A Hypothesis of Times Gone Wrong

Encyclopedia Titanica

Philip Hind
Staff member
Member
Introduction The issue of time on Titanic is not a new topic and many articles chapters and books have tried to tackle it. But what is it about Titanic’s time that has drawn so much controversy that it needs such scrutiny? I will attempt to explain. First is understanding that the ship’s clocks did not automatically adjust and had to be done physically. As a ship steamed west the clocks were set back to go from the time of the eastern wo... Titanica! Sat, 10 Oct 2020
 
Introduction The issue of time on Titanic is not a new topic and many articles chapters and books have tried to tackle it. But what is it about Titanic’s time that has drawn so much controversy that it needs such scrutiny? I will attempt to explain. First is understanding that the ship’s clocks did not automatically adjust and had to be done physically. As a ship steamed west the clocks were set back to go from the time of the eastern wo... Titanica! Sat, 10 Oct 2020
Here is a wonderful new article I wrote. It is merely a hypothesis. Please enjoy. Let me know what ya 'all think & thanks for reading!
 
Hello Brad, a most detailed bit of work if I may say so. Well done!

One or three points if I may.

(A) While the evidence of passengers must not be completely discounted, it should be clearly understood that clock changes on a ship only directly effected the working hours of a single group - those who were on duty during the period the change was made. Consequently, since these were completed between the hours of 10 pm and 6 am the following morning, only those on duty at that time would either work more minutes going West or work fewer minutes going East. On Titanic, those effected were, besides a few Catering staff and the wireless operators, the Deck and Engine crew on duty during the 8 to Midnight and Midnight to 4 am Watches.
Day workers, like passengers, only gained or lost sleep. Normally, the former would adjust personal time pieces in the late evening before going to sleep. The latter were a mixture.
Consequently, if you can find any member of the above mentioned Watches who were either waiting to go on or off duty at the time of impact with the iceberg or did go on or off duty shortly after it, then you have proof of a partial clock change.

(B) The evidence of young John Collins who was on his first trip to sea has been completely dismissed, as has the evidence of veteran stewardess Annie Robinson. Both of these crew members were day workers who would gain an extra 47 minutes sleep due the the planned clock change. Both of them had April 15 time on their personal time pieces.
Young John, stated that the time of impact on his bedside clock was 11-15 am. He was very precise about it - even compensating for the inaccuracy of his clock.
Annie was in a lifeboat watching Titanic sink, when the vessel disappeared, she noted the time of 1-40 am. on her watch.
These times indicate that Titanic was afloat for 2 hours and 25 minutes, not the popularly accepted interval of 2 hours 40 minutes... a difference of 15 minutes. However, if Annie had April 15 time, then Titanic sank at 2-27 am April 14 time, not 2-20 am April 14 time as popularly accepted a difference of 21 minutes.
Not only that, young John's evidence indicates that impact with the ice berg took place at 12-02 am April 14 time. However, if the clock had been partially set back by 23 minutes a couple of minutes before impact. then the time of impact seen on a partially adjusted clock would have been
11-39 pm
The foregoing evidence has been completely buried by researchers or loftily dismissed by them as inconsequential.

(C). At the time of impact the Lookout reliefs, Hogg and Evans believed it was close to One Bell... the 15 minute warning before change of Watches. They subsequently climbed to the Crow; Nest and relieved Lookouts Fleet and Lee and that was 20 minutes after impact.
(D) Just before the impact, AB Osman was waiting for one bell - the fifteen minute warning before change of Watches. Watches were due to change at Midnight, 12 hours 23 minutes after Noon April 14. This agrees within a minute of the timing of young John Collins.

