Thomas Andrews Shipbuilder
BULLOCK, Shan F.
Category: First Edition
Dublin & London, Maunsel & Co. 1912.
First edition; original green cloth lettered in black and original dust jacket. Frontispiece photograph of Thomas Andrews and five other plates. Inscribed by Thomas Andrews snr, on the half title 'Mr David Brennan from his friend Thomas Andrews'. Thomas Andrews, Jr. (7 February 1873 – 15 April 1912) was a British businessman and shipbuilder. He was managing director and head of the drafting department of the shipbuilding company Harland and Wolff. As the naval architect in charge of the plans for the ocean liner RMS Titanic, he was travelling on board the vessel during her transatlantic maiden voyage in 1912. He perished along with more than 1,500 others when the ship sank after hitting an iceberg. His body was never recovered. In 1884, he attended the Royal Belfast Academical Institution and in 1889 he began an aprenticeship at Harland and Wolff where his uncle, the Viscount Pirrie, was part owner. He spent three months in the joiners' shop, followed by a month in the cabinetmakers' and then a further two months working on the ships. The last eighteen months of his five-year apprenticeship were spent in the drawing office. In 1901, Andrews, after working his way up through the many departments of the company, became the manager of the construction works. In 1907, Andrews was appointed the managing director and head of the drafting department at Harland and Wolff. Andrews began to oversee the plans for a new superliner, the RMS Olympic for the White Star Line. The Olympic and its sister ship the Titanic, which began construction in 1909, were designed by William Pirrie and general manager Alexander Carlisle along with Andrews. As he had done for the other ships he had overseen, Andrews familiarised himself with every detail of the Olympic and Titanic. Andrews's suggestions that the ship have 46 lifeboats (instead of the 20 it ended up with) as well as a double hull and watertight bulkheads that went up to B deck, were overruled. Andrews headed a group of Harland and Wolff workers who went on the maiden voyages of the ships built by the company, to observe ship operations and spot any necessary improvements. Early on 14 April, Andrews remarked to a friend that Titanic was "as nearly perfect as human brains can make her." At 11:40 PM on the same day, the Titanic struck an iceberg. Andrews had been in his stateroom, planning changes he wanted to make to the ship, and barely noticed the collision. Captain Edward J. Smith had Andrews summoned to help examine the damage. Andrews and Captain Smith discussed the damage to the ship shortly after midnight after Andrews had toured the damaged section of the ship. Andrews determined that the first five of the ship's watertight compartments were rapidly flooding. He knew that if more than four of the ship's forward compartments flooded, it would inevitably sink. He relayed this information to Captain Smith, stating that it was a 'mathematical certainty', and adding that in his opinion, the vessel had only about an hour before it completely sank. He also informed Smith of the severe shortage of lifeboats on board the ship. As the evacuation of the Titanic began, Andrews tirelessly searched staterooms telling the passengers to put on lifebelts and go up on deck. Several survivors testified to have met or spotted Andrews several times. Fully aware of the short time the ship had left and of the lack of lifeboat space for all passengers and crew, he continued to urge reluctant people into the lifeboats in the hope of filling them with as many people as possible. Andrews was reportedly last seen by John Stewart, a steward on the ship, at approximately 2:10 a.m., ten minutes before the Titanic sank. Andrews was standing alone in the first-class smoking room staring at a painting, Plymouth Harbour and this has become one of the most famous legends of the sinking of the Titanic. The image of Andrews staring at the painting in the smoking comes from this current work. A near fine copy with a little spotting to the edge of the text block. The dust jacket is good with some loss to the top of the front cover and spine top, wear and chips to the extremities. Very scarce in the original dust jacket.