How Far South did the Titanic Reach?

George Jacub

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So, to get this straight, using your unproven theory of the difference in time between New York and the Titanic to locate the ship on its route, you first arbitrarily deduct 29 minutes, then "reset" Pitman's estimate of the time the Titanic hit the iceberg by another six minutes and you arrive at a location on the ocean that's NOT the spot where the ship sank. Okay...

"Furthermore, if you accept that her clocks were 1 hour 33 minutes ahead of NY time at the time of collision, then you have to believe that the last rocket fired from Titanic occurred almost a full hour before the ship sank."

Well...yeah. Who would know the time he stopped firing rockets better than the guy who was firing the rockets and the guy who was firing the rockets said he stopped at 1:25 a.m. which is slightly less than a full hour before the ship sank. Your point...?

"And if you accept Harold Brides evidence that Capt. Smith released his wireless operators when Carpathia and Franfurt were last contacted, which can easily be traced to 11:55pm NY time..."


If it's so easy, please source your claim.
 

Jim Currie

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George the difference between Titanic time and 'The Big Apple' is complicated. The following evidence clearly shows that the clocks were retarded 24 minutes before impact with the iceberg. This means that they were 1 hour 38 minutes FAST of EST New York. So where did the 1 hour 33 minute difference come from? One of the US Senators had a stab at the answer.

5096. - There is five hours difference between Greenwich time and New York time.
Senator Burton:
The difference in solar time is 4 hours and 57 minutes, if you want to get that exactly.

In fact, Senator Burton was a minute out. It is actually 4 hours 56 minutes. However, the mariner's Distance Tables of the day gave the difference as 4 hours 55 minutes. The reason for that was that for Solar Time, they used the longitude of the Ambrose Channel Light Vessel.

Before any clock alterations, the ships; clocks were 2 hours 2 minutes and 1 hour 57 minutes FAST of EST New York and Solar Time New York. Thus, because the clocks had been retarded by 24 minutes prior to impact, the differences between EST New York and Solar Time New York were 1 hour 38 minutes and 1 hour 33 minutes respectively.

We have another way of proving a clock change took place.

Barber A Weikman was washed overboard when the bow went under had a time of 1-50 am on his stopped watch. He was involved with the attempt to launch Collapsible A.
According to "Titanic: The Lifeboat Launching Sequence Re-Examined " By Bill Wormstedt, Tad Fitch and George Behe,
with contributions by Sam Halpern and J. Kent Layton ... four or five minutes after that, the stern section sank. was very shortly before the stern section sank. This would make the time of sinking 1-55 am according to Weikman's watch. Now apply this to the other evidence.

According to Sam, both Boxhall and Pitman had unaltered time of sinking as 2-20pm. This being the case, then on a partially altered watch or clock the time would have been 1-56 am (Weikman) and the fully altered time of sinking would have been 1-42 am April 15. Annie Robinson had a sinking time of 1-40 am on her filly retarded watch. More to the point, Barber Weikman had an impact time of 11-40 pm. It follows that the time of impact was 12-04 am April 15 on an unaltered clock, 11-40 pm on a partially retarded clock and 11 17 am on a fully altered clock. The fully retarded time piece of Baker Collins registered 11-15 pm at time of impact. There is absolutely no doubt that the clocks had been retarded 24 minutes before impact.

Now apply this knowledge to the timing of table 2 in the above work of Bill Wormsteadt et al must be adjusted accordingly. This means that the last rocket was fired at about 1-26 am ship time...11-48 pm EST New York and 1-38 am Californian time. Consider the evidence given by Californian's 2nd Officer Stone on Day 7 of the UK Inquiry:

"7935. How long after you had seen the three rockets?
- I saw the last of the rockets as near as I can say about 1.40."
 

George Jacub

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Jim, the launch times in their Table 2 are pretty much wrong from start to finish, except for Lifeboats 16, 14 and 12.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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So Jim, when did all those people (I can cite over 27 not counting crew) who claimed that the collision happened about 11:35-11:45 set their clocks back by 24 minutes that day? Funny that most recovered watches showed the time of sinking around 2:20, or thereabouts. I guess those poor souls were carrying unadjusted time yet most everyone else carried partially adjusted time.
 

Jim Currie

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Don't know how often I have to point this out to you, Sam. The only people to whom time alterations mattered were those whose lives were regulated by ship time. It follows that no matter who had what on their personal time pieces, the only facts which define ship time at the moment of impact are as follows:

1. Day workers in bed. They would have either fully retarded time or unaltered time.

2. Those on watch who were waiting to be relieved. Waiting to be relieved means in a short space of time. They would not be waiting relieved for another 44 minutes if impact happened at 11-40 pm unaltered time. The Lookouts were relieved 20 minutes after impact.

