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How many eggs were on the Titanic?

The RMS Titanic was one of the largest and most luxurious passenger ships ever built at the time. When she set sail on her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York City in April 1912, she carried over 2,200 passengers and crew onboard. Providing food for all those people required a massive amount of provisions, including literal tons of eggs. But just how many eggs were loaded onto the Titanic before her fateful voyage?

The Titanic’s Provisions

As one of the largest ocean liners in the world at the time, the Titanic needed to be well-stocked with enough food and drink to sustain everyone on board for the entire journey across the Atlantic and back. Accounts from the time indicate that the ship was loaded with around 75,000 pounds of fresh meat, 11,000 pounds of fish, 40,000 eggs, 36,000 apples, 16,000 lemons, 1,500 bottles of wine, 15,000 bottles of beer and stout, 1,760 quarts of alcohol for drinking, and 8,000 cigars, among many other food provisions.

The responsibility for loading and managing all of these massive quantities of food fell on the ship’s victualling crew. Led by chief baker Charles Joughin, the victualling crew was comprised of bakers, butchers, fishmongers, and other food service professionals. For weeks before the maiden voyage, they prepared the menus and ordered all the provisions from suppliers.

Then, the day before the Titanic sailed, the victualling crew worked nonstop for 24 hours loading all the food and drink onto the ship. It was a massive undertaking to get such enormous volumes of provisions onto the vessel. The crew used cranes, pulleys, and slings to hoist huge crates, sacks, barrels and casks into the Titanic’s storage holds.

Eggs on Board

Historical records show that the Titanic’s victualling crew loaded around 40,000 fresh eggs onto the ship for its maiden voyage. This staggering number provided each person on board with about 18 eggs for the journey across the Atlantic to New York City. And the ship was stocked with even more eggs for the return trip.

The eggs were brought on board packed in wooden crates and straw to keep them as fresh as possible. Most were chicken eggs, but some were duck eggs for baking. Each crate held 30 dozen eggs, so with 40,000 eggs total the Titanic needed around 111 crates.

Storing that many eggs was no easy task. The crates took up a large amount of precious cargo hold space. Plus, the eggs needed to be kept at cool temperatures to prevent spoilage. So the crates were likely stored deep in the ship near the food storage lockers where it was cooler.

Feeding Over 2,200 People

With 40,000 eggs on board, the Titanic’s cooks and chefs could prepare a wide variety of egg dishes to feed all the passengers and crew. The eggs were essential for breakfast items like fried eggs, omelets, scrambled eggs, and poached eggs. Cooks also used eggs extensively for baking breads, desserts, and pastries.

In addition to appearing at breakfast, eggs were integrated into many lunch and dinner entrees as well. Hollandaise sauce, custards, soufflés, mayonnaise, and other egg-based dishes were menu staples. There was also likely a constant demand for hard-boiled eggs as easy snacks.

To make efficient use of all the eggs, the skilled cooks prepared dishes for multiple meals in advance. For instance, custards and baked egg dishes could be made the previous day. And eggs boiled ahead of time were ready to peel and eat on demand.

Sample Daily Egg Usage

To get a sense of how many eggs might have been used per day, here is a sample breakdown:

  • Breakfast: 1,500 fried/scrambled eggs, 500 omelets, 500 poached eggs. 2,500 eggs.
  • Lunch: 300 egg sandwiches, 150 hard boiled eggs, 3 gallons mayonnaise. Approximately 700 eggs.
  • Dinner: 250 custard desserts, 200 hollandaise sauce portions. Approximately 400 eggs.
  • Baked goods: 300 dinner rolls, 20 cakes, 3 packs doughnuts. Approximately 600 eggs.

That’s already 4,200 eggs per day for meals alone. Add in additional snacks, cooking, and waste, the daily egg count could easily exceed 5,000. Over a 5 day journey, that would use up 25,000 eggs.

Preparing for 2,200 People

Feeding over 2,200 crew and passengers was an epic task that took expert planning. To make efficient use of the 40,000 eggs on board, the Titanic’s victualling crew had to forecast exactly how many would be needed each day. While the ship had emergency provisions, the focus was on not wasting any food.

To avoid running short or having an excess, the victualling crew planned their daily menus and cooking down to the last detail. They calculated everything – from how many diners would be served at each meal, to how many eggs the baked goods would require. This level of advance logistics was vital to keeping the ship running smoothly.

Of course, all that planning could not account for the disaster that would strike on April 15th when the Titanic collided with an iceberg. Once the ship began sinking, thoughts quickly shifted from fine dining to survival. Though the eggs remaining in storage were likely forgotten amidst the tragic chaos.

The Sinking and Beyond

After hitting the fatal iceberg, the Titanic sank in the early hours of April 15, 1912, taking over 1,500 lives with it. With the ship now resting on the seafloor, the fate of her cargo holds – including the remaining eggs – was sealed.

Decades later, the ship’s wreckage was located and explored by manned submersibles. Footage from the dives revealed crates and containers strewn about the debris field. Could some of those boxes contain what remains of the thousands of eggs once destined for New York City?

While the total number loaded onto the ship is known from records, the number of eggs that went down with the Titanic can only be estimated. Based on the provision plans, there were likely around 15,000 to 20,000 eggs remaining in storage when the ship sank.

Though lost and forgotten for over 100 years, the eggs represent a historical snapshot of the provisions and dining experience aboard the legendary, ill-fated ocean liner.


When the RMS Titanic embarked on her fateful maiden voyage in April 1912, she was loaded with enough food and drink to sustain over 2,200 passengers and crew for the entire journey across the Atlantic and back. Historical documents show around 40,000 fresh eggs were among the massive quantity of provisions brought on board.

With a small army of bakers, cooks and chefs preparing three meals a day, thousands of eggs were used each day to feed everyone on the ship. Poached, fried, scrambled or baked into pastries, eggs were an essential part of dining aboard the Titanic.

Though heavy planning went into forecasting the egg usage, the sinking of the ship left an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 eggs remaining in her storage holds. Lost at sea for over a century, the eggs stand as a representation of the remarkable scale of the Titanic’s food service operations.