Maritime History

The General Slocum Disaster

The P.S. General Slocum burned in the East River in New York on June 15, 1904. It had been chartered for a group outing that suddenly became a deadly maritime disaster.

Transatlantic Cruising Before the Titanic

Ships were of course carrying cargo for centuries before the idea of carrying passengers in any sort of vacation sense existed. But once the Black Ball line decided to prioritize passenger comfort, the development of the cruise industry began. 

Frederic Tudor, the Ice King

Tudor hatched a clever plan: In cold weather, he would harvest ice for cheap, and then sell it all around the world when it was hot, singlehandedly turning ice into a commodity and becoming vastly wealthy in the process.

Horace de Vere Cole and the Dreadnought Hoax

Cole was a lifelong prankster, but none of his stunts could compare with his scheme to gain access to the HMS Dreadnought by getting his friends -- including Virginia Woolf -- to pretend they were Abyssinian royalty.

A Cruise Through History's Ghost Ships

There have been numerous instances of ships found adrift with no one on board. Four of those nautical mysteries are featured here, with some truly chilling details.

A Brief History of Diving Technology

Humans have always longed to explore underwater, but the need to breathe air has been an obstacle. From as far back as the 4th century B.C.E., clever inventors have been designing technology to give us face time with the creatures of the sea.

The Unsinkable Violet Jessop

We love to talk about shipwrecks, but Violet Jessop was a shipwreck survivor -- several times over. She traveled the world aboard some of the most famous ocean liners of all time.

Unearthed! Franklin's Lost Expedition

On September 1, 2014, a team of searchers discovered artifacts from the Franklin Expedition. Over the course of seven dives, additional artifacts from the Erebus were recovered. Read the show notes here.

Christmas Tree Ship

It's a Christmas episode, a shipwreck and a ghost story rolled into one! It's the story of the the Rouse Simmons, which sank in Lake Michigan while hauling a load of Christmas trees to Chicago.

Henry Hudson, Part 2

This episode picks up in the middle of Hudson's third voyage, as the Half Moon is making its way down North America's east coast. As Hudson doggedly pursues the idea of a northern sea route from Europe to Asia, he makes a number of poor decisions.