Titanic at 100
Artifacts, exhibitions and material from our museums and archives and media from Smithsonian Magazine about the Titanic disaster on April 14, 1912
Postcard publishers wanting to capitalize on the market for Titanic disaster postcards were panicked by the news that the Cunard Line’s RMS Carpathia had rescued Titanic’s survivors. Because Carpathia was neither large, nor fast, nor elegant, few photographers had bothered to capture her image. Here an unknown publisher has resorted to altering a photograph of RMS Mauretania, fastest ship on the Atlantic. The postcard was mailed in New York on May 8, 1912.
Oscar Scott Woody’s set of post room keys, 1912: The largest key was probably for the registered mail bags aboard Titanic; the smaller keys were likely for desks or cabinets in the post office room. These postal keys and chain were recovered from Woody’s body. Via @Postal Museum
THEODORE ELY CONDOLENCE LETTER: Theodore Ely condolence letter, 1912 Confusion reigned after Titanic’s sinking as wireless operators and the press broadcast rumors. Thirty thousand people—including reporters, relatives of Titanic passengers, and the curious—greeted the rescue ship Carpathia when she docked in New York on April 18, 1912. Via @Postal Museum
TITANIC FACING SLIP: Found on Oscar Scott Woody’s body nine days after Titanic’s sinking, this facing slip bears one of the clearest surviving strikes of the ship’s onboard postmark (Transatlantic Post Office 7). Clerks placed facing slips on bundles of mail to indicate their destination. Via @Postal Museum
First-class passenger George E. Graham, a Canadian returning from a European buying trip for Eaton’s department store, addressed this folded letter on Titanic stationery. Destined for Berlin, the envelope was postmarked on the ship and sent ashore with the mail, probably at Cherbourg, France. The morgue ship Mackay-Bennett recovered Graham’s body. Via @Postal Museum