In the early 1900s, more than a million people emigrated from Europe to the United States. White Star and Cunard, two British shipping companies, competed for the most passengers to cross the Atlantic. In 1907 Cunard beat White Star. The success of Cunard frightened the director of White Star. So in 1907 they came up with an idea to build three huge liners. White Star planned on making their ships not as fast as Cunard’s winning ship, but bigger to attract more people. The new ships were built in Belfast by Lord Pirrie’s company, Harland and Wolff. Pirrie’s nephew, Thomas Andrews was head of design for the Titanic. It took two years to build these three massive liners Titanic, Olympic, and Britannic. It took 3,000 people to build the Titanic, during the process 450 people were injured and 17 died. On May 31, 1911 the Titanic was launched into the water. At the time of the launch the boat weighed 26,000 tons and it was as empty as a shell. Before it could carry any passengers it had a series of tests to pass, called sea trials. On April 2, 1912 the ship was sent to open waters in Belfast, where she sailed on her own powers for the first time. The Titanic passed her emergency stop test with three minutes and 15 seconds. This made Titanic officially sea worthy. On April 10th 1,000 passengers were put onto the boat and shown their cabin. Noon that day Titanic took off on her first trip to France, Ireland, and America.
Before the Titanic could completely begin her voyage she took two short stops at Cherbourg in France and Queenstown in Ireland. April 11th Titanic was booked with 1,324 passengers and 899 crew members and set sail for New York. “So far we are having a delightful trip. The weather is beautiful and the ship magnificent.....it’s like a floating town”, said passenger Harvey Collyer in a letter to his parents. (Chrisp 9) The ships propellers, lights, heating, and elevators were all steam powered. Twenty-nine massive boilers produced the steam and were heated by 162 coal-burning furnaces. Team of stokers scooped coal into the furnaces that warmed the boilers. The stokers shoveled out 100 tons of ash a day. “Trimmers” kept the coal level and raked it down chutes to the stokers below them. These two groups had very filthy and dangerous jobs. The ship held 325 first-class passengers. Most of these passengers traveled with maids, servants, nurses, and chauffeurs. Their rooms were on the ship’s top level, so they were far away and could not hear the engines noise. The first- class passengers were to be treated as if they were at a very expensive hotel. These passengers were looked after by stewards and stewardesses. These people wore numbered badges in order of who they looked after. They would help the passengers dress, clean their rooms, deliver drinks, walk their dogs, and comfort them if they begin to feel seasick. On deck B and C there were 39 first-class suites. These suites included bedrooms, bathrooms, toilets, elegant lounges, and extra rooms for servants. These passengers were extremely fortunate they had private bathrooms, all other passenger had to use the public baths. The first-class passengers had access to the Promenade Deck, which was for passengers to just enjoy the sea air; there were three cafes available to them as well. The first-class passengers had access to a gym, The Turkish Bath which included a steam room, hot and cold rooms, and an electric bath, and a swimming pool. For dinner the men would dress in black tailcoats and a bow tie and