I went to the Titanic artifact exhibit in Melbourne, Australia a week or so ago, and thought I’d write a bit about it.
It was really well done, and quite amazing to see these belongings that had been in the wreck for 90 odd years and still intact. Most of it is or was bound in leather, and that’s why it survived. A lot of the metal things looked like wood, the combination of pressure and current gave the steel a woodgrain finish I think. There were things like buttons, money, insurance claims, someones boot, powder containers, parts of the ship like portholes and deck chairs.
The most amazing things to me were a stewards jacket, in very good order belonging to a steward that didn’t survive, a row of gratin dishes, found still stacked neatly on their side in the sand on the ocean floor, the full door in which the first class passengers came aboard and a huge chunk of the hull. It really brought home the reality of it all, that this is the actual ship I’m looking at.
They had also recreated the grand staircase, first class corridor, steerage corridor and room, first class stateroom and some parts of the decor and they were really well done. The security was mega tight, they were walking around everywhere and there was no photography allowed but rules don’t apply to me so I took a couple on the quiet (but they are bit blurry because I was being quick). You could get a professional to take a photo on the grand staircase if you wanted to…yeah I gave in and got one. How often can you stand on the Titanic right? Even if it’s just a set.
The hull of the ship. suspended.
As you walked through the corridors, you heard different sounds. For example you could waltz down the first class corridor to the music to reach the grand staircase, but by the time you were in the steerage corridor you could hear the engines. It was amazing. It also went through a timeline and as you walked down a corridor with the ice warnings from different ships written on the wall, it got colder and as you saw ‘Iceberg, right ahead’ on a turn ahead of you, you went into a room with an actual iceberg (it was a frozen thing, designed to show you just how cold the water was, you could touch it) and it made the whole room a bit colder and the experience that more real.
I’d definitely recommend it if you’re interested in the slightest. It’s on at the Melbourne Museum until October but I think it’s in the middle of a worldwide tour. Oh, and I may have caved at the gift shop and bought a replica third class mug, first class was available too but I never claimed to be fancy :p