Saturday, April 15, 2006

Posted aboard R.M.S. Titanic

At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, 1912, the British ocean liner Titanic sinks into the North Atlantic Ocean about 400 miles south of Newfoundland, Canada. The massive ship, which carried 2,200 passengers and crew, had struck an iceberg two and half hours before.

Titanic was more than the largest and most luxurious vessel of her time. She was also an “R.M.S.,” a “Royal Mail Ship.”

During Titanic’s frantic final hours, the ship’s postal clerks, along with steward Albert Theissinger and several others, desperately tried to save the 200 sacks of registered mail by dragging them to the upper decks and possible safety. Theissinger was the only survivor to recall seeing the mail clerks alive.

Shown above is a rare cover which was postmarked aboard ship. According to the The Titanic Historical Society, mail that was stamped with this particular frank is very rare only several have turned up and coincidentally were going to this same address in Washington DC.

The National Postal Museum has an interesting online exhibit, Posted Aboard R.M.S. Titanic, which can be viewed by clicking here.
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posted by Don Schilling at 12:01 AM