May 3, 2024 at 12:28 pm

This 1912 Photograph Could Show The Iceberg That Sunk The Titanic

by Trisha Leigh

Souce: Henry Aldredge & Son LTD

That’s the one, Detective. Book it for murder. Ha!

The iceberg isn’t exactly at fault for sinking the Titanic in 1912, but I mean…it’s existence didn’t help.

If you want to know what it looks like – or maybe you’re curious about exactly how big it was – this old photograph might be one more piece of one of history’s biggest puzzles.

The photo, taken by undertaker John Snow Jr., is purported to have been taken just two days after the Titanic sank.

Source: Wikipedia/Public Domain

It will go on auction soon and is expected to fetch between $5K-$10k.

1500 of the 2200 passengers aboard the ship perished when it sank, and John Snow Jr. was one of the embalmers summoned to the wreck in order to collect some of the bodies for burial.

Many of the passengers drowned, many more fell victim to immersion hypothermia waiting for rescue.

Snow and his fellow director at John Snow & Co brought 100 coffins and 100 tonnes of ice aboard the Cable Ship Mackay-Bennett, the first of four vessels to reach the Titanic to search for bodies.

They realized immediately they had not brought nearly enough provisions.

The Mackay-Bennett recovered 306 bodies from the water and used the class system onboard the Titanic to decide who would be buried at sea and who would be returned to shore.

Source: Wikipedia/Titanic Museum Branson

Assistant professor of urban sociology at Erasmus University Rotterdam Jess Bier confirms this was the case.

“Decisions about which bodies to bury at sea were made largely to the perceived economic class of the recovered victims, and those with third-class tickets  were far more likely to be returned to the water.”

First-class passengers were embalmed onboard the ship and placed in coffins. Second-class passengers were embalmed and wrapped in canvas. 116 third-class passengers and crew were left at sea.

The motivations were largely monetary, as first-class passengers were more likely to have life insurance or family that would pay for burial.

Auctioneer Andrew Aldridge at Henry Aldridge & Son Auctioneers, where the picture will be auctioned, explains why they think the iceberg photo is legit.

“Nobody can say for sure that this was THE iceberg that sank the Titanic. But what we can say is that after the rescue ship Carpathia, the Mackay-Bennett was one of the first ships to reach the wreck site and that the undertaker on board decided to take a photo of this iceberg.”

Source: Wikipedia/Titanic Museum Branson

So, you can follow that line of thought.

“He must have had his reasons for taking a photo of this iceberg. He captioned it Titanic and mounted it for posterity. It hasn’t been sold before and was acquired directly from Mr. Snow’s family by our vendor in the early 1990s. It is an extremely rare photograph and we are sure it will attract a lot of interest.”

It does make sense.

That said, I’m sure the photo doesn’t really do it justice.

If you thought that was interesting, you might like to read a story that reveals Earth’s priciest precious metal isn’t gold or platinum and costs over $10,000 an ounce!