Funnel Lights


Harland Duzen

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I love this realistic recreation of the coal fire which sank the Titanic! :D
That wasn't my initial intention but thank you!
I always wondered what was meant by "The white of the funnel" The funnels weren't white anywhere.
I think they were just referring to the lighter part of the funnel under the black paint.
Now I thinking about it, there were Passengers who recalled seeing the funnels light up as the rockets were fired and exploded, their reflection on the funnels metallic paint work must have created the "White Funnel' effect.
 
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If at all the only light "shining" at the funnels would come from the skylights (as for the marconi room or the dome over the 1st class staircase) if not closed but it would be not strong enough to illuminate them.
 
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Aaron_2016

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It is remarkable they could mistake the collapsible boat for the "top of the funnel" and how "We started to back away then" as they feared they would be sucked down into the funnel as the top was (perhaps in their minds) about to submerge and suck them into it. It must have been horrible to be on the collapsible and you see your rescuers rowing away and hearing them yell "Row away!...Keep pulling!" When 5th officer Lowe approached the collapsible boat he fired his gun into the water to discourage the people from swimming towards his boat and swamping it as they were probably very anxious to leave the collapsible.



collapsible1.JPG


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Aaron_2016

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5th officer Lowe fired his gun into the water between his boat and the collapsible boat to stop them from swimming over in a panic and swamping his boat. This was after the Titanic went down.


Mr. Scarrott
Q - Did you hear any other shots fired at all?
A - Yes.
Q - Where?
A - After we came back from the wreckage where we had taken one of those rafts in tow, Mr. Lowe emptied his pistol into the water; as regards the number of rounds left in it I cannot say, but I think he emptied five rounds out of it.

Mr. Evans
"The fifth officer used one, sir.....He fired four shots when we went to this boat that was in distress. She was half full of water, and they were up to their ankles in water. There was one collapsible boat that we had in tow, and we went over to this one that was swamped, sir....."


5th officer Lowe must have forgotten or intentionally chose not to mention this at the Inquiry (or was told not to mention it) for fear it would look bad against the company and primarily look bad for him on his report i.e. Admitting that he recklessly fired his gun into the water between his boat and the collapsible, with the possibility of hitting one of them, as it was likely too dark to see who was in the water. I have to wonder why he began firing his gun into the water, unless the men on the collapsible were already attempting to swim towards his boat and he wanted them to back away and began firing into the water to scare them off and possibly fired in their direction.

Lowe admitted that he fired 3 shots as his boat was being lowered but did not mention firing his gun later on at the collapsible. Have to wonder why he chose to omit that later incident?

Q - You put it in your pocket after you fired those three shots?
A - Yes; I put in my pocket and put the safety catch on, because it is a Browning automatic. There were, I suppose, four more remaining.
Q - What we call a seven-shooter?
A - I do not know what you call it.
Q - Well, what do you call it?
A - It is an automatic. I think it carries eight.
Q - Did you have any occasion to use it afterwards?
A - None whatever, sir.
Q - And you did not use it afterwards?
A - I did not use it.

Yet we have multiple witnesses who saw him take it out and fire it repeatedly when he approached the collapsible after the Titanic had gone down.


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Reading this discussion...I'm beginning to think Mr. Lowe was having target practice shooting out the lights on the funnels.

-- David G. Brown
 
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Jim Currie

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According to Evans, Lowe fired his gun into the air, not into the water:

"Senator SMITH: You heard Officer Lowe and saw him fire his revolver several times? Mr. EVANS.Yes, sir.
Senator SMITH: In what direction did he point the revolver? Mr. EVANS: In the air, sir.


According to Scarrott, he emptied it into the water, not into the air:

" Mr. Lowe emptied his pistol into the water;as regards the number of rounds left in it I cannot say, but I think he emptied five rounds out of it."


Air or water...which was it?
 
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Aaron_2016

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Scarrott also witnessed Lowe fire down into the water when they were lowering the boat. (Something that Lowe would deny).

"Mr. Lowe came in our boat. I told him that I had had a bit of trouble through the rushing business, and he said, “All right.” He pulled out his revolver and he fired two shots between the ship and the boat’s side, and issued a warning to the remainder of the men that were about there. He told them that if there was any more rushing he would use it. When he fired the two shots he fired them into the water."

Scarrott later witnessed him fire his gun into the water again as they approached the collapsible. However Evans said he fired into the air, but he admitted that his nerves were bad and how he could not look over the sides of the boat because there were dead bodies all around them. Evans said:


"There were plenty of dead bodies about us."
Q - How many? Scores of them?
A - You couldn't hardly count them, sir. I was afraid to look over the sides because it might break my nerves down.
Q - Evidently you do not like to look at dead people very well.
A - No, sir.
Q - Is that one of the reasons why you did not pick up more of these dead people that were floating around there?
A - If the officer had given orders to pick them up, we should have picked them up.
Q - But he gave no orders?
A - No, sir.


