In the early 1900’s Belfast was home to the largest shipyard, rope works, tobacco factory, linen mill, dry dock and tea drying machinery works in the world. The development of the Harland & Wolff Company, working in co-operation with Belfast’s Harbour Commission, was a key driver in Belfast’s growth and prosperity in the late 19th and early 20th Century. The industry had a knock-on effect on the development of housing and infrastructure in the wider city and employed tens of thousands of people across multiple trades and skills.
To this day many of the citizens of Belfast will lay claim to an Uncle, Grandfather, and Great Grandfather who worked in the shipyards, with their female relatives often working in the Ropeworks with Gustav Wollf as their Chairman.
In addition to Titanic Belfast, Titanic Foundation have acquired a number of key maritime and industrial heritage assets:
- the former Harland & Wolff Drawing Offices and Headquarters Building
- the SS Nomadic
- three Harland & Wolff Steam Cranes
- a small collection of documents and artefacts
Titanic Foundation are also in discussions with the Commissioner of Irish Lights regarding a potential lighthouse heritage project – the Mew Island lighthouse optic.