It all started in Summer of 1907 when Bruce Ismay and his wife were invited to Lord Pirrie's mansion for a dinner party. Over after-dinner drinks, Ismay and Lord Pirrie, being the chairman of Harland and Wolff Shipyards and all, began discussing the talks of the shipping world. The Cunard Line's new Mauritania and Luistania, then the fastest ships in the world. Ismay new that he had to get ahead of Cunard's four-funneled beatuies if he wanted his shipping line to survive.
Their conversation eventually led to how they could beat Cunard, and it was there and then, that Lord Pirrie and Bruce Ismay hatched a plan to build three monster ships -larger and grander than the world had ever seen- to win back White Star's passengers from Cunard.
Ismay had so many ideas, that he began to draw some of them on a napken. He mentioned that 3 funnels would be enough, but Lord Pirrie suggested that there be a fourth, -a dummy- to make the ship appear even grander.
Construction began in Summer of 1909 at Harland and Wolff Shipyards, Belfast Ireland, and her hull was launched on May 31st, 1911. Next she was taken to the fitting out dock. ("fitting out," is when the finishing touches are added to a ship. eg: carpet, decor, light fictures, turbines etc. when a ship is launched, she is just an empty hull)
When her fitting out was completed, she was ready for her maiden -and final- voyage, on Wednesday April 10th, 1912.