Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition
By Peter Genovese - The Star-Ledger
Of the 350 artifacts from the Titanic now on display at the new Discovery Times Square Exposition, the smallest items are the most touching and heartrending.
Powder jars and perfume bottles. Pocket watches and shaving brushes. Stick pins and tie clasps. Handwritten letters, glasses and a booklet advertising Captain Collings & Sons hernia treatment. The booklet cover shows a sailor at the wheel of a ship and these words: I'll Steer You Straight.
"A lot of the papers were preserved because of the quality of the leather in the bags and wallets," explains Alana Radman, leading a tour of "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition."
The tanning process makes leather repellent to micro-organisms, which accounts for the treasure-trove of paper and other personal effects retrieved over the years from the RMS Titanic, which sank on April 15, 1912.
More than 5,500 artifacts have been recovered from the wreckage to date; of the 350 pieces on display at the Discovery Times Square Exposition, 49 "have never been on display or seen by the public," according to exhibit spokeswoman Alison Sawyer.