Official Harland & Wolff re-issued 25th June 1962 rigging plans for SS Republic (Columbus). Size: 55" x 15"
RMS Republic was a steam-powered ocean liner built in 1903 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast and lost at sea in a collision in 1909 while sailing for the White Star Line. The ship was equipped with a new Marconi wireless telegraphy transmitter, and issued a CQD distress call, resulting in the saving of around 1,500 lives. Known as the "Millionaires' Ship" because of the number of wealthy Americans who travelled by her, she was described as a "palatial liner" and was the flagship of White Star Line's Boston service. This was the first important marine rescue made possible by radio and brought worldwide attention to this new technology.
The ship was originally built in Belfast, for the International Mercantile Marine's Dominion Line (a sister company to the White Star Line) and was named Columbus. She was launched on 26th February 1903 and made her maiden voyage in October 1903, from Liverpool to Boston. After two voyages with the Dominion Line, Columbus, along with three other Dominion liners: New England, Commonwealth and Mayflower were sold to the White Star Line for use on their new service between Liverpool and Boston. Columbus was renamed Republic, the second ship under White Star livery to hold the name (White Star's original Republic of 1872 had been sold to the Holland America Line in 1889 and renamed Maasdam), while her three fellow former Dominion liners were renamed Romanic, Canopic and Cretic respectively.
In early morning of 23rd January 1909, while sailing from New York City to Gibraltar and Mediterranean ports with 742 passengers & crew and Captain William Inman Sealby in command, Republic entered a thick fog off the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts, and after being hit by the Lloyd Italiano liner Florida. The following day Republic sank stern first; at 15,378 tons, she was the largest ship to have sunk until then.
There are many reports that Republic was carrying gold and/or other valuables when she went down. One report is that she was carrying gold worth $250,000 in American gold coins to be used as payroll for the US Navy's Great White Fleet.
In addition to the US Navy coin-monies shipment, various sources reported on a much larger cargo, $3,000,000 in US gold Double Eagles. Among these, The Washington Post reported, "Three million dollars in gold coins lies in the rotting hulk of the White Star liner Republic, lost off Nantucket in January, 1909. The Republic, damaged in a collision, was being towed toward New York by the Coast Guard cutter Gresham, when she sank in 240 feet of water. A salvage attempt in 1919 was unsuccessful." And again one year later, "In 1909 the [White] Star Liner Republic was damaged in a collision. While being towed to safety she went down in over 200 feet of water. At the present all attempts to salvage the $3,000,000 in her holds have been unsuccessful." The New York Times reported, "The White Star Liner Republic, lost off Nantucket Shoals in 1909, carried $3,000,000 in gold eagles. However, the Republic rests in 185  feet of water."
All of these values are in 1909 dollars. One coin expert appraised the value of RMS Republic's cargoes today would exceed $1 billion.