Writers have a unique propensity for conjuring up stories of fantastic voyages and incredible events. Sometimes art imitates them; other times real life proves such things can happen. This is the case with Morgan Robertson, an American author who, in 1898, published a book about a massive luxury ocean liner that strikes an iceberg in the North Atlantic and sinks with most everyone aboard. Entitled Futility, or The Wreck of the Titan, the tale is remarkably foreboding. Here are some of the similarities and slight differences:
- The “Titan” sailed from New York to Liverpool, England, while Titanic sailed from Southampton to New York.
- It was the “Titan’s” third voyage, but it was Titanic’s first.
- Both ships sailed in the month of April.
- The “Titan” was 800 feet long and weighed 45,000 tons. Titanic was 880 feet long and weighed 46,328 tons.
- The “Titan” had 15 watertight compartments. Titanic had 9.
- The “Titan” had 40,000 horsepower. Titanic had 45,000 horsepower.
- The “Titan” traveled at 25 knots. Titanic traveled at 24 knots.
Robertson had a modest career as a writer; never really enjoying any great success, even when Futility was re-published after Titanic’s sinking. He died in New Jersey in 1915.