Marconi Operators

  • Thread starter Laurel E. Oberdorfer (Laureleo)
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Messages to and from passengers were part of the Marconi service but had the lowest priority. An ice warning, however, need not be conveyed immediately to the Bridge unless it was prefixed by 'MSG' - which indicated a direct communication from one ship's master to another. See Dave Gittins' post (4th one in this thread).


Does anybody know the duration of the Marconi watches. Also, was there always an operator on duty?
From "Guide to the Crew of Titanic" by Günter Bäbler:

"The radio operators worked out their hours of duty between themselves so as to ensure the radio room was manned around the clock. During the day, they relieved each other without a particular timetable. At night, Phillips was usually on duty from 20:00 to 02:00 hours and released by Bride from 02:00--08:00 hours..."

(If you don't have a copy, it's a very good book. An example: opposite this information, there's Father Browne's double-exposed photo of Bride in the radio room, restored by Ken Marschall.)

It's hard to say what "working out their hours of duty between themselves" really meant. It could have meant six-hour shifts, with Phillips getting first pick. Or it could have meant that both men were effectively working 18 hours a day. Those working in radio in 1912 would have been like those who work with computers more recently. Some work privileges, like "flexible work hours", might've come with that, but "flexible" can well mean 8 am to 2 am.

The only solid indication I know of is that they were working together on fixing the problem that arose on 14 April. That suggests that, at least some of the time, they worked more than the minimum of 12 hours a day. There might be more detail in the inquiries, of course, or in other sources.
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