Below are terrifying and telling sketches of the Titanic’s last moments, drawn by Lewis P Skidmore, who was a passenger on the rescue ship Carpathia on the night they picked up the survivors of the Titanic.

The sinking was described to Skidmore by a 17-year-old survivor, Jack (John) Borland Thayer, from which these drawings were made on their way to New York.

As these sketches offered some of the most detailed visual information about the disaster that was available at the time, the images were published by several different newspapers around the country.

Sketches of sinking ship

Sketches of the successive steps in the foundering of the Titanic, made by John B Thayer, Jr. from one of the Titanic’s collapsible rafts. His sketches were filled in by L P Skidmore of Brooklyn, on the Carpathia, the same day. Mr Thayer is son of the second vice president of the Pennsylvania Railroad, who was one of the victims of the disaster.

MORE: Titanic rescue: First Carpathia photos (1912)


How the Titanic met her fate

Mr. Skidmore’s drawings showing the Titanic’s fate after the collision appear in The Farmer today. They were based upon the vivid description furnished him by a young student who was among the last to leave the Titanic. Mr Skidmore’s drawing give a comprehensive idea of the manner the Titanic met her fate. He is a member of the faculty of Pratt Institute, also a teacher in the School of Applied Sciences, New York.

He took an active part in the detailing of the rescue. – The Bridgeport Times and Evening Farmer (Bridgeport, Connecticut) – April 20, 1912


The drawings showing what a survivor saw (images 1, 2 & 3)

Strikes starboard bow (11:45pm)

Settles by head – boats ordered out (12:05am)

Settles to forward stack, breaks between stacks (1:40am)

Sketches of the Titanic sinking (1912)


Sketches of the Titanic sinking (images 4, 5 6)

Forward end floats, then sinks (1:50am)

Stern section pivots amidships and swings over spot where forward section sank (2:00am)

Last position in which Titanic stayed 5 minutes before final plunge

Sketches of the Titanic sinking (1912)


About this story

Source publication: The Times Dispatch - Richmond, Virginia

Source publication date: 20 April 1912

Filed under: 1910s, Drawings & illustrations, Events, Newspapers

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One Response

  1. Emily Long

    I am proud to say that Lewis Skidmore was my great-grandfather. I just wanted to add, I do not believe he was a journalist at the time, but I could be wrong. He taught art at the Pratt Institute in New York and later became a director at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta. He was also knowledgeable about boats and ships. He drew the account of what happened to help document it as soon as possible. I also have 3 photographs he took of the life boats as they came up to the Carpathia.

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