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Thayer family collection

1989.033

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library
Creator:
Thayer
Title:
Thayer family collection
Date [inclusive]:
1892-1986
Call Number:
1989.033
Extent:
10 boxes
Language:
English
Abstract:
The Thayers were a prominent Philadelphia-area family at the turn of the 20th century. John Borland Thayer, Jr. was a vice-president of the Pennsylvania Railroad when he died in the sinking of Titanic on April 15, 1912. The Thayer family collection consists of more than 700 items of ocean liner ephemera dating from 1892 to 1986, including postcards, abstracts of logs, advertisements, passenger lists, menus, deck plans, photographs, stationery and baggage tags from ships of more than 40 lines. The collection also includes one of the only extant first class passenger lists from  Titanic.
Cite as:
[Description and date of item], [Box number], Thayer family collection, 1892-1986, Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library.
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

The Thayers were a prominent Philadelphia-area family at the turn of the 20th century. John Borland Thayer, born April 21, 1862, was the Second Vice-President of the Pennsylvania Railroad. He and his wife, Marian Longstreth Morris Thayer, lived in Haverford, Pennsylvania, and were the parents of Margaret, Pauline, Frederick and John, Jr.

The Thayers? were traveling home to Haverford from Berlin as first class passengers on the Titanic. John Borland Thayer did not seek a lifeboat and died on April 15, 1912 at the age of 49. His wife, Marian Longstreth Morris Thayer (1872-1944), and their maid, Miss Margaret Fleming, boarded a lifeboat and survived the sinking. John Borland Thayer, Jr. (1894-1945), the son of John and Marian Thayer, was seventeen in 1912. He did not board a lifeboat and jumped from the sinking  Titanic. He climbed on an overturned inflatable lifeboat and was eventually picked up by another lifeboat. He and his mother were reunited aboard the  Carpathia.

John Borland Thayer, Jr. graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He returned to the university to serve as the Financial Vice-President and Treasurer. He married Lois Cassatt and was the father of two sons, Edward C. and John B. Thayer, IV. His mother never remarried.

The sinking of the Titanic was not forgotten: he wrote about his experiences in  The Sinking of the S.S. Titanic, April 14-15, 1912. John Borland Thayer, Jr. committed suicide in 1945, following the death of his mother in 1944 and the death of his son Edward who was serving in World War II.

For further information about the Thayer family and their experiences aboard the Titanic, see  The Sinking of the S. S. Titanic by John B. Thayer [III] and  A Night to Remember by Walter Lord.

Scope and Contents

The Thayer family collection consists of more than 700 items of ocean liner ephemera dating from 1892 to 1986, including postcards, abstracts of logs, advertisements, passenger lists, menus, deck plans, photographs, stationery and baggage tags from ships of more than 40 lines, such as Cunard, White Star, Norddeutscher Lloyd, Red Star, Hamburg-Amerika, United States, and Compagnie Generale Transatlantique (French Line). The collection also includes one of the only extant first class passenger lists from Titanic and other materials related to the Thayer family?s experience on the ship?s only voyage.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

Independence Seaport Museum, J. Welles Henderson Archives and Library,  2010.11.29

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Megan Hahn Fraser

Sponsor

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources? ?Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives? Project. Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

Access Restrictions

This collection is open for research use.

Use Restrictions

The Titanic passenger list and other items deemed fragile are restricted. Surrogates will be provided for researchers? use.

Copyright restrictions may apply. Please contact the Archives with requests for copying and for authorization to publish, quote or reproduce the material.

Custodial History note

Donated by Mrs. John B. Thayer IV.

Processing Information note

The creation of the electronic guide for this collection was made possible through generous funding from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, administered through the Council on Library and Information Resources? ?Cataloging Hidden Special Collections and Archives? Project.

Finding aid entered into the Archivists' Toolkit by Garrett Boos.

