Why is there Titanic so well known compared to other sinking ships?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by mauriceq, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. mauriceq Well-Known Member

    Nov 1, 2017
    Why has the Titanic in particular become such a pop cultural phenomenon compared to other maritime incidents that no average person really is aware pf?
  2. Dorknought Well-Known Member

    Mar 8, 2018
    These Twitters in 2012 thought it was just a movie.
    It undermined the Victorian Edwardian view of the supremacy of technology so was a landmark event. There were a number of high profile and mega rich people on board.
  3. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2019
    This ship is itself was dramatic. Lots of very rich people died in the sinking, representatives of many of America's first tier ruling class families. There were no other major news events at the same time to eclipse the story.
  4. YYJ Well-Known Member

    Apr 4, 2019
  5. oshron Emperor of Rplegacy

    Aug 14, 2010
    Empire of Rplegacy
    i guess these guys saw the animated versions :p
  6. Barry Bull Donor

    Apr 21, 2008
    Hong Kong
    We are doomed.
  7. Mr J Hoping for no fires.

    Jun 8, 2007
    Augusta WA, Australia.
    Basically? She sank quickly enough that other ships couldn't get there in time to get everyone off*, but not so quick that the sinking was over and done in a short amount of time. Y'know there was time for drama and heroic sacrifice.
    *Well except for the SS Californian but that's a whole different cluster-f***k.
  8. Addlcove Well-Known Member

    Dec 15, 2012
    The boat sank, it was big news, then some guy in serbia gets himself shot and by the time that mess was over titanic was more or less forgotten and only came back to "public" attention in 1985 when the wreckage was explored by that theussau (sp?) guy
  9. CJvR Well-Known Member

    Aug 2, 2007
    Eh... Wow. Yeah it was over a century ago but still it is something that should be harder to avoid knowing really. At least that is it a real event if not the exact details.
    EWilanO, Barry Bull and Dorknought like this.
  10. TonyA Curmudgeon like, but nastier

    Jul 5, 2015
    South Florida
    Damn! Those twitter posts don't exactly make me proud to be an American...how stupid can we get?
  11. eltf177 Well-Known Member

    May 10, 2007
    I think it's because this particular disaster finally forced changes in maritime safety, much like the Coconut Grove fire forced changes in the fire code.
  12. SsgtC Ready to Call it a Day

    May 14, 2017
    Several reasons:

    1. It was the ship's maiden voyage
    2. She was the largest ship in the world at the time
    3. The number of people that died, making it the worst maritime disaster in history up to that time
    4. She sank slow enough that there was TONS of drama: the Strausses electing to stay together on the ship knowing they would die, Benjamin Gugenheim and his valet wearing their finest clothes and declaring, "we are dressed in our best and prepared to go down like gentlemen," John Jacob Astor, one of the richest men in the world at the time, dying after placing his pregnant wife in a lifeboat, the band playing until the very end, finishing with Nearer my God to Thee (haunting as hell in my opinion). The list goes on.
    5. Believed (at the time) to be the first use in history of the distress signal SOS which had just replaced the previous call, CQD.
    6. The fact that the Captain was supposedly on his final voyage before retiring (there are documents both supporting and disproving this)
    7. The dramatic rescue by Carpathia, rushing to Titanic's aid and nearly hitting several icebergs herself to try and save lives
    8. It was seen as the ultimate expression of how a man was expected to act on the Edwardian era: women and children into the boats, the men stoically staying behind to accept their fate, the crew remaining at their posts until the very end, knowingly sacrificing their lives to keep the pumps running and the power on
    9. The fact that the press had billed the ship as "unsinkable," yet she sank on her maiden voyage (note, neither White Star nor Harland & Wolff ever made that claim)

    And those are just off the top of my head
  13. steamboy Well-Known Member

    May 11, 2015
    I agree with what SsgtC said, with her having so many famous and ultra wealthy people aboard at the time of her sinking it would be like us loosing Bezos, Gates, and Musk in a single sitting as well as many other less prominent but no less wealthy folks as well.
  14. Khanzeer Well-Known Member

    Mar 30, 2019
    Yeah , equality of sexes now mean I'm elbowing my way to the front of the line , take that feminists
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2019
  15. Mark E. Well-Known Member

    Nov 11, 2007
    Forgottonia, USA
    Other points:

    In the fifties, a dramatic movie was made about it.

    Actress Molly Brown was a survivor who earned the nickname "unsinkable." Her heritage makes her "second citizen" of historic Hannibal, MO, after author Mark Twain.

    In 1966, the first episode of Time Tunnel on ABC featured the sinking. Time travelers Tony and Doug found they could not change events by warning the crew. That whole series was based on the issue that time travel could not change the past and in at least one episode, the travelers appeared to have been written into history.
  16. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    Not sure I'd agree with 1985 as a dividing point. When Raise The Titanic came out in 1980, I would have been about 11 years old, but I knew what the title was refering to without having it explained to me.

    The sinking has been one of those ubiquitous pop-culture topics for as long as I can remember. I had even heard the whole myth about how they bragged that God couldn't sink it, well before 1985.
  17. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
  18. Resurgam Teacher and Writer of Things

    Mar 27, 2014
    Two things:

    It was actually Walter Lord's A Night to Remember that brought the Titanic back into focus. Though the discovery of the wreck in 1985 did lead to a new wave of people discovering the story (myself included)

    Titanic was discovered by Robert Ballard and Jean-Louis Michel. You might be thinking of Jacques Cousteau, who did explore her sistership Britannic in the 70s but otherwise is not connected to the wreck.

    Otherwise OP I think @SsgtC 's answer is best. A whole lot of things coming together just so.
  19. CalBear Your Ursus arctos californicus Moderator Moderator Donor

    Oct 4, 2005
    Amazing. You managed to be something of a jerk while dragging current politics into a totally non-political thread.

    Do NOT repeat this noteworthy error in judgement.
  20. overoceans Well-Known Member

    Jul 5, 2012
    I think people can be forgiven for thinking it wasn't a real event. It's impossible to show, or even really speculate, that it gave rise to any butterflies that would be discussed in regards to politics, social issues, etc. IOW it's just a stand-alone issue, interesting only in connection with itself. I can't even really see how you'd justify including it on a school curicculum, to be honest.

    And these days, the James Cameron movie is probably referenced more than any scholarly treatment of the event.