Weeping rusticles, a 15-ton anchor hangs from the port side of the ship. The starboard anchor was deployed for stops in Cherbourg, France, and Queenstown, Ireland, but this one was never used. A fallen section of the bow’s steel railing lies nearby on the sediment of the seabed.
Lights from a submersible penetrate the rusted ruin of Titanic’s first-class promenade, once as inviting as a similar deck on the Olympic (below). Before the Titanic sank, the windows were opened, probably to load lifeboats. Millionaire John Jacob Astor IV put his 18-year-old wife into lifeboat 4 through a promenade window on the other side of the ship. He stayed on board and perished.
A single davit survives on the deck above the promenade. Two such small cranes, one at each end, were needed to lower a lifeboat to the sea. This one helped launch collapsible boat C, where J. Bruce Ismay—chairman of the company that owned the Titanic—took a seat and rode to safety. Block and tackle link Olympic’s davits to two of her lifeboats (below).
The Turkish Bath
Ceramic tiles framed in durable teak shimmer in the first-class spa. “For the first time in a hundred years, we see what passengers experienced in 1912,” says Ken Marschall, who created views of sunken interiors by stitching together multiple video frames. The facility on the Olympic (below) displayed the arabesque splendor that inspired the spa’s name on both ships.
Sailing in Luxury
A gilded clock rests intact on an electric fireplace in the elegant Straus suite, which looked like the one on the Olympic (below). Isidor Straus, an owner of Macy’s department store, and his wife, Ida, died together after she refused to get into a lifeboat without him. His body was found wearing a fur-lined coat, a gray suit, brown boots, and black silk socks.
As a tugboat guided the Titanic out of Southampton, photographers recorded the moment from a nearby ship. Five days later this symbol of the gilded age lay at the bottom of the North Atlantic. “It’s one of those stories that will always be told,” says explorer Robert Ballard.