20 Colorized Photos Of The Titanic That Shed New Light On The Doomed Ship

Ah, the RMS Titanic. Probably the most famous – or should we say infamous – liner in history. The subject of one of the biggest and most successful films of all time. The “invincible” ship that went down on its very first voyage in 1912 after hitting an iceberg. But while people may think they know all there is to learn about the Titanic, these color photos bring a whole new dimension to the colossal boat that was wrongly deemed “unsinkable.”

This stunning color image of the RMS Titanic comes courtesy of a German man named Thomas Schmid. He began a project of colorization several years ago now that’s appropriately titled Titanic in Color. The retouched photograph shows the doomed ship in its building phase and really displays the lavish beauty of the mammoth construction.

The original black and white photograph of the Titanic being built isn’t dated. But we do know is that the gigantic ship’s construction began in 1909 in the Harland and Wolff complex on Queen’s Island, Belfast, Northern Ireland. Perhaps not surprisingly given its unprecedented dimensions and complexity, the company would require several years to put together Thomas Andrews’ design.

This colorized photo of the RMS Titanic shows the beautiful yet ill-fated ship in all its glory, by the shores of County Down, Northern Ireland. It was colorized by a group called Old Ireland in Colour, who according to their Facebook page are committed to “colorizing [black and white] photos of Ireland from the late 19th/early 20th centuries.” The project is led by Irishman John Breslin, an engineer and academic from the National University of Ireland Galway.

The original image was taken by photographer Robert John Welch. He was born in 1859 in Strabane, County Tyrone, Northern Ireland. You’ll be hearing a lot more of this gentleman’s name, as he took a lot of the photos in question. The striking shot is dated 1912. So given that the ship’s tragic sinking occurred in April of that year, the photo was clearly taken in 1912’s first quarter.

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This glorious image is another triumphant retouching from the Old Ireland in Color project. The RMS Titanic appears even more formidable in color, powering its way across the sea with black smoke billowing upwards. It certainly doesn’t look as if it could be tragically sunk by an iceberg.

The original photo was again taken by a certain Mr. Welch. And again it was merely dated 1912 by the Northern Irishman, meaning it was taken just prior to the RMS Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage in April. At that particular moment the majestic passenger liner must surely have appeared near invincible to the photographer.

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This colorized image comes courtesy of Old Ireland in Colour and shows the stunning contents of one of the Titanic’s cabins. The colorization really brings to life how homely they were, and this wasn’t even a first-class compartment. You can really imagine kicking back on the comfy chair in the corner or perhaps playing a game of cards with a friend or family member at the table.

The original pic is another from the prolific Northern Irishman Robert Welch. It’s once again dated merely by the year it was taken, which was 1912. So it must have been done in the three and a bit months before the Titanic set off on its first and final public voyage.

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This colorized version from our friends Old Ireland in Colour quite literally sheds new light on the Titanic’s Café Parisien. This opulent feature was designated for first-class patrons only, so you’d have had to pay top dollar just to sit in it. Breslin’s coloring highlights the establishment’s Gallic-style trellises and sizeable windows, which were unusual for the era and allowed its patrons fine ocean views when they were eating or drinking.

The original black and white photograph of the Parisien was again taken by Robert Welch, in March 1912. The Café was located near to the elite À la Carte Restaurant and designed to emulate the look and atmosphere of a sidewalk café prevalent in its namesake Paris. First-class patrons dining there could enjoy luxury cuisine. For instance, on the fateful day of April 14, 1912, the menu included sirloin of beef, salmon, pate de foie gras, roast duckling and oysters, with a dessert choice of éclairs or peaches in Chartreuse jelly.

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Here’s an attempt at colorization from a Wikipedia user called Fidodog14. He or she has altered a photograph taken of the RMS Titanic as it was about to sail from Southampton, England. The passenger liner would sail on to France to collect more patrons and then begin her first ocean journey. The user utilized a web colorizer for the job, after procuring the image from the White Star Line.

The black and white original was reportedly taken by a notable photographer of the era, Francis Godolphin Osbourne Stuart. This would make sense, as the Scotsman lived in Southampton, where the Titanic took off from on April 10 towards New York, which obviously it never reached. Anyway, F.G.O. Stuart’s haunting photograph captures a significant moment in history.

