The construction of the famous Titanic, the largest ship of its time, began on this day in 1909. The Titanic was built in the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Northern Ireland. The building of a slipway for a ship of that size was in itself a feat, since no shipyard had ever built such a large ship before. The ship’s gantry weighed over 6,000 tons and was around 260 meters long.
The construction lasted a total of 26 months. The ship’s hull was made by putting together around 2,000 steel plates between 2.5 and 3.8 cm thick. Each of these plates weighed between 2,500 and 3,000 kilograms. Welding techniques were still in their infancy during that time, so that the steel plates from which the ship was made were riveted together. A total of 3 million rivets were used for keeping the ship in one piece. They weighed a total of around 1,200 tons. The plates were put together by overlapping, so that the Titanic‘s hull wasn’t smooth.
The Titanic was launched exactly 26 months after its construction began, but no champagne bottle was broken during the event (it was a policy of the White Star Line company).