"I cannot imagine any condition which would cause a ship to founder. I cannot conceive of any vital disaster happening to this vessel." - Captain Edward J. Smith
"The appearance of safety was mistaken for safety itself." - Walter Lord, author of A Night to Remember
Just before midnight on April 14, 1912, the RMS Titanic, the largest ship in the world, hit an iceberg, starting a chain of events that would ultimately make it history's most famous, and notorious, ship. In the over-100 years since it sank on its maiden voyage, the Titanic has been the subject of endless fascination, as evidenced by the efforts to find its final resting spot, the museums full of its objects, and the countless books, documentaries, and movies made about the doomed ocean liner.
The Titanic was neither the first nor last big ship to sink, so it's clear that much of its appeal stems from the nature of ship itself. Indeed, the Titanic stands out not just for its end but for its beginning: specifically the fact that it was the most luxurious passenger ship ever built at the time. In addition to the time it took to come up with the design, the giant ship took a full three years to build, and no effort or cost was spared to outfit the Titanic in the most lavish ways. Given that the Titanic was over 100 feet tall, nearly 900 feet long, and over 90 feet wide, it's obvious that those who built her and provided all of its famous amenities had plenty of work to do.