Delicate paper and fabric artifacts recovered from the Titanic will be on display in Las Vegas beginning April 15th, 104 years after the luxury vessel sank on its tragic maiden voyage in 1912. Seven items, deemed as some of the rarest ever recovered from the ship, will be featured until July as part of a permanent Titanic exhibit at the Luxor Hotel & Casino.
Alexandra Klingelhofer, Vice President of Collections for Premier Exhibitions which provided photos of the collection, says while there are hundreds of metal, glass and ceramic items from the wreck, the pair of white cotton gloves, a man's left shoe, a set of pajamas and yellowed traveling papers are rare since they fall apart quickly in the ocean. Klingelhofer says, "The paper or textile items that were recovered survived because they were inside suitcases. The tanned leather of the suitcases tended to protect them, akin to time capsules."
Klingelhofer adds that these artifacts give researchers "a sense of the person who owned the suitcase." Other unbelievably intact items are a waiter's pad from the R.M.S. Titanic Restaurant, a Declaration of Intent belonging to a German immigrant on board seeking U.S. citizenship, and even a receipt from an alligator purse belonging to Marion Meanwell for the purchase of a "canary in cage."
Billed as unsinkable, over 1,500 passengers bound for New York City from Southampton, England perished when the Titanic hit an iceberg and later sank into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Newfoundland. In 1985, a team of oceanographers found the wreckage 13,000 feet below the surface. Mark Lach, Creative Director of Premier Exhibitions says, "Something about the story speaks to people all over the world of the uncertainty of our fate. Especially with technology. When we think we have a handle on it, we realize that is not the case and how fragile life can be."