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Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)
  • Compagnie g?n?rale transatlantique.
  • Cunard Line, ltd.
  • Hamburg-American Line.
  • Norddeutscher Lloyd.
  • Red Star Line.
  • Titanic (Steamship).
  • United States Lines Company.
  • White Star Line.
Form/Genre(s)
  • Clippings
  • Deck plans
  • Ephemera
  • Menus
  • Photographs
  • Postcards
  • Ships' passenger lists
Subject(s)
  • Ocean liners
  • Travel

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Collection Inventory

Box Folder

Allen Line.

1 1

American: Friesland ?  New York.

1 2

American: Noordland ?  Westernland.

1 3

American Export.

1 4

Anchor.

1 5

Atlantic Transport.

1 6

Beaver.

1 7

Blue Star.

1 8

Booth.

1 9

Canadian Pacific.

1 10

Coastwise Cruise.

1 11

Compania Genovese di Armamento.

2 1

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique: Bretagne ?  Lafayette.

2 2

Compagnie Generale Transatlantique: Lorraine ?  Touraine.

2 3

Cunard: Abyssinia ?  Ausonia.

2 4

Cunard: Aquitania.

2 5

Cunard: Berengaria.

2 6

Cunard: Campania ?  Carinthia.

2 7

Cunard: Carmania ?  Caronia.

2 8

Cunard: Carpathia.

3 1

Cunard: Etruria ?  Lucania.

3 2

Cunard: Lusitania/  Mauretania,  Mauretania II.

3 3

Cunard: Mauretania (1 of 2).

3 4

Cunard: Mauretania (2 of 2).

3 5

Cunard: Media ?  Parthia.

3 6

Cunard: Queen Elizabeth.

3 7

Cunard: Queen Elizabeth II (1 of 3).

4 1

Cunard: Queen Elizabeth II (2 of 3).

4 2

Cunard: Queen Elizabeth II (3 of 3).

4 3

Cunard: Queen Mary (1 of 4).

4 4

Cunard: Queen Mary (2 of 4).

4 5

Cunard: Queen Mary (3 of 4).

4 6

Cunard: Queen Mary (4 of 4).

5 1

Cunard: Samaria ?  Scotia.

5 2

Cunard: Scythia ?  Umbria.

5 3

Cunard: General.

5 4

Cunard: General.

5 5

Dominion.

5 6

Elder, Dempster.

5 7

Fabre.

5 8

Guion.

5 9

Hamburg-Amerika: Amerika ?  Corcovado.

5 10

Hamburg-Amerika: Furst Bismarck ?  Steigerwald.

5 11

Holland-America: Nieuw Amsterdam ?  Volendam.

6 1

Holland-America: General.

6 2

Home.

6 3

Inman.

6 4

Italian.

6 5

L and NW Railway.

6 6

Lamport and Holt.

6 7

Leyland.

6 8

Moore-McCormack.

6 9

National.

6 10

Nelson.

6 11

Netherlands-American Steam Navigation Co.

6 12

Norddeutscher Lloyd: Bremen,  Bremen II.

6 13

Norddeutscher Lloyd: Europa.

6 14

Norddeutscher Lloyd: Hanover ?  Prinzregent Luitpold.

7 1

Norddeutscher Lloyd: Kaiser Wilhelm Der Grosse,  Kaiser Wilhelm II.

7 2

Norwegian-American.

7 3

Orient.

7 4

P & O.

7 5

Pacific Mail Steam Ship.

7 6

Pacific Steam Navigation Co.

7 7

Red Star.

7 8

Royal.

7 9

Royal Mail Steam Packet.

7 10

Royal Viking.

7 11

Safmarine.

7 12

Shaw Savill.

7 13

Sitmar.

7 14

Swedish-American.

7 15

Union-Castle.

7 16

United States.

7 17

United States: Manhattan.

7 18

White Star: Adriatic ?  Britannic II.

8 1

White Star: Canopic ?  Georgic.

8 2

White Star: Haverford ?  Megantic.

8 3

White Star: Oceanic ?  Pittsburgh.

8 4

White Star: Republic ?  Teutonic.

8 5

Photographs.

8 6

Postcards: other/unidentified lines and non-ship.

8 7

List of Ships, Memorandum, undated.

8 8

List of Ships, Stateroom Plans, undated.

