The first public documentation of the Titanic disaster is expected to fetch over $40,000 at auction in Dublin next month.
A telegram sent to the Belfast Evening Telegraph newspaper alerting them to the Titanic’s dilemma is to go under the hammer.
The Belfast Telegraph carried the first report in Europe that the unsinkable Titanic –built in the city – was indeed sinking on that fateful morning almost a hundred years ago.
The Irish Times reports that the telegram, the first recorded report of the disaster, is expected to sell for at least $40,000.
The telegram sent to the Belfast Evening Telegraph alerted journalists: “The Titanic is sinking in mid-Atlantic after a collision with an iceberg.”
The telegram, the equivalent of a modern day Tweet, was stamped by the post office in Belfast on the day the ship sank, April 15th, 1912.
The telegram’s author, who quoted a Reuters report as the news source, was never identified.
The telegram reached the Telegraph office at 10.39 am and was printed almost immediately.
The Irish Times report calls it ‘one of the greatest scoops in Irish newspaper history’. The report was also the first media coverage in Europe of the disaster.
The headline read “The Titanic Sinking; Collision with Iceberg; Disastrous Maiden Voyage; Women
Removed to Lifeboats; Liners Hastening to the Rescue; Wireless Messages Come to Abrupt Termination; Over 2,000 Souls on Board”.
The ship had already sunk by the time the report appeared in the second edition of the Belfast Telegraph.
The telegram was presented to Belfast Telegraph sub-editor Robert McComb on his retirement and is expected to generate huge interest at the April 21st sale.
Auctioneer Ian Whyte said: “It is difficult to comprehend the disbelief and shock which must have greeted this telegram as it arrived in the office of the biggest-selling newspaper in Titanic’s home city, Belfast.”
“The sale will attract interest from collectors and museums worldwide.”