Pitman's Own Private Iceberg


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Inger Sheil

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Every now and then research runs parallel, and a colleague/rival/mate beats you to the publication punch...Sen's done it here with Pitman, and kudoes to him - it's a great piece, exploring an interesting aspect of the life and career of one of the less-explored figures of the disaster. Jemma and I have been dabbling in Pitman for a while and had started an outline for a bio page on the Third Officer that touched on the aspects Senan has investigated with this piece, but Senan has done much more work on this specific aspect (the eyesight tests) and dealt with Pitman's particular case in more depth than we have...although I'm going to slyly suggest to him that there are a few details I could have added!

One particular point I'm glad Senan brought up, and which we intend to address in some more detail, was this:
Pitman's eyesight did not slowly fail until he voluntarily reconciled himself to a less stressful occupation. Within months of the Titanic disaster he had seen his certificate ordered surrendered by the Board of Trade when his eyesight was just as good as it had always been.
The brevity of Pitman's post-Titanic career as a deck officer is something I've touched upon in the past...he returned to the Oceanic as her third officer (having left her as fourth officer to join the Titanic), but was obliged to leave her in mere months. We'll be revealing more about his career path, both pre- and post- Titanic, when we finally get around to getting the 'On Watch' site more organised...including data on his War-time career and his stint on the Olympic. He actually remained at sea longer than Boxhall.

Great to finally see more data published on this most neglected of deck officers.
 
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>>Great to finally see more data published on this most neglected of deck officers.<<

I agree. It's a nice piece of research. From the looks of it, Pitman was the victim of the sort of kneejerk legal/regulatory "reforms" that always tend to follow events such as this. Hardly the first to get burned this way, and sadly won't be the last.
 

Dave Gittins

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An interesting point in Senan's article is that White Star did not have its crew's eyes tested by its own doctors until 1913. Other lines, including Allan and Canadian Pacific, were doing that before 1912. There's an air of the second-rate hangs about White Star.
 

Inger Sheil

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One of those interesting little footnotes...

Harold Lowe's Examination in Form and Colour Vision is tucked into his Dis A book. He passed on 14 April 1913.

What a way to celebrate the anniversary...
 
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