The world’s media is extensively covering the 100 year anniversary of the 1912 RMS Titanic tragedy. Many of the personal stories that we know today have been kept alive through the years by the descendants of those that perished on what was the ship’s maiden voyage. CBS Sunday Morning did a feature story on some of those families and you can see it here.
One of the lesser-known stories is that of Irish Jesuit priest Father Francis Browne. Known as “Ireland’s greatest photographer.” Father Browne picked up a camera in 1897 at the age of seventeen. Until his death in 1960, Father Browne captured nearly 42,000 prints across four continents. But it wasn’t until 1986 – 25 years after his death – when his vast collection was discovered in a large trunk in Dublin that belonged to Father Browne.
Father Browne traveled to Southampton to document the Titanic on its maiden voyage. He took dozens of photographs of life aboard including its various rooms, passengers and crew. Father Browne befriended an American couple who offered to pay for his continued travel on to New York and back. He telegraphed his superior for permission and received a terse response: GET OFF THAT SHIP – PROVINCIAL. Father Browne disembarked the Titanic in Queenstown, Ireland and returned to Dublin as the ship travelled on towards New York. Brown tucked that life-saving telegram into his pocket for the remainder of his life. You can see the fascinating stories as told through the photos of Father Browne at Titanic Photographs.