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White Star Line And RMS Titanic TimeLine

1867 White Star Line purchased by Thomas Henry Ismay and Sir Edward Harland.

1869 Ismay forms the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company in order to establish White Star as a high-class steamship service.

1891 Thomas Ismay's eldest son, J. Bruce Ismay made partner of White Star and one year later Thomas retires.

1894 William J. Pirrie becomes chairman of Harland & Wolff.

1898 Morgan Robertson publishes Futility. The fictional ship is eerily similar to the yet-to-be conceived Titanic.

1902 White Star Line taken over by International Mercantile Marine Company created by J. Pierpoint Morgan. The purchase price is 10,000,000. J. Bruce Ismay becomes the managing director of White Star.

1907 J. Bruce Ismay and Lord James Pirrie plan to build two luxury ships, the Olympic and the Titanic, with a third, the Gigantic (Britannic), to be built later.

1908 White Star owners approve the design plans for the Olympic class ships prepared by Harland & Wolff.

1909 Keel laid down for Harland & Wolff yard number 401 to be built.

1910 May 31: The hull of the Titanic is successfully launched with 10 months of fitting out to follow. Attendance at launching estimated at 10,000 people.

September 20: Fitting out of Titanic delayed one month due to the Olympic/Hawke accident.

October 11: White Star officially announcs new date for the Titanic's maiden voyage as April 10, 1912.

1912 January: Twenty lifeboats are fitted on board the Titanic.

Februrary 3: Successfully drydocked at Belfast's Thompson Graving Dock.

March 31: The outfitting of the Titanic is complete.

April 1: Sea trials delayed due to high winds.

April 2: 06:00 am Sea trials conducted. Assisted by tugs through Victoria Channel to Belfast Lough. All equipment tested, including wireless. Speed and handling trials undertaken, including various turning and stop-start maneuvers and a major emergency stopping test are done.

02:00 pm Running test conducted. Travels for about two hours (about 40 miles) out into open Irish Sea at an average speed of 18 knots, and then returns in two hours to Belfast. All tests meet Board of Trade standards.

08:00 pm Leaves Belfast to Southamptom about 570 miles away.

April 3: Arrives at Southampton (under Captian Bartlett) just after midnight to begin provisioning and staffing for the voyage.

April 5: Titanic "dressed" for the citzens of Southampton on Good Friday.

April 8: Fresh food supplies brought on board. Cargo begins to arrive.

April 10: 07:30 am Captian Smith boards Titanic with crew. Officers have spent the night on board. Smith recieves sailing report for Chief Officer Wilde.

08:00 am Entire crew mustered followed by a short lifeboat drill.

09:30 to 11:30 am Passengers arrive in Southampton and board ship.

12:00 pm Titanic casts off and begins her maiden voyage. She has a near miss with the steamer New York by four feet. Delayed for one hour as a result.

01:00 pm Titanic resumes the 24 mile trip downstream to the English Channel.

08:00 pm The Titanic steams into Cherbourg, France on anchors.

09:00 pm The Titanic leaves Cherbourg and sets sail for Queenstown.

April 11: Morning Captian Smith puts Titanic through some additional practice turns to test maneuverability.

12:30 pm Titanic arrives in Queenstown, Ireland.

01:30 pm Anchored off of Roche's Point, Queenstown, Ireland Francis Browne, a Jesuit seminarian, disembarks and takes the last known photograph of the Titanic for the next 73 years as she leaves Queenstown for New York.

April 12 -- April 13: The weather is good and the sea is calm. The temperature is getting colder. The Titanic receives several wireless messages from other ships reporting ice.

April 14: 09:00 am The Caronia reports ice.

10:30 am Divine service held in first-class dining area.

01:42 pm The Baltic reports ice.

05:50 pm Smith alters course slightly to the south and west of normal heading.

07:15 pm Air temperature drops to 39 degrees F. Forward forecastle hatch ordered closed to prevent the glow from interfering with the crow's nest.

07:30 pm Californian reports passing 3 large icebergs.

09:00 pm Air temperature drops to 33 degrees F. The crow's nest is ordered to watch for icebergs.

09:20 pm Captain Smith retires to his cabin for the night.

09:40 pm The Mesaba reports pack ice, field ice and icebergs in the location of where the Titanic was traveling. Altogether the day's ice warnings show a huge field of ice some 78 miles long directly ahead.

10:30 pm Air temperature drops to 31 degrees F. Frederick Fleet and Reginald Lee take over lookout duty in the crow's nest.

10:55 pm The Californian sends a wireless message directly to the Titanic telling them that they are stopped and surrounded by ice.

11:30 pm Lookouts Fleet and Lee notice a low-lying mist ahead, but do not see an iceberg. Califorian's wireless set turned off.

11:39 pm Lookout Frederick Fleet phones bridge. Sixth Officer Moody answers the call and is told of an iceberg dead ahead about 500 feet away standing 55-60 feet above the water. Orders are given to reverse the engines and turn to starboard.

