Building the Titanic
• Titanic had three propellers, had a gross tonnage of 46,328.54 tons, and measured nearly 269 metres long nearly 269 metres.
• 100 years ago, the Belfast dry dock was the largest in the world, and it was here at Yard Number 401 where Titanic was crafted piece-by-piece.
• Ship designers Alexander Carlisle and Thomas Andrews requested the Titanic be equipped with 64 lifeboats, but the shipbuilding company and the White Star Line insisted on no more than 20 lifeboats, 4 more than the legal limit.
• Titanic was built to a two compartment standard. Any two compartments could flood and she could sail back to port.
• The first four watertight compartments of Titanic could flood at the same time and she could remain afloat.
• The Guarantee Group was a team of both specialists and apprentices charged with making sure Titanic's trip went smoothly.
• The Guarantee Group was led by Thomas Andrews and consisted of eight others chosen for the team.
• Thomas Andrews was last seen in the first class smoking room standing beside a big painting, staring into the distance.
• Roderick Chisholm designed the Titanic's lifeboats.
• Artie Frost and William Parr were last seen in Titanic's engine room, it is believed they were fighting to keep the lights on so more passengers could escape.
• None of the guarantee group survived, and no bodies were identified as theirs.
Thomas was born in 1873 to a prominent family and began an apprentice with Harland & Wolff at the age of 16. He worked in the shipyard during the day and took evening classes in mechanics and naval architecture. By 1907 he had risen among the ranks and had become the managing director of the design department. He was a well-connected young man in his 30s. His uncle was Lord Pirrie who was the chairman of Harland and Wolff. Andrews was an apprentice at first, and worked his way through various departments and got a taste for the whole shipbuilding industry. Soon Thomas was a rising star, and his uncle put him in charge of the design of new ocean liners. While this may seem like nepotism in Andrew’s case he was well qualified for the job. Everybody loved Thomas Andrews, they called him Tommy. He was a very personable man. He would walk around in the shipyard, he would talk to the workers, and he would actually listen to them and try to do something for them. Andrews found himself on the leading edge of a cut-throat industry – the competition for bigger and better ocean liners to meet the demand of the increasing cross Atlantic travel.
Roderick Chisholm was born in Dumbarton, Scotland in 1872. He moved from Clyde to Belfast to work for Harland & Wolff. His father James Chisholm had been a journeyman shipwright. Roderick Chisholm was the chief draughtsman for both the Olympic and the Titanic.
William Henry Marsh Parr
William Henry Marsh Parr started working at Harland & Wolff in 1910. He was an assistant manager in the electrical department for both Olympic and Titanic supervising the electrical installations on both ships.
Anthony “Artie” Frost
Artie Frost joined Harland & Wolff in 1888, at the age of 14, as a machine-boy. His father had also been in the shipbuilding industry – he had been a foreman fitter. Artie supervised the installation of the machinery on board the Titanic. He was a master fitter whose family still keeps the tools of his trade.
Robert Knight was an engineer who worked at Harland & Wolff as a leading hand fitter. After 21 years of work at Harland & Wolff he was seen as a valued hard-worker and was ready for promotion.
Francis (Frank) Parkes came from a large family and began work at Harland & Wolff alongside his four brothers at the age of 16. By the age of 21 he was recognized as a top apprentice plumber.
William Campbell was a talented, up-and-coming young apprentice who was honoured by being included in the Guarantee Group. He was a joiner apprentice on the Titanic.
Alfred Fleming Cunningham
Alfred Fleming Cunningham was an apprentice fitter at Harland & Wolff.
Ennis Hastings Watson
Ennis Hastings Watson was 18 at the time of Titanic’s maiden voyage. He was an apprentice electrician at Harland & Wolff.
• National Geographic Explorer in Residence Robert Ballard discovered Titanic 27 years ago in 1985. According to the law of the sea, Ballard and his team could have claimed the Titanic as their own property by removing a single artefact, but chose not to disturb the wreck.
• Two years after Ballard discovered Titanic, RMS Titanic Inc., a for profit company, mounted the first of many salvage operations.
• There are no international agreements in place to protect the Titanic from salvagers or overeager tourist groups.
• The Titanic's crow's next was knocked off presumably by a passing tourist submarine, knocking off an important piece of history.
• An international treaty and U.S. Legislation are now on the table and could start protecting the Titanic as early as 2012.
• Evidence presented to a federal court suggests an authorized expedition to the Titanic took place in 2002. Experts worry that more rogue groups have plans for 2012.