'Titan' in fiction sinks in 1898 -- And Titanic reality of 1912 [Pt2]
How would Robertson have known in 1898 the great ships of the future would have been an average of 800 ft in length? Probably because they had already started to build such ships like the 704ft RMS Oceanic which was to be built 1 year later in 1899. Undoubted Robertson read journals describing the future build of passenger ships as well indicating the sizes would be even larger. What about having the ship hit a berg as the disaster scenario? What else could you have? You might have the ship hitting another as the Titanic nearly did do with the 570ft ship 'SS City Of New York' when it left the port in Southampton [see picture directly above] but no I'd say the more interesting and believable thing, would be using a berg.
Hitting icebergs were the number one thing feared at the time and being cautious concerning such was top priority for any ship's captain. Robertson imagined however there'd probably be one which would move out into being presumptuous setting aside normal safe protocols. Can we not imagine a captain of whatever type of vessel making a horrendous mistake today? We'd hope not but who could be such an optimist? Concerning his calling the fictional ship 'Titan' one wonders if he knew of possible names White Star Line were considering when it came to the future build of their ships.
Even if he did I would have to acknowledge it is rather peculiar that he'd guess that right on. It is said as well that truth, can be many times stranger then fiction and here's something to consider. Robertson in his fictional story didn't have the great ship 'Titan' sink on it's maiden voyage but it floundered rather on it's third trip. Why not it's maiden? Could it be that he felt nobody would believe such a thing and that it would be too much of an unbelievable tale loosing credibility with the readers? After all, with everything or anything isn't the usual manner common to men to wisely take special care of the whatever thing new? Here's one you may have heard, "Be careful of that new car you might put a scratch on it!" How about, "Be careful with that new ship, you might...." Maybe nobody reading fiction would consider it probable for a ship to sink on it's first journey out. I conclude by saying again, truth can indeed be stranger than fiction.