cancelled by the Captain, so the crew didn’t know what to do.
After the second iceberg warning the ship changed course, which ended up being a big mistake as it took it right into a collision course with the iceberg.
More warnings came, but Captain Smith didn’t receive them. He also didn’t receive the final one at 9.40pm that night.
At 11pm the crew on the ship “Californian”, sent a message to say she’d stopped sailing due to icebergs, but the acting captain wasn’t interested.
The fatal iceberg was 15 miles (24 kilometers) away. There was no wind and the waters were calm. This actually made it more difficult to spot icebergs as you couldn’t see water breaking up against it.
Titanic hit the iceberg at 11.39pm. When the Captain put out a distress signal, the nearest ship – the Californian – 20 miles (32 kilometers) away, had turned off her wireless.
The ship Carpathia – 58 miles (93 kilometers) away – sent a message to say she was on her way, but she was actually four hours away.
Lifeboats were launched, but lots of them weren’t actually very full.
By 2.20am the Titanic slipped beneath the freezing water which could kill people quickly.
By 4.10am the Carpathia arrived and the captain Arthur Rostron said: “Except for the [life] boats beside the ship and the icebergs, the sea was strangely empty…”
By 8.30am the Californian arrived after realising the disaster and by 8.50am the Carpathia sailed for New York with 705 survivors and many dead.
It was a very sad occasion.
Interesting Facts about the Titanic
The approximate age of the iceberg’s snow was 10,000 years. Only 1/10th of its mass could be seen above water.
Titanic could carry 64 lifeboats.
48 lifeboats were originally planned for the ship, but this was reduced in number so the decks would look less cluttered. This meant that 20 lifeboats were actually carried aboard.
It took 74 years before the wreck was rediscovered 2.3 miles (nearly 4 kilometers) under the sea.
It took 15 minutes for the Titanic to reach the ocean floor, sinking at a speed of around 10 miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour).
About 6,000 artifacts have been recovered from the wreck to date.
When it opened, the movie Titanic was the first film to ever reach the billion-dollar mark.
The initial total amount of money the movie made was $1.84 billion.
It stayed the highest grossing film until Avatar passed it in 2010.
Read more about the story of Harland and Wolff and Titanic.