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Prominent Pittsburgh Couple Miss Titanic’s Ill-Fated Voyage

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(Photo Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: John Moore/Getty Images)

FREELAND-WEB-HEADSHOT-2013 Lynne Hayes-Freeland
Lynne Hayes-Freeland is a general assignment reporter known for live,...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On April 15, 1912, the ill-fated voyage of the Titanic would change history.

Now, 100 years later, there are still stories and tales of those who seemingly “just missed” being on board.

We don’t often think of connections between the Titanic and our area, but there is one. Prominent Pittsburgh couple, Henry Clay Frick and his wife, had tickets for Titanic’s maiden voyage, but never boarded the ship.

“The Frick’s booked the suite first, and then Mrs. Frick sprained her ankle while they were in Europe buying art and touring and things; so, they stayed behind to get medical attention,” said Melanie Linn Gutowski, a writer.

When the Frick’s weren’t able to go, they passed the honor for the maiden voyage on.

“The suite that they booked, that some historians think that they booked, was some kind of savior suite in a way,” said Gutowski. “Everybody who booked it managed to survive either by not being on the ship, or jumping into a lifeboat at the last minute.”

The Frick’s passed the tickets on.

“Their tickets were given to JP Morgan, he was the head of the White Star Line, but he didn’t make it aboard because he was looking at some artwork in France that he could buy for his collection,” Gutowski added.

Artwork that could have been lost completely to the world had Morgan been on board the ship.

But in the end, it would be a man named J. Bruce Ismay who would use the Frick’s suite on board the Titanic, and make history in the process.

“So, the tickets were eventually given to J. Bruce Ismay who was the head of the I.M.M. – the International Mercantile Marine – that was a parent company of White Star. He obviously sailed on the ship and famously jumped into a lifeboat while the women and children were being evacuated.”

RELATED LINKS:
CBS News: “Titanic: A tragedy very much alive”
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