Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Focus on: Benjamin Guggenheim

Benjamin Guggenheim (October 26, 1865 – April 15, 1912) was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, the fifth of seven sons of the wealthy mining magnate Meyer Guggenheim (1828–1905) and Barbara Myers (1834–1900).

"[In 1885] At the age of 20, Guggenheim went to Colorado to handle the family's mines in Leadville. He was inspired to start a smelting operation - the first plant was located in Pueblo and soon more plants were built elsewhere. Smelting business continued to grow and became quite lucrative for the Guggenheims." Biography.com

Margaret T. Brown, the "unsinkable Molly Brown," was also living in Leadville at the time.  Whether Margaret and her husband, James J. Brown, ever met Benjamin Guggenheim in Leadville in unclear.

Benjamin moved to Pueblo, CO, when the Guggenheim family opened a smelting operation there.  He was joined in the business their by his brother Simon.  The Guggenheims made many millions by smelting the silver and gold sent from mines in Leadville to their plant in Pueblo

In 1894, Benjamin Guggenheim married Florette Seligman (1870–1937),daughter of James Seligman, a senior partner in the firm J & W Seligman, and Rosa Seligman née Content.  See their wedding notice in the New York Times dated Thursday 25 October 1894.


Benita Rosalind Guggenheim (1895–1927)
Marguerite "Peggy" Guggenheim (1898–1979)
Barbara Hazel Guggenheim (1903–1995).

After taking a break in Europe, Guggenheim returned to the United States and started building mining machinery. That business later became part of the International Steam Pump Company in 1906. After serving as chairman of the company's executive committee for several years, Guggenheim was elected president in 1909.

Guggenheim boarded the RMS Titanic at Cherbourg, France, and was accompanied by his mistress, a French singer named Léontine Aubart (1887–1964); his valet, Victor Giglio (1888–1912); his chauffeur, René Pernot (1872–1912); and Madame Aubart's maid, Emma Sägesser (1887–1964). His ticket was number 17593 and cost £79 4s (other sources give the price as £56 18s 7d). He and Giglio occupied stateroom cabin B82 while Aubart and Sägesser occupied cabin B35. Pernot occupied an unknown cabin in second class.


Wikipedia "Benjamin Guggenheim"
Muncey's Magazine, June 1907:  "The Guggenheim Family"
Washington Times, 16 April 1912:  "List of Washingtonians on Fated Steamer Grows"

Biographical Sources:

Biography.com:  "Benjamin Guggenheim Biography"
Encyclopedia Titanica:  "Mr. Benjamin Guggenheim - Titanic Victim"

Eaton, John P. & Charles A. Haas Titanic: Triumph & Tragedy (Second ed. Patrick Stephens Ltd., 1994).  ISBN 1 85260 493 X

Lord, Walter Lord A Night to Remember (London: Penguin, 1976.) ISBN 0 14 004757 3

Lynch, Don & Ken Marschall  Titanic: An Illustrated History. (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1992). ISBN 0 340 56271 4

Photo: "Benjamin Guggenheim in 1910"

Mme. Léontine Pauline Aubart

Source:  http://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/titanic-survivor/leontine-pauline-aubart.html

Mme. Léontine Pauline Aubart (known as "Ninette"), 24, was born in Paris on 20 May 1887.
A singer, she lived at 17 Rue Le Sueur, Paris, France. She boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg with her maid Emma Sägesser . She occupied cabin B-35 (ticket number PC 17477, £69 6s). Mme. Aubart (often misspelled Aubert) was the mistress of millionaire Benjamin Guggenheim who was also aboard. She and her maid were rescued, probably in lifeboat 9.

L'Excelsior, 17th April 1912
(Courtesy of Olivier Mendez, Association Français du Titanic)
After coming aboard the Carpathia she sent a Marconigram to Paris on 18 April 1912:
Aubart 42 rue Monge Paris
Moi sauvee mais Ben perdu (I'm saved but Ben lost)
Some other Telegrams were not transmitted because the operators could not cope with the tremendous workload following the disaster.
Aubart 42 rue Monge Paris
Sauvée (Saved)
Ninette Aubart

Pascaline 17 Lesueur Paris

Berthe Segesser 30, Charles Baudelaire Paris
Sauvée Amities Emma (Saved Love Emma)
In later life, it is said, that Madame Aubart held parties during the twenties that were ended by police.
Leontine Pauline Aubart died on 29 October 1964, aged 77.

New York Times "Mme Aubart Returns to France"
References and Sources

Bäbler, Günter 1998) Reise auf der Titanic. (Zürich: Chronos, 1998)

Booth, John & Sean Coughlan.  Titanic Signals of Disaster (Westbury, Wiltshire: White Star Publications, 1993) ISBN 0 9518190 1 1

Contract Ticket List , White Star Line 1912 (National Archives, New York; NRAN-21-SDNYCIVCAS-55[279])
List or Manifest of Alien Passengers for the United States Immigration Officer At Port Of Arrival (Date: 18th-19th June 1912, Ship: Carpathia ) - National Archives, NWCTB 85 T715 Vol 4183


Hermann Söldner, Germany
Günter Bäbler, Switzerland
Geoff Whitfield, UK
Craig Stringer, UK