Titanic Exhibit

There’s a great Titanic exhibit at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley now through January 7, 2018.  Looking at the artifacts and recreations and seeing the story of how it was discovered can give you goose bumps and it wouldn’t just be because it’s pretty cold in the exhibit area.  (Take a sweater)  Titanic is one of those timeless stories that keeps people from all over the world fascinated.


Kongo was fascinated by a gigantic model of the sunken ship.  The detail of the wreck on the floor of the ocean was amazing.


The monkey can only imagine the patience and intricate labor that went into constructing it.


The exhibit has several sets from the movie Titanic as well, including this set of the fancy stateroom before the ship.


A recreation of the radio room which sent out the distress calls was also part of the exhibition.


Clever lighting effects gave the appearance of the ocean floor under water and showed artifacts that were scattered about the wreckage on its way to the bottom of the ocean.



Within the exhibit you can watch several short movies that tell the story of the recovery and the secret mission that the underwater explorers were on when they found the ship. Interviews with the explorers and and controllers of the underwater robots gives you sharp insight into how complicated the recovery efforts were two miles below the surface of the sea.


Ironically, many of the initial lifeboats that were lowered held very few people.  Nobody wanted to believe that the ship was actually sinking.  Captain Smith delayed giving the order to abandon ship even when the ship’s architect, who was aboard for the first sailing, told him that the ship was going to sink and there was nothing anybody could do about it.  Both Captain Smith and the architect, Thomas Andrews, went down with the ship.

1,500 people, nearly two thirds of those aboard Titanic, perished in the disaster.  Being in First Class considerably improved the odds of survival but even famous personages like John Jacob Astor died.  His wife, Madelene, who was 18 and pregnant survived.  Women and children survived at a much higher rate than men but even then, only 34% of women in 3rd Class made it.

It always helps to upgrade!  A first class ticket would have cost about $1,700 in today’s dollars land would have secured a relatively simple berth.  One of the two Parlor Suites went for a cool $50K.

Iron girders used in the movie

A couple of things Kongo learned that he didn’t know before was that the collision with the iceberg cause a 300-foot gash along the starboard side of the ship below the waterline.  Even the advanced damage control features on the ship couldn’t prevent its loss with that much damage.  The ship broke in two before it sank; the forward section filling up with water first and bending the ship down.  The ship had four smokestacks but only needed three.  The fourth stack was to make the ship look balanced.

The exhibit travels around so if it comes to your city you should certainly see it. Admission to the Reagan Library is $29 and includes entrance to the exhibit.  Renting a recording device to learn about what you’re looking at is another $7.

Travel safe.  Have fun!


4 thoughts on “Titanic Exhibit

  1. Very interesting post – thank you! I saw something fascinating on TV last week. It said that before the Titanic sailed there was a fire in the coal room that couldn’t be put out. Owners didn’t want to delay the voyage, so she sailed anyway. The gash in the side was in the exact spot that the coal fire was burning at, which in theory greatly weakened the metal: http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/coal-fire-may-have-helped-sink-titanic-180961699/

    1. Interesting. The gash was actually about 100 feet long below the waterline and cut across several compartments. Had it just been the one spot where there was a coal fire it wouldn’t have hurt the ship so much. Coal fires were fairly common during that period of steam sailing.


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