3. Those who were waiting for 1 bell to relive or be relieved.

and your nemesis...

4. Those who, 15 minutes after impact were within a few minutes of going on duty.

A thing you might want to think about: Where did those whose duty it was to call the Midnight to 4 am Watch get their time from? Has it occurred to you that they got their time from public clocks like the one in the Barber's Shop? One that showed an impact time of 11-40 pm. Weikman the Barber had partially adjusted time on his personal time piece because his sinking time was about 1-56 am. Was he waiting for the second midnight when the full adjustment would be made and every clock on the ship would show April 15 time? Perhaps he wasn't the only one with partially adjusted time?

There is also another thing or three you should keep in mind.

a. Personal time pieces in 1912 and right up until the advent of the battery operated watch, varied widely in quality and accuracy. However they all had the same weakness. If the owner did not wind his or her watch as instructed by the maker. i.e. did not over or under wind, then the accuracy was very seriously effected.

b. Because of (a). and the differing times people entered the water, the times showing on personal time pieces and clocks alleged to have been recovered from the sea after the event must be viewed with suspicion... in particular all the ones that show exactly 11-40.

c. The sinking time of 11-40 pm was widely circulated in the press within 24 hours of the sinking.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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b. Because of (a). and the differing times people entered the water, the times showing on personal time pieces and clocks alleged to have been recovered from the sea after the event must be viewed with suspicion... in particular all the ones that show exactly 11-40.
c. The sinking time of 11-40 pm was widely circulated in the press within 24 hours of the sinking.
I don't know of any recovered watch that showed 11:40. I do know of a couple of recovered watches that showed close to 1:35 which apparently were set back the expected amount before these people retired. Most recovered watches showed a time around 2:20, some a few minutes earlier, others a few minutes later, just what you would expect to see. Anyway, as I have pointed out before, if the collision happened at 12:04 unadjusted time, then I would expect to see many accounts stating the accident happened just after midnight. Other than Gracie's account, which he said was erroneous, almost all passenger accounts place the collision time about quarter to twelve, give or take a few. And none of these people talked about setting their watches back. In fact, Jack Thayer said his watch showed 11:45 when the ship struck as he was in the process of winding it while preparing to retire. He also claimed that this same watch had stopped at 2:22 when he had a chance to look at it while on board Carpathia. Elinor Cassebeer noted that her watch showed 11:44 at the time of collision and that it had been set to ship's time while she was at dinner that night by purser McElroy. And of course there is bosun's mate Albert Hainse who stated for the record that the right time of collision "without putting the clock back" was 11:40.

Well we have been through all these arguments many, many times before, so I see no reason for any further debate.
 

Rob Lawes

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A thing you might want to think about: Where did those whose duty it was to call the Midnight to 4 am Watch get their time from? Has it occurred to you that they got their time from public clocks like the one in the Barber's Shop? One that showed an impact time of 11-40 pm. Weikman the Barber had partially adjusted time on his personal time piece because his sinking time was about 1-56 am. Was he waiting for the second midnight when the full adjustment would be made and every clock on the ship would show April 15 time? Perhaps he wasn't the only one with partially adjusted time?
I've always been something of a clock change sceptic but always keep an open mind. I do however, find it very hard to understand why the ships barber, clearly a man who worked days, would bother waiting up until nearly midnight to set his time piece back, not once but twice. Surely, if he was going to wait up at all he would have been as well to wait until the full change had occurred?

As for setting back time pieces and their retaining accurate time, this I can confirm. I had a reasonably expensive, self winding watch. When I changed time zones I would have to wind it back anhour and a half in one and then forward the half hour to the correct time. The reason being in essence is an engineering term called 'backlash' which is the gap that exists between gears to allow them to mash. If you reversec some gears, before you get any forward movement sgain, the gears have to take up that gap. So without winding my watch backwards and then forwards, after a few hours, the time would be several minutes out.
 

Jim Currie

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I too had the same thoughts about the Barber's evidence, Rob. Any ship I sailed in, the Barber Shop closed before 1st sitting for dinner. However, Mr, Weikman's shop was clearly open or he was sitting in it at the moment of impact and he most certainly did have partially adjusted time on his watch when he was washed overboard. I hardly think that he hastily adjusted his watch back for half the planned time after impact took place.

