The Chamber of Commerce of New York

Building the City > The Loss of the Titanic

By 1910, the ten-thousand-ton liners had been superseded yet again. Fifteen steamships were reported to top the twenty-thousand-ton barrier, and two vessels under construction – the Olympic, and her sister ship, the Titanic – mocked all previous limits, weighing in at 45,000 tons. The rivets on Titanic alone weighed nearly as much as one of the steamers operated a generation earlier by the Red Cross Line. 

In 1912, the loss of the Titanic cost the life of at least one member, Isidor Straus, and reminded others, yet again, that human industry had not conquered the dangers of the natural world. The “terrible loss of life has stirred the Nations of the World,” the merchants wrote, “to an acute appreciation of dangers to navigation and possibilities of disaster on a scale heretofore believed to be impossible in the case of the most advanced and modern examples of marine architecture, and under the rules of navigation and on the courses used in recent years …” 

The disaster did little to curtail transatlantic traffic, which continued to increase in the years 1912 and 1913.

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