Jul 9, 2000
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>>in the movie there was a part where they had missed placed them maybe if they had them they might of seen the ice berg in time do you think that could be a cause for the collision<<

No.

The proximate cause of the collision was the navigation team overestimating their ability to see and avoid ice, but this is a rather simplistic look at a decidedly complicated picture. Accidents seldom have any one single thing being the cause, but a chain of events and mistakes, each minor in and of themselves, getting together to make for a really bad day.

As one who has stood lookouts in adverse conditions, (People in my particular rate in the Navy tended to get stuch with the low visibility detail) I found binoculars even in clear conditions to be of very little practical use for the reasons Dave already stated, and actually something of a handicap since these things give you instant tunnel vision the second you look through them. Since avoiding solid objects in our path was something I had a vested interest in (I'd be the first one to get dead if we ran into a ship) I didn't like having anything restricting my field of vision.

In Titanic's case, after running through the evidence on the official record, I'm of the opinion that it was practically a dead heat between Murdock and the lookouts as to who saw the iceberg first, and I'm inclined to favour Murdock. But that's just my opinion and I could be wrong on that last part.
 
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Glenn Jaye Watkins

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okay on my last post i asked what ever happed to the binoculors for the look out tower and i got a good response now i ask.

why did they called the titanic an unsinkable ship when most ship do sink?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>why did they called the titanic an unsinkable ship when most ship do sink?<<

They didn't. At least the builder and the White Star line never described her as such. This was mostly a media contrivance that was drawn from the words "Practically unsinkable" in reference to what sort of protection the watertight doors offered in the event of a collision. Like most such legends, it's a distorted version of the reality which took on a life of it's own. It also ignors the fact that the term "Unsinkable" was applied to a lot of liners at the time, including the Lusitania and the Empress of Ireland.
 
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Glenn Jaye Watkins

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i was wondering if anyone had any pics of the titanic before it sank i would like to get a good view or of the wreck would be okay as well please send it to [email protected]

thank's
Glenn
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I'm not quite sure where you're going with this. If you're referring to photos of the ship taken as she was sinking, the answer is "no." Not even one is known to exist. If you're talking about others, there are quite a few extant in the public domain as well as in private hands. You can fin them in just about any decent book on the subject.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Not sure how the issue of unsinkability became part of the topic of binoculars for lookouts, but what is interesting about comments attributed to Capt. Smith and Thomas Andrews about the Titanic floating if cut into three parts was probably true. If you cut it in the right places you probably can get three separate sections to remain afloat. But the Titanic was not cut with a surgical knife. It was damaged in a way that destroyed its structural integrity and caused progressive flooding leading to the final breakup and foundering. Basically, the ship (and those of its time) were designed to withstand a collision with another vessel, not damage along a series of multiple consecutive compartments.
 

Dave Gittins

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If binoculars had been officially issued to the lookouts they would probably been given what were called 'night glasses'. These were rather crude Galileon telescopes. They magnified about 4x and the object lenses were maybe 50 - 60mm.

Prismatic binoculars of the time were quite small, maybe 6 x 30.

We know that David Blair, the original second officer, lent the lookouts his binoculars for the run to Southampton. These were marked "Theatre, marine and field". This means they were a zoom design, with a variable field of view for the various uses.

None of these glasses had coated lenses, so they were not comparable with decent modern glasses.

I guess the lookouts would have got whatever the master saw fit to give them. In fact, lookouts were not normally supplied with binoculars. The whole thing is a phoney issue.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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All those binoculars at that time had relatively narrow fields of view. It wasn't until 1919 that wide field eyepieces were introduced in prismatic binoculars and 1935 when they introduced coated lenses to cut reflections at the glass surfaces.
Interesting point about night glasses Dave. Prismatic binoculars would have too much light loss for use at night.
 
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>>All those binoculars at that time had relatively narrow fields of view.<<

Even with wider views, using binoculars to try and search for something is still no sweet picnic. Even the most experienced hand scanning the horizon in slow steps can easily miss something. I know this from personal experience using everything from hand held instruments to the pintel mounted beast known on warships as the Big Eyes.

I learned very quickly to never use binoculars to search for anything when I was on lookout duty or when I was serving on my ship's Snoopy Team. I did my searching with the naked eye. Binoculars came into play only when I knew where something was and needed to identify it.
 

Dave Gittins

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In my book there's a ad for binoculars. The prismatics cost 7 pounds 10 shillings for 6x and 9 pounds for 12x. The field on the 12x would be narrow, even with modern technology.

The night glasses cost only 3 pounds 15 shillings, because of their simplicity.

A mate lent me a pair of 20 x 50 glasses the other day. Hilarious!
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Plus how useful could binoculars be at night?....

I always thought the assertion made be some that had Fleet & Lee had binoculars, they would have seen the berg sooner- is moot-
Has anyone ever tried to look through binoculars at night? They are more of a hinderence than a help...
 
Apr 27, 2003
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By coincidence I have been researching the binoculars in relation to an object that belonged to David Blair and in the Army & Navy Catalogue of 1907 page 1207 there are several types of binoculars illustrated including the following:
Lumex Prism Binoculars ''Can be used in dull weather and failing light. Where prism glasses of ordinary construction are of little use''.
Cheers Brian
 
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Sam:
I would think a pair of 20 x 50s would have been near impossible to hold on target, or are they the ones mounted on a tripod? I have always found that 7 x 50s worked very well, for general use.
REgards,
Charlie Weeks
 
Mar 22, 2003
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Hi Capt. Weeks. That's what I meant by wiggles and jiggles if you hold them in your hands. But it was Dave Gittins who was given those to use. I'll let him comment on them. For my purposes, I have 7x35 Bushnell easy focus pair with coated lenses that I like for general viewing of things.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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Tripods and solid mountings of any kind aren't always what they're cracked up to be. Even if the instrument isn't moving, the ship beneath your feet is. The BigEyes on a warship are on a mounting that's welded to the deck, but can be hell on roller skates to focus on a target if you're a rockin' and a rollin'

>>Has anyone ever tried to look through binoculars at night?<<

Yes I have. The result was the reason I learned early on never to use the bloody things for searching.
 

Dave Gittins

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The 20 x 50 binoculars were hand held and I was stone sober. They are really meant for things like bird watching when mounted on a tripod.

I love my 7 x 50 glasses afloat and ashore. Like Michael, I've found them precious little use at night. They were good for watching McNaught's comet. At sea, I use them for checking out things I've sighted with the naked eye.
 
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I'm with you fellows. Keep the lookout with the naked eye, then use the glasses to magnify what ever you spot. A 50 MM from end should bring in enough light for night use, but only after the Mark I eyeball found what you were looking for.
Regards,
Charlie Weeks
 

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