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Just how awesome does this colorized image of the Titanic’s gymnasium look? On a scale of one to ten, you’d have to say at least a nine, right? With the new addition of color, you can perhaps imagine yourself pedaling away on the exercise bike or building your biceps on the rowing machine. This photograph appears to have been edited by a Dutchman with an alias of FlorianVH. To whom we should say, “Goed gedaan!”

So, who took the original black and white photograph of the Titanic’s gym? Well, would it surprise you that it was a man named Robert Welch? Probably not by now, we guess. The fabulous picture from March 1912 of the workout room makes you realize just how forward-thinking the liner’s makers were. As well as a gym, first-class passengers could enjoy a swim in a pool, dine at luxury restaurants or read a book from a library. All this on a gigantic steamship well over 100 years ago.

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Here’s another neat effort from Thomas Schmid and his Titanic in Color project. This colorized photo captures the moment the luxury liner set off from Southampton on its now infamous jaunt towards New York. The added vibrancy that the colors lend to the photo help it to convey a real sense of what it must have been like to be in that crowd, excitedly waving the vessel off.

The original image wasn’t dated and the identity of the photographer has also been lost to history. But as it’s a photograph of the Titanic leaving Southampton, it can of course be traced back to April 10, 1912. The sizeable crowd that gathered on that day obviously had no idea of the horrors that lay ahead.

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Here we have a colorized photograph of the gargantuan RMS Titanic with its sister ship RMS Olympic. It’s been edited with considerable skill by a Spaniard named Javier Gómez. The added color really brings to life the luxury steamships, which tower over the flat landscape the photograph was taken from.

The original photo was taken in March 1912, by – you’ve guessed it – Robert Welch. Well, the talented Northern Irishman was the designated photographer for the lavish passenger liner’s constructor Harland and Wolff, after all. His black and white shot was taken in Belfast where the Titanic was built.

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This captivating colorized image comes courtesy of the Old Ireland in Colour project. The identity of the room isn’t specified. But from the deck chairs and large windows to the right of the picture, it seems it’s some sort of relaxation area, and the added color really helps you imagine kicking back there. Perhaps reading a book or watching the ocean waves strike against the ship.

Robert Welch took the original black and white image as a photographic print in 1912. Though it isn’t dated as such, it will most likely have been taken in March 1912. That’s because this was when the photographer took a number of his pictures on board the colossal passenger ship.

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The impressive colorization, retouching and restoration of this old photo of the RMS Titanic was done by the Flickr user SandyShores 030203. It shows the doomed passenger liner cruising through the Irish Sea. The vessel was taking part in some test journeys to ensure it was ocean-ready. For us, the added color really illustrates the sheer size and majesty of the gargantuan steamship.

It was April 2, 1912, when the original black and white pic shown above was taken. The identity of the photographer responsible for the impressive shot again seems to have been lost to history. And the image really takes us back to a bygone era, a seemingly more peaceful time before the two world wars when anything seemed possible.

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This lovely colorized version of one of the first-class cabins on the Titanic immediately makes you want to stay there. Just look at the ornate décor and the four-poster bed! They’re brought to life by the retouching, which was done by Old Ireland in Colour.

You’d have needed considerable wealth to have stayed in one of them, though. Yes, a berth in one of these plush first-class cabins would have set you back somewhere between £30 and $150. That might sound like a bargain, but in today’s money it’s at least $3,500. Not surprisingly, Harland and Wolff’s official photographer Robert Welch took the original photograph of this compartment on RMS Titanic.

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This particular image was colored in 2015 by the user Solargreencolor from the Solar Green Color Studio. It shows passengers getting ready to board the RMS Titanic. With the impressive colorization you can really place yourself there and imagine what it would’ve been like waiting to board the luxury steamship. The excitement. Maybe a bit of trepidation. An eagerness to reach New York…

So, who took the original black and white photograph that has been so spectacularly colorized? Well, that’s a good question, and in all honestly not one that we have the answer to. Whoever snapped the picture has certainly captured a piece of history, though. In total, some 2,223 passengers would be clambering on board the ship, supported by 885 staff.

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Ah, the Grand Staircase of the RMS Titanic. A thing of ornate beauty. The colorization really helps bring it to life, as you imagine yourself sauntering down in a tuxedo or a smart dress. I say that because it was only for first-class passengers. The image was colorized by a Rocky Whiteside, who’s a member of the Encyclopedia Titanica web community.