(D) Let's consider 5th Officer Lowe, who to me, is one of the most reliable witnesses.
Lowe was tasked with 6th Officer Moody to compile Propeller Slip Tables. For this he needed regular updates on engine revolutions and a ship's positions at each update time. Fixed positions for the latter were preferable but in the absence of them, he would use Dead Reckoning positions based on Patent Log readings. That was where he got his 20.95 knots speed from noon number - the 6pm patent log reading which as you and others suggest was a misinterpreted 162 miles. I completely reject that. here is why.
Lowe got his speed from the Patent Log when he came on duty at 6 pm.
If his calculated average speed based on that was 20.95 miles, then the patent log would have read 125.7 miles at 6 pm and 10 minutes earlier, at 5-50 pm when the ship turned, would have read 122.2 nautical miles, not 126 nautical miles. You should know that designated Navigators worked very precisely in knots and tenths thereof.
So where did the 162 miles come from? I suggest to you it was a mix-up of memory on the part of 5th Officer Lowe.
When Lightoller returned to the bridge after dinners at 7-30 pm that evening he took evening sights... 6 of them. These would occupy at least 5 minutes of time and would have barely been finished by 7-40 pm. During that 10 minutes, Lowe would have calculated a Dead Reckoning position to be used in the calculation of Lightoller's sights. To do this, he would call aft and get the aft QM to read the Patent Log at that time. This was standard practice then and for the next 50 years.
If Fifth Officer Low was correct with his average speed up to 6pm, then if the ship speed had started to increase after the turn, which we know it did, and, if at the time of reading the log it read 162 , then from 5-50 pm until the reading for DR sights was taken, she had covered a distance 36.3 miles. If the reading was taken at say 7-40 pm when Lightoller had finished his evening sights, then the average speed from the turn had increased to almost 21.5 knots.
A speed less than 22 knots up to evening sights is verified by 2nd Officer Boxhall who, when working his distress position used a speed of 22 knots from evening sights because he believed that the flat calm weather would allow the ship to make her maximum possible speed due to minimised propeller slip.
We know that the speed from 8 pm was 22.5 knots and the patent log read 260 miles at 11-40 pm, time of impact. if there had not been a clock change, then the run time from Noon to impact was 11hours 40 minutes and Titanic would have covered 3.6 x 22.5 = 81 miles in the last 3 hours 40 minutes of that time, leaving 179 miles to have been covered in the remaining 8 hours Noon to 8 pm. This produces an average speed of 22.375 knots from Noon to 8 pm If that were so, why on God's Green Earth would 2nd Officer Boxhall use an average speed of only 22 knots to calculate his distress position if, from his calculation of Lightoller's sights, he knew, for absolute certain, the exact distance from Noon sights to 7-30 pm sights and consequently, the exact average speed between these 2 times?
 
You should know that designated Navigators worked very precisely in knots and tenths thereof.
First of all, thanks for reading the paper. As always you bring up very valid points, some of which draw pause to my thoughts, and I appreciate that. I will look further into what you wrote as time allows (I am about to leave for work... yay?), but I wanted to thank you for reading my article and offering your in site! As for the above quote, unfortunately I did not know this, as my navigational skills are (for lack of better terms) very landlubber. I have found an excellent series of books, 'Self-Instruction in the Practice and Theory of Navigation' by Earl of Dunraven that I have been trying to read and figure out. Most of what I've gained as far as knowledge is from people on here - to which I am much grateful for. Was suppose to take classes last spring but the plague kinda halted that! Thanks again!
 
First of all, thanks for reading the paper. As always you bring up very valid points, some of which draw pause to my thoughts, and I appreciate that. I will look further into what you wrote as time allows (I am about to leave for work... yay?), but I wanted to thank you for reading my article and offering your in site! As for the above quote, unfortunately I did not know this, as my navigational skills are (for lack of better terms) very landlubber. I have found an excellent series of books, 'Self-Instruction in the Practice and Theory of Navigation' by Earl of Dunraven that I have been trying to read and figure out. Most of what I've gained as far as knowledge is from people on here - to which I am much grateful for. Was suppose to take classes last spring but the plague kinda halted that! Thanks again!
My pleasure Brad. If you need any help with the Nav. Don't hesitate to give me a shout. For authenticity, I use the old fashioned kind on these and I still have the old fashioned means of doing it.
I envy you going to work... lucky beggar.. wish it was me.
 
