What Really Sank the Lusitania?

In 1915 the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat, dragging nearly 1,200 lives and all of the historical data relating to the state of the ship to the bottom of the Atlantic.


On September 15th Swann will offer a rare piece of Lusitania history in The Eric C. Caren Collection: How History Unfolds on Paper; Part 1. This document, lot 309 in the sale, is the original mechanical plan of the ship’s steam piping, drawn by its builders in 1907.


The ill-fated ship remains in the news due to the efforts of American millionaire Gregg Bemis to recover artifacts that may uncover the reason for its unusually rapid sinking.

Original Mechanical Plan of the Lusitania’s Steam Piping by its Builders, ink drawing on tracing vellum, Clydebank, 1907. Estimate: $10,000 to $15,000.