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The Titanic On Display

The largest exhibit of artifacts from the doomed Titanic luxury cruise liner will go on display at The Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago, Ill. on February 18. And the director of exhibit projects, Joe Shacter visited The Early Show to talk about it.


An entranceway of the museum had to be taken apart to move the 13 ton, 13x20 foot section of the ship's hull inside to the area where it will be displayed. The huge piece of steel is the largest piece of the Titanic's hull that has been recovered.

"It's quite thrilling. Standing on a 13x20 section of the hull. You can just imagine what it would have been like to see the real ship. It's thrilling to actually be experiencing part of the real thing," says Shacter.

And one of the fascinating things about the hull is that there are pieces of the original glass in it.

" Quite a bit of the porthole glass is still in three on four of these portholes, so you can just envision the passengers looking out onto the sea, not anticipating what was going to happen to them." he adds.

The ship sank on its maiden voyage on April 15, 1912 and the wreckage was found 12,460 feet beneath the North Atlantic in 1985.

The exhibit will display more than 200 artifacts from the ship including items from the ship and the ship's stores.

"All kinds of relics from the ship itself, as well as personal objects such as jewelry dish-wear, silver-wear glassware, lots of documents, pieces of luggage, even some clothing that survived all those years under the sea because it was in leather valises which did not self-destruct. Each piece has a story behind it," says Shacter.

The museum will also display a replica of the grand staircase that led to the ship's first class lounge and also replicas of a first-class and third-class cabin and a first-class passenger's dining room.

"We're excited about the educational value here of this event. As a museum, we believe it's our responsibility to present some of the treasures from wherever they may come to present history and bring it to life," says Shacter.

More than 1,500 passengers and crew who died in the world's most famous marine disaster.

"The ship actually sailed one-third empty on its maiden voyage, so we always talk about the poor 1,500 souls who lost their lives, but in reality, it could have been much, much worse if the ship had been full," he notes.

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