The original shot of the RMS Titanic’s opulent Grand Staircase was taken by, yep, you’ve guessed it, Robert Welch. It first appeared in the 1911 book The Shipbuilder. That special tome was penned in honor of the Titanic and its sister ship RMS Olympic. Containing photographs, meticulous drawings and diagrams, plus technical specifications, it’s a collector’s item today.

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Here’s another fine colorization that’s been done by Thomas Schmid’s Titanic in Color project. It shows the infamous passenger liner’s Grand Staircase from the upper floor. The colorization seems to add new life to the photograph and highlights the ornate banisters and glorious glass ceiling. Sehr gute Arbeit, Herr Thomas.

This shot of the RMS Titanic’s Grand Staircase is mostly likely from 1911 or 1912. Of course, the luxury liner had two main stairways – this luxurious effort that was utilized by first-class patrons only, and another less extravagant one that was trodden by the second-class travelers. The famous Grand Staircase rose through six decks, and was situated in the midst of the steamship’s first and second funnels. The designers ornamented it with gilded features and oak panels, along with the aforementioned dome at the summit.

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The National Archives describes the original black-and-white version of this photo as being among “the most poignant images of the Titanic disaster.” Yet it’s arguably made even more touching by the addition of eye-popping color. The picture was taken on April 16, 1912 – just days after the Titanic’s fatal collision with the iceberg. And the paperboy in the photo – Ned Parfett – later added has his own tragic story to the Titanic tale.

Six years after appearing in this photo, Parfett was dead. The newspaper boy had joined World War I in 1916 and served in the Royal Field Artillery. He even won the Military Medal and received several citations for bravery. But in October 1918 – only 13 days before the Great War ended – Parfett was killed by an enemy shell. He was 22 years old.

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Of course, a similar fate befall many of the passengers who clambered on board the ill-fated ship. And here we can introduce a few to you. First up, here’s Molly Brown, looking resplendent in full color. John Breslin’s Old Ireland in Colour project brought the Irish-American socialite to life with their fine editing skills.

This courageous woman, seen above in the black and white original taken by Bain News Service, would become popularly known as “The Unsinkable Molly Brown.” As her nickname suggests, she managed to survive the sinking of RMS Titanic. But she wasn’t only concerned with her own safety and did her utmost to assist with the evacuation efforts, guiding passengers to board the available lifeboats. Brown was later convinced to abandon the ship but then asked the crew to search for survivors.

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This dapper-looking gentleman went by the name of Victor Peñasco y Castellana. He’s been expertly colorized by a Flickr user called SandyShores 030203. Castellana was just a wide-eyed 24-year old when he boarded the RMS Titanic in 1912.

Castellana clambered upon the RMS Titanic with his wife and her maid. The couple must have had some serious dough as they were traveling first class. Sadly, though, the young Spaniard would be killed when the ship sank. The black and white photo of Castellana is undated and the author of it isn’t known.

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Here’s a colorized image of RMS Titanic heroine Violet Jessop that was done by Javier Gómez in June 2020. Jessop would gain fame for living through the sinking of not one but two ships. Yes, the Argentine crew member miraculously escaped the demise of both the Titanic in 1912 and her sister liner HMHS Britannic four years later.

But incredibly, that’s not all Jessop experienced when it comes to maritime terrors. No, a year before the Argentine escaped the sinking of the Titanic, Jessop was on the RMS Olympic as it accidentally rammed into the British naval vessel HMS Hawke. The original black and white photograph was taken sometime between 1910 and 1920. The stewardess and nurse passed away in 1971.

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This colorized photograph shows passengers from the RMS Titanic escaping the sinking ship via a lifeboat. The colorization really brings to life the drama and sheer horror the people faced as they fled the disaster. It appears to have been edited by a Wikipedia user going by the alias F1jmm.

The original black and white photo of evacuated passengers aboard the foldable lifeboat D – the last of its ilk to be effectively launched from the doomed steamship – was obviously taken on April 15, 1912. It was snapped from the Carpathia, the vessel that noticed the distress signal and moved in to help. The Titanic itself had 20 lifeboats on the day, but they only had capacity for fewer than 1,200 individuals, and there were more than 2,200 on board. It could have had 64 but designers chose not to include them all, meaning many lives were lost unnecessarily.

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