titanic


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Titanic

(tītăn`ĭk), British liner that sank on the night of Apr. 14–15, 1912, less than three hours after crashing into an iceberg in the N Atlantic S of Newfoundland. More than 1,500 lives were lost. The Titanic, thought to be the fastest ship afloat and almost unsinkable, was on her maiden voyage and carried many notables among the more than 2,200 persons aboard. These circumstances made the loss seem the more appalling to the public in England and the United States.

Official and other investigations revealed that messages of warning had been sent but had either not been received by the commanding officers or had been ignored by them. The ship had continued at full speed even after the warnings were sent. She did not carry sufficient lifeboats, and many of the lifeboats were launched with only a few of the seats occupied. Other vessels in the vicinity were unable to reach the Titanic before she sank; one, only 10 mi (16 km) away, did not respond because her wireless operator had retired for the evening. A study published in 2008 revealed that the disaster can be blamed at least partially on low-grade rivets used in some portions of the ship, which broke on impact and caused the ill-fated liner to sink rapidly.

The disaster brought about measures to promote safety at sea, particularly the establishment of a patrol to make known the location of icebergs and of stringent regulations about the proper number and proper equipment of lifeboats to be carried by vessels. The catastrophe inspired a large literature. An expedition led by Robert D. BallardBallard, Robert Duane
, 1942–, American marine geologist, b. Wichita, Kans.; Ph.D. Univ. of Rhode Island, 1974. From 1969 to 1997 he was associated with Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute, where he became the head of the Deep Submergence Laboratory.
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 discovered the wreck in 1985.

Bibliography

See L. Beesley, The Loss of the S.S. Titanic (1912, repr. 1973) A. Gracie, The Truth about the Titanic (1913, repr. 1973), W. Lord, A Night to Remember (1959), R. Brown, Voyage of the Iceberg (1983), B. Beveridge et al., Titanic—The Ship Magnificent (2 vol., 2008), and J. H. McCarty and T. Foecke, What Really Sank the Titanic (2008).

Titanic

British passenger ship sinks on maiden voyage (1912). [Br. Hist.: NCE, 2753]

titanic

of or containing titanium, esp in the tetravalent state
References in classic literature ?
The brow, with its massive depth and loftiness, and all the other features, indeed, were boldly and strongly hewn, as if in emulation of a more than heroic, of a Titanic model.
The doctor and his friends felt themselves in a very anomalous condition; an atmospheric current of extreme velocity was bearing them away beyond arid mountains, upon whose summits vast fields of snow surprised the gaze; while their convulsed appearance told of Titanic travail in the earliest epoch of the world's existence.
Ruins and basilicas, palaces and colossi, set in the midst of a sordid present, where all that was living and warm-blooded seemed sunk in the deep degeneracy of a superstition divorced from reverence; the dimmer but yet eager Titanic life gazing and struggling on walls and ceilings; the long vistas of white forms whose marble eyes seemed to hold the monotonous light of an alien world: all this vast wreck of ambitious ideals, sensuous and spiritual, mixed confusedly with the signs of breathing forgetfulness and degradation, at first jarred her as with an electric shock, and then urged themselves on her with that ache belonging to a glut of confused ideas which check the flow of emotion.
I fancy, however, that their strength was rather of the tetanic than the titanic sort.
There were many close by which not even the terrific strength of that titanic monster could bend.
A hideous roar broke from his titanic lungs--a roar which ended in a long-drawn scream that is more human than the death-cry of a tortured woman--more human but more awesome.
Rolling over and over upon the turf the two battled with demoniac fury, until the colossal cat, by doubling his hind paws far up beneath his belly sank his talons deep into Taglat's chest, then, ripping downward with all his strength, Numa accomplished his design, and the disemboweled anthropoid, with a last spasmodic struggle, relaxed in limp and bloody dissolution beneath his titanic adversary.
After Numa had again breathed normally and was able to roar out his protests and his rage, his struggles increased to Titanic proportions for a short time; but as a lion's powers of endurance are in no way proportionate to his size and strength he soon tired and lay quietly.
Carried along a few hundred feet above the ground she was better able to appreciate the Titanic proportions of the storm than when she had flown in the comparative serenity of the zone above the clouds, for now she could distinctly see the effect of the wind upon the surface of Barsoom.
At this exhibition of titanic strength I think we all simultaneously stepped backward, and Bradley drew his revolver and fired.
The bear had been attacked in the rear by some other mighty beast, and the two were now locked in a titanic struggle for supremacy.
He gave to all local charities, and was gravely depressed for a week when the Titanic went down.