Dr Ballard's New Expedition


Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Hi Jon,
There is also mention of these switches in the section on the wreck in Eaton & Haas' "Titanic - Triumph and Tragedy" (the one with the colour wreck photos). I think the explanation that was offered was that these were switches to control the fog warning system. (??)

Cheers

Paul

 
Oct 23, 2000
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"Going back to Bollard and his inaccuracies, lets not forget the proposal in "his" book that the Titanic was so far east of the CQD position because the ship was travelling 2 knots slower than they thought she was...and then theres the allegation that early navigation was "notoriously inaccurate", without any proof provided"

You forget that Boxhall's CQD position was based on a star sighting three hours or so before the collison with the iceberg, and while that is not bad by any means, it certainly was no GPS.
The clincher to me is the fact that when Jack Grimm's first Titanic expedition pulled up to the CQD coordinates -surprise!- "no Big T for you, Dirk Pitt wanna be" the ocean saith as not a trace of the Titanic was found.
Ye olden days navigating was good, but not the pracically exact science we have today, IMO.

Richard
 
Jul 9, 2000
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I wouldn't say that the navigation then was "notoriously inaccurate." They could be amazingly exact given good star sights and the tables they had. The problem was that it would only be exact for the time it was taken and couldn't speak to things like drift and any other little errors that creep in when using dead reckoning. As Richard pointed out, they didn't have GPS to work with.
 

Paul Lee

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Aug 11, 2003
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Lets play a game of "Find the stern plaque". Heres a tiny thumbnail of the stern from the RMSTI mosaic of the mid 1990s - the plaque should be between the two rollers.

87146.jpg


Cheers

Paul

 

Steven Hall

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Aug 8, 2001
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Parks, Ken
Prior to Olympic’s launch the letters forming the ships name are clearly visible as seen in the previous post above. The ship having been grey — white or some shade between allowed a clear view. Beyond all reasonable doubt the letters are clearly (visible &) incised in the plate.
Using the known height of the letters, 18" high, a measurement of what the total span needed for the T I T A N I C required can be established. Plate H-1712, Sept 1911 — outfitting affirms the spacing. With this, one can (reasonably) back engineer where the letters should be on the pre-launch images. The same can also be applied the dive footage.
In the montage (above Sept 1911), can be viewed the position of the letter C and its alignment (on or about) to the porthole above.
In the lower (May 1911 — pre-launch), can be viewed where the C should be in relation to the same porthole. Where the C should be, there is no visible evidence of any incised letter.
When the spacing is known, letters should be easily (plotted or) visible either to the left or right of the haphazardly scratched or painted ships name seen on the glass plate. (lower)
Photographs taken of Olympic from the same angle pre-launch revealed the lettering which formed her name.
87149.jpg
 
Mar 3, 1998
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Steve,

I'm all confused now.

In your post #77 above, you made the argument that the letters can be seen cut into the steel plate (either the shell plating or a separate nameplate) in the pre-launch photo. I concur with that assessment.

In your latest post, you seem to be making the argument that the letters were not cut into the plating, at least not before launch. If true, then your latest would contradict your earlier statement, which in turn leads me to believe that I either missed something or haven't understood you correctly. Would you please reiterate what you think it was that they did?

Parks
 

Steven Hall

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Aug 8, 2001
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Parks,
I must admit I have not explained what I believe happened very clearly. I just read my posts and I can see were confusion would occur.
I do, (and it’s a fault of mine) type to quickly and not proof read it before hitting the send button.
I will write up tomorrow what I believe was the arrangement for the fitting of the port and starboard bow name plates.

Steve
 

Bill Willard

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Mar 24, 2001
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I don't know about you guys, but it looks to me, in the gantry-type photo of Titanic above, that someone has placed a chalk line and literally used chalk to write in Titanic. It's doubtfully paint because of the upper and lower scaling line. It's definitely not etched or inscribed into the hull, and it's definitely not permanently painted on with the poor lettering. It seems to me to be freehand chalk.

Maybe for the purpose of the photo??
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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The "chalked in" name in the lower image is simply applied to the negative, not the ship itself.

As proof, in the same bottom image it's interesting to see the actual incised letters visible on the left-- "T" to the left of the foreground object, the "I" hidden, the second "T" between the retouched "I and T", and the actual "A" behind the retouched "A". But, as Steve points out, there appears to be no sign of the rest of the actual incised letters, such as the "C," which should clearly show up.

The mystery deepens.

Ken
 
Jan 7, 2002
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Hi Ken!
Thats was my impression about the 'chalked in' name..I have assumed in some of the published photos of Titanic under construction,, in the ones were her name stands out like a neon sign, someone simply drew the name on the negative or photo print so as to make it stand out..

regards

Tarn
 
Oct 28, 2000
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I haven't a clue as to how Titanic's name was, or was not attached to the ship. However, I have painted a name or two on a hull. I'ts a lot more daunting task than you might think. You cannot simply lay a straightedge (called a "batten" in most boat shops) on the curved hull to serve as a baseline for the letters. Because the hull in the bow has curve and flare, what appears to the eye to be a "straight" line is actually a curve.

