Sean Quinn| Editor in Chief
The titanic takes new life at the Franklin Institute. Titanic: The exhibition features artifacts and relics found in the depths of the ocean at the site of the shipwrecked Titanic. Not just a history lesson featuring the unsinkable ship’s design, engineering, and demise; the exhibition fully submerges you into the world of the maiden and only voyage of the world’s most famous cruise liner.
When you arrive you are given a boarding pass for the White Star Ocean Liner named the Titanic. On the reverse side you see the name of a passenger, their age, their home town, and their reason for departure. The ticket’s class is checked off and there is a small section that gives you a trivial fact about the passenger. Now you begin to walk through their shoes.
First there is the ever pleasing photo opportunity at the bow of the ship. The green screen behind you gets filled in at the end, so that you can forever have the picture of you and yours as Jack and Rose, or if you are like my family, a picture of us holding onto the railing trying not to drown.
Once inside the exhibition you are on the dock waiting for departure. Before you board, however, you read about the Captain Edward Smith who planned his retirement after he oversaw the maiden voyage of the RMS Titanic. Photographs of the construction of the ship and statistics about how much steel and man power the Titanic took to build, hung on the wall while glass cases showed an old and water damaged suitcase.
You then took your first steps up the ramp into the ship. Thus began your journey. Names and photos of First Class passengers accompanied by a table full of found paper money and coins greeted you. Turning the corner you find yourself on the beautiful iconic grand staircase for another photo.
The next few rooms explain what the Titanic was like for the first and second class passengers. Replications of a first class suite and the cafe with tableware from each class showed the major differences the price of your ticket could give you. While most of the serving tools have taken severe damage, none so much as the first class, for they were served with pots, trays, and spoon made of silver. The silver both tarnished and green, but also corroded from the salt water.
Past the replicated hallway where the doors had room numbers, you were taken down a ramp. The farther you got, the darker it became, and all of the once bright and welcoming lights turned red. The sound of being underwater was being played through the sound system as you realize you are in the boiler rooms.
While you passed information about the state of the art water lock doors, you turn a corner and see the messages of warning from surrounding ships in the Atlantic. Though these messages warned of icy water, the Titanic rushed forward at full speed.
The next room holds the ice burg and haunting quotes from passengers. A 3-D video was shown about finding the Titanic at the bottom of the ocean while a piece of the ship welcomes patrons to touch it. At the end, a long list of passengers names of who survived and died in each class hangs on the wall. Looking down at the name on your boarding pass, you can see if you survived.
The Titanic exhibition will not be at the Franklin Institute for much longer, so I suggest to take advantage of it soon. Tickets and hours vary, but once you are in the Franklin is yours to explore.