8 9

Clipping: Scribner?s Magazine, ?20 Questions About Steamships?.

8 10

Basset Lowke Ship Models brochure and list.

8 11

Roach, W.T., Pennsylvania Railroad Pass, 1932.

8 12

Program, University of Pennsylvania, Men?s Glee Club 1941.

8 13

First Day Covers: Maritime England Year Series, 1982 British Ships Series, 1969, 1982, 1969.

8 14

Thayer, J. B. Jr. Letters received, 1894, 1903 and undated.

9 A

Thayer, J. B. III. Obituaries, memorials, list of flowers for funeral, 1945.

9 B

Thayer, J. B. IV. Letters received, 1936, 1984, 1986.

9 C

Thayer, Marian L. Letter received, 1924.

9 D

List of First Class Passengers, Royal and U. S. Mail S. S. ?Titanic? from Southampton and Cherbourg to New York (via Queenstown) Wednesday, 10th April, 1912. 22 pp. bound, 1912 April 10.

9 1

Autograph note listing expenses totaling $56.25. 1 p. ?On board R. M. S. ?Titanic?? stationery.

9 2

Autograph letter signed Marian [Longstreth Morris Thayer], Wednesday, [April 10,] 1912 to her sister. 3 pp. ??On Board R. M. S.?Titanic?? stationery, 1912 April 10.

9 3

Typescript press release of statement of J. B. Thayer III, April 20, 1912. 4 pp. on Pennsylvania Railroad stationery, 1912 April 20.

9 4

Autograph memorial ?In Memoriam John Borland Thayer, Titanic, Fifteen April Nineteen twelve? by Georg Reinhard, April 20, 1912. 10 p. bound, 1912 April 20.

9 5

Newspaper clipping, ?Boy Sucked Down, Escapes,? Providence, Rhode Island Journal, April 21, 1912.

9 6

Newspaper clipping, ?John B. Thayer,? Boston Evening Transcript, 1912 April 22.

9 7

Autograph letter signed W. D. Winsor, Hedgeley to Mary, April 23, 1912. 1 p, 1912 April 23.

9 8

Autograph letter signed Evelyn Hamon Graeme, Ouchy-Lausanne to Mrs. Thayer, April 30, 1912. 3 pp, 1912 April 30.

9 9

Black and white photograph, signed A. H. Rostron, undated.

9 10

List of Saloon Passengers, Twin-Screw Steamship ?Carpathia,? From New York, Thursday, April 11, 1912, calling at Gibraltar, Genoa, Naples, Trieste and Fiume. 16 pp. bound, 1912 April 11.

9 11

Copy photograph: Titanic gymnasium.

9 12

Copy photograph: Titanic at Queenstown.

9 13

Copy photograph: Titanic lifeboats and  Carpathia in New York.

9 14

Copy photograph: Titanic lifeboat.

9 15

Copy photograph: Titanic lifeboat #6.

9 16

Copy photograph: Titanic lifeboats D and #4.

9 17

Copy photograph: Titanic overturned collapsible lifeboat and crew of  Mackay-Bennett.

9 18

Telegram from New York American to Mrs. Thayer, regarding Rostron Purse Fund, April 26, [1912]. 1 p, 1912 April 26.

9 19

Typed letter signed Edward H. Butt, Liverpool, May 21, 1912 to Mrs. Thayer. 2 pp, 1912 May 21.

9 20

Autograph letter signed Ernest G. F. Brown, New York, July 18, 1912 to J. B. Thayer [III]. 2 pp. ?Royal Mail Steamship ?Carpathia?? stationery plus envelope, 1912 July 18.

9 21

Autograph letter signed Harry Rostron, Fiume, August 9, 1912 to Mrs. Thayer. 4 pp. ?Royal Mail Steamship ?Carpathia?' stationery, 1912 August 9.

9 22

Typescript eulogy for John Borland Thayer by William D. Winsor, [1912]. 3 pp, 1912.

9 23

Newspaper clipping, Pictorial Supplement of the Sunday Public Ledger, with silhouettes of John B. Thayer and A. H. Rostron, 1913.

