Posted by: Kath Usitalo | April 10, 2012

Titanic Exhibit Docks At The Henry Ford

The Titanic's grand staircase is replicated at Henry Ford Museum; the wall clock is stopped at 11:40, the time the ship hit the iceberg on its doomed voyage

It’s April 10, 1912.

Clutching a boarding pass for voyage aboard the RMS Titanic you stroll beneath a string of nautical flags and join a cluster of women in flower bedecked hats…a man, seated with his legs dangling over the pier…a lad, hands in pockets anticipating, you imagine, the adventure of the Transatlantic crossing ahead.

Shuffling past the black and white, mural-size photos of men, women and children at the White Star Line dock you can almost hear their excited chatter and laughter as you prepare to board the RMS Titanic on its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City.

Or, rather, as you’re about to enter Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition, a multi-dimensional experience at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn through September 30, 2012.

Books, movies and museum exhibits have interpreted the story of Titanic and continue to fuel public interest in the tragic loss of 1,514 lives when the grand passenger ship struck an iceberg and sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912.

This centennial presentation covers 10,000 square feet of space and displays 300 Titanic artifacts, from personal effects of passengers to a replica of the grand staircase, where you can pose for photos (with their camera at extra charge—no photography permitted in the exhibit). The base of the original pedestal lamp/sculpture (pictured above) sits in a glass enclosed case near the copy.

Poke your finger through the hole to touch an angle iron retrieved from the Titanic

All Titanic items were collected from the ocean floor surrounding the ship, which went down about 460 miles from Newfoundland, Canada.

The precious pieces include a man’s shaving kit, assorted jewelry, clothing, china, silver and crystal and, incredibly, slips of paper—currency, correspondence, playing cards, a postcard.

Anything that was stored in leather valises or suitcases was protected from the water and preserved.

Through the displays you can learn a bit about a handful of passengers and crew members, see the differences in accommodations between first and third class, and touch a piece of the ship and an “iceberg” wall.

In the final gallery you’ll learn whether the passenger whose name appears on your museum-issued boarding pass survived or went down with the ship.

Nothing says monumental tragedy like a Titanic baseball cap

It can be a very emotional and moving experience that transports you to—where else—a gift shop where you can buy all manner of Titanic souvenirs.

You may take home one of the books or videos, snow globes, stuffed bears sporting commemorative Titanic gear or replica china in your choice of first, second, and third class place settings.

But you’ll also carry with you a sense of the personal drama and loss experienced by the real people—those who perished and the survivors—of the legendary event.


Combine your tour with special companion activities at The Henry Ford; click on the following for details:

Titanic Tuesdays Speaker and Author Lecture Series: Hear a Titanic authority at once-monthly evening programs, 7 p.m. April 10, May 8, June 12, July 10, August 14, September 11

James Cameron’s Titanic: An IMAX 3D Experience through July 19 and from September 4-30

TITANICA documentary about the ship on the IMAX screen through September 30

In addition to the admission fee for the Henry Ford Museum there is a $10 fee to see Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition. Titanic tickets are scheduled. Be sure to allow plenty of time to explore the rest of Henry Ford Museum before or after Titanic.

Click here for admission fees and museum information. 

The Henry Ford website includes information on lodging packages.

Visitor Info Clicks:
The Henry Ford
Pure Michigan



  1. Interesting!

  2. It almost made me want to see the movie again.

  3. I wanna go!! Did you see the Len Goodman piece on Titanic on PBS last night?

    • No…missed it. Will check to see if it will be repeated.

  4. […] Titanic Exhibit Docks At The Henry Ford (Great Lakes Gazette) […]

  5. […] more about the exhibition see my Great Lakes Gazette post: Titanic Exhibit Docks at the Henry Ford Step “into” a Titanic lifeboat, an image projected onto the museum floor Like […]

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