Vintage 1912 King George V
.925 Silver Threepence
1912 the year Titanic sunk on her Maiden Voyage
London to New York City
The British threepence (3d) coin, usually simply known as a threepence or threepenny bit, was a unit of currency equalling one eightieth of a pound sterling, or three pence sterling. It was used in the United Kingdom, and earlier in Great Britain and England. Similar denominations were later used throughout the British Empire, notably in Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa.
The sum of three pence was pronounced variously throop-ence, threpp-ence or thrupp-ence, reflecting different pronunciations in the various regions and nations of the United Kingdom. Likewise, the coin was often referred to in conversation as a throop-nee, threpp-nee or thrupp-nee bit.
Before Decimal Day in 1971 there were two hundred and forty pence in one pound sterling. Twelve pence made a shilling, and twenty shillings made a pound. Values less than a pound were usually written in terms of shillings and pence, e.g. forty-two pence would be three shillings and six pence (3/6), pronounced "three and six". Values of less than a shilling were simply written in terms of pence, e.g. eight pence would be 8d.
King George V
Full name George Frederick Ernest Albert, born June 3 1865 at Marlborough House, son of Edward VII and Alexandra of Denmark. Edward ascended to the throne on May 6, 1910 aged 44 years and was crowned June 22, 1911 at Westminster Abbey. He married Mary, the daughter of the of Teck, they had five children including Edward VIII and George VI. Edward died January 20, 1936 at Sandringham, Norfolk, aged 70 years, 7 months, and 16 days and was buried at Windsor. He reigned for 25 years, 8 months, and 15 days and was succeeded by his son his son Edward VIII.
George V was the second son of Edward VII. His mother was Alexandra of Denmark, sister of Empress Marie of Russia. He joined the Royal Navy aged 12 and served until 1892 when he became heir to the throne on the death of his elder brother Albert, Duke of Clarence, who died of pneumonia.
In 1893, he married Princess Victoria Mary of Teck (known as ‘May’ to her family) who had previously been engaged to his brother. They became Duke and Duchess of York and lived on the Sandringham Estate, in Norfolk. The marriage was a success and George unlike his father never took a mistress. They had 6 children Edward, Albert, Mary, Henry, George and John. The youngest Prince John suffered from epilepsy and died aged 13. He became King George V on the death of his father Edward VII in 1910, and Mary became Queen consort. They toured India in 1911 as Emperor and Empress of India. During World War I he made several visits to the front, and Mary visited wounded serviceman in hospital. She was staunch supporter of her husband during difficult times that included not only the war with Germany, but also the Russian revolution and murder of George’s cousin Princess Alix who was Tsarina Alexandra wife of Tsar Nicholas II, civil unrest including the General Strike in England, the rise of socialism, and Irish and Indian nationalism. George V has been criticised for not rescuing the Russian Royal family but at the time there was serious concern that it would incite a similar revolution in the UK. He sent a ship in 1922 to rescue the Greek Royal family including 1 year old Prince Philip now the Duke of Edinburgh.
In 1917 with anti-German sentiment running high, he changed the family name from Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (popularly known as Brunswick or Hanover) to Windsor, and he relinquished all German titles and family connections. George V enjoyed stamp collecting and although considered dull by biographers he became by his Silver Jubilee in 1935 a much loved King. In 1932 he started the tradition of the Royal Christmas broadcast which has continued ever since. His relationship deteriorated with this eldest son Edward (later Edward VIII) when he failed to settle down and had affairs with married women, but he was fond of his second son Albert (“Bertie” later George VI) and his granddaughter Elizabeth (later Elizabeth II) whom he called ‘Lilibet’. She called him ‘Grandpa England’. He died of pleurisy in January 1936.
Titanic was one of three 'Olympic Class' liners commissioned by the White Star Line to be built at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast. Construction began on the first of these great ships, Olympic, on 16 December 1908. Work on Titanic started soon after, on 31 March 1909. These magnificent vessels were the industrial marvels of their age and Titanic was to be the biggest, fastest and most luxurious liner yet.
