Over the next few weeks, you won’t need to go far to see an impressive exhibit about the Titanic.
Nearly 100 Titanic related items belonging to historic collector allen Shirley, some of which actually came from the ship, are now on display inside the Joplin Museum Complex in Schifferdecker Park in Joplin.
Allen Shirley, Historic Item Collector
“It’s really something as a collector for almost 40 years, I got on to Titanic and I get a subject and I love to find items related to it and then do the background history and learn all about the individual items”
This item, called a board, was an early version of a time card, it’s holder was one thousands of people employed by Harland and Wolff, the company that built the world’s largest ocean liner in Ireland.
Shirley says the tragedy was a reality check at that time in history.
Allen Shirley, Historic Item Collector, adds,
“We could control nature, and that because of all the inventions, the electric light, the inventions after the Civil War and we had a feeling that we could control nature rather than it control us, and events like the Titanic told us very quickly that we don’t call the shots, mother nature does”
Although he’s been fascinated by the topic for decades, Tonya Rice is like millions of Americans who caught the Titanic “bug” because of the 1997 movie.
Tonya Rice, Titanic Obsessed,
“Anything that has to do with the Titanic, I’ve been to the Museum in Branson a couple times, I actually got engaged there and uh just anything to do with the Titanic”
Stuart Price, Reporting
“But finding the Titanic wasn’t the main reason Robert Ballard was searching the ocean floor”
The oceanographer was contracted by the U.S. Navy to find the wreckage of two U.S. nuclear subs that sank during the cold war.
Fortunately for Ballard, the ship lay in between the two subs he was looking for, and the rest is history.
The display costs three dollars to see and is a fundraiser for the Museum Complex and goes through April 20th.