As to watch-winding...many of the old boys wound their watches by a continuous forward back movement of the winder. i.e. half turn forward, eighth turn back, half turn forward, eighth turn back etc for about 30 turns every time.
 

Jim Currie

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I don't know of any recovered watch that showed 11:40. I do know of a couple of recovered watches that showed close to 1:35 which apparently were set back the expected amount before these people retired. Most recovered watches showed a time around 2:20, some a few minutes earlier, others a few minutes later, just what you would expect to see. Anyway, as I have pointed out before, if the collision happened at 12:04 unadjusted time, then I would expect to see many accounts stating the accident happened just after midnight. Other than Gracie's account, which he said was erroneous, almost all passenger accounts place the collision time about quarter to twelve, give or take a few. And none of these people talked about setting their watches back. In fact, Jack Thayer said his watch showed 11:45 when the ship struck as he was in the process of winding it while preparing to retire. He also claimed that this same watch had stopped at 2:22 when he had a chance to look at it while on board Carpathia. Elinor Cassebeer noted that her watch showed 11:44 at the time of collision and that it had been set to ship's time while she was at dinner that night by purser McElroy. And of course there is bosun's mate Albert Hainse who stated for the record that the right time of collision "without putting the clock back" was 11:40.

Well we have been through all these arguments many, many times before, so I see no reason for any further debate.
Well Sam, if you keep punting the unaltered clock theory then there most certainly is a very good reason for further debate.

You selectively quote passengers, Sam. As I have said before, passenger accounts of an event can be notoriously unreliable. They will very often quote hearsay evidence and embellish it. Captain Rostron of the Carpathia knew that full-well;

"I know nothing, but I have heard rumors of different passengers; some will say one thing and some another. I would, therefore, rather say nothing. I do not know anything. From the officers I know nothing. I could give you silly rumors of passengers, but I know they are not reliable, from my own experience; so, if you will excuse me, I would prefer to say nothing."

I can assure you, witness accounts, particularly witnesses who have had time to compare notes with other witnesses to the same event and who have read details in the newspapers as to what happened during a prolonged incident can be notoriously inaccurate with their memories Don't take my word for it, there is an eminently qualified member of this forum who, I'm sure, can vouch for this.

As to Col. Gracie: why do you think that an educated man such as Gracie was would retract the evidence he gave under oath? Not only did he give a time for impact as about midnight as shown on his watch, but during the same interview, he also gave a time of sinking as 2-22 am by exactly the same watch. This means he had unaltered time in his watch, First evidence given under oath is the only evidence that counts. As to his 11;45 pm time...This from his book:

" I was enjoying a good night's rest when I was aroused by a sudden shock and noise forward on the starboard side, which I at once concluded was caused by a collision, with some other ship perhaps. I jumped from my bed, turned on the electric light, glanced at my watch nearby on the dresser, which I had changed to agree with ship's time on the day before and which now registered twelve o'clock. Correct ship's time would make it about 11.45".

The 'day before\ was April 14. Therefore the man's watch was registering April 14 , Noon time ship. Impact occurred at about 12 o' clock on April 14. When the Colonel referred to "correct ship's time", he was obviously not referring to the time on his watch. It follows that he believed that impact occurred at about 11-45 altered time. Why cannot you see that?
However since you like the evidence of passengers; what about the evidence of another famous passenger... Lawrence Beesley:

"One of them [leading Stoker Barrett]—I think he was the same man that cut us free from the pulley ropes—told us how he was at work in the stoke-hole, and in anticipation of going off duty in quarter of an hour,—thus confirming the time of the collision as 11.45,—had near him a pan of soup keeping hot on some part of the machinery; suddenly the whole side of the compartment came in, and the water rushed him off his feet."

Now why would Barratt secretly anticipate going off Watch in 44 minutes after impact but tell Beesley he was due off Watch 15 minutes after impact?

To your credit, you also quote a crew member...the Assistant Bosun Albert Hainsse by jumping on his statement "without putting the clock back" was 11:40." There's two things here:

A: Haines was on the 8 to Midnight Watch and was due to be relieved at Midnight, partially adjusted time. Why on earth would he have unaltered time on his watch? If he did have unaltered time, why would he make reference to altered time? No one else except Lightoller, the Lookouts, Annie Robertson and Trimmer Dillon did that. Assistant Cook Collins did not refer to it directly but he obviously had fully altered time on his watch at the time of impact.
B: Haines, being in charge of the Watch would have either partly or fully altered time. He obviously had partly altered time...i.e. time without putting the clock back (the planned amount). He was obviously anticipating a question about ship's time that never came.

