To the memory of the Chief Engineer of the Titanic, JOHN BELL, and his staff of thirty-three assistants, who stood at their posts in the engine- and boiler-rooms to the very last, and went down with the ship, this work is dedicated.
Among the many questions which have arisen out of the loss of the Titanic there is one, which, in its importance as affecting the safety of ocean travel, stands out preeminent: “Why did this ship, the latest, the largest, and supposedly the safest of ocean liners, go to the bottom so soon after collision with an iceberg?”
A Titanic, as thus modified, might reasonably be pronounced unsinkable. To such a ship we could confidently apply the verdict of Brunel, as recorded in his notes on the strength and safety of the Great Eastern: “No combination of circumstances, within the ordinary range of probability, can cause such damage as to sink her.”
Published three months after the sinking of the Titanic, this is the rarest and the most learned of the early books on the disaster. In it, the crusading editor of the Scientific American magazine shows that passenger safety had been repeatedly sacrificed in the competition for luxury and speed between the great shipping lines, and that the Titanic was much less safe than the Great Eastern, a liner launched more than 50 years previously. Here you'll find the first published explanation of why the Titanic’s low bulkheads were insufficient to stop the flooding, how more lifeboats could easily have been carried on deck, and even why the unusual transverse arrangement of the boilers needed fewer stokers but ultimately cost more lives. Walker uses ship photographs and marine diagrams to show that an unsinkable Titanic – able to stay afloat long enough for all her passengers to be safely rescued – was indeed possible, if only the public would demand it.