George Achilles Harder, Sr. (1886 - 1959) MP

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Birthdate:
Birthplace: New York, NY
Death: Died in New York, NY
Cause of death: Natural Causes
Occupation: Manufacturer
Managed by: Martin Eriksen
Last Updated:

About George Achilles Harder, Sr.

Mr George Achilles Harder was born on 22 October 1886 in New York City, the son of Victor Achilles Harder and Minnie Mehl.

Harder graduated from the Pratt Institute and in 1909 joined the Essex Foundry, later part of Central Foundry of which he was chairman until 1938.

Harder and his new wife, Dorothy Annan Harder boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg as first class passengers. They occupied cabin E-50 (ticket number 11765, £55 8s 10d).

The couple were rescued in lifeboat 5.

According to George's grandson, Mr and Mrs Harder had saved three things from the Titanic (apparently taken from the cabin and still owned by the family today): Mrs Harder's fur coat, a bottle of brandy, and a button hook for Mrs Harder's shoes.

The couple are the subjects of a well known photo taken on the Carpathia. The photograph shows them in discussion with Sallie Beckwith.

Whilst returning to New York on the Carpathia, Harder and some other survivors (Frederic K. Seward - Chairman, Karl H. Behr, Molly Brown, Mauritz Björnström-Steffansson, Frederic Oakley Spedden and Isaac Frauenthal) formed a committee to honour the bravery of Captain Rostron and his crew. They would present the Captain with an inscribed silver cup and medals to each of the 320 crew members.

Mr Harder was one of the Titanic survivors who testified before the U.S. Senate Investigative Committee.

The Harder's were frequently asked to lecture about the Titanic disaster but they refused. Like so many other men who escaped, George Harder found the stigma of surviving the Titanic disaster difficult to live down. Many people looked down upon the men who saved themselves when over one hundred women and children went to their deaths. It was only during the last few years of his life that George Harder spoke to his two daughters about the sinking - giving them details that he thought nobody ever knew. He perhaps may have forgotten that his testimony before the U.S. Senate Investigation was still on record.

In the years following the disaster Dorothy suffered from kidney problems, she died young in 1926. After her death George remarried and his second wife, Elizabeth, was 15 years his junior.

George's father, Victor Achilles Harder, died in New York in August of 1914, and his mother, Minnie Mehl Harder died there in early December of 1934. A brother, Victor A. Harder, Jr. died in 1941, and the unnamed sister listed in his obituary, Hortense Whelan, died in 1980 at the age of 89. That same year, George's second wife Elizabeth died at the age of 79. His son, George Achilles Harder, Jr., died in 1989.

When he died on 26 May 1959, George Achilles Harder was living at 531 East Seventy-second Street, New York City. He was buried at the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York, just a few hundred feet from the grave of Wyckoff Van der hoef, a fellow Titanic passenger who perished in the sinking.

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