CLOSE

Items from the Titanic Are Up for Auction

For reasons that should be apparent (see: iceberg), artifacts from the R.M.S. Titanic are extremely rare. Some objects that belonged to survivors have ended up in museums, while other items from the wreckage, including clothing that belonged to passengers who died on the ship's maiden voyage, have been auctioned off (nearly 5500 appeared in a single auction in 2012). Today, Lion Heart Autographs kicked off an auction that includes three rare Titanic finds from survivors accused of bribing their way onto Lifeboat No. 1.

The artifacts include a ticket to the ship’s Turkish Baths’ weighing chair, a menu from the last lunch served on the ship, and a letter from Laura Mabel Francatelli to fellow survivor Abraham Salomon.

The passengers in the lifeboat opted not to return to rescue those stranded in the freezing water after the ship sank, despite the fact that the boat had a 40-person capacity and held just 12 people (seven crewmembers plus Francatelli, her employer Lucy Duff-Gordon and husband Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon, businessman Charles Stengel, and Salomon). Their decision not to return, and the accusations of bribery, led to an investigation that Francatelli references in her letter to Salomon.

"We do hope you have now quite recovered from the terrible experience," Francatelli wrote. "I am afraid our nerves are still bad, as we had such trouble & anxiety added to our already awful experience by the very unjust inquiry when we arrived in London. Lady Gordon’s mother is with us and she would so much like to meet you being one who shared our boat. Kindest regards. Yours sincerely…"

arrow
video
26 Facts About LEGO Bricks

Since it first added plastic, interlocking bricks to its lineup, the Danish toy company LEGO (from the words Leg Godt for “play well”) has inspired builders of all ages to bring their most imaginative designs to life. Sets have ranged in size from scenes that can be assembled in a few minutes to 5000-piece behemoths depicting famous landmarks. And tinkerers aren’t limited to the sets they find in stores. One of the largest LEGO creations was a life-sized home in the UK that required 3.2 million tiny bricks to construct.

In this episode of the List Show, John Green lays out 26 playful facts about one of the world’s most beloved toy brands. To hear about the LEGO black market, the vault containing every LEGO set ever released, and more, check out the video above then subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay up-to-date with the latest flossy content.

Original image
iStock
arrow
video
Of Buckeyes and Butternuts: 29 States With Weird Nicknames for Their Residents
Original image
iStock

Tracing a word’s origin and evolution can yield fascinating historical insights—and the weird nicknames used in some states to describe their residents are no exception. In the Mental Floss video above, host John Green explains the probable etymologies of 29 monikers that describe inhabitants of certain states across the country.

Some of these nicknames, like “Hoosiers” and “Arkies” (which denote residents of Indiana and Arkansas, respectively) may have slightly offensive connotations, while others—including "Buckeyes," "Jayhawks," "Butternuts," and "Tar Heels"—evoke the military histories of Ohio, Kansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina. And a few, like “Muskrats” and “Sourdoughs,” are even inspired by early foods eaten in Delaware and Alaska. ("Goober-grabber" sounds goofier, but it at least refers to peanuts, which are a common crop in Georgia, as well as North Carolina and Arkansas.)

Learn more fascinating facts about states' nicknames for their residents by watching the video above.

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios