Artifacts From Titanic's Rescue Ship: the Carpathia

From Science Museum of Minnesota

Carpathia, one of the most famous ships in the Cunard line, was 58 miles from Titanic when its crew received the distress call.

In response, Carpathia raced through the icy waters of the North Atlantic to help. It arrived on the scene after Titanic had foundered, but the crew managed to rescue the 705 survivors of the disaster and carry them to their New York destination.

After the historic rescue, Carpathia returned to transatlantic service and was sunk by a German torpedo during World War I. Her wreckage was discovered in September 1999, approximately 185 miles off the southwestern coast of England.

The world premiere Carpathia artifacts will be displayed in a brand new Rescue Gallery within the Titanic exhibition. Dramatically retelling the story of Carpathia's heroic crew, this specially designed gallery will contain nearly half of all artifacts that were recovered from the ship's wreck site.

In addition, the gallery will highlight many elements of Titanic's rescue, including historic photographs, wireless telegraph messages, and the stories that led to Carpathia's moniker "The Ship of Widows."

Highlights of the Carpathia Rescue Gallery include:

- A flask, one of only five personal items found during the recovery efforts. Made of sterling silver and glass, this flask was recovered with a protective leather covering. The leather did not survive the conservation process, but its loss revealed an engraved stag's head and wine glass on the metal surface.
- A porthole, which weighs over 50 pounds and has its original glass and wood still intact. Visitors will also see two clamps/locks that would have kept the porthole closed during rough weather.
- A telegraph top which, because of its size and position, proved to be the most difficult item to recover from Carpathia's wreckage.
- A tiny cosmetics jar from the United Kingdom's Boots Pharmacy. Measuring at just 3 inches tall, this jar was recovered with its contents -- a yellow cream -- still intact. Floor tiles, glassware, china, and more.

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