The Titanic Historical Society Museum
"Keeping History Alive"
Mr. Kamuda is also President of the Titanic Historical Society and Editor of its quarterly Journal, The Titanic Communtator.
As a teenager, Edward studied everything on the history of the Titanic. It was in 1957, after seeing the movie A Night to Remember Kamuda obtained an exhibitor's manual from the theater, which listed names of 45 Titanic survivors. Edward tracked down one survivor living in new York, who was a Baker on the Titanic. Kamuda corresponded with him, but after the man died, Kamuda learned that all the titanic memorabilia the man collected, was just discarded by the landlord. Mr. Kamuda says "I felt we had to do something about forming an organization to save Titanic material for future generations, that's how THIS began."
The R.M.S. Titanic, a Royal mail Ship, contained a post office and carried mail on board from England to the United States. This was to be it's maiden voyage. Explains Kamuda, "The reason they wanted to make the maiden voyage was because the ship builders, would not get paid until the first ocean crossing, to make sure all engines ran well,passenger accomadations were correct ex., then on return to England the would be paid." Kamuda adds, "At the time there was a coal strike, this prevented the Titanic from sailing so coal was taken from other vessels lined up at the pier poured into the Titanic as passengers from those vessels also were transfered into the Titanic. The irony was, some people didn't even book passage on the Titanic, and all of a sudden they found themselves on this new vessel."
The Titanic Museum is located in Indian Orchard, Massachusetts. The Museum itself is small, but the two rooms are filled with 'authentic' Titanic, survivor and ocean liner memorabilia. "We have letters and post cards mailed from the ship at Queens Town, a piece of the carpeting from the ship taken by a steward, a breakfast menu, inspection cards, receipts for baggage, a lady's collection of buttons, hair combs even the extracted tooth that bothered her during the Titanic voyage," Says Mr. Kamuda.
Also at the museum is a sketch drawn in 1964 by Fred Fleet, a crewman of the Titanic who survived; illustrating the Titanic impacting an iceberg, as he saw it. (Fleet was a lookout in the Titanic crow's nest on that fateful night.)
There are volumes of information on the Titanic, along with models of ships, posters,and photographs.The buttons on display include those from the uniforms of officers who served on the White Star Line. There is even pieces from a lifeboat. But most chilling to see is a telegram that the Titanic was suppose to receive, warning it of a large iceberg on its route.
The Titanic Historical Society Museum also has memorabilia from the the Ship Lusitania sunk by the Germans on May 7,1915. 1,198 people including 128 American perished. "The ship and passengers at the time were warned they were entering waters in warfare, and that they could be sunk" but Edward adds, "They just ignored the warning."
Dr. Robert Ballard and his diving crew from Woods Hole Oceanographic Inst. (who discovered the sunken Titanic in 1985), placed a memorial plaque from the Titanic Historical Museum Society, on the ship's hull in memory of the passengers lost at sea.
The Titanic Historical Society Museum is a must see for any Titanic history buff.
Some refer to Mr. Kamuda as being the captain of the Titanic Historical Society, and his wife Karen, is the the first mate. Karen publishes the society's quarterly magazine, "The Titanic Commutator," which is mailed to members in six continents. Since the blockbuster James Cameron movie "Titanic" hit the theaters around the globe, the Kamudas have become busy with requests. In fact the couple supplied "Titanic" director Cameron with information for the film and in return, the Kamudas got to be extras on the deck of the recreated ship during the making of the movie in Mexico.
Today, the attention paid to the Titanic Historical society has been constant. And it's world wide web site had 35,000 "hits" in the month of December '97 alone.
The movie has inspired a number of people to call the Titanic Historical Society to find out if they had relatives on the White Star liner or to become members. The legend of the Titanic lives on here at the Museum.