As you approach the display cases in the Lacey Library this month, you immediately time travel to 1912, on the deck of the RMS Titanic.
Michael Egolf, 63, of Lacey, a former scuba diver and shipwreck enthusiast, put together this month’s display.
The display consists of first, second, and third class plate sets; photographs of survivors; and jewelry from the ship itself.
In 1968, Egolf was invited on the Titanic expedition when they tried to raise a piece of the ship. On that trip, Egolf met Titanic survivors Edith Brown Haisman and Michael Navratil.
After the expedition, Egolf got further involved in the research of the Titanic.
“I decided I have all this expertise in shipwrecks and all this so why not do lectures on the titanic,” Egolf said.
He began researching the titanic and started collecting reproductions in 1996.
His firs item of his collection, the first class plate set, was purchased on the expedition.
He got the rest of his items over the years, many through eBay. One individual who bought a belt buckle at a flea market that was issued to the workers at Harland and Wolf in Ireland gave the item to Egolf. Written on the buckle was, “Bon Voyage Titanic.”
Egolf has a 40-inch reproduction of the actual ship, a 40-inch reproduction of a lifeboat, and plenty of photos hanging in the halls of his home of survivors, the construction of the boat, and the ship itself.
Egolf has done lectures over the years at many of the local libraries. His next lecture is at the Kiwani's Club in Brick in May.
During his lectures, he presents about 100 slides of pictures and brings some of his artifacts.
Egolf started diving at 14 years old and has done wreck diving off of New Jersey, the Great Lakes, and the Caribbean.