Lights in the Stern after the Breakup


Kyle Naber

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Is it possible that the lights remained on in the stern section for a few more seconds after settling back? Once the connections were severed, the lights powered by steam would lose that pressure. If this pressure loss wasn't instantaneous, couldn't the lights glow red and fade out as the ship was being dragged up again? Just a thought.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Yes, there are some survivors who said the lights were still on while most said the lights went out.


We only have a handful who saw the lights go out when she broke in two and another handful who saw the lights still on after she broke in two. Many did not even mention the ship breaking in two. Out of 700+ survivors probably less than 300 of them ever spoke of the sinking on paper or to the public, so from the word go, we have no idea what the majority of survivors actually witnessed. We only have reference to what the minority saw. Like I said, observing the initial break and observing the final separation are two different events which possibly occurred up to 20 minutes apart as that was the estimation of the time between the two explosions, which in my belief were the result of the ship breaking and buckling open, followed by the ship rising high into the air and then completely separating and on both occasions she would settle back as the stern bobbed back several times before finally going down.



1.) Initial break. Witnesses heard an explosive sound and saw her break before the 3rd funnel, which caused the two forward funnels to lean forward. The stern would settle back. For some, this was the moment she broke in two and they saw the lights were still on in the stern after this. This was merely the initial break.

sinking1.PNG



2.) Final separation. Other witnesses saw the stern corkscrew and turn around the opposite way, hiding her decks to some, while exposing her decks to others, and as she did this she rose high up into the air until she was almost vertical. They heard an explosive sound when she was almost vertical and the lights went out. They saw the stern settle back slightly and then slide down into the sea.

sinking2.PNG



I believe both versions are correct. It all depends on the angle in which each witness was looking at her.
 
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Harland Duzen

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On a continuation of my absurd theory of light reflecting off the Titanic's portholes, Aaron_2016 find all survivor statements on the light remaining on and find which lifeboats their in. If the majority of statements come from certain lifeboats (e.g. lifeboats facing Starboard off Titanic Stern) then maybe perspective played a part in the effect / illusion /field of range.
 

Rob Lawes

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Is it possible that the lights remained on in the stern section for a few more seconds after settling back?

I would say that's possible. The generators would have span down once the steam cut out and a few seconds more power could have been provided to a few undamaged lamps.
 
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Aaron_2016

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I guess it is possible, because the stern was listing heavily to port and this would point her starboard windows towards the sky. If the splash of the break up caused 'the windows' (not all windows) to get soaked this may have created a glare of light against the ship.


Aaron, you say 'the survivors' as if it is beyond contest and that all reports, testimony and statements say the same thing. This is obviously not the case. Some survivors claim they saw the lights on after the break up but by no means all."

I didn't say 'all survivors'. I merely started the topic on page 1 by listing what 'the survivors' saw in relation to the lights staying on after she broke as that was the choice of topic I wished to discuss. e.g. The survivors saw the lights dim red, they saw sparks, and they saw large plumes of smoke, but that does not mean that all survivors saw this, just in general, that is what the survivors saw.


.
 
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Mar 18, 2008
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We only have a handful who saw the lights go out when she broke in two and another handful who saw the lights still on after she broke in two. Many did not even mention the ship breaking in two. Out of 700+ survivors probably less than 300 of them ever spoke of the sinking on paper or to the public, so from the word go, we have no idea what the majority of survivors actually witnessed. We only have reference to what the minority saw.

I guess you have done a listing of which survivor said what?


Like I said, observing the initial break and observing the final separation are two different events which possibly occurred up to 20 minutes apart as that was the estimation of the time between the two explosions, which in my belief were the result of the ship breaking and buckling open, followed by the ship rising high into the air and then completely separating and on both occasions she would settle back as the stern bobbed back several times before finally going down.

That is your interpretation of a few accounts and exaggerate newspaper reports.
Repeating it several times does not make it a fact.



1.) Initial break. Witnesses heard an explosive sound and saw her break before the 3rd funnel, which caused the two forward funnels to lean forward. The stern would settle back. For some, this was the moment she broke in two and they saw the lights were still on in the stern after this. This was merely the initial break.


