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We have a special case in the exhibit Empress of Ireland: Canada’s Titanic that features objects from the bridge of the ship Empress of Ireland. These are the control devices that allow the officers to safely navigate the ship. They’re on loan to us from the Canadian Museum of History, the Quebec Maritime Museum, and the Royal Alberta Museum. And they’re the ship’s helm, the engine room telegraph that controlled the speed, the telemotor that the helm was mounted on, the compass and then communication devices: a Marconi intercom and the voice tube.

One of the stars of our exhibit, Empress of Ireland: Canada’s Titanic, is this set of pyjamas from a survivor. A second class passenger, an Irish immigrant, John Langley managed to survive the sinking, by crawling out of a porthole wearing these pyjamas. And that was the grim fact about Empress of Ireland sinking in 1914: the ship went down in 15 minutes, and if you hesitated, you died. Langley jumped right out of bed and managed to escape wearing these pyjamas. And he and his family kept them for decades and decades as remembrance of his very close call.

My name is Eleanor Matheson. Right now, I’m a heritage interpreter at the museum of Pier 21. And so that means that I give tours, in English and French, and we also do all kinds of other little duties. So we sell the tickets and we, give people maps and let them know what’s going on in the museum.

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