I don't know why I bother remind you of all these facts, Sam. After all, you completely discount the fact that Titanic lost a full knot of speed between Noon April 14 and 6 pm that evening. Consequently you discount the presence of the eastern extension of the Gulf Stream. This despite the statements of experienced seamen who stated as follows:

Captain Charles Johnston:
" And when the berg get into the Gulf Stream , its tendency is to move in what direction under ordinary conditions, quiet conditions of water, ordinary conditions of water?
- East between, longitudes 50 and 49, then rapidly curving to the north.
Captain Charles Moore
" Of course, that ice had been in the gulf stream and was going with the gulf stream. The gulf stream, as we know, is always flowing to the east-northeast, "
Joseph Boxhall:
"16955. (The Solicitor-General.) It is not wind, your Lordship sees. (To the witness.) Whether there is a wind or no wind, the current will flow?
- Yes, but invariably we find a strong easterly set there; very often we find that the Gulf stream ".

Oh, I almost forgot. Carpathia was trying to make North,52 West toward the wrong distress position. Instead she found the survivors almost 13 miles to the eastward. What do you think set her so far to the east? OK her departure point might have been a little farther east... but 13 miles? Really?

Surely you are not going to claim that easterly current conveniently switched off and that although 5th Officer Lowe had a Master's Certificate, he really was a bit of a moron?

You are fully aware of the following, Sam but the following is for the edification of anyone else reading this.

If, as the evidence clearly shows, Titanic slowed down by a full knot due to a head current between Noon and 6 pm on the afternoon/evening of April 14, then all the other arguments about conflicting witness evidence concerning watch times of sinking and impact are simply distractions. If the evidence of her 5th officer is accepted then she covered 6 x 21 = 126 miles up until 6 pm on April 14. Additionally; if the evidence of her QM Rowe is accepted and she covered a total distance of 260 miles from Noon until the moment of impact, then there is no way impact took place at 11-40 pm...5 hours 40 minutes from 6 pm. Because if it did, then Titanic was making 23.7 knots from 6 pm and we all know that's nonsense.
However, if , as Col Gracie stated under oath, impact took place at 12 o'clock; exactly 6 hours after 6 pm then the ship's average speed during that period would have been 22.3 Knots. If it took place as the overwhelming body of relevant evidence suggests, at 4 minutes past midnight, then between 6 pm and the moment of impact she averaged a speed of 22.1 knots...the same as she averaged between Noon April 13 and Noon April 15.
 

Rob Lawes

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Forgive this piece of nonsense speculation but I still can't understand why a day working ships barber would feel the need to partially set his watch back when he had absolutely no discernable need to. I started to imagine any scenario where it mat have been likely and could only come up with one.

What if Barber Weikman had agreed to cut a member of the crews hair after they came off watch. This would explain why he would need to know crew change midnight and why he was sat in his barber shop so late on a Sunday.

Obviously, the crewman in question would have had to have beeb able to access first class areas without getting into trouble and had to be a member of the 8pm to midnight watch.

Anyway, just a little fun speculation.

Regards

Rob
 
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Rob, I've had similar thoughts, although not about cutting the hair of a crew member. Weikman should have been keeping passenger time throughout the voyage. This would have been true even for a haircut involving one of the senior officers who all had time during the normal work day -- if they chose -- to go to the barber's shop. All of the deck an engine crew below those men worked watch-and-watch, so would have undoubtedly preferred their bunks to a barber's chair. There was time at each end of a voyage for things tonsorial.

The question is not what was the basis for the famous 11:40 time of impact. That is stare decisis -- it was crew time set back 24 minutes from unaltered April 14th time.

Even so, I've noticed is a pattern within recorded times of impact. They fall into two major groups. The first is 11:40 per the crew clocks. And, the second is 11:40 per time based on April 15th projected noon. There is a third group which can be extrapolated backwards from their observed time of the sinking based on April 14th unaltered time.

Things aren't that simple when you look at the 11:40 time quoted by most passengers. It just does not make sense for those people to have been keeping crew time. But, if they had been keeping unaltered April 14th time they would have testified the accident took place at 12:04 and not 11:40. Thus, their recollections (if accurate) could not have been in time based on either April 14th or crew clocks. The only solution is that they recorded not the moment of impact, but rather the time when stewards began waking passengers and sending them on deck in life vests. Certainly, for most people that would have been the definitive time of the night.

