The owner of the menu for the last luncheon is American banker Washington Dodge. Dodge's wife Ruth had slipped the paper into her handbag after lunch, unaware that she would be carrying it onto a lifeboat that evening. The couple and their son Washington Junior survived the tragedy, and the menu had stayed in the family ever since. The menu served to first class passengers on the doomed Titanic sold for $122,000 at a British auction on April 1.
A menu card sent back by someone from Titanic told visitors how luxurious the liner was.
In front of the mimical of a boiler, 78-year-old Peter Line was shoving "coals" into the fire. "My grandfather was doing this 100 years ago," he said.
His grandfather was a fireman on Titanic and died in the tragedy. As a result, Line said he must come to the museum to learn more about him.
"I booked the ticket three weeks ago," he said. "Luckily I managed to get one."
Another visitor was silver-haired Harry Dymond, whose grandfather Frank was also a fireman on Titanic but survived the disaster.
"It was very interesting to see the sea books here, because my grandfather had such books as well," he said.
Talking about his grandfather, Dymond was proud. "He was in charge of one of the life boats and saved 68 people," he recalled.
After a century, Titanic is still a hot topic to not only Southampton, but to the entire world.
"There are so many different theories about the sinking," Harris from the city council said. "There was conspiracy theory, reflection of the design and even the rivets were blamed for the sinking."
There was also hearsay that Titanic was speeding at the time it bumped into the iceberg. Balmoral, a cruise ship retracing the Titanic's route 100 years ago, had to start two days before the Titanic so as to reach its wreck site on Saturday.
Titanic also left some legacies. "One of them was maritime safety," Harris said. "More life boats were put onto the ships."
His view was shared by Newbery, the curator. "Before the accident, the number of life boats on board was related to the size of the ship, but afterwards, it was determined by the number of passengers."
"As of today, they also introduced a rule that every ship should have a 24-hour radio operation system," Newbery said. At the time of Titanic, the ship nearest to the wreck site only had one radio operator, who was fast asleep and failed to receive the messages for help.
Even to the younger generation, the color of Titanic didn't fade.
Dymond once went to talk to school children. The children asked many questions, such as "If you were on board, would you save more people?"
"They were very interested," he beamed. "Because it is part of history, living history."1 2