One technique taught to me is to place the square corner of the batten against the hull. I've done this on wooden boats, nailing the batten in place with small nails and puttying up afterward.

Obviously, you can't nail a batten to a steel plate. A good loftsmen on the lofting floor could lay out a curved line that would appear straight on the ship. And, that line could be applied to the plate in question prior to the plate being fitted. Don't know what procedure was followed--does anyone know?

Also, more than once I've had to paint around a fancy name due to the cost of repainting the lettering. The "box" around the Titanic name in the photo reminds me of those times. Initially, the new and old paint stand apart in the eye, but a few weeks of weathering blends them.

I doubt any of this solves the mysteries cited above. I just want to remind everyone that as you speculate please keep in mind that straight = curved on a ship's hull.

-- David G. Brown
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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"Hey there, Ken,...Were the letters on the stern cut into the hull or fixed in place one at a time?"

'Fixed in place'...you mean "applied"? No, the letters on White Star ships (bows AND stern) were not bolted on as were those on Cunard ships, but simply painted on within outlines engraved into the steel. Each letter was "cut into" (engraved into) the steel as I described above and as can be seen today on Nomadic.

Thankfully this 1911 H&W-built White Star vessel survives, so there can be no debate on this. At least on this point we have a clear and easy answer to a "technical construction question."

You know...it's unfortunate that this whole fascinating discussion is not in its own thread but is listed instead under "Dr. Ballard's New Expedition." We probably should have diverted this long ago.

Phil: Is it possible to go back to the point where the conversation completely switched to the letters on the hull, and make it a new thread, for the ease of future researchers? Just curious.

Ken
 
Jul 9, 2000
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It's do-able Ken, but I'm not quite sure how I can do that without also gutting the context of this thread. This little diversion got started when discussing some features found on the wreck, so we do have a connection here to the exploration/salvage issues. Perhaps if Steve Hall wants to continue this, he could start the discussion in the Technical/Construction folder.
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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Okay, how about the colouring of the letters then? I've always read 'gold' or 'yellow', and, along with the band around the hull, have always taken that to mean that they were painted the same mysterious 'buff' that the funnels were, which seems to be the case on Cameron's 'full size' Titanic, and (from very quick memory) in Ken's paintings?
 

Ken Marschall

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Jan 8, 2002
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Mike,

It may have looked that way, but the paint used for the sheer line and name on the film set and miniatures, and in my paintings, is a deep, rich yellow-ochre color (almost a gold hue, but not reflective, of course). The H&W "rigging plan" (profile plan) calls for a "10 1/4-inch yellow sheer line, tapered at ends." It doesn't say "gold." It must have been a very rich, saturated, deep hue for it to photograph so dark.

The funnels, on the other hand, would have been slightly "browner" -- a pale yellow-brown, actually described as "tawny brown" in one Southampton article published just before the ship departed. "Tawny" is defined in my Webster's dictionery as "a brownish orange to light brown that is slightly redder than sorrel." I haven't looked up "sorrel," but from his trip on Olympic as a child, Walter Lord always remembered a faint touch of pink in the color, as well, when seen in certain light. The funnel color arrived for my artwork and the film was through referencing many sources -- unrestored period (but cleaned) models, period artwork, and so on.

Ken
 

Mike Bull

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Dec 23, 2000
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Yes, 'yellow', that was what I'd read now you remind me. It definitely does photograph dark, that's for sure!

I seem to remember you saying about the funnel colour on here before, it sounded like it would be your Holy Grail to finally hit that one on the head 100%!

Talking of looking at the colour on models, the builder's model (I think)of the White Star 'Doric' is in our little free museum in town here in Newport, South Wales, UK, and I often pop in there to have a look at it. A couple of times I've looked at the colouring and thought of you, Ken! Doric was scrapped in Newport, one of those 'jobs to save the town' kind of things. I've heard that many of her fittings went into local pubs, the usual story. Anyway, I digress.

I know that old photos can be colourised, but are there computer programmes that can take a B&W image, and produce reliable colour interpretations from them? Maybe too much guesswork involved though?

Anyway, there we go; my lazy assumption that the name and sheer line were the same colour as the funnels has been corrected, ta!
 
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Nicolas Roughol

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I've just spent the last hour or so reading the 5 or 6 pages of this thread. Interesting to say the least. Thank you Jon for posting these pictures. So many spoke of the name Titanic still visible on her bow, I had yet to see it.
Very nice to see you Mr. Marschall, type so many posts in so few days.

And thanks to everyone who contributed in this thread, it gives some really nice tidbits
happy.gif
 

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