At precisely "midnight" per crew clocks the watch would have changed and all of the clocks in the ship would have been reset to -11:37 April 15th. That allowed the fresh Port Watch to work off its extra 23 minutes before true midnight (0000 hours) marking the actual start of day/date Monday, April 15th. It was at that precise moment when the crew's change of watch became an "all hands" evolution of evacuating the sinking ship. And, it was just shortly after that when stewards began awakening passengers.

If we look at the midnight per crew time (12:24 in unaltered April 14th hours) we find that equates to (minus) -11:37 in April 15th hours. The minus indicates that while the time is based on noon, April 15th it indicates a moment prior to the official beginning of April 15th. So, it appears the 11:40 of groggy passengers was not in unaltered April 14th time, but in negative April 15th hours.

The use by passengers of "tomorrow's" time is easily explained. It was tradition then (as now) to adjust timepieces before retiring for the evening. That way, a person's clock or watch would have been displaying the correct time upon awakening in the morning.

At this point we have a general explanation for the various times recalled by survivors. The only thing that's missing is why passenger clocks displayed crew time at the moment of impact. This is evident in the actions of the men in the first class smoking lounge who were gathered to await the resetting of clocks to April 15th hours. If the smoking room clock had been displaying unaltered April 14th hours, it would have indicated midnight had taken place some four minutes earlier than impact. Yet, the survivors gave exactly the opposite impression, that the clock had not yet displayed "midnight." If the smoking room clock had been reset to April 15th hours, it would have read 11:17 which was much too early to gather to observe the official resetting to Monday time. (Also, if it were already displaying April 15th time, there would have been no reset at midnight for the men to anticipate by their presence in the smoking room.) So, the 11:40 on that clock could only have been in crew time. Why?

There is no logical reason for passengers to have ever been aware of crew time except for one possibility. Passenger time could only have been kept separate from crew time through the use of two separate and distinct master clocks. Titanic, indeed, was to have been fitted with two Magneta master clocks. But, if one of those clocks either malfunctioned, or was not yet fully installed, then it would have become necessary to use the remaining master to serve both crew and passenger spaces. Throughout most of the day the crew and passengers observed the same time. The only confusion from using one clock would have come during the hours when the crew was working off the extra time of a westward passage. Because of log keeping and other requirements the crew time would have taken precedence over passenger convenience during those few hours. So, at the moment of impact all clocks (including the one in Weikman's barber shop) would have been showing crew time -- the famous 11:40.

There is no definitive proof of what I have just suggested about a missing or broken Magneta master clock. It is based only on the testimonies about the time of impact combined with logic and the need of the crew to conduct an orderly voyage. Even so, we do have one curious hint that what I wrote is true. There is that story about the clock dial in the main grand staircase never being installed and instead replaced by a circular mirror. Again, there is no definitive proof of this substitution. However, it is the only logical explanation as to why nobody recalled ever using that clock during the voyage. And, we even have testimony from people within easy eyeshot of the staircase clock who instead chose to use their pocket timepieces. This tends to support that the clock dial was never installed, and that seems evidence of an incomplete Magneta clock system aboard Titanic.

-- David G. Brown
 

Jim Currie

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I'm sure you are spot-on, David and that's what I think. However, I've seen this reference to a second Magneta Master Clock elsewhere. Where did the story originate from. A second master clock was not necessary nor planned according to the following extract from "The Electrician" date 28 July, 1911., 8 month before Titanic made her maiden voyage:
"CLOCKS.

The clocks, of which there are 48 throughout the vessel, are all actuated electrically, and worked in complete synchronism so that each registers exactly the same time; they are controlled by a master clock (see Fig.14) placed in the chart room under the control of the officers, who can set them backwards and forwards according to the longitude.

The equipment, like that on many large liners of recent years, has been supplied by the Magneta Time Co., Ltd., and consists of the same type of Magneta apparatus that is installed in the chief postal buildings of London, with the modifications necessary for ship conditions, the balance escapement of the master clock being of similar class to that used on marine chronometers. The master clock is capable of running 100 secondary clocks. Specially designed junction boxes have been fixed throughout the vessel, so that extra dials can be added at any time without disturbing the existing wiring. As in all Magneta installations, batteries and contact points are abolished, and no outside source of current is resorted to; there is, therefore, nothing to maintain or renew.


elec_110728_fig14.jpg


There is another factor which researchers forget...the times of the first and second Distress (CQD) signals.

