An Unsinkable Titanic. Every Ship its own Lifeboat - John Bernard Walker 1912 - Dodd, New York - First Edition A fine first edition of one of the scarcest and most sought after of books about the Titanic.

Published only three months after the tragedy of April 15th, 1912, this was the first in depth scientific analysis of the sinking, clearly laid out by Walker, a naval architect and editor of Scientific American, comparing construction techniques and the sacrifice of engineered safety for speed, size, and luxury over the previous 50 years. One premise of the book was, had the Titanic incorporated a double-skin, longitudinal bulkheads and watertight decks, similar to the configuration of the Great Eastern built in 1858, she would not have sunk.

Thoroughly illustrated throughout with 37 black and white plates from photographs, sketches and diagrams.
  From the preface – ‘It is the object of this work to show that, in our eagerness to make the ocean liner fast and luxurious, we have forgotten to make her safe.

The safest ocean liner was the Great Eastern; and she was built over fifty years ago. Her designer aimed to make the ship practically unsinkable—and he succeeded; for she passed through a more severe ordeal than the Titanic, survived it, and came into port under her own steam.

Since her day, the shipbuilder has eliminated all but one of the safety devices which made the Great Eastern a ship so difficult to sink. Nobody, not even the shipbuilders themselves, seemed to realise what was being done, until, suddenly, the world's finest vessel, in all the pride of her maiden voyage, struck an iceberg and went to the bottom in something over two and a half hours' time!

If we learn the lesson of this tragedy, we shall lose no time in getting back to first principles. We shall reintroduce in all future passenger ships those simple and effective elements of safety—the double skin, the longitudinal bulkhead, and the watertight deck—which were conspicuous in the Great Eastern, and which alone can render such a ship as the Titanic unsinkable.


Reference: Anderson,
The Titanic in Print and on Screen, 174.

Small octavo (book size 19.7 x 13.3 cm), pp. [2] xi [1] 185 [1]. In publisher’s blue cloth, spine lettered and front boards lettered in white, front board with dramatic illustration of the Titanic in pale blue, grey, black and brown, top edge trimmed others untrimmed.
  Condition: A fine copy.   Ref: 103934   Price: HK$ 7,000