More than a century after the RMS Titanic struck an iceberg and plunged to the bottom of the North Atlantic, interest in the tragedy remains unsinkable.
The public continues to clamor for details about the ship and its passengers — the estimated 705 who survived and the 1,500 who perished in the icy waters 453 miles southeast of Newfoundland on April 15, 1912. Through June 15, artifacts recovered from the wreck and the ocean floor are on display at Imagination Station in downtown Toledo.
“Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition” stirs sadness and wonder. Visitors will grieve for those who died and be curious about the passengers who once touched the artifacts that are in the exhibit. Who was the woman who walked in those shoes, the traveler who owned the hand-held mirror, the man whose shaving brush once lathered his face?
Which first-class passenger drank from the white cup on which tube worms are now frozen in time? Who ate from the dinner dishes, one of which appears to have a food stain after 102 years? Which passengers peered through the recovered porthole to see the ocean and the ice that doomed the ship? Who owned the rope chain necklace? And from whose wallet did the paper U.S. currency come – a $1, $5, and $10 bill and a fourth that is too deteriorated to know its denomination? Was it a first, second, or third-class passenger?
You also will wonder about first-class passengers who spent $2,500 for the voyage, the equivalent of $57,000 in today’s dollars, according to Paul Morin, Imagination Station spokesman.
When it left dry dock on May 31, 1911, the 46,000-ton Titanic was hailed as man’s greatest oceangoing achievement, and when it sank less than a year later, it was called one of his greatest failures. Yet as interest in the exhibit proves, it continues to float in our collective imaginations.
Imagination Station is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5 p.m. It is closed Monday. Titanic ticket prices for those ages 13 to 64, is $19.50; seniors 65 and older, $17.50; children ages 3 to 12, $15.50, and for school groups, $11.50 each. For more information call 419-244-2674 or go to imaginationstationtoledo.org.
Contact Rose Russell at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 419-724-6178.