“…Mr. Molony’s potential breakthrough can be traced to an attic in Wiltshire, in southwest England, where a previously unpublished album of photographs chronicling the ship’s construction and the preparations for its maiden voyage had been gathering dust for more than a century.
The photographs were discovered by a descendant of a director of the Belfast-based company, Harland and Wolff, that built the Titanic. About four years ago, a collaborator of Mr. Molony’s acquired the rare photographs of the ship, meticulously taken by Harland and Wolff’s engineering chief before it left a Belfast shipyard.
When the two men looked closely at the images, Mr. Molony said, they were shocked to discover a 30-foot-long diagonal black mark on the hull’s front starboard side, close to where the ship was pierced by the iceberg. An analysis by engineers at Imperial College London subsequently revealed that the mark was most likely caused by a fire in a coal bunker of the ship.
Mr. Molony called the photographs “the Titanic equivalent of Tutankhamen’s tomb,” because of the richness of historical detail they conveyed, including the mark highlighting the extent of the damage.
Experts said the theory was compelling but were divided over how important a role the fire may have played….”
—James Cameron, Academy Award-winning director of Titanic.
“The Titanic For Dummies paints the whole picture of the most famous maritime disaster. It examines the building of the ship, life onboard during its maiden voyage, tragic decisions made that fateful night, the discovery of the wreck, and the many controversies that have emerged in the century since the sinking. Information includes:
• Theories behind the reason for the sinking (does the blame lie with the watertight doors, bad rivets, or crew negligence?), and when and where the ship split in two.
• A detailed look at how the lack of lifeboats — and the chaos that resulted in lifeboats launching before they reached capacity — resulted in lives lost.
• A Titanic “Who’s Who” identifying notable passengers, including those who were famous before the tragedy and those who gained fame because of it.
• Current thinking about reports of shots being fired onboard, the details of Captain Smith’s death, Murdoch’s possible suicide, and the band’s last song.
• Findings from the Titanic hearings on both sides of the Atlantic.
• A recounting of Robert Ballard’s discovery of the wreck in 1985 and the ongoing debate over whether to salvage the wreck or let the ship remain as a memorial to those who perished.
• A glimpse of the most fascinating artifacts salvaged from the wreckage.
• The Titanic in pop culture: from Broadway to one of the most highest grossing movies in history (being re-released in 3D in 2012 to commemorate the 100th anniversary).”