With Evans unable to look over the sides and Lowe denying he fired the gun at all after his boat was lowered, I have to side with Scarrott who testified that he witnessed Lowe fire his gun into the water as the boat was being lowered (something Lowe denied) and again as they approached the collapsible (also something that Lowe denied).

Following the collision Lowe was asked what his first actions were:

Q - Now, what did you do after you went out on the deck and ascertained the position of the ship in the water, and saw what had occurred?
A - I first of all went and got my revolver.
Q - What for?
A - Well, sir; you never know when you will need it.

He had no idea the ship was going to sink at that early stage, so it sounds like he just wanted a reason to show off and fire his gun (boys and their toys) and he was finally given the opportunity to use it. I wonder if there is something in the rule book that says the officers must only use their guns when there is an absolute necessity for it. Perhaps he realized that firing his gun as he approached the collapsible until he ran out of ammo was not a good idea as it may have panicked the survivors in the collapsible and unsettled the boat, so he decided to omit that incident at the Inquiries.


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Lowe fired his revolver when the boat was lowered when the boat was about B Deck level. It makes no sense that he shot from there down into the water as the open deck (A Deck) was above where the men were standing of which he was afraid would jump into the boat. As Lowe was the one shooting he sure would know in which direction he did that.
It is most likely Scarrott who is wrong as he was about several other points.(There are a few other accounts about the warning shots fired into the air.)

He used his gun again when rescuing the people from collapsible boat A (not sure why a picture of collapsible B was posted) and fired again to prevent the men to came all at once and took at first the only female (Mrs. Abbott) into No. 14.
 
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Jim Currie

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This bit of the story is full of inconsistencies. Lowe went for his "revolver" but activated the safety catch on his automatic:

"Mr. LOWE: Yes; I put in my pocket and put the safety catch on, because it is a Browning automatic. There were, I suppose, four more remaining."

According to Lowe, he was standing in the end of boat 14 and about 3 or 4 feet off the ship's side when he fires these shots. He did not fire them straight down but diagonally along the ship's side...one shot at each deck on the way down
 
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Vesihiisi

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Hi.

Is there any info on whether the funnels were illuminated or not in real life ?
Most artistic renders, games, models I see funnels illuminated with lights but someone on other forum mentioned that they were not illuminated.

I am building the 1:200 Titanic and pondering wether to add illuminated leds to the funnels or not.
 

Kyle Naber

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Titanic’s funnels were not illuminated. At night, they were simply black against the stars. There may have been a slight glow from the other lights at the bases, but they were not explicitly intended for the funnels. That practice did not start until the Queen Mary era.
 

Aly Jones

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Hi.

Is there any info on whether the funnels were illuminated or not in real life ?
Most artistic renders, games, models I see funnels illuminated with lights but someone on other forum mentioned that they were not illuminated.

I am building the 1:200 Titanic and pondering wether to add illuminated leds to the funnels or not.
I highly doubt it.

James Cameron had to put extra deck lights on deck during filming because the amount the real titanic had didn't give enough light for filming.
 
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Titanic’s funnels were not illuminated. At night, they were simply black against the stars. There may have been a slight glow from the other lights at the bases, but they were not explicitly intended for the funnels. That practice did not start until the Queen Mary era.
Not true. While funnel illumination was very noticeable by Normandie's time with the large spotlights aimed directly upon the funnels, it was common practice for the French Line as early as the Paris. Even the Cunard liner Lusitania had deck lights installed to add some illumination to the funnels and upper parts of the ship - (which are shown in the as built plans from John Brown in the Glasgow Archives.)
 

Kyle Naber

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I stand corrected! I don't remember where I had gotten that information. I do know for a fact, however, that Titanic's were not specifically illuminated.
 

Jim Currie

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A passenger ship had two types of funnel lights.
The first set were usually set into the bulkheads surrounding the funnel-base housing. These were the only ones lit all the time at night - in port or while out at sea out of sight of land. They illuminated the deck and therefore allowed safe passage for walkers.
The second set were usually on the boat deck ...one each side of a funnel... sort of arc lights. They were to show-off the ship's funnel ,markings at night, in port, at anchor or leaving and arriving at night. Could you imagine the havoc the second lot would cause in the next picture if they were on in mid ocean, when an officer tried to adjust compass or take a bearing in the dark?
titanics-boat-deck-the-titanic-project.jpg
 
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