Posts Tagged ‘Titanic anniversary’

New Yorkers who didn’t board the Titanic

April 2, 2012

Smithsonian Magazine ran a fascinating article last month on famous men who missed booking a ride on the Titanic—saving themselves from almost certain death that April morning in 1912.

Some New Yorkers were on that list, like financier J. Pierpont Morgan (left).

“Morgan attended the ship’s launching in 1911 and had a personal suite on board with his own private promenade deck and a bath equipped with specially designed cigar holders,” writes Smithsonian‘s Greg Daugherty.

“He was reportedly booked on the maiden voyage but instead remained at the French resort of Aix to enjoy his morning massages and sulfur baths.”

Another New Yorker who changed his mind about booking passage was Theodore Dreiser (right), West Village resident and author of Sister Carrie.

Dreiser was thinking of taking the Titanic back to New York from Europe, where he was on holiday. “But an English publisher talked him out of the plan, persuading the writer that taking another ship would be less expensive,” writes Daugherty.

Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt (left), transportation heir and resident of the luxe Hotel Vanderbilt on Park Avenue and 34th Street, also was looking for a way to return to New York from Europe.

Vanderbilt bought a ticket for the Titanic, then canceled at the last minute.

Three years later, he died on the torpedoed Lusitania, deemed a hero for helping others to the life boats and giving his vest to a second-class passenger.