If there had not been a clock change before impact, the difference between Apparent Ship Time and EST New York would have been 2 hours 2 minutes.
Forget about the time of the first distress signal for a moment; we know for a fact that Boxhall's corrected CQD was received at 10-25 pm EST. This equates to an unchanged ship time of 10-25 pm + 2 hours 02 minutes = 12-27 am on the ship's clocks. If this were so, then intelligent people are being asked to believe that Captain Smith waited for 27 minutes at the absolute least before having a distress call sent out; this, despite knowing that his ship was in dire distress 10 minutes after she hit the iceberg .
Not only the foregoing, but his 2nd Officer Boxhall went to the chart room after the boats were ready to be loaded, worked out his corrected CQD position and had it transmitted no less than 37 minutes after Captain Smith's initial 'bad news.'
We know for a fact, that Boxhall worked his distress call before the boats were cleared for loading and we know that the clearing operation was completed about 40 minutes after impact...at around 12-20 am. If, as we both firmly believe, the clocks had been set back 24 minutes before impact, then the Apparent Time Ship would then be 1 hour 38 minutes FAST of EST New York. This being so, then the EST New York for 12-20 am - the time when the boats were ready to load - would have been ...10-42 pm. Since the distress call was received at 10-25 pm EST, Boxhall must have sent it close to 3 minutes past Midnight. If, as has been claimed, the first distress call was made 5 minutes earlier, it would have gone out on the air waves 2 minutes to Midnight. Now compare that with the evidence of the surviving Wireless Operator, Bride.

Still in doubt, Rob?
 
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Regarding the number of Magneta master clocks -- The so-called "Drawing Office Notebeook" made by Harland & Wolff to keep track of such minutia describes everything from the coal bunkers to the whistles. On page 30 under "Electric Clocks" it contains the notation, " 2 master clocks; 48 secondary clocks."

Unfortunately for historians, it does not say which secondary clocks are connected to each master; nor does it describe the locations of those secondary clocks.

-- David G. Brown
 

Jim Currie

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As you can see from the description of the Magneta Co, Ltd system supplied to Titanic, the ship only used 48% of the available capacity from a singe Master Clock. There would be no point in supplying a second Master Clock unless it was to be kept as a back-up in the event of failure of the as built unit. There would be no point in having such an elaborate system to partly adjust a very small number of slave units to serve the crew only. To suggest this was the reason for a second Master Clock would reveal a sad lack of understanding of the thought processes of the British Ship Owner.

There is a lack of understanding among shore folks as to the importance the position accurate time occupied in the lives of seafarers. Life was ruled by the clock, but not just any old clock; the chronometer was undisputed ruler of time.
On that fateful night of April 14, 1912 on board Titanic, just before Midnight April,14, Boxhall was off the bridge. His junior, 6th Officer Moody would make ready to perform the first part of the 47 minute clock change. Thus, when the corrected ship's chronometer read 2-58 am. GMT April 15, Moody would have retarded the Magneta Master Clock by 24 minutes.
If, at the moment the Master clock was altered, it read Midnight, then it would show a time of 11-36 pm. At that same instant, all ship's clocks connected to the Magneta system would also read exactly 11-36 pm. That would be the first instance whereby an accurate check on a personal time piece using a Magneta Slave Clock as a reference could be made.

Following on from the foregoing: let's imagine Titanic did not sink; that iceberg had other fish to fry and was some where else.
In that happy event, 3rd Officer Pitman would have relieved 4th Boxhall at around 03-17 am GMT April 15.(11-55 pm ship . At the same time, the Deck Watch on duty would be relieved by the on-coming 12 to 4 am Deck Watch.
Down in the engine Rooms, the same exchange would be taking place and 12 to 4 am night Stewards would be relieving the extra duty Stewards.

At exactly 03-22 am GMT April 15, by the ship's chronometer, the final adjustment would be made to the Master Clock by either Pitman or his junior, 5th Officer Lowe. At that instant, not before or after, the Master clock would be retarded the remaining 23 minutes of the planned clock change. Then, the ship's clocks would have read Midnight and have been exactly 3 hours 45 minutes SLOW of GMT and 1 hour 15 minutes FAST of EST New York.

As a footnote to this, I would advise that the clock change arrangement on board Titanic was the exception rather than the rule as far as other British merchant ships were concerned. Titanic had Three senior Bridge officers who, like Captain Smith did not share in any clock alterations. On vessels such as the Californian, clock changes would be made at Midnight and 4 pm...not at first and second Mid-nights.
 
