Born on February 7, 1873, Thomas Andrews left school to become an apprentice at his uncle’s shipbuilding company, and later became the principal architect for the infamous RMS Titanic. In 1912, Andrews boarded the ship for her maiden voyage. When the ship hit an iceberg on April 14, 1912, he calculated that the damage would sink in it two hours. He went from cabin to cabin, urging women and children to get aboard the lifeboats. He died in the sinking on April 15, 1912, at age 39.
Shipbuilder and Titanic victim Thomas Andrews Jr. was born on February 7, 1873, in Comber, Northern Ireland. The nephew of Lord Pirrie, the owner of the shipbuilding firm Harland and Wolff, Thomas Andrews left school at age 16 to become an apprentice at his uncle's company. In time, Andrews rose through the ranks to become the managing director at Harland & Wolff, in charge of design. He became a member of the Institution of Naval Architects in 1901.
Principal Architect for the 'Titanic'
Andrews was the principal architect for Harland & Wolff's new superliner, the RMS Titanic. In 1912, he boarded the Titanic for her maiden voyage to America, as he made it a practice to accompany all of his ships' debuts for research purposes. When the ship collided with an iceberg on April 14, 1912, Captain Edward J. Smith consulted Andrews, who deemed that the damaged ship would sink in less than two hours. Andrews immediately went from cabin to cabin, urging women and children to get aboard the lifeboats, while knowing full well that there were not enough lifeboats to accommodate all of the passengers and crew.
Thomas Andrews was last seen near the first-class smoking room shortly before the Titanic sank, on April 15, 1912. Andrews died in the sinking, at age 39. He was survived by his wife, Helen Reilly Barbour, and their daughter, Elizabeth.
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