By the way, Brad, I forgot to add another pointer, this time from Passenger Colonel Gracie.
Gracie first stated "I was awakened in my stateroom at 12 o'clock. The time, 12 o'clock, was noted on my watch, which was on my dresser, which I looked at promptly when I got up".
Then later on Gracie stated "my watch, that I spoke of before, when I looked at it afterwards on the Carpathia, had stopped, and the time indicated was 2.22. So that would indicate the time between the collision and the time that I went down with the ship."
The above evidence corroborates the evidence of young John Collins and Annie Robinson. Their evidence indicated a time between impact and the moment Titanic disappeared of 2 hours 25 minutes,
Gracie's evidence of an afloat period of 2 hours 22 minutes, is the interval between impact and when his watch stopped when he was washed off the upper bridge. However, Titanic finally disappeared 2 or 3 minutes after that.
I rest my case.
 
Here is a wonderful new article I wrote. It is merely a hypothesis. Please enjoy. Let me know what ya 'all think & thanks for reading!
Very interesting. Thanks for the article. A question: I have seen various pictures of clocks on the wreck. But I don't know if any of them were tied to the master clock. Do any of the dials on these clocks give any clue to the various points you brought up in your article? Just curious. Thanks again.
clock-is-on-display-the-titanic-the-artifact-exhibition-at-hangu-art-picture-id954341594.jpg
 
Very interesting. Thanks for the article. A question: I have seen various pictures of clocks on the wreck. But I don't know if any of them were tied to the master clock. Do any of the dials on these clocks give any clue to the various points you brought up in your article? Just curious. Thanks again.
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I will look into this more when I get home. Thanks for reading my article!!
 
As far
Very interesting. Thanks for the article. A question: I have seen various pictures of clocks on the wreck. But I don't know if any of them were tied to the master clock. Do any of the dials on these clocks give any clue to the various points you brought up in your article? Just curious. Thanks again.
View attachment 50220
As far as the chronometer u posted I post a pic of what it appears is a following book of the Chinese Titanic Exhibit ... This was not part of the Magneta clock system. As far as any other clock besides personal time pieces I am not aware of any recovered. I would be interested to see any.
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Titanic had 2 chronometers. Some ships had 3. The one illustrated shows Eastern Standard Time of 15d-00h-39m-??sec.. It has been described by some as having been tampered with. However, chronometers were kept in special velvet-lined carrying boxes located in the chartroom. The instrument dials were hermetically sealed. In another thread, pressure has been discussed. The crack on the chronometer crystal might demonstrate this.
The next controversy was the time indicated was EST instead of GMT. Modern chronometers show Greenwich Mean Time only.. the time used by Navigators. Years after Titanic, the Greenwich Time signals of 6 "pips" could be heard by wireless operators all over the world. Consequently the accuracy of a chronometer could be (and was) checked every morning.
In 1912, it was not possible to receive GMT checks on the other side of the Atlantic. However, the US Authorities transmitted an Eastern Standard Time signal every day, so a chornometer set to that standard could be time-checked as the shio approached The States. Once checked, to get GMT, they simply subtracted 5 hours.from the reading and there was always a corrected instrument available for navigation.
If the recovered chronometer is genuine, then the time of sinking was the time it took after sinking for the dial to fail, the works to be inundated and the clock to stop. A clock which showed partially adjusted time would show a sinking time of 02-04am or 1-56am which was the equivalent of 00-42 am EST or 00-49am EST. An approximate failing time of between 2 and 9 minutes. Take your pick.
Incidentally, the time adjustment each Noon at sea after sights was to provide a back up to the navigators if the chronometrs failed, not to have nice, accurate clocks in the saloon. This meant that the difference between ship time and GMT was to be known at all times. ;)
 
Its definitely the same chronometer in both pics based on the crack in the glass and the chip on the upper right, so I guess the question is which pic came first, the one I posted where the hand is loose or the one posted by Steve of which both hands are in place with the small in a different position. Steve's pic looks like a better restoration. ???
 
Steve's pic looks like a better restoration. ???
It is a restoration. A photograph of the recovered chronometer in the 1998 Zürich exhibit booklet shows much of the dial blackened, while the lower left quadrant of the glass covering the instrument was covered in a rust-coloured substance. The hour hand was pointed toward a position that indicated about 6:45, although there was no evidence of the retaining nut in the photo. The
minute hand was laying across the top of the dial, completely dismounted.
 
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