11:40 pm Titanic strikes the iceberg and begins flooding. Watertight doors are closed.

11:50pm Captain Smith asks designer Thomas Andrews and the ship's carpenter to conduct a visual inspection of the damage. First five compartements begin to take on water.

April 15: 12:00 am Smith orders CQD called over ship's wireless. Andrew's calculates the ship has an hour and half to two to survive. Boilers shut dow and the relief pipes against the funnels begin blowing off high pressure steam.

12:05 am Captain Smith orders his crew to prepare the lifeboats. First Morse lamp attempt begun and continued til 1:50 am but all fail.

12:15 am Titanic sends out its first wireless distress signal. Band is summonded to calm the passengers near the Grand Staircase.

12:25 am Captain Smith gives orders to start filling lifeboats. Distress signal sent again. Carpathia begins steaming to Titanic 58 miles away.

12:45 am The first lifeboat is launched (Lifeboat #7). The first distress rocket is fired.

12:55 am Lifeboat's #5 and #6 are launched.

01:00 am Lifeboat #3 is launched.

01:10 am Lifeboat #8 is launched.

01:12 am Lifeboat #1 is launched.

01:15 am The water is up to the name plate on the bow.

01:20 am Lifeboat #9 is launched. The last distress rocket is fired. A total of eight are fired between 12:45 am and 1:20 am.

01:21 am Lifeboat #10 is launched.

01:25 am Lifeboat's #11 and #12 are launched.

01:27 am Lifeboat #14 is launched.

01:30 am Lifeboat's #13 and #15 are launched.

01:35 am Lifeboat #16 is launched.

01:40 am Collapsible lifeboat "C" is launched.

01:45 am Lifeboat #2 is launched. Last incomplete wireless message sent.

01:55 am Lifeboat #4 is launched.

02:05 am Collapsible lifeboat "D" is launched.

02:10 am The last wireless distress signals are sent. Smith realieves wireless operators of their duties.

02:17 am Smith releases entire crew. Father Thomas Byles holds a short service with over 100 people on the aft Boat Deck as the band stops playing. Thomas Andrews seen in the First Class Smoking Room staring at the clock on the fireplace mantle as Smith awaits the end.

02:18 am The lights blink once and then go out. Funnel #1 breaks off.

02:19 am The Titanic breaks into 2 pieces between the third and fourth funnels. Slowly the stern settles back into the water righting itself for a short time then fills with water.

02:20 am RMS Titanic slips into the sea and begins its descent to the ocean floor. Collapsible lifeboat "B" floats off as Titanic sinks. Collapsible lifeboat "C" floats off and flips over as Titanic sinks.

03:30 am Carpathia's rockets sighted among those in lifeboats.

04:10 am The Carpathia picks up the first of Titanic's lifeboats (boat #2).

08:30 am The Carpathia picks up the last of Titanic's lifeboats (boat #12).

08:50 am Carpathia heads to New York with survivors from the Titanic.

April 17: Hired by White Star the Mackay-Bennett leaves Halifax to search for bodies at the disaster site.

April 18: 09:00pm The Carpathia reaches New York.

April 19 -- May 25: An inquiry into the Titanic disaster conducted by the United States Senate headed by Senator William A. Smith. 82 witnesses called.

April 22 -- May 15: Several ships are sent to the disaster site to search for bodies. 328 bodies are found floating around the area.

May 2: British Board of Trade begins formal investigation into the loss of the Titanic. 25,622 questions are asked of 96 people including many experts.

1913 April: As a result of the Titanic disaster, the International Ice Patrol is created to guard the North Atlantic sea lanes.

June: J. Bruce Ismay loses his position as chairman of White Star Line.

1915 Morgan Robertson dies.

1918 Carpathia torpedoed by a German submarine in World War I.

1934 The Depression forces the merger of the rival White Star and Cunard lines forming Cunard White Star.

1937 J. Bruce Ismay dies at the age of 74.

1955 Walter Lord publishes the classic A Night to Remember.

1965 Frederick Fleet dies in Southampton at 76.

1981 Jack Grimm unsuccessfully attempts to locate the Titanic for the second year.

1985 September 1: A joint French/American scientific expedition, IFREMER/Woods Hole, led by Dr. Robert Ballard discovers the wreck of the Titanic at a depth of 12,500 feet.

1986 Dr. Ballard returns to the Titanic and conducts extensive photographic exploration of the wreck.

1987 IFREMER/Titanic Ventures/RMS Titanic, Inc. expedition performs site mapping, artifact recovery, and photogrpahic exploration and documentation.

1991 Biological studies and metallurgical sampling of the hull plating are performed.

1994 The wreck of the Titanicc opens at the National Maritime Museum, London, displaying artifacts recovered by Titanic Inc. between 1987 and 1993.

1996 An expedition to the wreck site tries but fails to bring up an 11-ton piece of the hull.

Eva Hart dies at 91 being the last survivor with articulate memories of the sinking.


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