Passport Of A Titanic Survivor

Passport Titanic Survivor
Behold, on occasions, splendid documents grace my website, and the one before you is no exception—a cherished possession of a UK collector of TITANIC collectibles. This extraordinary piece of history was obtained directly from Edith’s daughter, Dorothy, and holds an intimate connection to Edith herself, being her very own personal belonging.

Edith Eileen Brown Passport Titanic Survivor

was born on 27 October 1896 in the Cape Colony, South Africa, the daughter of Thomas William Solomon Brown and Elizabeth Catherine Ford. She boarded the Titanic at Southampton as a second-class passenger together with her parents. They bought ticket number, 29750 for £39. Their destination was Seattle.

Rescued by the Carpathia in lifeboat No.14 Passport Titanic Survivor

Together with her mother, she stayed briefly at the Junior League House in New York. Then they traveled for 4 days to her aunt Mrs. Josephine Acton at 2400 9th Avenue West, Seattle, Washington. From there they went back to South Africa, where Edith lived with relatives in Cape Town, but her mother moved to Rhodesia after she remarried.

In May 1917, Edith met Frederick Thankful Haisman. Six weeks later, they were married on 30 June 1917. In August 1918, she gave birth to a son. In the end, the couple would have 10 children. Later they moved to Southampton, back to South Africa, and finally rested at Southampton. Edith Eileen Haisman died on 20 January 1997. Her British passport also came with her NHS medical card.

The last Titanic survivor, Millvina Dean, died at age 97 in 2009. She was the youngest passenger, born on 2 Feb 1912.

RMS Titanic

was a British-registered four funneled ocean liner built in 1912 for the transatlantic passenger and mail service between Southampton and New York. Constructed at the Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast, Ireland Titanic was, on her maiden voyage, the largest vessel afloat.

Mrs. Haisman said she remembered that her father was dressed in an Edwardian dinner jacket, stabbing the cold night air with his cigar and sipping from a snifter of brandy on the deck of the listing ship as she and her mother were being winched 70 feet down into a lifeboat. Passport Titanic Survivor

She said that she never forgot the horror of that night and the loss of her father, and that even in her later years she suffered nightmares in which she heard the screaming of the drowning victims in the Atlantic. It was 11:40 P.M. when she recalled being jolted in her three-berth stateroom.

”Father appeared a few minutes later,” she recalled. ”He told us: ‘You’d better put on your life jackets and something warm, it’s cold on deck. It’s just a precaution. We’ve struck an iceberg — it’s nothing much. The steward in the corridor says it’s nothing to worry about.”

They hurried through the corridors, leaving behind in their haste her mother’s jewelry case, 400 gold sovereigns, and a roll of banknotes on top of a bunk. ”We waited for ages on the boat deck for someone to tell us what to do. The ship’s band was playing ragtime. They played to keep our spirits up. It was so brave of them. Everybody kept saying: ‘She’s unsinkable. She won’t go down.’

”Father kissed us and saw us into Lifeboat 14. Up to 50 people got in as it swung perilously over the side. One man jumped into the boat dressed as a woman. As we rowed away from the ship, we could still hear the band playing, but now it was hymns.” She watched the mighty liner go down.

”We were almost six hours in the lifeboat, and during that time we had no water and nothing to eat. I kept wondering if my father had got off the ship — that’s all I could think of.” Passport Titanic Survivor

Titanic survivor Edith Eileen BrownShe and her mother were picked up by the Cunard liner Carpathia and taken to New York, where they left on a train trip to Seattle to spend time with an aunt of Mrs. Haisman’s, who lived there and had inspired the move to the West Coast. They soon returned to South Africa, where five years later Edith married Fred Haisman, a shipbuilder’s engineering draftsman from London.

Married for 60 years, the couple lived in South Africa, Australia, and Southampton, where Mr. Haisman worked in the boatyard. They had 10 children. Passport Titanic Survivor


On 10 April 1912, the RMS Titanic sailed from Southampton, England with 2,208 passengers and crew, four days later, the Titanic collided with an iceberg and sank: 1496 people died and 712 survived.

Fire at the MS Orazio



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FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?

The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...

2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?

Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...

3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?

"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...

4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?

Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...

5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?

Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.

6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?

During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...

8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?

Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.

9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?

Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.

10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?

A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?

First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...

Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.

Question? Contact me...

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