2.) Final separation. Other witnesses saw the stern corkscrew and turn around the opposite way, hiding her decks to some, while exposing her decks to others, and as she did this she rose high up into the air until she was almost vertical. They heard an explosive sound when she was almost vertical and the lights went out. They saw the stern settle back slightly and then slide down into the sea.

I believe both versions are correct. It all depends on the angle in which each witness was looking at her.



Your explanation does not make much sense as several where in the same position or even lifeboat.

A good example about position and who said what can be found here.

http://www.paullee.com/titanic/sinking.php
 
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I guess it is possible, because the stern was listing heavily to port and this would point her starboard windows towards the sky. If the splash of the break up caused 'the windows' (not all windows) to get soaked this may have created a glare of light against the ship.

I didn't say 'all survivors'. I merely started the topic on page 1 by listing what 'the survivors' saw in relation to the lights staying on after she broke as that was the choice of topic I wished to discuss.
.

Actually you started with this:

Survivors saw the ship break in two between the 2nd and 3rd funnel.

Survivors heard two distinct explosive sounds up to 10 minutes apart.

After the two drawing you did quote some survivors directly.
 
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Aaron_2016

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Agreed.

Now, it is my belief that the lights remained on after she broke and that is my entitlement. On the first page I quoted half a dozen survivor accounts which led me to believe this. Now it is the belief of others that this was impossible as all connections would be severed. So it is my belief that the bow and stern were partially connected when she broke, and the lower decks may have held together which kept everything in operation, especially if the aft watertight doors were closed. It is my belief that even if there was a complete separation there may have been enough battery or generator support in the stern to keep the lights on in the stern section before both sections finally separated. It is my belief that some survivors saw the stern break when all 4 funnels were intact and the stern settled back. It is my belief that other survivors saw what happened next. They saw the stern turn around and sharply rise upwards high into the air. As she rose up and corkscrewed she began to separate completely and the lights went out. The stern settled back slightly again and then slid down into the sea.


Now we come to the fierce ridicule because I stated my beliefs. (quite funny really). In regards to the survivors who saw the lights remain on after she 'partially' broke.

Ioannis Georgiou said - "Yes, there are some survivors who said the lights were still on while most said the lights went out."

Most survivors? Out of 700+ survivors you are saying most of them saw the ship break and saw the lights go out when she broke? What are their names, their testimony, and the sources the accounts came from?

"Your explanation does not make much sense as several where in the same position or even lifeboat."

What are their names, where is their testimony, what lifeboats were they in?


.
 
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Now we come to the fierce ridicule because I stated my beliefs. (quite funny really). In regards to the survivors who saw the lights remain on after she 'partially' broke.

Ioannis Georgiou said - "Yes, there are some survivors who said the lights were still on while most said the lights went out."

Most survivors? Out of 700+ survivors you are saying most of them saw the ship break and saw the lights go out when she broke? What are their names, their testimony, and the sources the accounts came from?

Where did I said or wrote that they saw the lights go out when she broke?



"Your explanation does not make much sense as several where in the same position or even lifeboat."
What are their names, where is their testimony, what lifeboats were they in?


.

Look at the link I posted above (post #26).
And by the way didn't we had that already under another posting? For example Beesley & Ruth Becker in boat No. 13? It was you who brought it up by the way but claiming that Beesley was bought by WSL.
 

Harland Duzen

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Ahem... Back To Topic!

If we decide Briefly that the lights remind on after the breakup, lets look at a few things:

A) Lights would most likely be seen from the Starboard Side since the Port Side would be submerged if we all believe the stern did develop a Port List between 2:18 - 2:20. Therefore the survivors who saw the "lights" would have to be boats off the Stern's Starboard Side.

B) We know the lights would have burned red before failing.

C) Given the miles of wiring, it possible the lights might have remained on for a few seconds. how long is questionable but given the sinking, the trauma could have left a visual image in the survivors mind making them believe it went on for longer than it actually did.

