Chicago - Titanic, The Exhibition

Stayed overnight in Chicago in order to visit the Titanic exhibition of which I was aware because Gord had sent me this article from a Toronto newspaper:

After partaking of the complimentary breakfast at the Hampton Inn which included:

we headed for the  at the Chicago Museum of Science and History.

Pictures were not allowed but mysteriously appeared in my digital camera at the end of the day. 

Walter Douglas's picture appeared on a wall of passenger and crew pictures.

Walls displayed lists of lost and saved passengers and crew. Appearing in the list of 199 First Class Passengers saved:

  • Douglas, Mrs. Walter Donald (Mahala Dutton)
  • Leroy, Miss Berthe - the Douglases maid
    • Note: Berthe Leroy is listed as lost on the Titanic web site but I found out while in Cedar Rapids that she survived with Mrs. Douglas as shown below. I will email them to have this corrected.

Appearing in the list of 199 First Class Passengers lost:

  • Douglas, Mr. Walter Donald
  • Many small artifacts were on display. The ship's telegraph (the thing that sent control signals from bridge to engine room) and compass were the most interesting large objects. How did my camera know that? The corners of the plexiglas display cases appear in the pictures - darn camera. 

    And of course the large piece of the hull which was initially reported in the Toronto Star as being from the state room of Walter and Mahala Douglas. Now they say it is from a room of a passenger that canceled at the last minute. 

    Here is how one article described The Exhibition:



    By William Mullen

    A 13- by 20-foot piece of the hull from the doomed ocean liner
    Titanic, complete with portholes from two first-class cabins, took up
    a niche of the Museum of Science and Industry on Friday as workers
    began assembling a 25,000-square-foot exhibit about the ship.

    The jagged 13-ton chunk of the Titanic's hull was recovered from 2
    miles below the surface of the North Atlantic in 1998. Museum
    officials said it is probably the largest piece that ever will be
    raised from the celebrated so-called "unsinkable" luxury liner, which
    split in two and sank April 15, 1912, after striking an iceberg. More
    than 1,500 passengers and crew members were killed.

    The piece of the hull came to the museum on a flatbed truck from a
    firm in Front Royal, Va., where conservators had spent several months
    removing salt from the metal to keep it from corroding. It will be a
    major part of the Titanic exhibit that will be at the museum from Feb.
    18 through Sept. 4.

    "The most unnerving thing to me," said Joe Shacter, the museum's
    exhibits chief, "is that the glass is still in the portholes. From
    what historians can determine, those portholes were from cabins that
    were empty, after the man who rented them canceled his trip at the
    last moment."

    Shacter watched as a crane lifted the massive riveted section of the
    hull off the truck that carried it from Virginia. Workers attached the
    darkened steel section to gantries that moved it inside the museum.

    For the next three weeks, craftsmen from SFX Entertainment, the
    company producing the Titanic exhibit, will install replicas of parts
    of the interior of the ship, including a first-class stateroom and the
    ship's grand staircase. They will form the backdrop to more than 200
    artifacts recovered from the sunken ship, from dinnerware to clothing,
    letters and belongings of passengers and crew.

    "The thing about this piece of the hull," Shacter said, "is that
    visitors to the exhibit will be able to touch this piece in selected

    The deep-diving French submersible vessel Nautile first attempted to
    recover the hull section in 1997, raising it to within 215 feet of the
    ocean surface when ropes attached to it snapped. It sank more than
    12,000 feet back into the debris field between Titanic's bow and stern
    sections, where it was first found. The Nautile succeeded in bringing
    it all the way to the surface in 1998.