Skip to main content Smithsonian Institution

Catalog Data

Associated Person:
Oscar Scott Woody, American, died 1912  Search this
Medium:
canvas (buff); ink (black)
Dimensions:
Overall: 34.3 x 25.4 x 3.8cm (13 1/2 x 10 x 1 1/2in.)
Type:
Employee Gear
Date:
1912
Description:
This canvas bag held the personal effects of US Sea Post Clerk Oscar S. Woody following the sinking of RMS Titanic. The bag was stenciled with the number “167” to match the personal effects with the identified body.
Sea post clerk Woody, a native of Roxboro, North Carolina, earned about $1000 a year. This salary was considered a small fortune by the standards of the times. In addition, sea post clerks traveled aboard luxurious vessels, took their meals in a separate dining room with the wireless operators, and were allotted an allowance for their board while in a foreign country. Woody was happily celebrating his 41st birthday when the Titanic struck the iceberg. He perished with over 1,500 other passengers and crew when the ship sank on April 15, 1912.
The Mackay-Bennett, a cable ship chartered by the White Star Line to aid in the salvage operation, recovered Woody’s body. His personal effects, including a set of postal keys and facing slips, were recorded in a ledger and returned to his widow in this bag.
Due to the state of decomposition, many recovered bodies were buried at sea. Oscar Woody was buried at sea on April 24, 1912.
Reference:
Posted Aboard Titanic: Remembering Titanic’s Postal Workers. Freehold, N.J.: Titanic International, Inc., 1993.
Merideth, Lee William. 1912 Facts About Titanic. Mason City, Iowa : Savas Publishing Co., 1999.
Associated Event:
Steamship RMS Titanic, April 14-15, 1912  Search this
Topic:
The Gilded Age (1877-1920)  Search this
Postal Employees  Search this
Object number:
2007.2008.1
See more items in:
National Postal Museum Collection
Data Source:
National Postal Museum
EDAN-URL:
edanmdm:npm_2007.2008.1