Titanic: Postcard autographed and signed by Jacob [Christian Milling]. Dated Southampton, April 10 12 (1912).
Post card autographed and signed by Jacob [Christian Milling]. Dated and stamped in Southampton, April 10 12.
The only known Danish postcard written by the Danish passenger on the RMS Titanic, machine inspector Jacob Christian Milling (1863–1912). Milling was one of 13 Danes on the fateful maiden voyage across the Atlantic aboard the infamous ship, which at the time was considered unsinkable. Milling was one of the 1490 passengers who did not survive the maritime disaster on the night between 14 and 15 April 1912. Milling was employed at "Sydfyenske Jernbaner” (Southern Funen Railways) and highly respected for his knowledge and his ability to construct locomotive parts. In 1912, he was granted leave for a two-month paid study tour in the United States – something he was looking forward to. The country was not unknown territory for him. In his youth, Milling lived for a time in Portland, Oregon, where he worked as an engineer. The postcard, written to Milling's wife, Augusta, was sent from Southampton on the morning of Milling’s departure with the ship, where he had purchased a 2nd class ticket. While writing this card, Milling was waiting with excitement in his hotel room at the South Western Hotel in Southampton, and he could see the mighty ship from his window: ”Kære Augusta! Dettte er det sidste du hører fra mig fra denne Side. Jeg sender maaske en Trådløs, der som det ikke er for dyrt. Jeg bor på Banens Hotel, det er ikke billigt men bekvemt. Fra mit Vindue kan jeg se Skibet over i Dokken. Hvordan har de Gamle det? Hils dem og Børnene mange gange. Mange Hilsener til Eder alle. Fra Jacob“. (”Dear Augusta! This is the last thing you will hear from me from this side of the Atlantic. I may send a wireless if it is not too expensive. I am staying at Banen’s Hotel, it’s not cheap but comfortable. From my window, I can see the ship in the dock. How are the old folks? Send them and the children my greetings. Many greetings to all of you. From Jacob.” ) Milling sent the postcard and boarded the ship, which he inspected in detail. A few days later (14 April) he sent a “Wireless” telegram from the ship to Augusta. He stated in a pre-arranged code (ABANAPAS) that everything was fine: “All is well, calm weather, the ship is fine, I am enjoying myself, good travel companions, a wonderful trip”.
The telegram reached the family a few hours after Milling had perished in the ice-cold Atlantic Ocean. Milling was found as body #271 and taken to Halifax Canada, from where he was shipped out via Boston on board the “C.F. Tietgen” and sent to Copenhagen on 16 May 1912. Jacob Milling was buried on Assistens Cemetery in Copenhagen on 3 June 1912.
There are no known letters, documents or records from Danes aboard Titanic available on the free market, and the postcard here can therefore be regarded as an important document, which still functions as a vivid reminder for many people of the historic disaster.
Reference: Hjermind and Hjermind McCall: Titanic. De danske fortællinger. Viborg 2012.
Provenance: The Danish philatelist, Ole Steen Jacobsen (1941–2015).
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Paintings, 27 November 2018
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