Mistakes


Matt Smith

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Sep 23, 2002
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Do you guys ever find mistakes in your Titanic books? I know I have, like the time I saw a small deck plan and it said that the Astors were in one of the B-deck parlor suites. It then had Bruce Ismay on the wrong side for his B-deck suite. The Cardeza family was not even there.

Well have you guys got any funny stories?

Matt
 

Dave Gittins

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Apr 11, 2001
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I don't know of a book without mistakes. Some are sillier than others, such as the persistent spelling of Frankfurt as Frankfort in Unsinkable.

My alltime favourite is this classic clanger.

"The time we struck was 2-20 a.m. April 12th, of tragic memory." Tragic is not quite the word for the memory of Charles Lightoller in Titanic and Other Ships.
 
Apr 22, 2012
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Lightoller said that? Gosh, he must not have been much for remembering times and dates, despite the fact that 23 years had gone by.

I have a framed Titanic display that contains some tiny slips of paper with small 'facts' about the sinking on them, and one of those also has the date of the collison as being the 12 April! Your post just made me remember that.
 
Dec 4, 2000
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As someone who has attempted a book about Titanic, I can say that it is impossible to be 100% right if you intend to have any serious content in your work. Think about it--the event took place in the middle of the night...two-thirds of the witnesses did not survive...neither inquiry went beyond the obvious...and, after 90 years myth becomes transformed into "fact." No author can hope to sort through the missing details and the unanswered questions without making an unintentional mistreak or two.

The merit of a work should be considered on the whole and not on a single misplaced detail.

-- David G. Brown
 

Matt Smith

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Sep 23, 2002
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I agree David. I admire Authors work. I am just saying for kicks what are some mistakes that some people have made. I'm not trying to put down the author.

Matt
 
Apr 11, 2001
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One error-riddled book was Jack Grimm's Beyond Reach. He was gracious enough to respond to my letter which gently pointed out some of them- it has been a long time since I read it but he managed to get the name of the shipping lines wrong-Cunarders became White Star and vice versa.
 

Dave Gittins

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I think it was P T Barnum who said that it should be a crime not to part fools from their money. This guy is it carrying to extremes.
 

George Behe

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Dec 11, 1999
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Hi, all!

There are any number of authentic 1912 postcards that used Mauretania photos to depict the Titanic. (Believe it or not, I even have one in my collection in which three of the Mauretania's funnels were 'erased' and the ship was labelled as being the Carpathia!)

Although the ebay postcard in question is definitely of 1912 vintage and is very collectible, I strongly suspect that it is a post-sinking card rather than pre-sinking.

All my best,

George
 
Jan 21, 2001
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Hi all:

There was a book by Webb Garrison, called "Treasury of Titanic Tales," which contained the famous photo of Molly Brown presenting the loving cup to Rostron for having rescued the survivors.

The caption for the picture says that Rostron is presenting the gift to Molly Brown, as a reward for her courage while commanding Boat 6!

Who knew?

Dave Billnitzer
 
Dec 6, 2000
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Though Webb Garrison's book reads well, it's got more holes in it than the Titanic after hitting the iceberg!

I don't have the book in front of me, but I think the date of the sinking on the very first page is wrong!
 
Sep 2, 2009
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George Behe Wrote:

>>There are any number of authentic 1912 postcards that used Mauretania photos to depict the Titanic. (Believe it or not, I even have one in my collection in which three of the Mauretania's funnels were 'erased' and the ship was labelled as being the Carpathia!)

Although the ebay postcard in question is definitely of 1912 vintage and is very collectible, I strongly suspect that it is a post-sinking card rather than pre-sinking.<<

Hi George:

As for error cards there are several of them out there, Aquitania, Mauretania, Lusitania, France, Kaiser Wilhelm II, and Olympic were all labeled as the "Titanic" as I have seen all these various cards, but passed on them due to the high price due to the Titanic name on the card.

