This May Be the Iceberg That Sunk the Titanic

The RMS Titanic hit an iceberg and sank on the night of April 14, 1912. The nearest ship, the Carpathian, arrived in time to rescue 706 people, which left 1522 dead, either floating among the wreckage or at the bottom of the ocean still aboard the ship. The CS Mackay-Bennett was the first of several recovery ships sent to the spot, arriving two days after the disaster. Funeral director John R. Snow, Jr. was aboard, and is believed to have taken this photograph of an iceberg during the recovery operation. Is it the iceberg that sunk the Titanic? There's no way to know for sure, but it is the only photographic evidence we have of an iceberg in that area. The photograph went up for auction in April, expected to draw between $5,000 and $8,500. It sold for $32,000.

But even more interesting is the recovery mission itself. The Mackay-Bennett was dispatched with 100 coffins and 100 tons of ice to bring back the remains of those who did not survive the sinking. That ship recovered 306 bodies, more than any of the recovery ships that followed. Bodies were handled differently depending on the status of the person, with first-class passengers being embalmed and steerage passengers getting a burial at sea. Read about the photograph and the mission of the Mackay-Bennett at Artnet. -via Strange Company

(Image source: Henry Aldridge and Son Ltd.)  


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