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>> It just does not make sense for those people to have been keeping crew time.<<
That is a very strong argument, and one that bothers me as well. As I see it, there are two possibilities:

Possibility 1. If there was a clock change of 24 minutes that took place some time prior to the accident, then that change must have happened early enough in the evening for all these people to have set their watches back by about 20-25 minutes. At the time of collision there were only several handfuls of people in public areas such as in the two smoke rooms and the Café Parisian that remained open until midnight who would have had the opportunity to take the time off the clocks in those rooms when the ship struck. And there is documented evidence, as I'm sure you are well aware, of people staying up in those rooms waiting to set there person timepieces to the new time when the clock was to be put back at midnight. There were others who left the lounges and reading room at 11:30 when those areas closed for the evening, and they had noted that the collision happened just a few minutes after they had left those areas to go down to their cabins. However, except for these few people, there were many others who had retired to their cabins much earlier, and were in their cabins still awake when the accident happened, and took notice of the time. So if there was a partial setback of clocks before the accident, then it had to have occurred relatively early in the evening. Yet there is nobody who said such a change took place, only that there was an expected change that was to take place at midnight. So my question is simply when did someone like Lawrence Beesley or young Jack Thayer, for example, set their watches back by this partial amount of time, and why didn't they simply adjust their watches back by the full amount for the next day? And why would Pursur McElroy set Elinor Cassebere's watch to carry partially adjusted time as early as dinner time that night?

Possibility 2. If no clock change took place prior to the accident then that would easily explain why most people claimed the accident happened near 11:40pm, the same time quoted by a number of crew members. And given the time of the accident that would show on the mess room clock, it is also easy to see why some crew members who were awakened by the accident would believe that that they were due to go on duty in about 20 minutes time. There was one crew member who knew he was not due to go on deck when informed of the accident by the joiner. That was QM Perkis who said he remained below in the QM's quarters down on E deck until it was time for him to relieve the man at the wheel. He showed up in the wheel house at 12:23 according to Hichens.

I've mentioned bosun's mate Haines' remark about the time of the accident a number of times. We were told that there was much confusion when the ship struck. Haines, as Bosun's mate, was the one in charge of the watch section on deck at the time of the accident. It was during his watch that the clock was supposed to have been put back 23-24 minutes. There was no need for him to say anything about the clock being put back during the next watch because that second change would have no effect on him or his men. The only reason for saying anything about the clock being put back at all was to clear up any confusion about the actual time of collision. Haines said that the right time without putting the clock back was 11:40. He did not say the right time without the clock going back a second time was 11:40.

As far as wireless messages going out, the first message containing the original coordinates was received at 10:25pm mean time for the 75th meridian, aka NY mean time. The so called "corrected" distress call with the Boxhall coordinates was first received ten minutes later at 11:35pm NY time. And yes, I believe the call for assistance went out when the order was given to load he boats.
 

Jim Currie

Member
Apr 16, 2008
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>> It just does not make sense for those people to have been keeping crew time.<<
That is a very strong argument, and one that bothers me as well. As I see it, there are two possibilities:
Hello Sam. Hope you and all our American members had a great Thanksgiving.

Notwithstanding the evidence of 5th Officer Lowe which, if correct (and there is absolutely no reason for it to be considered otherwise) renders all arguments about time changing interesting but superfluous...I'm perfectly happy to debate your points. After all, such debating gives many of us one of the more challenging raisons d'être.

As you point out, there were quite a few passengers waiting in the public rooms for midnight to alter their time pieces. What 'midnight' were they waiting for? If is was the fully adjusted midnight, that would have meant for them to stay put of bed for an extra 47 minutes to do something they could easily have done the next morning. They could have set their watches back 47 minutes then checked them for accuracy next morning when they awakened and went for breakfast.
If there was a partial clock change, it would have been made at midnight April 14. At that moment, out 'night-hawk' passengers could easily have done one of two thing...copied what they saw on the public room clocks, i.e. wound their time-pieces back 24 minutes and waited another 24 minutes for the second change or: they could have made the full change of 47 minutes ( knowing that they were adjusting from an exact reference point) and gone off to bed. Obviously many of them did not do that but were present 4 minutes later when the ship hit the iceberg. Thus, they had partially adjusted time on their watches.
The collision time of 11-40 pm can be either adjusted or unaltered ship time. Where did that impact time of 11:40 pm first see light of day?
The very first mention of anyone actually seeing the time of 11:40 pm on a clock came from QM Hichens who noted the time of impact on the wheelhouse clock. That was on Day 5 of the US Inquiry. The second came 10 days later in an affidavit submitted by the ship's Barber, A. H. Weikman.
Hichens said he was relived by QM Perkis at 12-23 am. The other QM on Watch with Perkis was QM Bright. He was late in relieving QM Rowe at the stern. He should have relieved him at adjusted midnight but did so a few minutes before Rowe phoned the bridge and was told to bring the detonators for the socket signals. According to Rowe, that was at 12-25 am on his partially adjusted watch.
When QM Perkis relieved QM Hichens, they were told that they were no longer required as helmsmen and to go and help prepare the boats. The order to prepare the boats came less than 20 minutes after impact. Perkis said that he turned-to when he thought it was 12 midnight (adjusted time). If he did so then the time of 12-23 am referred to by Hichens was unaltered April 14 time. Furthermore, the time of 11-40 pm impact time just had to be adjusted time and Hichens was talking about the time on two different time pieces.

