At a dinner party at William J. Pirrie's London mansion in 1907, J. Bruce Ismay (son of Thomas Ismay who was now managing director for the White Star Line) discussed the construction of two huge ships to compete with luxury, size and speed of rival lines.
On July 31, a contract letter was signed for the construction in Belfast for the Olympic and Titanic. The R.M.S. Titanic was to be 882ft 9in long, 94 feet wide, and 100 feet high to bridge level. The final cost of the Titanic was $75,000,000. On March 31, the keel was laid down at Harland and Wolff's shipyard. On May 31, 1911, the Titanic's hull was successfully launched. The event was witnessed by more than 100,000 people (at the time she was the largest man made object ever moved). After the launching, the ship was towed by tugs to a fitting-out basin.
In October, White Star officially announced the date of her maiden voyage in the London Times as April 12, 1912. Later, the Titanic was successfully dry-docked at Belfast's Thompson Graving Dock. While at Thompson, she was fitted out with 46,000 horse power engines, 29 huge boilers, 159 furnaces, and four funnels rising 73 feet above the boat deck. Her final weight was a whopping 46,329 gross tons with a water displacement of 522,250 tons.
On April 2, she had her sea trials where she was tested for speed and durability. Titanic successfully passed the test on the same day. On April 8, fresh food supplies were taken aboard while her designers pranced about the ship making final inspections. All seemed "A-Okay" for the maiden voyage.