ON APRIL 10, 1912
the SS Titanic
embarked on its maiden voyage sailing from Southampton, and bound for New York under
the command of experienced Captain Edward Smith. Despite numerous warnings of icebergs
from other vessels, Captain Smith assumed that the icebergs could be detected from the lookout
and did not reduce speed. This decision would have disastrous consequences. On April 14
at 11:40 pm, 409 nautical miles off Cape Race, Newfoundland & Labrador, the liner collided
with an iceberg and sank 2 hours and 40 minutes later.
The role played by the Cape Race wireless station is legendary –
wireless operator J.C.C. Goodwin received the first distress
signal CQD at 10:25 pm (EST). However, there is some speculation that
a 14 year old James Myrick actually received the first CQD.
The station then went on to assist as much as possible; helping to
coordinate the rescue effort and to relay messages to an anxious public.
Created to assist and encourage further research, The Rooms presents some
of the documents, photographs and published materials that are available
at The Rooms Provincial Archives relating to the Titanic disaster and
the subsequent response, including additional research sources
and information relating to the disaster.
This small exhibit explores Newfoundland’s connections with the disastrous 1912
sinking through related artifacts, documents and images from the Rooms’ collections.
From distress messages received at Cape Race, to items recovered at sea in the search
for bodies, these relics tell their own story of the deadliest peacetime maritime
disaster in history.