Henry Blank- Titanic First Class Passenger
Mr Henry Blank was an American, 39 year old, first class passenger travelling back to his home in Glen Ridge, New Jersey, after completing a business trip to Europe. He joined the ship in Cherbourg, France, was travelling alone, and occupied cabin A31.
Henry Blank, the son of Henry and Hortense Blank, was born on Tuesday 17th September 1872 in Providence, Rhode Island. While he was still a child, the family moved to Philadelphia, where he stayed until, as a teenager he moved to Newark, New Jersey.
In Newark, Henry started work in the jewellery manufacturing business, a job that he was good at. For four years he worked for Prudential Insurance co; including being the superintendent of their Jamestown, New York office.
In 1895 Henry Blank married Phoebe Eve Miller in Newark. Eventually they had a total of six sons and one daughter together.
Two years later in 1896, he joined forces with Newton Whiteside to form a jewellery manufacturing business, Newton E. Whiteside. In 1900 the companies name was changed to Whiteside & Blank.
In around 1907, he moved to Glen Ridge, New Jersey, where he had a house built, a brick mansion in the Georgian style located at 138 Ridgewood Avenue. He is said to have enjoyed reading and the opera.
In early 1912, Henry sailed to Europe for a business trip to Belgium, France, Netherlands, and Switzerland. He decided to return home aboard the maiden voyage of Titanic. On board Titanic he is said to have become friendly with fellow passengers William Greenfield and Alfred Nourney.
At 11.40pm on 14th April 1912, the time in which Titanic fatally collided with the iceberg, Henry was sat in the smoking room, complete with a cigar, playing cards with William Greenfield and Alfred Nourney. After a failed attempt to spot the iceberg they returned to their game.
Henry (and presumably his two friends) decided to go and investigate. While on F deck he saw that sea water was flooding into the squash court. A place it certainly should not have been. After seeing this he returned to his cabin where he got a few valuables, put on his lifebelt and made his way to the boat deck.
On the starboard boat deck, Henry, along with his two friends were allowed to enter Lifeboat 7, the very first boat to leave the ship. The boat was rescued by Carpathia later in the morning.
When Carpathia arrived in New York he was met by a friend, Mr Davidson, who escorted him to the Seville Hotel, where his wife was waiting for him. Apparently, despite her being Titanicís near identical sister ship, he later sailed on Olympic a number of times.
Following the death of his wife in 1942, he died from pneumonia on Thursday 17th March 1949. He was buried at Arlington Cemetery, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.
His family are said to still be in possession of an ace of diamonds playing card that Henry took off Titanic with him.