Screen Shot 2017-06-05 at 14.46.50.png


I just had another absurd idea: given how the engines had to power the entire ship, would the separation cause a sudden and quick increase in voltage in the stern resulting in the lights suddenly flashing before fading to black.

My (terrible) theory is based on the idea from Science Tests where you had to build basic circuits with just a battery and lightbulbs. depending on how many lightbulbs were in the circuit would cause a reaction:

3 lightbulbs powered by 1 battery = flickering low light

2 lightbulbs powered by 1 battery = medium light

1 lightbulb powered by 1 battery = bright white light

would this happen on a massive scale if the engine powering the entire ship was suddenly cut and the engine was just powering half the ship?

2 lightbulbs powered by 1 battery (Titanic Bow + Stern) = medium light

1 lightbulb powered by 1 battery (Titanic Stern) = bright white light

(Sorry if this sound stupid / shows my poor knowledge of how electricity works.)

3348ECF400000578-0-image-a-79_1460956311545.jpg
 
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Here are a few taken only from the British and American Inquiry.


Senator SMITH. Did you see her go down?
Mr. FLEET. No, sir.
Senator SMITH. Why not?
Mr. FLEET. The lights were out, and we were too far away.

Maj. PEUCHEN. I was facing it at this time. I was rowing this way [indicating], and afterwards I changed to the other way. We heard a sort of a rumbling sound and the lights were still on at the rumbling sound, as far as my memory serves me; then a sort of an explosion, then another. It seemed to be one, two, or three rumbling sounds, then the lights went out.
Senator SMITH. From what you saw, do you think the boat was intact, or had it broken in two?
Maj. PEUCHEN. It was intact at that time.

Mr. HICHENS. I could not see her; not after the lights went out; no, sir.
Senator SMITH. You could see the lights?
Mr. HICHENS. We could see the lights go out; yes, sir.

Mr. OLLIVER. She was well down at the head at first, when we got away from her at first, and to my idea she broke forward, and the afterpart righted itself and made another plunge and went right down. I fancied I saw her black form. It was dark, and I fancied I saw her black form going that way.

Mr. BULEY. Yes, sir. You could see she went in two, because we were quite near to her and could see her quite plainly.
Senator FLETCHER. You were near and could see her quite plainly?
Mr. BULEY. Yes, sir.
Senator FLETCHER. Notwithstanding the darkness you could see the outline of the ship?
Mr. BULEY. Yes, sir; we could see the outline of the ship.

Mr. CROWE. After getting clear of the ship the lights were still burning very bright, but as we got away she seemed to go lower and lower, and she almost stood up perpendicular, and her lights went dim, and
presently she broke clean in two, probably two-thirds of the length of the ship.

Mr. ANDREWS. That I do not know, sir. When we got away in the boat at the last everything seemed to go to a black mist. All the lights seemed to go out and everything went black.
Senator BOURNE. Did the lights go out altogether on the whole ship, or go out in part, and then the remainder go out?
Mr. ANDREWS. They seemed to go out altogether, sir.

Mr. COLLINS. Her bow was in the water. She exploded in the water. She exploded once in the water, and her stern end was up out of the water; and with the explosion out of the water it blew her stern up.
Senator BOURNE. You saw it while it was up?
Mr. COLLINS. Yes, sir; saw her stern up.
Senator BOURNE. How long?
Mr. COLLINS. I am sure it floated for at least a minute.
Senator BOURNE. The lights were still burning?
Mr. COLLINS. No, sir; the lights was out.

Senator BOURNE. Did you see her sink?
Mr. BRICE. I saw her sink.
Senator BOURNE. Did she go bow down first?
Mr. BRICE. Bow down first.
Senator BOURNE. Did her stern rise in the air?
Mr. BRICE. She went down almost perpendicular.
Senator BOURNE. Were the lights still in the stern as she sank?
Mr. BRICE. No, sir; she became a black mass before she made the final plunge.

