Titanic Provides Fascination To Fans of History, Antiques

Wheeling is lucky to have many educational opportunities for fans of history and antiques. One of these is the Community University that meets at West Liberty University’s Highlands Center.

These learning opportunities offer interested “students” a chance to enjoy presentations from speakers in our community willing to share information about their area of expertise. Geared to people age 50 and older, Community University topics can include just about any subject, but often turn to history.

One of the interesting topics that will be covered soon is the Wednesday, March 25, presentation titled “Titanic!” Jeanne Finstein and Judi Hendrickson, both Wheeling historians of note, will tell tales of heroism, cowardice, survival and loss originating from the most famous maritime disaster of all time.

The duo will be sharing some memorabilia, including a neat postcard, shown in today’s column, that they came across at the Titanic Museum when they visited Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

They will share books that they used in their research, including “Titanic Names, A Complete List of Passengers and Crew,” a book on the unsinkable Molly Brown, one on the ship’s captain, Edward J. Smith, a National Geographic and Smithsonian article.

They also have a copy of a boarding pass and other Titanic props to shore up their tale of the luxury steamship that continues to be one of the most-researched and dramatized topics of all time.

“We’ve done this presentation before but people keep asking for it again,” Finstein explained to me when I asked if this was a new production for them. “Judi and I plan to wear costumes that are the type of clothing worn at the time, in 1912.”

It was April 15, 1912, when more than 1,500 people went to a watery grave in the North Atlantic. It was 1985 when her resting place was discovered off the coast of Newfoundland. Since then countless items have been sold, both authentic and otherwise, that are relics from the ship, its passengers or history.

The famous violin, shown in the postcard, was played by Titanic bandleader Wallace Hartley as the ship sank. It is engraved with Hartley’s name and was recovered, strapped to his back in its case along with his body a few days after the sinking.

The violin sold in 2013 for more than $1.7 million, according to CNN, which reported that at the time it was “by far the highest ever fetched for memorabilia tied to the sunken passenger ship, according to veteran collector Craig Sopin.”

The same report stated that in 2004, Guernsey’s of New York City auctioned off memorabilia from the Titanic and a few artifacts that had been passed down through the families of survivors. An original menu sold for about $100,000, according to CNN.

“There’s been so much fictionalized about the Titanic. But as we did our research, I found that the actual, real-life stories are more fascinating that the fiction,” Finstein said.

If you’re interested in attending the Titanic presentation at Community University or learning about the other topics offered during this session, contact Jeff Knierim by email at jknierim@westliberty.edu or call 304-336-8301.

Other historical presentations on the Community University agenda for spring include Pictorial View of Past and Present U.S. Air Power with Jon Letzkus on Thursday, March 19, and Thursday, April 2, and Marshall County Patriots and Heroes by Gary Rider on Thursday, April 23.

Participants pay one fee to attend any or all courses offered during each session. To view a complete list of Community University spring classes, visit online at westliberty.edu/community-university or contact Knierim soon.

For comments or suggestions on local treasures to be featured in Antique of the Week, Maureen Zambito can be reached via email at: zambitomaureen@hotmail .com or by writing in care of this newspaper.

Wheeling is lucky to have many educational opportunities for fans of history and antiques. One of these is the Community University that meets at West Liberty University’s Highlands Center.

These learning opportunities offer interested “students” a chance to enjoy presentations from speakers in our community willing to share information about their area of expertise. Geared to people age 50 and older, Community University topics can include just about any subject, but often turn to history.

One of the interesting topics that will be covered soon is the Wednesday, March 25, presentation titled “Titanic!” Jeanne Finstein and Judi Hendrickson, both Wheeling historians of note, will tell tales of heroism, cowardice, survival and loss originating from the most famous maritime disaster of all time.

The duo will be sharing some memorabilia, including a neat postcard, shown in today’s column, that they came across at the Titanic Museum when they visited Pigeon Forge, Tenn.

They will share books that they used in their research, including “Titanic Names, A Complete List of Passengers and Crew,” a book on the unsinkable Molly Brown, one on the ship’s captain, Edward J. Smith, a National Geographic and Smithsonian article.

They also have a copy of a boarding pass and other Titanic props to shore up their tale of the luxury steamship that continues to be one of the most-researched and dramatized topics of all time.

“We’ve done this presentation before but people keep asking for it again,” Finstein explained to me when I asked if this was a new production for them. “Judi and I plan to wear costumes that are the type of clothing worn at the time, in 1912.”

It was April 15, 1912, when more than 1,500 people went to a watery grave in the North Atlantic. It was 1985 when her resting place was discovered off the coast of Newfoundland. Since then countless items have been sold, both authentic and otherwise, that are relics from the ship, its passengers or history.

The famous violin, shown in the postcard, was played by Titanic bandleader Wallace Hartley as the ship sank. It is engraved with Hartley’s name and was recovered, strapped to his back in its case along with his body a few days after the sinking.

The violin sold in 2013 for more than $1.7 million, according to CNN, which reported that at the time it was “by far the highest ever fetched for memorabilia tied to the sunken passenger ship, according to veteran collector Craig Sopin.”

The same report stated that in 2004, Guernsey’s of New York City auctioned off memorabilia from the Titanic and a few artifacts that had been passed down through the families of survivors. An original menu sold for about $100,000, according to CNN.

“There’s been so much fictionalized about the Titanic. But as we did our research, I found that the actual, real-life stories are more fascinating that the fiction,” Finstein said.

If you’re interested in attending the Titanic presentation at Community University or learning about the other topics offered during this session, contact Jeff Knierim by email at jknierim@westliberty.edu or call 304-336-8301.

Other historical presentations on the Community University agenda for spring include Pictorial View of Past and Present U.S. Air Power with Jon Letzkus on Thursday, March 19, and Thursday, April 2, and Marshall County Patriots and Heroes by Gary Rider on Thursday, April 23.

Participants pay one fee to attend any or all courses offered during each session. To view a complete list of Community University spring classes, visit online at westliberty.edu/community-university or contact Knierim soon.

For comments or suggestions on local treasures to be featured in Antique of the Week, Maureen Zambito can be reached via email at: zambitomaureen@hotmail .com or by writing in care of this newspaper.