Titanic Photos – Young Irish Priest Took Historic Shots of Ill-Fated Oceanliner
The Tablet, by Sarah MacDonald
April 19, 2012
Jesuit Father Frank Browne, 1880-1960, became a prominent documentary photographer and a much-decorated chaplain in the British army in World War I. A collection of his photographs, “Father Browne’s Titanic Album” has been reprinted to mark the centenary of the demise of the massive liner, which was constructed in Belfast, Ireland, and was believed to be unsinkable. More than 1,500 people died when it sank April 15, 1912.
While onboard, the self-taught photographer managed to obtain pictures of the first-class accommodation and dining rooms. He also captured the gymnasium, the library and passengers enjoying a stroll on the promenade, as well as many passengers in third class, recording some of those who would later perish in the freezing waters of the Atlantic. He took the last image of the Titanic’s captain, Edward Smith. Father Browne’s images of the ship’s accommodation and passengers have been pored over by maritime historians, engineers and filmmakers seeking answers to a tragedy that still grips the public’s imagination.