CD Rom: Building Titanic >Building the Titanic>Biggest Ship Afloat
The development of shipbuilding technology during the late Victorian era meant it was possible to build bigger and more powerful ships, capable of making quicker and smoother journeys, and providing more spacious and luxurious passenger accommodation,
In an 1899 edition of Scientific American, an artist imagines how White Star's ground breaking new ship, the Oceanic, might look if set down in New York's Broadway! Eye-catching comparisons like these provided effective advertising for competing shipping lines, and Cunard produced a twenty four-page booklet, Cunard Comparisons, comparing the dimensions of their liners to a wide range of well-known landmarks. .
At 882.5 ft long, Titanic and Olympic were described as the largest man-made moving structures ever built. Said to be as tall as an eleven-storey building, and each one-sixth of a mile long, they drew the following comparisons:
Washington monument: 555ft
Metropolitan Tower, New York: 700 ft
New Woolworth Building, New York: 750 ft
Cologne Cathedral, Germany: 516 ft
Grand Pyramid, Egypt: 451 ft
St Peter's, Rome: 448 ft
Gigantic size implied invulnerability, making the tragedy of the Titanic seem all the more unbelievable. Newspaper accounts of the disaster emphasised this by including further comparisons of the great liner's dimensions. Following the sinking of the Titanic, the April 20 edition of the Daily Sphere newspaper featured an artist's impression comparing the size of the Iceberg compared to the Titanic.
The dimensions of the Titanic have even been compared with those of Noah's Ark!
Activities for the Classroom
The dimensions of the Titanic provide a great starting point for numerous mathematical investigations.
These could include local comparisons.
In a letter to the Carlisle Journal, chemist Henry Sawyer said:
"I do not wish to write of the deplorable loss of the Titanic or of the men who died such heroes but I thought it might be interesting to some if I mentioned the following facts."
He then gave some local comparisons. The number lost he said would equal the Drill Hall packed to the doors; the length of the Titanic would be from the Steel Monument to Court Square and the length of the bridge of the vessel (92.5 feet) equal to Wetheral Viaduct.''
- Find out the height and length of London's Tower Bridge and compare with the Titanic
- Compare the length of Titanic with Cunard's Lusitania and Brunel's Great Eastern
- Compare the dimensions of the Titanic with modern liners like Cunard's Queen Elizabeth (2010) and Queen Mary 2 (2004)
- Approximately how many football fields are equal to the length of the Titanic?
- Compare the length of Titanic with the heights of the following:
Post Office Tower, London
Empire State Building, New York
21st Century Tower, Dubai