The Extraordinary Story of the White Star Liner Titanic; The Titanic and Age of the Transatlantic Steamship; Special Editions; by William Henry Flayhart III; 8 Page(s)
The most important shipping event in North Atlantic history was the
creation of the International Mercantile Marine company (IMM) in 1902. This giant shipping trust was the brainchild of the Philadelphia Quaker shipping magnate Clement Acton Griscom and was made possible by the financial backing of the New York banker J. P. Morgan. Among the many U.S., Belgian, British, Dutch and German lines controlled by the IMM, certainly the most famous among the British-flag steamship lines was the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company—more commonly known as the White Star Line.
Its flagship, the Titanic, was the largest ship in the world when it took its maiden sailing from Southampton, England, on April 10, 1912. Weighing 46,328 tons and spanning 852.5 feet long by 92.5 feet wide, it could reach a speed of 21 knots, or about 39 kilometers per hour. The ship could accommodate 2,567 passengers, although on its maiden voyage, it was not fully booked because not every experienced—or wary—traveler cared to face the North Atlantic in April. Only about half of the cabins had been sold, to 1,316 passengers. Their fate, and that of the 892 crew members, would become a part of history.