It was supposed to be the triumph of science over nature, but nature proved too much for the massive liner that fateful night in the north Atlantic.
Since last fall, people have been flocking to the Franklin Institute to see the return engagement of "Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition, only the second exhibit ever booked into the museum for a return visit. But that visit ends Sunday.
This exhibit gives visitors the opportunity to imagine what it might have been like to sail Titanic. When you enter the exhibit space. You're greeted by a staffer who gives you a boarding pass.
On it is the name of someone actually aboard Titanic for the historic voyage.
You might be a passenger in first-, second- or third-class, or a member of the crew. As you move through, you'll have opportunity to learn how your person might have spent time on board; see the level of amenities for that class, etc.
As you go, you'll feel the sense of excitement and optimism turn to gloom as the ship's fate becomes evident.
There are also opportunities to buy replicas of artifacts from the ship. Artifacts in the exhibit have been harvested from the debris field around the sunken shipwreck.
The ship itself is the grave of many passengers, so, under international law, taking any item from its confines would be treated as grave-robbing. But because so much from Titanic scattered when the vessel hit bottom, there are hundreds of items which may be brought to the surface legally. That's what you see in the exhibit.
"Titanic - The Artifact Exhibition" is a time-ticketed, extra-cost attraction. Your admission ticket lets you visit the rest of the museum, too.
For more information, access Franklin Institute or phone 215-448-1200.