Washington Roebling: Motorcar Whiz and Titanic Hero


Born today was Washington Roebling

A pioneer in automob’ling.

Race car engineer, mechanic,

Lost his life aboard Titanic.


“Roebling had big plans for his company, which was also producing a handsome touring edition of the Raceabout. He was constantly on a quest to improve his cars, and in the spring of 1912, he traveled to Europe to discuss automobile design and development with French and British engineers.

‘He was young, only 31, and he was caught up in the automobile craze. He went to France and toured in a Fiat, learning all he could about that car, and the latest engineering technologies,’ said Don Jones, a member of the board of directors of the Roebling Museum.

It was a trip from which W.A. would not return. After his tour was finished, he booked passage on the Titanic, taking Cabin A-24 in first class. His heroism on April 15, 1912, was well-documented by eyewitnesses, whose accounts appeared in the Trenton papers at the time.

He spent his last hour of life trying to calm passengers, staying cheerful as he helped women and children into lifeboats.

He was last seen leaning over the ship’s deck rail, smiling as he looked down and waved at people in a lifeboat.

‘He could have gotten into a lifeboat at any time, but he gave that up,’Millen said.” [J.D. Mullane, phillyburbs.com]





Filed under: enginerring, history, technology

Leave a comment