31st March 1909 –
Titanic’s keel laid

first plates are laid for titanicThe first plates for the keel for Titanic were laid on the keel blocks on 31st March 1909, at Harland & Wolff’s Belfast yard. Built from the same blueprints as Olympic, it was anticipated initially that construction of the second vessel would be faster, based on the experience the workmen had gained from building Olympic. However, con­­struction actually took several weeks more, overall.

building the keel for titanicThere were no problems with the workforce or weather at this time, and there were no pressures or diversions from other constructions within the yard. The logical conclusion therefore is that both White Star and Harland & Wolff were aware of financial shortfalls and construction was not given the same urgency as with Olympic. White Star had needed to get the first liner into service as soon as possible to earn revenue: they weren’t under the same pressure for Titanic.

hydraulic riveting of titanic's keelThe extra time taken throughout Titanic‘s construction when compared to Olympic leads one to wonder about the outcome if she had been built faster and had made her maiden voyage weeks or even months earlier. No iceberg. No collision. No disaster. No loss of life. What effect would this have had on the twentieth century and on history in general!