The saga of ‘Titanic' – largest and most luxurious ship of its time – was indeed one of the most tragic episodes in world history.
Sinking of the then ‘ship of dreams', that too in its maiden voyage in 15th April 1912, shocked the world... even now, as the real Titanic slowly disintegrates at the bottom of Atlantic, in the public's fantasy the ship will always remain as ‘unsinkable' ! The 1997 James Cameron blockbuster movie stands as a testimony to this.
The 1997 Titanic movie gave a much realistic depiction of the great ocean liner's mishap. But that's not all... For the people, whether watched this movie or not, there is another place where they can take part in the Titanic's journey and ‘feel the tragedy' in real sense…. That's the "Titanic Museum" in Branson town (Missouri, USA).
Founded and owned by John Joslyn, member of the second expedition team to Titanic's wreckage site in the 80's, the Titanic Museum itself resembles half of the original ship ! This 100 feet tall ship façade accommodates a 16,000 square-feet walk-thru --- a perfect visual treat of the sensational historic saga.
Visitors can enter this Museum of Titanic thro' a stucco iceberg which is wedged into the ship-model's side. On entry, each visitor will be assigned a boarding pass in the name of an actual Titanic passenger. This is the main-punch of the museum visit. Rest of the tour provides the visitor(s) ample opportunities to learn fully about their assigned passenger(s) and…. ultimately, that passenger's fate (deceased or ? ) !!!
The Museum tour presents many unique specialties, which includes…
# An 18-footer Titanic model – the most accurate miniature ship model – best to study the cult ship
# A shipyard containing architectural plans and personal details about the ship builders
# Model ‘boiler room' where one can try a hand in putting coals to a fake furnace using a heavy shovel (as it was in those days !)
# Real-like first class, second class and third class accommodations / cabins (that reminds some scenes from the famous 1997 Titanic movie)
# An exact duplicate model of the ‘grand staircase with a cherub light at its base and a clock at the uppermost landing' …. Of course, here anyone may accidently look around for Jack and Rose (Titanic movie fame !)
# Another exact duplicate of the ‘first class dining room' (again, memories from Titanic movie may pop up !)
# A ‘Sinking Room' equipped with steep sloping decks, lifeboat and a bowl of 28 degree salt water – that stimulates the feeling of Titanic sinking. This helps visitors to understand why the people in cold waters quickly perished then !
# ‘Memorial Room' – displaying the crew names…. Here the visitor(s) can learn the fate about their assigned passenger(s) !
# ‘Recovery Room', which displays a 26-footer model of the rusted Titanic (the same one used in the 1997 Titanic movie)
All these visual treats are well supplemented by historical interpreters – ship captain, men in officer uniforms, women as chambermaids (all rivaling the originals)…
Overall the museum displays 400 artifacts such as… ‘dinner menu of the last supper on board', ‘two deck chairs', ‘a couple of life-vests', ‘letters written on Titanic stationary'…etc.
Another fascination is the ‘Titanic photo collection' by Father Francis Brown, who captured the final images of this ocean liner on its departure from England.
# Last (perhaps not the least) is the ‘Titanic Gift shop' which sells the souvenirs that reflect the former ship-giant's elegance.
In short, it's a most accurate & realistic visual narration of a real life melodrama... A ‘turning the clock back' experience for the onlookers, where they can ‘feel' the emotions of the ill-fated passengers; almost a century ago !