Two questions require answers:
1. If the engines were finished with 10 minutes after impact, why would there be any requirement for a helmsman 33 minutes after that?
2. Why have a helmsman standing by doing nothing when every available officer and seaman except a bridge runner was needed to prepare the boats?

As to the timing of the distress calls?
So according to you, the Marconi Station at Cape Race, The Press association and the Newspapers printed on April 16, and all the other vessels whose wireless men recorded a time of 10-25 EST for receiving the distress position of 41-46' North were completely wrong? That the following conclusions by the US Senate Committee was wrong?

"Within 15 or 20 minutes [of impact] the Captain visited the wireless room and instructed the operator to get assistance, sending out the distress call, C.Q.D.
This distress call was heard by the wireless station at Cape Race that evening at 10.25 p.m. New York time, together with the report that she had struck an iceberg, and at the same time was accidentally overheard by the Mount Temple,"

That the findings of the UK Commissioner's Court was wrong:

" At 12.15 a.m. the distress signal C.Q.D. was sent. This was heard by several steamships and by Cape Race. By 12.25, Mr. Boxhall, the fourth officer, had worked out the correct position of the "Titanic," and then another message was sent: "

You forget one thing, Sam, none of the stations recording the time of 10-25 am EST were the first to receive Titanic's first distress call... in fact, it was the German vessel SS Frankfurt. Her Captain received the ones given by Captain Smith to Titanic's operator Phillips, which according to your Senate Committee and the evidence provided by the man who was actually there, happened no more than 20 minutes after impact. In unaltered time, that would have been 12-00 Midnight minus 2 hour 02 minutes = 9-58 pm EST. This means that if the corrected CQD position came 10 minutes after, it came at 10-08 pm EST. We both known that's nonsense.

Why Beesley or Jack Thayer did what they did is known only to them. As for Ms. Cassebeer..

"She absolutely repudiated the report of a mythical interview with her; and said that it was a gross fabrication and a distortion of the facts as they really occurred. Her interview this morning was the first and only interview with Mrs. Casebeer since she arrived in America on the Carpathia, she absolutely refused to give out any statement to the New York newspapers. She said:
In the first place I wish to absolutely deny the report which appeared in a morning paper that I had given out for publication any story of the happenings on the Titanic. The story as it appeared this morning was absolutely false."

In the foregoing official interview, she makes no mention of the purser setting her watch. In fact she stated:

"Aboard the Titanic I sat at the same table with Dr. O'Loughlin, the ship's surgeon and Thomas Andrews of the Holland and Wolf [sic] Building Company,I believe the name of the firm is. Mr. Andrews is said to have designed the Titanic. Harry Anderson was also a member of our party"

The Purser story comes from a second or even third hand account of a translation from the French written years after the event. By then, the fairies had taken over the story.
 
Mar 22, 2003
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>>The very first mention of anyone actually seeing the time of 11:40 pm on a clock came from QM Hichens who noted the time of impact on the wheelhouse clock. That was on Day 5 of the US Inquiry.<<

The first accounts of the accident happening about 20 minutes before midnight came in letters and account written by people while on board Carpathia, before any press interviews and before any inquiries started. Two of those accounts written aboard Carpathia mentioned a time of "10:55" and "about 11 pm" respectively, times that would have corresponded to watches that were set back the full amount prior to retiring. Some accounts just mentioned "before midnight" but there was not one that said the accident happened after midnight or shortly after midnight. The Cassebeer account, which included the collision time of 11:44pm, was written in a letter to her son.

Have a nice weekend.