9 24

Newspaper clipping, Pictorial Supplement of the Sunday Public Ledger, of photograph of ?Captain E. J. Smith and the  Titanic?s three Chief Officers.?.

9 25

Pamphlet, The Titanic: Our Story by M[artha] E[ustis] S[tevenson] and E[lizabeth] M. E[ustis]. 8 pp. bound, and autograph note signed MEBD[?], ?Names in last paragraph of The  Titanic: Our Story by Martha Eustis Stevenson + Elizabeth M. Eustis.? 2 pp.

9 26

Memorandum book ?A list of those receiving a numbered copy of The Sinking of the Titanic by John B. Thayer.? 70 pp. bound, and copies of title page (2) and illustrations (3) from  The Sinking of the S. S. Titanic, April 14-15, 1912 by John B. Thayer, 1912 April 14-15.

9 27

Newspaper clippings, New York Times, May 20, 1912 and  Public Ledger, June 20, 1912, 1912 May 20, June 20.

9 28

Newspaper clipping, ?White Star Profits and the Titanic,? London  Times, [1913?].

9 29

Program of memorial service for John Borland Thayer, Church of the Redeemer, Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania, June 25, 1914. 4 pp, 1914 June 25.

9 30

Photographs of memorial tablet for John Borland Thayer.

9 31

Autograph letter signed A. H. Rostron, New York, Tuesday, to Jack [Thayer]. 4 pp. ?On Board the Cunard R. M. S. ?Campania.?? stationery.

9 32

Autograph letter signed A. H. Rostron, Southampton, December 30, 1924 to Mrs. Thayer. 4 pp. ?On Board the Cunard R. M. S. ?Mauretania?? stationery, 1924 December 30.

9 33

Autograph letter signed A. H. Rostron, Pier 54, New York, June 22, 1925. 4 pp. ?On Board the Cunard R. M. S. ?Mauretania?? stationery, 1925 June 22.

9 34

Envelope marked "Letter from Capt. Rostron?? Fidelity-Philadelphia Trust Company stationery.

9 35

Newspaper clipping, "Thayer Describes Sinking of Titanic? and ?Hero of  Titanic Now Helpless Invalid? Philadelphia  Evening Bulletin, 1932 April 14.

9 36

Newspaper clipping, "Phila. Man Tells of Titanic Wreck,? Philadelphia  Public Ledger, 1932 April 14.

9 37

Newspaper clipping, "1513 Lost on Titanic 25 Years Ago,? Philadelphia  Evening Public Ledger, and newspaper clipping, ?Honor  Titanic Dead Where Liner Sank,? [Philadelphia?], 1937 April 14.

9 38

Typed letter signed Walter Lord, New York, July 10, 1957 to John Borland Thayer, [IV]. 1 p. Folder 40. Autograph letter signed Walter Lord, September 25 [1957?] to Mr. Thayer. 1 p, 1957 July 10, [1957?] September 25.

9 39

Menu, Titanic Historical Society Banquet, April 17, 1982, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, autographed by John B. Thayer, John Maxtone-Graham, Ken Marschall, Don Lynch, et. al. 4 pp, 1982 April 17.

9 41

Invitation from Philadelphia Maritime Museum to ?A Commemorative: The Titanic after Seventy-Five Years,? to John B. Thayer, and invitation from Philadelphia Maritime Museum to "Pleasures and Perils: The  Titanic and her Era,? members preview exhibit opening, 1987 April 15.

9 42

Invitation from the Ocean Liner Museum to a ?Memorial Service and Dinner Afloat Observing the 75th Anniversary of the Sinking of ? Titanic and the Rescue of? passengers and crew by?  Carpathia? signed by John Maxtone-Graham. 2 pp. plus reply card and envelope.

9 43

Typed letter signed John Maxtone-Graham, February 2, 1987 to John Thayer [IV]. 1 p. plus envelope, 1987 February 2.

9 44

Postcards.

9 45

Printing plate from The Sinking of the S. S. Titanic by J. B. Thayer, wood and copper, 9 ?in. x 5 in.

10