Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition

These actual artifacts, recovered from two and one half miles below the surface of the North Atlantic, tell the story behind the legendary Titanic’s short journey from construction and destruction to eventual recovery. Walk her decks, peer into her cabins and meet her passengers and crew.

BEST FIELD TRIP EVER!!!

I have always been fascinated by the story of the “unsinkable” ship that did, in fact, sink on its maiden voyage.  We had an opportunity to see the exhibit on Monday, which is hosted inside the Luxor Hotel & Casino.  We spent all of last weekend learning about the Titanic and then watching a documentary called “Titanica,” and (of course) the 1997 film epic.  We were so excited for Monday morning to come!

There was a strict rule about no photography inside the exhibit, so any pictures in this post are things we brought home with us, things I found from the website, or pictures I took before we went inside.

My kids, posing with Captain E.J. Smith.  The picture is goofy, but it was the only one I had time to snap before heading in.

The whole group…ready to go!

Before we entered the exhibit, we each received a boarding pass with the name of an actual passenger from Titanic.  The kids and I were lucky enough to receive 1st class tickets.  We already knew from our research that most of the 3rd class passengers perished.  😦

I have linked the biographical information for each passenger on their respective tickets, if you want to learn more about them.

We would discover at the end of the exhibit whether our passengers were survivors or victims.

As we entered the exhibit, we were flooded with images and information.  The building plans, the company that built her, and everyone that made the “ship of dreams” a reality.

We moved through hallways made to recreate the conditions of the 3rd class decks, complete with staterooms.  There were two sets of bunkbeds in each room with barely any space to walk in between them.  Stories of the passengers lined the walls.  So many of the people who sailed on Titanic had booked passage on other liners, only to be moved to Titanic due to a coal strike.  That broke my heart!

The first class cabins were pretty amazing.  This is not even one of the largest ones!  A ticket for first class was $2,500 in 1912.  The two largest cabins were $4,500!  That’s somewhere in the range of $60,000 today.

I couldn’t believe the artifacts they have been able to recover.  Jewelry, money (paper!), clothing, china with the ‘White Star’ logo still legible….amazing!

We walked the promenade deck, complete with a moonless night and dazzling stars.  We tried to imagine looking out across the ocean and trying to spot an iceberg.  It was so dark!

My kids’ favorite room was the iceberg room.  There is a huge chunk of ice meant to represent the berg that hit the Titanic that night.  Touching that, feeling how cold it was, and realizing that water was even colder….staggering!  The iceberg was fresh water, so in order for it to stay frozen while floating in salt water, the salt water had to be even colder – colder than 28 degrees.  We all held our hands on the ice for as long as we could to imagine the pain and fear they experienced.

They have recovered a large piece of the hull which is now part of the exhibit.  The piece is much larger than the picture would have you believe.  I wish I could have taken a picture myself with someone standing next to it for you to really grasp the size.  The room had 30 foot ceilings (at least!) where this is housed.  Yet, it’s a tiny square of the Titanic over all.

The glass is still in some of the portholes; cracked, but intact.  There was a bottle of wine in one of the rooms with wine still inside the bottle!  I am still trying to understand how that happened when the pressure at the debris field is 6,000 lbs per square inch.

These dishes were found lined up like dominoes as the bottom of the sea.  The cabinet which housed them fell intact and then the wood rotted away, leaving them in the sand.  Just.like.this.  Crazy, right?

The story of this family was the most interesting to my own:

Phillip LaRouche and his family.

He was the only black passenger aboard the Titanic.  His family is multiracial, which was extremely rare in 1912 (even in France, where his wife was from).  He managed to place his pregnant wife and two daughters in a lifeboat, but he perished.  His body was never recovered.

 

This trip (for me) was the experience of a lifetime.  I still have chills thinking about the 1,500 people who died that night.  Their stories are haunting.  Cole, Sydni, and Zoey are still talking about it and they wanted to know all about the passengers listed on the boarding passes.  It’s been a wonderful learning opportunity.

If you were wondering, the girls and I survived the sinking.  As ladies in 1st class, we were the first into the few lifeboats available.  Zoey’s husband perished, as well as Cole.

If you have a chance to visit this exhibit, either in Vegas or the next city it moves to, don’t hesitate to go! It’s a wonderful experience.

Here we are, with our best pals, on the grand staircase!  The very spot where Rose met Jack to be together forever!  😀

BEST FIELD TRIP EVER!

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