RMS Titanic Life Vest

Chicago physician Dr. Frank Blackmarr, a passenger aboard Titanic's rescue ship RMS Carpathia, helped the survivors suffering from hypothermia, exposure, and shock. He collected a Titanic life vest during the voyage as a souvenir. Five days into its maiden voyage in 1912, the White Star ocean liner Titanic struck an iceberg at full speed in the North Atlantic, en route from England to the United States. For the next few hours, the giant ship took on water and began to nose down into the sea. At 2:20 a.m. on April 15, the gigantic ship sank in 12,500 feet of water 350 miles off the coast of Canada. Within about two hours, Carpathia arrived and rescued the Titanic's 705 surviving crew and passengers. Around 1,500 people aboard were lost.
Object Name
life jacket
date made
Physical Description
textile (outside material)
overall: 23 in x 12 in; 58.42 cm x 30.48 cm
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Industry & Manufacturing
On the Water exhibit
The Emergence of Modern America
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water exhibit
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Gift of Chicago Historical Society (through Teresa Krutz) and Dr. Frank H. Blackmarr
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL
Additional Media

Visitor Comments

9/21/2015 5:18:42 PM
Christopher Breach
I have recently acquired a very rare and possibly unique photograph(7"x 5") of Titanic life jackets in the hold of Carpathia.The reverse of photograph has typed the following:- Special Titanic-Carpathia Service.Life preserving belts worn by the Titanic survivors lying in the hold of the Carpathia.Many a passenger owes his or her life to the aid of this apparatus. American Press Association. Stamped-Filed May 25 1912. The photograph not only shows the life jackets but what appears to be two crew members looking on and a passenger with small child. Also in the background is a gentleman with dickie bow.
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