“As close as you will ever come to holding a piece of the Titanic in your hand….”
If any single part of the Titanic could be said to be the heart and soul of her story, it would be the humble rivet. More than three million rivets were used to build the Titanic–over 1500 tons of them. Driven with pride by the rivet crews–the heater-boys, catch-boys, holder-ups and bashers–of Harland and Wolff, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, they are symbolic of the hard labor on which was built the Edwardian world, and which the Titanic so perfectly embodied; at the same time they represent the pride and workmanship that went into every part of the ship.
In Belfast there is a saying, “The Titanic wasn’t a disaster, what happened to her was!” and despite claims to the contrary, it was not failure of supposedly “faulty” rivets when the ship struck the iceberg that were the cause of the Titanic‘s demise: no rivets ever fabricated could have survived the sheering stresses of that collision. Indeed, it is a tribute to the men and materials which built the Titanic that, after almost a century at the bottom of the North Atlantic, much of the ship’s structure remains intact–a mute but telling testimony to the enduring strength of these rivets.
The 401 Rivet is an exact reproduction of the rivets used to fasten the Titanic‘s massive hull plates to her frames, precise in every dimension and characteristic. The 401 Rivet is 3 3/4″ long, with a shank diameter of 1″ and head diameter of 1 3/4″. Each one weighs just over 1 pound. Every effort has been made to ensure that these rivets are as accurate as possible: the dimensions were provided by Harland and Wolff, confirmed by Mark Chinrside, who is recognized world-wide as one of today’s premier authorities on the engineering of the Olympic-class ships; the metal composition was determined by a metallurgical analysis done in 1998 on rivets recovered from the wreck of the Titanic–the metal itself is AISI 1018 iron.
The 401 Rivets are fabricated by Steve Howell, Master Blacksmith at Ballard Forge in Seattle, Washington, using methods that virtually replicate those used by David Colville and Sons over a century ago, when they supplied the originals to Harland and Wolff.
Now you have the opportunity to own a 401 Rivet. There are two sets, Basic and Premium. The Basic Set includes the 401 Rivet, packaged in a red velvet drawstring bag, accompanied by an 8 1/2″ x 14″ FAQ sheet detailing how the original rivets were used and driven, and describing how the 401 Rivet is fabricated today. The Basic Set retails for US $25.95, plus US $5.95 shipping in the United States. (For overseas orders, the price remains the same, however, international priority mail rates (US $23.95) will be charged.
To order a 401 Rivet Basic set to be delivered to a US address, click the button below:
To order a 401 Rivet Basic set to be delivered to an address outside the US, click the button below:
The Premium Set includes the 401 Rivet and its red velvet drawstring bag, along with a hand-finished solid oak display stand bearing a commemorative banner displaying a white star and the legend “RMS Titanic No. 401″, and a 24-page color-illustrated booklet describing the history of rivets used in building steamships, in particular the Olympic-class ships, with a detailed look at the process by which the 401 Rivet is made. The Premium Set retails for US $45.95 plus US $5.95 shipping in the United States. (For overseas orders, the price remains the same, however, international priority mail rates (US $23.95) will be charged.
To order a 401 Rivet Premium set to be delivered to a US address, click the button below:
To order a 401 Rivet Premium set to be delivered to an address outside the US, click the button below:
Note that orders requesting five or more rivet sets will receive one additional set of the matching type (or one Basic Set in the case of orders of five or more requesting a mix of Basic and Premium sets).
Note: We are still working on correcting some glitches with the ordering software, so if you would like to purchase 401 Rivet Sets but are unable to connect to the Shopping Cart, contact Daniel Allen Butler at