It was simply unimaginable to all parties involved in the launching, that there would ever be a disaster requiring the total evacuation of
all passengers on board the Titanic. During the British Inquiry
into the tragic events, Thomas Scanlon, representing the National
Sailors Union, noted that the shortage of lifeboats was simply a cost-cutting procedure, and blamed the Board of Trade for its insufficent safety standards. The Welin davits installed on the
Titanic were equipped to handle up to four lines of lifeboats, but only one line on each side were installed for a total of sixteen, with four additional collapsible boats. Only half of the ship's passengers could be accomodated, and when disaster struck, the resulting panic, fear and inadeqaute evacuating procedures meant that many of the lifeboats dropped into the sea half-empty. White Star Line lifeboats were identified with iron plates on both sides of the bow. The name of the ship and the houseflag were on the port side, and a 'Liverpool' tag and houseflag were on the starboard side. Period photographs show that the direction of the houseflag on the port side varied from boat to boat. cf. E.E. O'Donnell, The Last Days of the Titanic, 1997, pp. 52, 60 for illustrations of 'Titanic' lifeboats clad with comparable nameplates and house flags; See Susan Wells, Titanic: Legacy of the World's Greatest Ocean Liner, 1997, p. 87 for an illustration of a 'Titanic' nameplate.