Today, on the 86th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic, this article from the New York Times sheds some new light on what caused the liner to sink on her maiden voyage and become the subject of a horribly overrated film. What's to blame? The rivets:
For a decade, the scientists have argued that the storied liner went down fast after hitting an iceberg because the ship’s builder used substandard rivets that popped their heads and let tons of icy seawater rush in. More than 1,500 people died.That conclusion is bolstered by examination of rivets recovered from the wreck since it was discovered in 1985.
When the safety of the rivets was first questioned 10 years ago, the builder ignored the accusation and said it did not have an archivist who could address the issue.
Now, historians say new evidence uncovered in the archive of the builder, Harland and Wolff, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, settles the argument and finally solves the riddle of one of the most famous sinkings of all time. The company says the findings are deeply flawed.
OK, so the iceberg still played a critical role. But more and more, it appears that industrial sloppiness played a large part in history's most infamous maritime disaster.