7 misconceptions and theories about the titanic debunked!
7. -The First SOS Message
Let’s start this list of with one of the more enduring Titanic myths that is still debated amongst historians and researchers to this very day. So according to multiple historical sources, Titanic was the first ship to use the “SOS” distress signal. Now like pretty much any myth and legend with ties to real life historical events, There’s always going to be a little bit of truth to it that has been exaggerated way out of proportion. The idea of the titanic being the first boat to use an SOS distress signal originates from the account of a conversation between Titanic‘s wireless operators, Harold Bride and Jack Phillips, after the collision with the iceberg. Bride jokingly suggested that Phillips take the opportunity to use the new “SOS” distress call, as it may be his last chance to send it. Prior to the events of the Titanic‘s sinking, there was no specific, internationally recognized standard distress call for a ship in distress. At the time, British ships tended to use the call “CQD,” which stood for “SEEK YOU—DANGER/DISTRESS.” In 1906, a wireless communication conference attempted to put an end to the confusion and pick a standard call that everyone could recognize. They opted for “SOS,” which, contrary to popular belief, did not actually stand for anything at all. The letters were chosen because they were both easy to transmit and easy to recognize, due to their distinctive pattern. Even a novice operator could manage them if necessary. After the collision with the iceberg, Captain Phillips initially transmitted “CQD,” prompting Bride’s suggestion to use “SOS,” too. At the time of the incident, The “SOS” system was still relatively new, by 1912, it had already been in use for years (even if it wasn’t an operator’s first choice). Titanic‘s use of “SOS” did, however, mark a more major adoption of the signal by British ships, and “SOS” is still recognized as a visual distress signal today.
6. It was never advertised as the unsinkable
According to everyone in this day and age, The Titanic was supposed to be “The Unsinkable!”. I mean that’s kind of what made the film so good (besides kate winslet), because it was the ultimate story of arrogance. Its builders marketed it as the greatest ship ever built, even calling it "unsinkable," which made for tragic irony when the ship actually sunk.
Well unfortunately in terms of this being one of the greatest stories of irony in history, This isn’t true at all. Now in all fairness, When the advertisements were plastered about the titanic, Advertisers did go out of their way to say that it was "practically unsinkable", However, the ocean liner's builders never claimed that it was completely failure-proof. Several publicity brochures from the era indicated that the Titanic and its sister ship, the Olympic, were especially safe and "designed to be unsinkable," but these were not widespread advertising materials. To sum it all up, while the word "unsinkable" was most definitely used by both the boat’s constructors and advertisers, it was always carefully qualified with words like "practically" or "designed to be." None of the builders ever ran around tempting the fates. The most logical reason for this false selling point going widespread to the public is because some news source got their hands on the brochures for this ship and shortly after the ship sank, then promoted the "unsinkable" claim as a major selling point, creating the hubris narrative that we all know.
5. Doomed From Its Development
So throughout the whole production of the titanic, It was said to have been plagued with so many curses and omens. The titanic was built in Belfast, and according to one rumor, the Catholic workers who labored to build her knew that she was doomed when they saw her hull number: 390904. Written on pieces of the ship by hand and then read backwards, it spelled: NO POPE. Now even though this would be the basis for a good horror film, There’s no proof or validity to her claims of this boat being haunted or cursed in any way or form. See, Titanic was actually assigned two different numbers while she was being built. The Board of Trade assigned her 131,428, and the number given to her by the Harland & Wolff shipyard? That was 401. Either way, definitely not NO POPE.
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