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Encyclopedia > J. Bruce Ismay
J. Bruce Ismay

Joseph Bruce Ismay (December 12, 1862 - October 15, 1937) was a British businessman who served as Managing Director of the White Star Line of steamships. He travelled on (and survived) the doomed maiden voyage of his company's marquee ocean liner, the RMS Titanic. Image File history File links Bruce_Ismay. ... Image File history File links Bruce_Ismay. ... December 12 is the 346th day (347th in leap years) of the year in the Gregorian calendar, with 19 days remaining. ... 1862 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... October 15 is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years). ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... White Star Line logo and burgee. ... For other uses, see Titanic. ...

Contents

Personal history

Ismay was born at Crosby, Merseyside. He was the son of Thomas Ismay, the senior partner in Ismay, Imrie and Company and the founder of the White Star Line. The younger Ismay was educated at Elstree School and Harrow, then tutored in France for a year. He was then apprenticed at his father's office for four years, after which he toured the world. He then went to New York City as the company representative there, eventually rising to the rank of agent. In 1888, Ismay married Florence Schieffelin of New York, with whom he had two sons and two daughters. Three years later, he returned with his family to the United Kingdom and became a partner in his father's firm, Ismay, Imrie and Company. In 1899, Thomas Ismay died, and his son became head of the family business. Bruce Ismay had a head for business, and the White Star Line flourished under his leadership. In addition to his ship business, Ismay also served as a director of several other companies. However, in 1901, he was approached by Americans who wished to build an international shipping conglomerate. Ismay agreed to merge his firm into the International Mercantile Marine Company. Antony Gormleys Another Place on Crosby Beach Crosby is a suburban area and Parliamentary Constituency of Sefton, Merseyside, North West England. ... Thomas Henry Ismay (7 January 1837 – 23 November 1899) was the founder of the Oceanic Steam Navigation Company, more commonly known as the White Star Line. ... It has been suggested that Houses of Harrow School be merged into this article or section. ... New York, NY redirects here. ... Year 1888 (MDCCCLXXXVIII) was a leap year starting on Sunday (click on link for calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday of the 12-day slower Julian calendar). ... Year 1899 (MDCCCXCIX) was a common year starting on Sunday (link will display the full calendar). ... 1901 (MCMI) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... The International Mercantile Marine Co. ...


In 1907, Ismay met with Lord Pirrie of the Harland & Wolff shipbuilding company of Belfast. Together, they planned to build a steamer that would outdo the RMS Lusitania and the RMS Mauretania, the recently-unveiled marvels of White Star's chief competitor, Cunard Line. Ismay's new type of ship would not only be fast, but would also have huge steerage capacity and luxury unparalleled in the history of oceangoing steamships. The latter condition was largely meant to woo the wealthy and prosperous middle class. Three ships were planned. One would be White Star Line's pride and joy, the RMS Titanic, which began its maiden voyage from Southampton, England to New York City on April 10, 1912. 1907 (MCMVII) was a common year starting on Tuesday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Wednesday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... William James Pirrie, Viscount Pirrie, KP (May 31, 1847) - (June 6, 1924) was a leading Irish shipbuilder and businessman. ... Harland and Wolff Heavy Industries began as a shipyard located in Belfast, Northern Ireland. ... WGS-84 (GPS) Coordinates: 54. ... The RMS Lusitania was a British ocean liner owned by the Cunard Steamship Line Shipping Company, built by John Brown and Company of Clydebank, Scotland, and launched on Thursday, June 7, 1906. ... RMS Mauretania (also known as Maury), sister ship of the Lusitania, was an ocean liner built by Swan, Hunter & Wigham Richardson at Wallsend, Tyne and Wear, and was launched on September 20, 1906. ... The Cunard Line, formerly Cunard White Star Line, is a British cruise line, operator of ocean liners RMS Queen Elizabeth 2 (QE2) and RMS Queen Mary 2 (QM2). ... This page discusses the English city of Southampton. ... April 10 is the 100th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (101st in leap years). ... 1912 (MCMXII) was a leap year starting on Monday in the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Tuesday in the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Ismay occasionally accompanied his ships on their maiden voyages, and Titanic was one of them. When the ship hit an iceberg south of the Grand Banks of Newfoundland and started sinking on the night of April 14, he was rescued in Collapsible Lifeboat C. Taken aboard the Cunard liner RMS Carpathia, he arrived in New York on the 18th. Ismay later testified at Titanic disaster inquiry hearings held by both the U.S. Senate (chaired by Senator William Alden Smith) and the British Board of Trade (chaired by Lord Mersey). Iceberg west of Ilulissat inlet, Greenland For other uses, see Iceberg (disambiguation). ... Map showing the Grand Banks Historic map of the Grand Banks. ... April 14 is the 104th day of the year (105th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar, with 261 days remaining. ... RMS Carpathia The RMS Carpathia was a Cunard Line transatlantic passenger steamship built by Swan Hunter & Wigham Richardson. ... The United States Senate is the upper house of the U.S. Congress, smaller than the United States House of Representatives. ... William Alden Smith (May 12, 1859 – October 11, 1932) was a U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator from the state of Michigan. ... The Board of Trade circa 1808. ... John Charles Bigham, 1st Viscount Mersey (August 3, 1840 - September 3, 1929) was a British jurist. ...


