Posts Tagged ‘ sailors ’
Did you know that six traditional sailor superstitions were ignored on the Titanic’s maiden voyage to New York? Take a look at the evidence we’ve uncovered in our collection of Titanic records. Prepare yourself, some of the superstitions may seem a bit silly…
Sailor superstition #1: Women on board a ship make the sea angry
The header pages from the ship’s passenger list reveal that there were 353 female passengers travelling on the Titanic. The passenger list records the people who boarded at Southampton and Queenstown, but the list of those who boarded at Cherbourg does not survive.
Sailor superstition #2: It’s unlucky to have a priest on board
A list of the passengers and crew who were supposed drowned can be found in our maritime death records. These record the occupation of each victim, revealing that four of the Titanic’s passengers were Ministers of Religion.
Sailor superstition #3: Cutting your hair at sea is bad luck
The list of those who perished in the disaster also shows that there were three Barbers travelling on the Titanic. Two of these were crew members who would have practised their trade on the ship.
Sailor superstition #4: A dog seen near fishing tackle is bad luck
We’ve uncovered this article in The British Newspaper Archive which states that there were dogs (and a pig!) on board the Titanic:
Sailor superstition #5: People with red hair bring bad luck to a ship
You can find many of the Titanic’s surviving crew members listed in our Merchant Navy seamen records. You’ll often find a physical description or a photograph included, as is the case with John Alexander Podesta. Podesta worked as a Fireman on the Titanic and his Merchant Navy index card describes his hair colour as being ‘auburn’.
Sailor superstition #6: Flowers are unlucky on board a ship
Another of the Titanic’s Firemen, Charles Rice, also survived and appears in the Merchant Navy records. He was recorded as having a tattoo on his right forearm depicting a basket of flowers.
Do you think there’s any truth behind superstitions like these? Is there anything you do or avoid doing to bring you luck?