The RMS Titanic was built by Harland and Wolff, the Belfast-based shipbuilders. The owners were the White Star Line.
Thomas Andrews was the naval architect in charge of designing the ship (he joined the maiden voyage and died aboard Titanic when she sank).
The British-born Joseph Bruce Ismay was the chairman of the White Star Line, whilst the American J. P. Morgan was the financier.
International Mercantile Marine Co. (IMM) were the parent corporation of the White Star Line.
Titanic was built in response to the earlier arrival of new, faster liners from the rival company Cunard (see ‘Cunard – The Rivals’ below).
Above: Portraits of J. Bruce Ismay, the White Star Line chairman (left), and J. P. Morgan, financier of the company (right).
Cunard – The Rivals
1906 – the year in which Cunard, White Star Line’s greatest rival, introduced RMS Lusitania (launched 07 June 1906) and RMS Mauretania (launched 20 September 1906), at that time the two fastest ocean liners at sea.
10 October 1907 – the date on which Lusitania first achieved the Blue Riband (an unofficial award for the fastest passenger liner crossing of the Atlantic Ocean), setting a new record time of 4 days, 19 hours and 52 minutes, at an average speed of 23.99 knots (44.43 km/h).
4 – the number of times Lusitania set a record time (October 1907, May 1908, July 1908, and August 1909).
30 September 1909 – the date on which Mauretania took the Blue Riband away from her sister ship, achieving an average speed of 26.06 knots (48.26 km/h) and setting a new record time of 4 days, 10 hours and 51 minutes.
20 – the number of years over which Mauretania retained the Blue Riband, until it was taken by SS Bremen in 1929.
16 April 1908 – the date White Star Line announced their intention to build Olympic, a new class of super liner that would not attempt to compete on speed but rather would become the largest ocean going liners afloat.
22 April 1908 – the date White Star Line announced that they would also be building a sister ship to Olympic, the Titanic.
14,000 – the number of people employed at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in 1912.
20% – the approximate amount of the workforce engaged in building the Titanic, around 3,000 men.
More To Explore