When Jack Dawson snuck onto the first-class deck in search of Rose, he sees a young boy playing with a top as his father looks on. This scene is based on a famous photograph taken aboard Titanic by Father Francis Browne. While they are distracted, he seizes the father's coat. After the ship is hit by an iceberg, it is revealed the coat was reported missing by the trio, inadvertently condemning Jack to be detained on E deck for his crime despite pleading he was only borrowing it.
Douglas and his father Frederic O. Spedden survived the sinking in Lifeboat 3, but the boy died three years later in an auto accident in Maine, one of the first recorded in the state.
His story became the subject of a 1994 book called Polar the Titanic Bear, told through the eyes of his beloved Steiff bear, Polar.