This afternoon, I took advantage of ‘Summer Hours’ and went to visit the long-running exhibition at the O2 all about the Titanic, and artefacts found within it. As far as I know, it is the only place in the world that you can actually see genuine artefacts found within the sunken ship. I learnt today that it wasn’t until an unbelievable 72 years after it sank that they were able to utilise the technology and get deep enough down to explore it.
The exhibition itself is actually worth the entry fee, spread throughout many rooms, and containing a large variety of interesting items to read and look over. Photography is not permitted anywhere within the exhibition [I got scolded by the ‘security’ guards a few times just for having my mobile phone out let alone for taking photographs]. However, that said I did manage to get a few photographs in. It’s quite amazing what they have actually managed to rescue from down there. There are linen handkerchiefs that have been on the sea bed for over 80 years, that still look somehow in pretty good condition. Probably still blow my nose on it today if I am honest. Along with this, there are so many personal possessions that have somehow been tracked back to their owners, creating small case studies of the passengers that travelled on the one and only voyage.
Below is what I managed to take photographs of, but there is so much more and I highly recommend paying it a visit if you have time between now and August 29th.
These are the floor plans of the various levels that made up the Titanic. Apparently it was the first vessel of its kind to feature a revolutionary three propeller system.
Draughtsmen working on the layout of the Titanic
This is a recreation of how a room would have looked on the First Class deck
This is a tap from the First Class bathroom suite, set into marble. Apparently all the taps had a spring back mechanism to ensure that water wasn’t wasted on board.
Fixtures and fittings used for handrails etc
Wine and Champagne bottles. This bottle here still contains Champagne, and hasn’t been uncorked since it was recovered.
This is the actual signal wheel used to send messages down to the engine room, and popularised by the film ‘Titanic’ etc. Think ‘FULL SPEED AHEAD’ and other commands.
Adolphe Saalfeld carried perfume vials on board as he hoped to take them to America in order to sell the scents. Amazingly, the vials survived and the scents can still be smelled today. The box that these were in had holes cut into it so that you could ‘sample’ them.