Mr. EVANS. You could see her when the lights were clear, and then until she gave the final plunge.
Senator FLETCHER. Did the boat go to pieces or come in two?
Mr. EVANS. She parted between the third and fourth funnels.
Senator FLETCHER. About how much of the ship was afloat then, after the forepart had gone down?
Mr. EVANS. I should say about 200 feet was afloat; that is, of the stern part.
Senator FLETCHER. Could you see that clearly in the outline?
Mr. EVANS. You could see that in the outline. Then she made a sudden plunge, and the stern went right up.


Senator FLETCHER. Had you gotten as far as three-quarters of a mile before the lights went out on the Titanic?
Mr. RAY. Yes, sir; we were about a mile off when the lights went out.

Senator SMITH. Were you where you could see the ship when she went down?
Mr. BUCKLEY. Yes; I saw the lights just going out as she went down. It made a terrible noise, like thunder.

Mrs Douglass
In an incredibly short space of time, it seemed to me, the boat sank. I heard an explosion. I watched the boat go down, and the last picture to my mind is the immense mass of black against the starlit sky, and then nothingness.

Mrs. Ryerson
I was in the bow of the boat with my daughter and turned to see the great ship take a plunge toward the bow, the two forward funnels seemed to lean and then she seemed to break in half as if cut with a knife, and as the bow went under the lights went out; the stern stood up for several minutes, black against the stars, and then that, too, plunged down,…

Jewell
175. Just tell us shortly what you yourself saw then. What did you see that happened to the “Titanic” before she went down and as she went down? - We stopped there and watched her gradually sink away. We could see the people about on the deck before the lights went out. As she went away by the head so the lights went out, and we heard some explosions as she was going down. But all the lights went out and we could only see a black object in front of us.

Symons
11510. Then when you saw her like that, what was the next thing that happened? - I pulled a little further away to escape, if there was any suction. I stood and watched it till I heard two sharp explosions in the ship. What they were I could not say. Then she suddenly took a top cant, her stern came well out of the water then.
11511. A top cant? - You know what I mean to say, she took a heavy cant and her bow went down clear.
11512. Head downwards? - Head down, and that is the time when I saw her lights go out, all her lights. The next thing I saw was her poop. As she went down like that so her poop righted itself and I thought to myself,
“The poop is going to float.”
 
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Aaron_2016

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......would this happen on a massive scale if the engine powering the entire ship was suddenly cut and the engine was just powering half the ship?

Might be possible. Not sure how the wiring was circulated around the ship, but it is quite feasible that there was an electrical surge that caused the system to overload and go out with a tremendous bang followed by sparks and a cloud of smoke. (search youtube for electric explosion). There might be evidence on the wreck if we could find light fittings in the stern section and see if there is evidence of an electric explosion that may have caused a large number of lights bulbs to have blown - assuming that occurs during an electric explosion. I believe Jim Currie stated his belief that the "sparks" seen by some of the survivors may have been the result of the separation of wires which created a shower of sparks when she broke in two. Jack Thayer thought the 2nd funnel fell down with a cloud of sparks. Perhaps they were coming out of the broken decks between the 2nd and 3rd funnel which created the illusion they were steaming out of the 2nd funnel as it fell over.


.
 

Kyle Naber

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C) Given the miles of wiring, it possible the lights might have remained on for a few seconds. how long is questionable but given the sinking, the trauma could have left a visual image in the survivors mind making them believe it went on for longer than it actually did.

I've actually thought of this before myself. Considering how quickly the stern went down after the break, how busy and traumatizing it was, it would be easy to mess up small details like how long the lights remained on.
 
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Harland Duzen

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Looking at the list of survivors Ioannis Georgiou the survivors were in these boats listed below (taken from ET Website) and then with the data from Paul Lee website from this Link (http://www.paullee.com/titanic/sinking.php) we see that

Symons = Boat 1 (Off Titanic Bow Starboard Side)

Mrs Douglas = Boat 2 (Off Titanic Stern, Starboard Side)

Mrs Ryerson = Boat 4 (Off Titanic Stern, Port Side)

Oliver = Boat 5 (Parallel off Titanic, Starboard Side)

Fleet + Hicthens + Peuchen = Boat 6 (Off Titanic Bow, Port Side)

