An Unsinkable Titanic by J Bernard Walker 1912


Feb 14, 2011
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One of the absolutley rarest and most sought after Titanic books (sought by died in the wool Titanic bibliophiles) is "An Unsinkable Titanic" by J Bernard Walker, printed in 1912. I believe Walker was a writer for Scientific American, and his book was the first in depth scientific analysis of the sinking. I think one premice of the book was had Titanic had a watertight bulkhead configuration like the Great Eastern, Titanic would not have sunk. This book was recently reprinted in serial form over several recent issues of the Titanic Commutator. Id trade the contents of both intestines for a first edition copy (im still on the hunt)

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
Apr 11, 2001
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Tarn- I found a first edition, autographed for $25 back in 1989 at a country furniture antique show. The guy had all furniture but heard me ask another dealer for Titanic postcards and wondered if I would be interested in this old book he had in a drawer! You never SAW a wallet come out so fast. Yes, he did write for Scientific American- found an autogaphed Wreck of the Titan for $5 at a flea market same week. Lesson to learn?- ask EVERYBODY!
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Tarn...

Do any of us really want the contents of your intestines...? What did you have for lunch?

I do agree with Walker's premise, though. If I recall, "Great Eastern" (Which had it's own problems - being a real ship 'ahead of it's time') had longitudinal bulkheads. I've always been of the opinion that this alone would have prevented the 'Titanic' disaster.

Best of luck with your hunt!

Regards,

John M
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Shelley, Im jealous!!! That book tends to go for no less than $500 in trading circles!! Ugh!!!
I finally have a Shipbuilders,a Thayer and a Lightoller- so the Walker book is the one jewel left for my Titanic book collection...
Everyone seems to have a copy but me 8 (
That was a great find for you- plus snagging a signed Robertson book too!

Well, I once found the 1912 Shan Bullock book about Thomas Andrews ("A Titanic Hero") in vg shape for $20, at one of those antique barns. So I think we've all had a bargan in our past. I found "Titanic" by Filson Young, 1912 from a book dealer for $50,(which I've seen sold on Ebay for $450) and the super rare "Oceans Greatest Tragedy", 1912, for $35. So Ive been pretty lucky. But my Shipbuilders was payed for with my grad school savings..Oh well... 8 (

You lucked out with that one Shelley! By the way Shelley, I keep finding old Lizzie Borden books. Any ones you're seeking?

Hi John! I might have some treasures fermenting in my intestines. I had Mexican tonight!

The problem with the Great Eastern's design is that i think the only way to get from the bow to stern is to walk topside. But the inner skin arrangement was brilliant. I think the QE2 has somthing like that, which is why she easily survived the gash when beached on rocks off New England a decade or so ago...

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
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John Meeks

Guest
Hi, Tarn!

Yes - I'd heard that one too! Must have been pretty inconvenient!

As far as I recall, she had a double hull and a 'cellular' bulkhead arrangement. Very sophisticated for her time. Pity poor old Brunel didn't put as much thought into how he was going to get her into the water! I believe it took him quite a time to get her launched - plus much 'egg on face'!

If you had Mexican - That's OK! I love fajitas!

Regards,

John M
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Speaking of Brunell, one of his ships, the Great Britain was beached for decades, towed back to Britain to undergo restoration. Has the Great Britian been fully restored? She and the Queen Mary might be the only ocean liners preserved for future generations..Pity the Aquitania wasnt saved...

regards

Tarn Stephanos

ps- the funny thing about Mexican food is that it looks exactly the same coming out, as it did going in.. ; )
 
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John Meeks

Guest
Tarn,

Boy! What a quick response!

As far as I know, the'Great Britain' has been fully restored - although there is a possibility that this is still 'ongoing'. I'll check it out with some of my UK based friends - or perhaps someone else around here knows the status.

....blame the corn....!

Regards,

John M
 
Apr 11, 2001
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I went aboard Great Britain in 1995 for a cocktail party- she's in Bristol- and looks pretty shipshape. Will dig out a photo tomorrow to scan. Brunel also designed the huge bridge near Bristol/ Wales boundary- impressive.
 
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John Meeks

Guest
Shelley...

Can't wait to see your photo of Great Britain! Last time I saw her - she was a bare hull, being towed back to the UK in a TV documentary.

Am I to take it that, in yourself and Tarn, I have a couple of fellow Brunel fans?

One helluvan' engineer! Saltash Bridge! - still going strong, eh? German bomb bounced off it in '40 -hardly scratched the paint!

Best Regards both,

John M
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Hi John!
Im very much a Brunnel fan! The Great Eastern was a favorite of mine, yet i never could determine how much of her interior was paneled. A local used bookstore has the classic book "The Great Iron Ship", Do you need that one?

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 
J

John Meeks

Guest
Hi Tarn!

How's the stomach? (I had some Thai chili sauce today...how about you?)

Ah! "The Great Iron Ship" - Yes, remember reading that years ago! Sadly, I never owned a copy, relied on library editions.

Do you have an address, email address, or anything? Would be very grateful.

Regards,

John M

(P.S. Don't let the others know.....)
 
May 12, 2002
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Hi John, Tarn, Shelley

I've put some pictures on my website of our recent visit to the Great Britain in Bristol. She's in pretty good shape now - although the charity has many more ambitious plans for further restoration. Have a look at

http://homepage.ntlw orld.com/paul.wilkin son/gb.html

and see what you think. It seems the ship is now a licensed venue for conducting civil weddings! I have to say, my fiancee and I would not be keen to have lots of visitors tramping around the place where we're getting married, but the happy couple on Great Britain didn't seem to mind!

Cheers

Paul
 
Apr 11, 2001
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The old gal looks shipshape and Bristol-fashion! Thanks for the pix- she looks spiffier than when I was aboard for a cocktail party back in 1995. Funny end for a famous ship but it keeps her in paint and powder! I can sympathize- at our ages maintenance is everything.
 
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John Meeks

Guest
Hi Paul...and thanks!

Yes...absolutely gorgeous! - must visit the 'old country' again and make a visit!

'Isis' looked pretty good too!

Regards,

John M
 

Paul Lee

Member
Aug 11, 2003
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If Walker's writings in the Scientific American is anything to go by, he discusses the internal arrangement of the Lusitania/Mauretania, Great Eastern and Titanic.

By the way, here are more details on his book.
Pub lished New York: Dodd, Mead and Co., 1912
Size: 5 1/4 x 7 3/4
185pp
40 illustrations
Price $1 net
 

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