Detail about white stern light


Oct 31, 2007
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I am aware that Titanic had the two (red and green) sidelights and of course the white foremast light. But concerning the white stern light: Exactly where was it?

I have looked at all kinds of photos of the stern area including the aft mast and can't locate it.

Thanks...
 

Bob Godfrey

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Nov 22, 2002
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Here's a clue!

122308.jpg
 
Oct 31, 2007
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Thanks for the great picture. But who is that lady? And there seems to be something wrong with the way the image is printed. Looks like she's OUTSIDE the railing?! :)
 

Bob Godfrey

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She's a very conscientious passenger, who's observed that the ship appears to be going down by the head and is doing her best to redress the balance. In the picture below she's enlisted the help of another passenger, but clearly their efforts are to no avail. :)

122314.jpg
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Mmmmmmmm...somebody left the water running.
evil.gif


>>But who is that lady?<<

Kate Winslett appearing as Rose DeWitt Bukator in Cameron's "Titanic."

>>Looks like she's OUTSIDE the railing?! :)<<

Something about the freestyle diving contest....
 

Bill Sauder

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Dec 19, 2000
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Does anybody have a correct image of the stern lamp? I've always assumed that it was similar to the masthead light (drum shaped lantern with wings to control the visibility of the light).

The Cameron movie set prop was a "quicky" made from the ordinary bulkhead lights.
 
May 3, 2005
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>>Does anybody have a correct image of the stern lamp? I've always assumed that it was similar to the masthead light (drum shaped lantern with wings to control the visibility of the light).

The Cameron movie set prop was a "quicky" made from the ordinary bulkhead lights.<<

Was the "stern light" (just above Kate Winslet's head in the photo on the post) shown in "Titanic" added just for lighting effects rather than being historically correct or is this another light rather than the "stern light" in question ? I believe there is a comment to this effect on one of the DVD commentary tracks ?
 
May 3, 2005
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>>Mmmmmmmm...somebody left the water running.

>>But who is that lady?<<

>>Kate Winslett appearing as Rose DeWitt Bukator in Cameron's "Titanic."

>>Looks like she's OUTSIDE the railing?! :)<<

Something about the freestyle diving contest....<<

Hmmmm.....or maybe somebody moved the figurehead from the bow to the stern ?
 
May 3, 2005
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>>She's a very conscientious passenger, who's observed that the ship appears to be going down by the head and is doing her best to redress the balance. In the picture below she's enlisted the help of another passenger, but clearly their efforts are to no avail. :) <<

Also note that the stern lamp is no longer illuminated (historically correct). The bulb is clearly visible through the lens.
 

Jim Currie

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A stern light would be exactly the same as a mast-head light and would be designed to show from 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on one side, right round the stern to 22.5 degrees abaft the beam on the opposite side. If stern and masthead light were at the same level - Titanic would have shown a white light all round the horizon within at two mile distance.

The light in the picture looks more like a modern bathroom light than a ship's light. You'll note in the second pic., it has been re-sited forward of the flag-staff and switched off. Additionally: who was standing on the iceberg shining the light on the lady in question?
 

Bob Read

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Sorry guys, we don't really have to speculate on this one. We have one of the Fr. Browne photos of Titanic's stern. As you can clearly see, the stern light is just a simple bulkhead style lamp,
not a masthead lamp. The Cameron movie pretty much had it nailed. Disregard the numbers in the photo. They were for another discussion.

Regards,
Bob Read
134483.jpg
 

Bob Read

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Jim:
Everything is like in the movie still above. The flagstaff and light were on the centerline. The notice board was to port with a whole railing section separating it from the centerline.

Regards,
Bob Read
 

Bill Sauder

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Bob:

Thanks for the valuable input. I don't recall seeing a copy of the Browne photo this clear, and had thought that the Cameron set designers had simply taken another short cut. I'm surprised something that simple would have met the navigation laws regarding running lights.

Bill Sauder
 

Bob Read

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Bill:

I'm no expert on navigational law requirements at the time. Are we sure that a stern lamp was even a requirement? It might have served another purpose. I don't know for sure. I'm just thinking out loud.

Regards,
Bob Read
 

Bill Sauder

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Hi Bob:

The whole issue of the stern light caught me by surprise last week as I was doing some work and realized I had no authoritative information on the configuration of the stern light.

I just did a cross-country move and most of my books are in storage, but I recall that, in 1910, the whole issue of running lights boils down to two categories:

"Primary Lights" (my term) which have explicit legal requirements for size, location, color, range of visibility, and even wick or filament size and orientation to the keel. Examples would be the side and foremast lights.

The other category would be "Secondary Lights" (again my term) that are far less defined, such as the ever-troublesome mainmast light, anchor light, and other portable lights. Some are mandatory, some are discretionary.

Since Cunard ships carried stern lights comparable to the forward-facing lights, I had gotten it into my head that WS would have a similar practice, and that the Cameron prop was just one of many shortcuts. Since the 401 foremast light has been recovered by RMST, and the stbd. 400 sidelight has been sold by Luxury Liner Row, my first reaction was it would have been similar to the existing WS lanterns.

Regardless of the latitude permitted by regulations at the time, what I needed was just a quick reference as to the physical configuration, so thanks again for the image.

Bill Sauder
 

Jim Currie

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Bob, I think the light in Fr, Brown's pic is not the stern light.
As far as I can determine, it was mandatory to carry a stern light similar in design to the side lights. Many ships of Titanic's time carried two of each - an electric one and an oil one. What probably threw me was the reference to the stern rail as a mounting point. In fact, the early regulations stated: "Such lights should be carried as nearly as practicable on the same level as the sidelights" If Titanic's builders followed these guide-lines then the stern light should have been mounted on a bracket on the centre-line, on or above the Docking Bridge. The location shown on the picture would be a total waste of time. Indeed it looks like it might have been sited to illuminate something as there seems to be an identical one back-to-back with it.
 

Bill Sauder

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A navigating light at the level of the aft docking bridge would make sense. That was the location on the Queen Mary, and the officer stationed there could keep an eye on it. I just don't recall seeing anything on that back rail that fits the bill.

As for the need for general illumination off the ship's stern, the only thing I can think of that might need a light is to be sure the taffrail log wire doesn't foul in something, but again, if the log isn't mounted right at the ensign staff, the lamp isn't going to throw enough light to be useful.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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From "The Regulations For Preventing Collisions At Sea," as printed in Nicholls's Seamanship and Viva Voce Guide, 4th Edition, London, August 1910:
quote:

Art. 10. A vessel which is being overtaken by another shall show from her stern to such last-mentioned vessel a white light or a flare-up light. The white light required to be shown by this Article may be fixed and carried in a lantern, but in such case the lantern shall be so constructed, fitted, and screened that it shall throw an unbroken light over an arc of the horizon of 12 points of the compass, viz., for 6 points from right aft on each side of the vessel, so as to be visible at a distance of at least 1 mile. Such light shall be carried as nearly as practicable on the same level as the side lights.

The picture Bob showed is Titanic's stern electric running light. I have a picture of Olympic's stern at her NY pier that shows the same thing in the same place. In the case of Olympic's stern, they also hung an oil lamp on the rail not far from the stern light. The oil lamp was not a navigation light, just an all around oil lamp that was hung out there while the ship was tied to the pier.​
 

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