Titanic 1st Meal Menu Sells for $140,000

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April 22, 2018

The first meal served aboard the Titanic took place nearly two weeks before the ocean liner sank. A menu from that meal has sold at auction for £100,000 ($140,000).

Titanic first meal menu

It was April 2, 1912, the first day of sea trials. Officers and crew gathered for a meal in the main dining area before passengers arrived. Second Officer Charles Lightoller was at that meal, and he saved the menu, giving it to his wife just before the ship sailed on its maiden voyage, on April 10. Lightoller was the most senior crew member to survive, after the ship struck an iceberg and sank early on the morning of April 15.

Lightoller, a sea veteran and onetime Yukon Gold Rush prospector, was first officer at the time of the meal, during the sea trials, but was demoted by Captain Edward Smith before the transatlantic voyage began. He loaded many passengers into lifeboats and escaped on one himself, after he was thrown into the sea and narrowly avoided drowning. He was the last survivor taken aboard the rescuing ship Carpathia.

Lightoller testified before American and British inquiries into the Titanic sinking and then returned to a career at sea, eventually getting his own command, of a torpedo boat during World War I. He also fought in World War II, piloting one of the rescue craft at Dunkirk. He died in 1952.

A British collector bought the menu, according to auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Son. Among the items on the menu were these:

  • Consommé mirrette, a French chicken soup
  • Spring lamb with mint sauce
  • Cauliflower and peas
  • Roast chicken
  • Salmon
  • Peaches imperial

Also selling at auction was a badge belonging to Thomas Mullen, a steward who did not survive the sinking. The badge went for £57,000 ($79,800).

A New York auctioneer in 2015 sold a Titanic lunch menu, which survived the sinking because a first-class passenger kept it safe in his pocket when he escaped in the "Money Boat," for $88,000.

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