LanternsTorches


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Jordan Tancevski

Guest
Hey there, I was curious... was there any lanterns on the ship and in the lifeboats? or did they have electric torches? I'm a tad confused here... in the 1996 miniseries (and in the original script) they have lanterns on deck and in the lifeboats... but in the James Cameron 1997 film... they have hand held electric torches... which is accurate? I'm writing a screenplay and I want to know which was used... the lanterns or the hand held-torches. Did they use either of them inside the ship or just outside?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
They had electric torches in that day, sometime cleverly disguised as umbrella handles or canes. The problem was that the battaries used back then weren't all that long lasting. If I recall correctly, they used lanterns in boats because they tended to last longer.
 
J

Jordan Tancevski

Guest
ah I see, thanks for getting back to me Michael, but as I recall in the script... they had lanterns out on the boat deck as well... is that accurate or just dramatic licensing?

so did officer lowe carry a lantern or a torch when he went back to look for survivors?
 
Dec 2, 2000
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Easley South Carolina
He may not have had either one. The boats were equipped, but for some reason, they had problems finding things in some of them. My bet would be on a lantern since that's what he indicated the boats were equipped with. In his testimony to the U.S. Senate, Lowe said the following:
Senator SMITH.
Any lights?

Mr. LOWE.
A light, and oil to burn for eight hours; biscuits and water. That is all I can think of at present.
See http://www.titanicinquiry.org/USInq/AmInq05Lowe01.php for the full transcript of his testimony.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Hand-held lamps, as used by sailors, policemen, railwaymen, etc., circa 1912, were usually oil lamps with a magnifying lens. From what I can remember, the light used by officer Lowe in the film Titanic was a hand-lamp of this kind. They were referred-to as "lamps", not lanterns - hence (British) railway grades such as "lamp man", or "signal lamp man". The corresponding grade on a ship such as RMS Titanic would presumably have been "lamp trimmer".
 

Alex Kiehl

Member
Aug 1, 2006
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Lowe used what today we call a "flashlight." It was given to him by Dr. O'Loughlin shortly before #14 was lowered.




"What's tonight's forecast?" "Dark."
 

Bob Godfrey

Member
Nov 22, 2002
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The electric torch given to Lowe was provided by assistant surgeon John Simpson. I suspect it was a tool of his trade, and therefore very small and no use at all in scanning the water for survivors as shown in the film. Battery life at that time was very limited, so torches really were flash lights, intended to provide illumination in short bursts while the thumb depressed a spring-loaded switch.