Nova Scotia Archives

Halifax and Its People / 1749-1999

"The Atlantic disaster – actual position of the hull", April 1873

The international press seized upon the loss of the Atlantic with a zeal unsurpassed until the sinking of the Titanic nearly forty years later. The Canadian Illustrated News of 19 April 1873 provided on-the-spot coverage of the aftermath: "The bow, with about sixty feet of the forward part of the ship, is broken sharp off, and lies close to the shore, and at a distance of nearly fifty feet from the rest of the vessel. The bow and stern now point in the same direction.... The ship now acts like a breakwater to the small bay in which she lies, occupying nearly the whole of it. The divers and draggers are busy looking with an eager, professional eye to what is coming to the surface in the shape of salvage. Several respectable looking men are watching likewise from the side of the vessel with a different object. Beneath those iron walls lie the mortal remains of those whose memories are dear to them and occasionally there is something floated upwards that they claim. There are many sad and anxious countenances among that quiet knot of strangers.... Incidents of a sad character occur every day, both as regards the loss of life and property. The crew of the schooner in which our correspondents went to the scene of the catastrophe were using pieces of the beautiful teak wood polished saloon doors for fuel."

Artist: from a sketch by E.J. Russell

Date: April 1873

Medium: Copy print from wood engraving; originally published in Canadian Illustrated News, 19 April 1873, p.243

Reference: Borrowed for copying from Charles P. de Volpi Collection, Special Collections, Dalhousie University Libraries Nova Scotia Archives    / negative: N-7590

Nova Scotia Archives —

Crown copyright © 2023, Province of Nova Scotia.