Reflections and Reactions - Queenstown 1912
A view of what everyday life was like in Cobh – then Queenstown – in 1912 set against the shocking news of the Titanic’s sinking only four days after leaving Cork Harbour.
Model of Titanic at Cobh Museum
On 11th April 1912, as the people of Queenstown were going about their daily life, RMS Titanic was seen "steaming slowly into view, a majestic monster floating … into the harbour". This was the ship's last port of call on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. Emigrants made up most of the 123 passengers who crowded the tenders taking them to the vessel.
Titanic remained about two hours in the outer harbour, as the new passengers boarded and others disembarked. Nearly 1,400 sacks of mail were also loaded. Some Queenstown residents watched as the ship departed, but most probably continued with their routine tasks. After all, emigrant vessels were a common sight in the busy port town.
The next day the local newspaper, The Cork Examiner, described the ship in detail and wrote "the dangers of the seas are practically non existent on these latest magnificent vessels".
Four days later the shocking news of the sinking of the Titanic swept around the world.
The centre piece of this exhibition is the Pilots’ Log Book showing the exact time of arrival and departure of the Titanic from Cork Harbour on 11th April 1912.
Passengers waiting to board tenders at the White Star Line wharf in Queenstown / Cobh
Leisure, childhood, fashion and the commercial life of Queenstown are shown through some unusual pieces which include samples of Irish Lace, dolls, souvenirs, postcards, items from a local pharmacy of that time, a school roll book, and an amazing selection of photographs.
Postcard from a departing passenger
A copy of a letter from a survivor (Eugene Daly who boarded in Queenstown) and a reamer(tool used in riveting) used in Harland and Wolff shipyard are on display together with some White Star artefacts.
Extracts from Minutes of the Queenstown Urban District Council of early 1912 similarly reflect the day to day life and business of the town.
Also from the period is an exhibition detailing the presence of the American Navy in Queenstown during the First World War.
Copyright Cobh Museum 2012