After just three years, Titanic was finished - a floating city, ready to set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York. On board was a collection of passengers comprising millionaires, silent movie stars, school teachers and emigrants, in search of a better life in the United States.
By the fifth day of its journey, Titanic was making swift progress across the Atlantic. Although Captain Edward Smith had plotted a new course upon hearing earlier reports of ice from other liners, there were many more communications that day of ice in Titanic's path. On the night of Sunday 14 April 1912, the sea was flat calm, the sky clear and moonless, and the temperature was dropping towards freezing. In such conditions, sea ice is very hard to spot.
At 11.40pm the lookout sounded the alarm and telephoned the bridge saying "Iceberg, right ahead." The warning came too late to avoid the iceberg and Titanic struck it less than 40 seconds later, tearing a series of holes along the side of the hull. Upon inspecting the damage, Titanic's chief naval architect Thomas Andrews said to Captain Smith that the ship would certainly sink. Six of the watertight compartments at the front of the ship's hull were breached, five of them flooding within the hour. Titanic was designed to stay afloat with only four compartments flooded.
Less than three hours later Titanic lay at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean, nearly four kilometres down. The sinking of Titanic claimed more than 1,500 lives. For many, the tragic fate that befell Titanic would come to mark the passing of the opulence of the Edwardian era and foreshadowed the global tragedy of World War One. The story captured the public imagination across the world, spawning countless books, films, plays, memorials, museums and exhibitions. The discovery of the wreck by oceanographer Robert Ballard on a Franco-American expedition in 1985 gave rise to a fresh wave of interest that continues to this day.
One hundred years after the RMS Titanic met its fatal end, the story of the tragic wreck continues to fascinate people worldwide. Out of over 2,200 people on board, approximately 700 lived to tell about it. Though many survivors and their family members disappeared into obscurity or were hesitant to talk about what they went through, others were willing to share their experiences during the wreck and in its aftermath. These are some of their stories.
Elizabeth Shutes, served as a family governess on board Titanic and was 40 years old at the time; she was among the passengers quickly ordered to the Sun Deck after the ship hit an iceberg. She later described the chaotic scene on the lifeboat, shortly before they were rescued by Carpathia: "Our men knew nothing about the position of the stars, hardly how to pull together two oars were soon overboard. The men’s hands were too cold to hold on…Then across the water swept that awful wail, the cry of those drowning people. In my ears I heard: ‘She’s gone, lads; row like hell or we’ll get the devil of a swell." Shutes was among those who reflected on "needless luxuries" aboard Titanic, which had been prioritized over lifeboats and other safety features.
Laura Mabel Francatelli, a 30-year old secretary from London, reflected later on the dramatic arrival of Carpathia: "Oh at daybreak, when we saw the lights of that ship, about 4 miles away, we rowed like mad and passed icebergs like mountains, at last about 6:30 the dear Carpathia picked us up, our little boat was like a speck against that giant. Then came my weakest moment, they lowered a rope swing, which was awkward to sit on, with my life preserver 'round me then they hauled me up, by the side of the boat. Can you imagine, swinging in the air over the sea, I just shut my eyes and clung tight saying ‘Am I safe?’ at last I felt a strong arm pulling me onto the boat.... "
Charlotte Collyer, passengers lucky enough to have been picked up by Carpathia arrived in New York City days later and started a frantic search for their loved ones, desperately hoping they too had been saved. Collyer, a second-class passenger who was 31 years old, later described her panicked search for her husband… I had a husband to search for, a husband whom in the greatness of my faith, I had believed would be found in one of the boats. He was not there."
Lawrence Beesley, a young widower and science professor in London, left his young son at home to board Titanic, hoping to visit his brother in Toronto. Just nine weeks after the tragedy, Beesley published the famous memoir The Loss of the S.S. Titanic. The book contained stern recommendations for avoiding further tragedies. He also had a powerful reason to be sceptical about certain superstitions: "I shall never say again that 13 is an unlucky number. Boat 13 is the best friend we ever had."