After being picked up by the Carpathia, Ismay was led to the cabin belonging to the ship's doctor, which he reportedly did not leave for the entire journey. He ate nothing solid, received only a single visitor, and was kept under the influence of opiates for the entire journey.


After the disaster, he was savaged by both the American and the English press for deserting the ship while women and children were still on board. Some papers called him "J. Brute Ismay", some ran negative cartoons of him deserting the ship. London society ostracized him, and labeled him one of the biggest cowards in history. In 1913, he resigned as president of International Mercantile Marine, to be succeeded by Harold Sanderson.


After the Titanic tragedy, Ismay continued to be active in maritime affairs. He inaugurated a cadet ship called Mersey used to train officers for the merchant navy, donated £11,000 to start a fund for lost seamen, and in 1919 gave £25,000 to set up a fund to recognize the contribution of merchant mariners in World War I. Year 1919 (MCMXIX) was a common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar). ... “The Great War” redirects here. ...


A resident of Liverpool, J. Bruce Ismay died on October 15, 1937 of a cerebral thrombosis. He is buried in Putney Vale Cemetery in London. Liverpool skyline. ... October 15 is the 288th day of the year (289th in leap years). ... 1937 (MCMXXXVII) was a common year starting on Friday (link will take you to calendar). ... A thrombus or blood clot is the final product of blood coagulation, through the aggregation of platelets and the activation of the humoral coagulation system. ... This article is about the capital of England and the United Kingdom. ...


J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic films, television programs, and more

J. Bruce Ismay has been played by many actors in different versions of the Titanic story.


In the 1943 German film Titanic, J. Bruce Ismay was portrayed by actor Ernst Fritz Fürbringer. 1943 (MCMXLIII) was a common year starting on Friday (the link is to a full 1943 calendar). ... Titanic was a 1943 Nazi propaganda film made during World War II in Berlin by Tobis Productions for Ufa Films. ...


In the 1958 British film A Night to Remember, J. Bruce Ismay was portrayed by actor Frank Lawton. Year 1958 (MCMLVIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... A Night to Remember is the 1958 adaptation of Walter Lords book by the same name. ...


In the 1979 British/American tv-film S.O.S. Titanic, J. Bruce Ismay was portrayed by actor Ian Holm. For the song by the Smashing Pumpkins, see 1979 (song). ... S.O.S. Titanic (1979) is a television movie that covers the doomed 1912 voyage as it is experienced by two second-class passengers, one played by David Warner, who would go on to play a personal security person to a first-class passenger in the 1997 film Titanic. ... Sir Ian Holm Sir Ian Holm CBE (born 12 September 1931), born as Ian Holm Cuthbert, is an English actor. ...


In the 1996 American tv mini-series Titanic, J. Bruce Ismay was portrayed by actor Roger Rees. 1996 (MCMXCVI) was a leap year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar, and was designated the International Year for the Eradication of Poverty. ... Titanic was a made-for-TV movie that premiered in 1996. ... Roger Rees Roger Rees (born on May 4, 1944) is a British-American actor. ...


In the 1997 American film Titanic, J. Bruce Ismay was portrayed by actor Jonathan Hyde. 1997 (MCMXCVII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Jonathan Hyde as J. Bruce Ismay in Titanic (1997) Jonathan Hyde (born May 21, 1947 in Brisbane, Queensland) is an Australian-born English stage actor. ...


In the 2003 Documentary Ghosts of the Abyss, J.Bruce Ismay was portrayed by maritime artist Ken Marschall 2003 (MMIII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Ghosts of the Abyss is a 2003 documentary made by filmmaker James Cameron after his Oscar winning film Titanic. ...


In Derek Mahon's fine poem 'After the Titanic' Derek Mahon Derek Mahon (born 23 November 1941) is an Irish poet. ...


Controversy

There are a number of controversies concerning the actions of Ismay on board the Titanic.


Passengers have stated that during the voyage they heard him pressuring Captain Edward J. Smith to go faster, in order to arrive in New York ahead of schedule, so as to generate some free press about the new liner. One passenger claimed to have seen Ismay flaunting one of the iceberg warnings at dinner time, waving it around, then placing it back in his pocket. However these claims are not supported by evidence from any of the surviving officers, and the testimony of some passengers is at best unreliable and at worst revealed to be invention. Captain Edward John Smith, RD , RNR (January 27, 1850 – April 15, 1912) was the captain of the RMS Titanic when it sank in 1912. ...


During the sinking, Ismay assisted the crew in loading and lowering the lifeboats. When there were no female passengers in the vicinity of the deck he and another first class passenger (William Carter) were invited to board one of the collapsible lifeboats if they took the place of one of the seamen. This incident would haunt Ismay for the rest of his life, as there were still women and children present on the ship. His personal servant, Richard Fry, and secretary William H. Harrison remained on board and perished when the ship sank.


External links

  • J. Bruce Ismay biography at Encyclopedia Titanica
  • Find-A-Grave

References


 
 

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