96 years since the great ship went down

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Ninety-six years after she went down, the RMS Titanic maintains its hold over public consciousness.

A newly-published book, “What Really Sank the Titanic” by Jennifer Hooper McCarty and Dr. Timothy Foecke, reports of uncovered new evidence found in the archive of the ship’s builder Harland and Wolff in Belfast, Northern Ireland that suggests faulty rivets caused the ship to take on water after its collision with an iceberg.

The Titanic reportedly needed three million rivets, but the company, which was building two other massive luxury liners simultaneously, had trouble finding suppliers. The shortage forced them to look to smaller metal forges for their products that had less skill and experience, according to company and British government papers.

After researchers recovered 48 rivets from the hulk of the Titanic, tests showed they had high concentrations of slag — a glassy residue that results in improper smelting — which can make the rivets brittle and prone to fracture, according to the report.

Scientists also discovered that steel rivets, which were stronger and more durable, were only used for the ship’s central hull where stresses were expected to be the greatest. The rest were iron in the stern and the bow; where the damages occurred, according to the findings.

Anniversary ceremonies and commemorations were held on both sides of the Atlantic. Prestige Yacht Charters, which serves the New York metro area created a resource page on their Web site (http://prestigeyachtcharters.com/titanic.asp) that includes an exact replica of the menu for first class passengers on April 15, 1912. The city of Belfast, where the Titanic was built, held an annual town ceremony for all of those who lost their lives that night. Meanwhile, several artifacts from the Titanic will be auctioned off in Western England on Saturday, April 19.