Florence Ismay, wife of J. Bruce Ismay, Chairman of the White Star Line White Star Chairman Bruce Ismay whom boarded a lifeboat to safety and was criticized by many for his decisions regarding Titanic. A letter from his wife, Florence, reveals the relief she felt upon realizing he had made it through the disaster alive: " Only a week ago today... I watched that magnificent vessel sail away so proudly. I never dreamt of danger as I wished her Godspeed... I know so well what bitterness of spirit you must be feeling for the loss of so many precious lives and the ship itself that you loved like a living thing. We have both been spared to each other, let us try to make our lives of use in the world."
Eva Hart, was seven years old at the time of the Titanic disaster. A second-class passenger with her parents Eva lost her father in the tragedy. She went on to live a vibrant life, and spoke frequently about the sinking of Titanic and her approach to life. "People I meet always seem surprised that I do not hesitate to travel by train, car, airplane or ship when necessary. It is almost as if they expect me to be permanently quivering in my shoes at the thought of a journey. If I acted like that I would have died of fright many years ago.... life has to be lived irrespective of the possible dangers and tragedies lurking round the corner."
Events of 1912
- 1st - The Republic of China is proclaimed.
- 4th - The Scout Association is incorporated throughout the British Commonwealth by Royal Charter.
- 5th - Prague Party Conference: Vladimir Lenin and the Bolshevik Party break away from the rest of the Russian Social Democratic Labour Party.
- 5th - Moscow Art Theatre production of Hamlet opens.
- 6th - New Mexico becomes the 47th state of the United States.
- 8th - The African National Congress is founded as the South African Native National Congress at the Waaihoek Wesleyan Church in Bloemfontein to promote improved rights for black South Africans, with John Langalibalele Dube as its first president.
- 17th - British polar explorer Captain Robert Falcon Scott and a team of four become the second expeditionary group to reach the South Pole.
- 22nd - The Overseas Railroad opens and the first train arrives in Key West with Henry M. Flagler, the railroad's creator and owner, aboard.
- 23rd - The International Opium Convention is signed at The Hague.
- 12th - The Manchu Qing Dynasty of China comes to an end after 268 years with the abdication of Emperor Puyi in favour of the Republic of China.
- 14th - Arizona becomes the 48th U.S. state and the last of the contiguous United States which ends the American Frontier.
- 24th - Battle of Beirut: Italy makes a surprise attack on the Ottoman port of Beirut, when the cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi and the gunboat Volturno bombard the harbour, killing 97 sailors and civilians.
- 29th - Serbia and Bulgaria secretly sign a treaty of alliance for a term of eight years, with each pledging to come to the defense of the other during war.
- 1st - Albert Berry is reported to have made the first parachute jump from a flying airplane.
- 6th - Italian forces became the first to use airships in war, as two dirigibles dropped bombs on Turkish troops encamped at Janzur, from an altitude of 6,000 feet.
- 7th - Roald Amundsen in Hobart, Tasmania, announces his success in reaching the South Pole the previous December.
- 12th - The Girl Scouts is founded by Juliette Gordon Low in Savannah, Georgia.
- 16th - Lawrence Oates, dying member of Scott's South Pole expedition, leaves the tent saying, "I am just going outside and may be some time."
- 27th - Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo gives 3,000 cherry trees to be planted in Washington, D.C., to symbolize the friendship between the two countries.
- 29th - The remaining members of Robert Falcon Scott's South Pole expedition die.
- 30th - The French Third Republic establishes the French protectorate of Morocco.
- 10th White Star liner RMS Titanic departs from Southampton on her maiden voyage bound for New York.
- 11th - RMS Titanic makes her last call, at Queenstown in Ireland.
- 14th, 15th - Sinking of the RMS Titanic: RMS Titanic strikes an iceberg in the northern Atlantic Ocean and sinks with the loss of 1517 lives. The wreck will never be found until 1985.
- 16th - Harriet Quimby becomes the first woman to fly across the English Channel.
- 17th - 500 striking gold miners in Siberia are killed or wounded by troops in the Lena massacre.
- 20th - Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts, opens.
- 30th - Carl Laemmle founds Universal Studios as the Universal Film and Manufacturing Company in the United States.