Jewell = Boat 7 (However he did say still lights were ''burning on the after-end'')

Buley = Boat 10

Brice Boat 11

Buckley = Boat 13

Crowe = Boat 14

Now the fact that Boats 2 & 5 didn't see lights I think is the best evidence their were no lights seen after the collision as they were clearly off the Starboard Side and would have had the entire side of the ship to stare at and say nothing. I think proberly just a few random lights at extreme ends properly flickered or stayed longest due to the current having to travel the entire length before burning out
 

Harland Duzen

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I've actually thought of this before myself. Considering how quickly the stern went down after the break, how busy and traumatizing it was, it would be easy to mess up small details like how long the lights remained on.

Off topic but I'm going to set up a separate topic on trauma to passengers.

Back to Topic!
 

Rob Lawes

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As we well know, the steam feeds for the emergency generators were supplied via boiler room 2. They could be supplied from other boiler rooms but these were either unlit or underwater at the time. (We are still not sure about boiler room 3).

The emergency dynamos were fed from pipes that ran along E Deck. If the ship broke up anywhere between the front end of funnel 4 to the front end of funnel 3 it would flood boiler room 2, fracture the supply lines on E-deck and the main supply lines on the Orlop deck.

The generators would have run down and the lights would go out.
 
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Here a few more, mainly letters and newspapers.


Mrs. Nye
We watched the port holes go under until half the ship, only the back half stuck up. Then the lights went out…


Miss Andrews
At last came a mighty crash, the boilers had exploded…the bow going down first and then all the lights went out…


Miss Brown
By the time we had got out of reach of the suction we stopped to watch her go down, and you could watch her go too it went in the front until it was standing like this \ and all the lights went out…


Mr. Beesley
She slowly tilted straight on end with the stern vertically upwards, and as she did, the lights in the cabins and saloons which had not yet flickered for a moment since we left, died out, came on again for a single flash, and finally went out altogether.


Miss Cribb
We were so fascinated by the sights on the Titanic, however, that we could not keep our eyes off her until the last lights went out and the final notes of the band were drowned in the hiss and roar that came with the final plunge of the great ship as she sank bow first.


Mr. Sloper
As we sat there on the calm sea with the stars overhead and watched the big ship’s bow sinking lower and lower, suddenly the lights dimmed and we knew that the end was near. In a minute the lights went out entirely and then the stern seemed to rise up perpendicularly in the air.


Mr. Woolner
Suddenly, with a terrific roar, like thousands of tons of rocks rumbling down a metal chute, she plunged bodily down, head first. Every light went out and the roaring went on for about a minute.


Miss Allen
As the Titanic plunged deeper and deeper, we could see her stern rising higher and higher until her lights began to go out. As the last lights on the stern went out we saw her plunge distinctively, bow first and intact.


Mr. Dahl
All the lights then went out. She seemed to break in two.


Mr. Dodge
The gradual submersion of the vessel forward increased, and in about an hour was suddenly followed by the extinguishment of all the lights, which had been burning brightly, illuminating every deck and gleaming forth from innumerable portholes. We saw the vessel then clearly outlined as a great dark shadow on the water,…


Mrs. Futrelle
Of a sudden the lights snapped out. There was a terrible creaking noise, the Titanic seemed to break in two.


Mr. Hawksford
We watched her bow gradually getting lower, then about two o’clock all the lights went out, her stern rose in the air…


Mrs. Hays
The lights of the liner went out shortly after the smaller lifeboats were pulled some distance away, but neither of us saw her sink below the surface.


Lowe (deposition)
The lights were burning up to 5 minutes before the stern disappeared.


Mr. Marcheal
Suddenly the lights went out, and an immense clamour filled the air in one supreme cry for help. Little by little the Titanic settled down…
 
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Aaron_2016

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.......... I think probably just a few random lights at extreme ends properly flickered or stayed longest due to the current having to travel the entire length before burning out


Finding out where each lifeboat was in relation to the lights going out might be difficult as some of the survivors said the stern turned around when she broke (or partially broke) and did a corkscrew as she rose up again. This would change the position of the stern to all observers. One minute they could be looking at her port side or starboard side fully alight, and the next they would be looking at her black keel sticking up and see her propellers. As she turned around they would think the lights went out, when they were simply out of view.

