In this history essay I will be writing about two rather unrelated things in US history, that were around during the early 20th century. These two things are: the Titanic(a famous and well known shipwreck), and American entertainment(which was changing thanks to some new inventions).
The RMS Titanic was the largest ship during the time, and was built during a time that the building material steel became a common building material. With steel you could build bigger and taller buildings, but you could also build bigger ships. The Titanic was completed in 1911, and was declared to be basically unsinkable(which is ironic because it turned out to be one of the worst shipwrecks in history), not by the ship designers though. The reason why it was declared to be unsinkable was because the ship had airtight water compartments and remote activated hatches, which did not make it completely safe from leaks, but instead more secure.
The Titanic departed on April 10th, 1912 from Southampton, England, traveling to New York City. The ship captain(Edward Smith), decided to head south to avoid the icebergs, and cross the Atlantic in less than a week. By the evening of April 14th the Titanic was near the coast of Newfoundland and was almost finished crossing the Atlantic. Around that time the Titanic was receiving warnings from other ships that they were icebergs and other ice obstacles in the area. The lookout crew unfortunately were not using binoculars, which made it difficult to see the iceberg until it was too late. Instead of steering the ship straight through the iceberg, the officer in charge of the steering tried to go around the iceberg, but failed.
The iceberg took off the heads of the rivets that were holding the hull together. This opened a pretty large slit in the side of the ship, which caused water to start pouring in. The flow of the water was so strong that it overwhelmed those airtight compartments, and the ship began sinking, and rapidly. Captain Smith called the ship’s designer, who then announced that the ship was going to sink in less than two hours.
The ship itself only had twenty lifeboats. These lifeboats total capacity was 1,178 people, the total number of passengers on the Titanic was 3,327 people. Which meant that around half of the total number of passengers could survive. The limited number of people that could go on the lifeboats forced Captain Smith to only let the woman and children go on first, which meant that many men did not survive. The Titanic tried to contact other ships in that area, but the closest ship had turned off their radio for the night, and the other’s were too far away. The Titanic sank on April 15th, at almost two thirty in the morning. Early in the morning after the Titanic had sunk, a ship called Carpathia, arrived in the area, and collected and rescued 705 survivors and 333 bodies out of the almost 2,000 deaths. The story of the Titanic was a sad one indeed. Since then new safety requirements had been added to ships, to help prevent a disaster like the Titanic from occurring again.
During the turn of the century(19th to 20th), in America entertainment was beginning to blossom. Beforehand, American’s did not have much time for entertainment because life was much harder, but thanks to the industrial revolution and a new surge of inventions that improved life, people began having more time for entertainment. The forms of entertainment were anywhere from movies(which were being first introduced), and sports, all of which are pretty large forms of entertainment today.
The “movies” during the early 20th century were silent and short, but soon began to improve, with sound, and eventually even color, like the movies we have today. The movie industry became one of the largest entertainment industries in America. Another entertainment industry that was rising in success was the sports industry. Some of these sports in the early 20th century included: football, basketball, and baseball, all of which are very popular today. Also the olympics were brought back(after the ancient greeks the olympics was nonexistent until now). The “first” olympics was held during the mid 1890s, in Athens Greece, which is quite fitting.
The final pretty large entertainment industry I will be covering is Children’s literature, especially the stories by Edward Stratameyer(he sold 500 million copies of his stories). Stratameyer’s stories became so popular that he had to hire freelance writers to write the stories for him. These stories were part of a series, each series had its own pen name. Usually many writers would write for one series. Some of these series included: Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and Tom Swift. These series are still sometimes read today.
In this history essay I wrote about the Titanic and American entertainment.