- 1st - 'Abdu'l-Baha lays the cornerstone for the Baha'i House of Worship in Wilmette, Illinois
- 5th - The Olympic Games open in Stockholm, Sweden.
- 11th - Alaska becomes a territory of the United States.
- 13th - In the United Kingdom, the Royal Flying Corps (forerunner of the Royal Air Force) is established.
- 23rd - The Hamburg America Line's SS Imperator is launched in Hamburg and is the world's largest ship.
- 30th - Wilbur Wright (of the Wright brothers) dies with a case of Typhoid fever.
- 6th - The Novarupta volcano (290 miles (470 km) southwest of Anchorage) experiences a VEI 6 eruption; the largest eruption in the 20th century.
- 1st - Harriet Quimby, who set the record as the first woman to fly the English Channel only 2 months before, dies in Squantum, Massachusetts after her brand-new two-seat Bleriot monoplane crashes, killing both Quimby and her passenger.
- 12th - United States release of Sarah Bernhardt's film Les Amours de la reine Élisabeth is influential on the development of the movie feature. Adolf Zukor, who incorporates Paramount Pictures on May 8, 1914, launches his company as the distributor. Paramount celebrates its centennial in 2012.
- 30th - Emperor Meiji of Japan dies. He is succeeded by his son Yoshihito who becomes Emperor Taishō. In Japanese History, the event marks the end of the Meiji era and the beginning of the Taishō era.
- 4th - United States occupation of Nicaragua: U.S. Marines land from the USS Annapolis in Nicaragua to support the conservative government at its request.
- 12th - Sultan Abd Al-Hafid of Morocco abdicates.
- 21st - First Eagle Scout.
- 25th - The Kuomintang, the Chinese nationalist party, is founded.
- 28th - William Christopher Handy's "Memphis Blues" is published.
- 8th - The First Balkan War begins: Montenegro declares war against the Ottoman Empire.
- 10th -The Maternity Allowance Act goes into effect in Australia, but excludes minorities.
- 14th - John Flammang Schrank attempts to assassinate Theodore Roosevelt.
- 16th - Bulgarian pilots Radul Minkov and Prodan Toprakchiev perform the first bombing with an airplane in history, at the railway station of Karaagac near Edirne against Turkey.
- 17th - Krupp engineers Benno Strauss and Eduard Maurer patent austenitic stainless steel.
- 18th - Italy and the Ottoman Empire sign a treaty in Ouchy near Lausanne ending the Italo-Turkish War.
- 24th - First Balkan War: Battle of Kumanovo: Serbian forces defeat the Ottoman army in Vardar Macedonia.
October 1912 dates unknown
- Edgar Rice Burroughs' character Tarzan first appears in Tarzan of the Apes in American pulp magazine The All-Story.
- Sax Rohmer's character Fu Manchu first appears in the first story of The Mystery of Dr. Fu-Manchu in English pulp magazine Story-Teller.
- 5th - New Jersey Governor Woodrow Wilson wins U.S. presidential election
- 5th - Woodrow Wilson wins U.S. presidential election
- 11th - William Lawrence Bragg presents his derivation of Bragg's law for the angles for coherent and incoherent scattering from a crystal lattice, creating the field of x-ray crystallography, and making possible the eventual imaging of the double helix of DNA
- 28th Albania declares independence from the Ottoman Empire.
- 18th - Piltdown Man, thought to be the fossilized skull of a hitherto unknown form of early human, presented to the Geological Society of London. It is revealed to be a hoax in 1953.
- 24th - Merck files patent applications in Germany for synthesis of the entactogenic drug MDMA (Ecstasy), developed by Anton Köllisch.
- 30th - The First Balkan War ends temporarily: Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia (the Balkan League countries) sign an armistice with Turkey, ending the two-month-long war.
- 1912 date-mark on the apex of a building at Springfield, Birmingham, England.
- Casimir Funk identifies vitamins.
- The Scoville Unit (used to measure the heat of peppers) is devised and tested by Wilbur Scoville.
- Alfred Wegener proposes the theory of continental drift.
- Wilfrid Voynich discovers the eponymous manuscript in the Villa Mondragone.
- The Government College of Technology, Rasul was established.