It was called unsinkable. It was called “the ship of dreams” and its one and only journey and its fate have intrigued and fascinated people for 100 years. Now you can become part of the Titanic experience by visiting Titanic — The Artifact Exhibition being hosted by The Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan from now through September 30, 2012. It is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Cleveland.
Most people know the story of Titanic which sank after colliding with an iceberg in the early morning hours of April 15, 1912. More than 1500 lives were lost. At the time, Titanic was the world’s largest ship.
Titanic — The Artifact Exhibition Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the sinking, this 10,000 square foot exhibition features more than 300 authentic artifacts retrieved from Titanic’s debris field approximately 460 miles off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada.
The Exhibition encompasses the entire life of Titanic from its construction in Ireland to its launching in England to life on board the doomed vessel and its sinking. The Exhibition also covers the riveting rescue of some 700 of Titanic’s passengers and explores the current day underwater recovery expeditions for artifacts.
Visitors to the Exhibition each receive a boarding pass with information about an actual passenger on Titanic’s maiden voyage including their name, background and whether they were a first class, second class or third class passenger. At the conclusion of your tour you can learn the fate of your passenger. The boarding area features wall-sized actual photos of Titanic’s launch day at the White Star Line dock in Southampton, England.
Inside the exhibit, visitors can walk down a re-creation of a first- class passageway, see re-creations of a first-class stateroom and a typical crew member cabin and marvel at the re-creation of the ship’s Grand Staircase with a intricately carved clock showing the time of 11:40 p.m., the exact time that Titanic hit the iceberg. Visitors can have their photo taken on the full-size replica of the Grand Staircase for a small fee.
Focusing on the many captivating human stories of the passengers and crew (Be sure you read the biographical information posted on the walls), many of the recovered artifacts displayed are personal items like perfume bottles, a man’s shaving kit, eyeglasses, an ornate purse, jewelry, clothing, suitcases, currency, playing cards and even a postcard. Many items that were stored in leather items like suitcases were protected and survived.
There is also an amazing amount of china with the White Star logo, crystal glassware, ceramic items, white stock pots and stacked au gratin dishes that were recovered unbroken.
Visitors can touch a recreation of the iceberg that sealed the fate of Titanic and feel how cold the temperature really was that night. The exhibit also includes a display where you can touch an actual part from the ship — an angle iron recovered from the wreck site.
Don’t miss the computer animation re-creation of the sinking of Titanic (running continuously on a monitor) showing the technical and mechanical aspects of what happened after the collision with the iceberg.
The Exhibition concludes with the discovery of the ship’s wreck site in 1985 and highlights the recovery and conservation efforts and expeditions via enthralling video clips.
Of course, there is a gift shop where Titanic- related merchandise can be purchased including a wide variety of books, DVDs, dishes, cookware and cups (with the White Star logo), jewelry and Christmas ornaments.
Absolutely no photography is allowed inside the Exhibition. Admission to Titanic — The Artifact Exhibition also includes all day admission to The Henry Ford Museum and costs $27 for adults (13-61), $22.50 for youth (5-12) and $25 for seniors (62+). Children 4 and under are free. There is a $5 parking fee. Admission for the Exhibition for members of The Henry Ford is $10 for all ages.
Don’t leave The Henry Ford Museum complex without catching a showing of the movie “Titanica”on the Henry Ford IMAX screen. This 50 minute film takes you on an underwater expedition to the Titanic wreck site. The underwater footage is stunning offering crystal clear images of Titanic’s stern and bow sections, propellers, steam engines and artifacts along the ocean floor.
The film also features testimony from Eva Hart who was one of Titanic’s survivors when she was 7 years old. Her mother was also one of the survivors but her father was one of the ship’s casualties.
Cost of the IMAX movie is $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $8.50 for youth. Members get 15% off. Check for showtimes. The film starts promptly at the published showtimes. Times may change daily and there is no admittance once the film starts.
For more information about Titanic — The Artifact Exhibition, “Titanica” or The Henry Ford Museum or to purchase advance tickets call the Henry Ford Call Center (open 7 days a week, 9 a.m. -5 p.m.) at 313-982-6001 or get online at the www.thehenryford.org.
The Henry Ford Museum complex is located at 20900 Oakwood Blvd. in Dearborn, Michigan. It is approximately a 2.5 hour drive from Cleveland.