Also there are images of the Olympic/Titanic used as the Aquitania, Mauretania as the Olympic. And the Mauretania / Lusitania / Aquitania were commonly exchanged. Also the Vaterland / Imperator / Bismark are also always mis-labeled.

When, I can find the Mauretania / Olympic pre-Titanic Disaster cards I will post a scan of them on the thread below. Also I have somewhere an early artist's image card of the Olympic with One Mast and three funnels.

However, I have posted a couple image's of the Olympic / Titanic as the Aquitania on my introduction thread. The Link is below:

https://www.encyclopedia-titanica.org/cgi-bin/discus/show.cgi?tpc=5676&post=75630#POST75630
 
Sep 2, 2009
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Mark:
Looks like I have the same two cards as you or Jeff only earlier and labeled the Olympic.
Also the Mauretania has all her funnels in this Postcard, however they are in White Star Buff.
Mauretania as Olympic
Publisher: Unknown / Published privately
 

Mark Baber

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Dec 29, 2000
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Looks like I have the same two cards as you or Jeff

Jeff. All the images on Great Ships are his. Only the words are mine.
 
Dec 8, 2000
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(Steve - thanks for the images of the postcards. Do you have them archived on a website that you could link to rather than use ET's server? Just wondering, as the load isn't getting any lighter.)


Back on to books, it's always a pleasure to read where an author's had the opportunity to revisit material (that may be factually incorrect or a theory that has been discarded/expanded). Walter Lord's TNLO comes to mind, as does the revised edition of Eaton & Haas's T:T&T. (Now you see SS Rappahannock, now you don't!)

It's terrible, but off hand I can't think of a single Titanic book I've read that didn't have an error/mistake of some kind. While some might've been down to the sort of 'research' and interpretation of Gardiner and Garrison, many were typesetting errors or other 'mistakes' that clearly crept at editing/publication stage. As several others have already posted, there are many errors out there but those errors, in themselves, do not make a book 'bad'. For example, my edition of David Brown's 'Last Log' is unreadable (to the point of being hurled at walls in disgust on a regular basis), but it's all down to McGraw-Hill, not him.
sad.gif


To add to the list of books notable for the incidence of errors to word count, I'll put in Marc Shapiro's 'Total Titanic'. I seem to remember that this is a 'favourite' of Bill Wormstedt's too. ;)
 
Dec 4, 2000
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Fiona -- I have my problems with some of the book design choices in "Last Log," most particularly in the area of endnotes. However, if you had to throw the book at the wall something must have been wrong with that copy. Perhaps the type was still wet on the pages and got jumbled in transit after printing.

Seriously, please contact me privately with your thoughts and criticisms. I want to pass them along to the publisher so that we can improve any future efforts. Everyone loves to get praise for their work, but it is serious criticism that improves things.

-- David G. Brown
 
Nov 12, 2000
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as Dave and Bill suggested, Webb Garrison's book has some boo-boos. there are not a lot of them, but what is surprising is that most of these errors are ‘amateur mistakes’, and by that I mean errors that even people who have only moderate knowledge about the Titanic disaster should not have made. my favorite is his statement that Titanic was carrying slightly more than a full load of passengers (p49), when it is common knowledge that the ship was barely half full.

there are also a few ‘odd’ opinions by the author. for one, he has the impression that it was of immeasurable importance to the rescue effort that Bride had the idea of switching from CQD to SOS (p21). I know of no relevance switching from one distress signal to the other might have caused, as the wireless operators of the time were very familiar with both signals.

I have not yet seen Fiona's favorite flawed book, Total Titanic. I sure hope it doesn't compare to the large number or errors in Michael Cole's book, The Titanic: Disaster at Sea. I counted nine moderate to major flubs and the entire book is only 48 pages long. my favorite is his statement that Carpathia shot flares into the sky to alert other ships that the survivors had been found.

I always strive to find the best in any book, not the worst. but when authors are sloppy enough to allow multiple silly errors to creep into their books, it is sometimes a challenge!

all the best, Michael (TheManInBlack) T
 

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