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Empress of Ireland - Behind the Scenes with the Curator

by Dan Conlin, Curator

Time 0:01:31


We’re now preparing to put artifacts in a case from the wheelhouse of Empress of Ireland. The wheelhouse was the nerve centre of the ship. It’s where the captain and officers on duty control everything that happened on the ship: they could communicate into the engine room with voice tubes and telephones, and the ship’s telegraph, and they decided where the ship was going to go. This case contains actually artifacts from the Empress of Ireland that were recovered from the wreck: an actual voice tube, the helm, the telegraph that sent speed controls to the engine. All those items that were there that night where fatal decisions were made about which way Empress of Ireland was going to go in the fog, those fatal decisions that brought the ship into contact with the coal-carrying ship Storstad, and produced the deadly collision that cost over a thousand lives. So these actual objects that were used on the bridge of the ship that night when it made its deadly rendezvous with destiny—we’ll be showing them off in this case. They’re very delicate. They’re from an underwater environment. They need careful padding and support, and we have an expert team assembled to make sure that they find a very careful resting place in this case.

Return to our Empress of Ireland video gallery. →