We have some accounts who described how the stern canted upwards and turned around and faced the opposite way. According to Thayer's sketch the stern turned around and moved forward over the spot where the bow had been. This suggests the broken stern was being dragged forward by the bow and would sink over its footprint, however the final separation would change that as she settled back a second time. According to Thayer the ship broke and then the stern rotated and the propellers were right above him. Beesley said the stern rotated and rose high up into the air and then he saw the lights go out. By comparing these two accounts we can see the lights were on after she broke because she was turning around and rising high up and the lights were still on. Thayer said the stern turned around "gradually" but Lightoller said the ship had turned around while he was under the water. I believe this suggests the stern had partially broken and was already turning around when Lightoller was pulled down with the bow and the 'sudden plunge' by the bow was a direct result of the ship breaking. - Hence my belief that she began to break when all 4 funnel were intact as some of the survivors saw the 2 forward funnels lean as she broke.

We also have Edward Brown who said:


"With the first report of that explosion I saw the afterpart of the ship giving a tremble like this (showing), and I thought by the afterpart going up like this (showing), and giving a bit of a tremble that the bow had fallen off. I might be wrong."
Q - When the afterpart gave this tremble, where were you then?
A - In the water; right before the forward funnel.
Q - Did you notice whether the lights of this afterpart were still lighted or not?
A - There were lights burning then.
Q - Could you see that?
A - Yes.


.
 
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Jim Currie

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Interesting bits and pieces.

Here is a description of Titanic's electricity generating machinery oncluding the sources of steam tio drive them:

"Main Generating Sets. - There were four engines and dynamos, each having a capacity of 400 kilowatts at 100 volts, and consisting of a vertical three-crank compound-forced lubrication enclosed engine, of sufficient power to drive the electrical plant.

The engines were direct-coupled to their respective dynamos.

These four main sets were situated in a separate watertight compartment about 63 ft. long by 24 ft. high, adjoining the after end of the turbine room at the level of the inner bottom.

Steam to the electric engines was supplied from two separate lengths of steam pipes, connecting on the port side to the five single-ended boilers in compartment No. 1 and two in compartment No. 2, and on the starboard side to the auxiliary steam pipe which derived steam from the five single-ended boilers in No. 1 compartment, two in No. 2, and two in No. 4. By connections at the engine room forward bulkhead steam could be taken from any boiler in the ship.

Auxiliary Generating Sets. - In addition to the four main generating sets, there were two 30 kilowatt engines and dynamos situated on a platform in the turbine engine room casing on saloon deck level, 20 ft. above the waterine. They were of the same general type as the main sets.

These auxiliary emergency sets were connected to the boilers by means of a separate steam pipe running along the working passage above E deck, with branches from three boiler rooms, Nos. 2, 3 and 5, so that should the main sets be temporarily out of action the auxiliary sets could provide current for such lights and power appliances as would be required in the event of emergency."


As long as there was steam pressure in the supply lines to turn the prime movers of the generating sets, then there would be power to the lighting circuits. If the pressure dropped, the dynamos would slow down as would the voltage. If the steam supply or lighting circuits or both were cut off, the lights would go out abruptly... no red glow.
If any of you are old enough to remember having a bicycle with a front or rear wheel dynamo, you will also remember that the front and rear lights would burn brightest at the optimum spinning rate of the wheel driving the dynamo. If the speed dropped below a certain level. the lights began to dim and the filaments therein glowed red, not white. The same happened with a hand cranked wireless apperatus. Reducing cranking speed reduced power and the human voice sounded like the talker was submerged in treacle. Same with an old hand- cranked gramaphone.
 
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Moderator's note: Several inappropriately personal comments have been removed.

Moderator's hat on:

Folks, please stick to the topic and not your (or other people's) opinions of others.

Moderator's hat off.
 

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