Friday, March 29, 2013

RMS Titanic

Our family had a chance yesterday evening to see a very cool thing - the Titanic Artifact Exhibit at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. Julia's youth group had a block of tickets for evening entry times, and we were able to get enough tickets through the group that all four of us could go.

Everybody knows the basics of the RMS Titanic story, a White Star Line luxury liner that struck an iceberg in April of 1912 on its maiden voyage and sunk quickly with tremendous loss of life, so I won't repeat any of that here. The exhibit at the Franklin Institute was a collection of about 300 items retrieved from the debris field of the wreck, which lies in water over 2 miles deep approximately 375 miles south of Newfoundland.

I can't say enough about the quality of the exhibit; it was well laid out, tracing the history of the ship in chronological order, from its inception as an idea of the most luxurious ship afloat, to the fateful events that followed. The layout and lighting was well done, and the variety of artifacts was terrific. On display were everything from mechanical and structural bits through the personal effects and items of specific individual people. The personal items were the highlights of the exhibit. This truly was one of those times where you could feel the history of what you were seeing. The artifacts themselves were carefully watched over in climate controlled displays, but there was one exception to this. Near the end of the tour, there was a piece of iron girder that was in a case that had one small opening so that you could touch it with an outstretched finger. It may sound corny, but the opportunity to touch this piece of history was a moving experience for someone like me who has such a strong love of history.

The opportunity to see this really came upon us by chance, but I am very very glad that it did. I wish that photography had been allowed so that I could have taken a few pictures, but that is a minor quibble. The exhibit is only here in Philadelphia for another week, but anyone who has a chance to see this anywhere else around the world should do so.

No comments:

Post a Comment