Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Was it the Rivets?

According to a recent article in the New York Times, it was more than just an iceberg and poor watching keeping that sank the Titanic. The rivets were also to blame.

It seems that the overloaded ship builder Harland & Wolff ran into a series of setbacks in obtaining enough rivets for the 411-foot cruise liner. It opted, among other remedies, to outsource rivet making to local forges. Many of the forges were unskilled in making rivets, a process that was “tricky” according to Dr. Jennifer Hooper McCarty, who wrote her thesis on the Titanic’s rivets and was also a co-author with Tim Foecke of a new book called, “What Really Sank the Titanic”.

Iron rivets, instead of steel rivets, where also used in essential places throughout the Titanic, further compromising her hull’s integrity. Iron rivets were on the bow where the iceberg struck.

Representatives of Harland & Wolff dispute the claims, calling the information in the book circumstantial at best.

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