Probability Assessment on the Sinking of the Titanic


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Samuel Halpern said on the closed thread discussing the incompetence of Captain Smith and my assessments of successive events leading to the death of over 1,500 passengers and crew:

"When someone has to guess to assign a probability to an event rather than using collected data of similar events, then the analysis is flawed from the very start."

So, Mr. Halpern, please cite "similar events" of ships striking icebergs and sinking, with many hundreds of casualties. Please.

Then cite "similar events" of ships where a captain is involved in a collision that damages his vessel, and another similar vessel under construction has a critical component removed to repair the damaged ship, delaying the launching of the one under construction.

And so on. Please provide "similar events" in each and every instance where I used my best judgment to estimate an a priori probability.
 
And Samuel Halpern, so eager to criticize my analysis, calling it "flawed from the very start," failed to respond in any manner at all. And so did more than thirty others reading this particular thread. Since I first posted here, I have not seen even one person take on the exceedingly simple task of providing THEIR OWN probability estimates, much less try to justify them. Why? Because they see how the Authoritarian Know-It-All Bullies criticize and carp. Who needs it! And cowardice is surely more prevalent than courage. Or do the Authoritarians wish to debate that point as well?

On the subject of experts being very wrong, which is surely an appropriate description of Captain Smith, here are some other widely cited examples.


"Rail travel at high speed is not possible, because passengers, unable to breathe, would die of asphyxia."- Dr Dionysys Larder (1793-1859), professor of Natural Philosophy and Astronomy, University College London.

Drill for oil? You mean drill into the ground to try and find oil? You're crazy," -- Drillers who Edwin L. Drake tried to enlist to his project to drill for oil in 1859.

"Louis Pasteur's theory of germs is ridiculous fiction." -- Pierre Pachet, Professor of Physiology at Toulouse, 1872

"The abdomen, the chest, and the brain will forever be shut from the intrusion of the wise and humane surgeon," -- Sir John Eric Ericksen, British surgeon, appointed Surgeon-Extraordinary to Queen Victoria 1873

"This 'telephone' has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us," -- Western Union internal memo, 1876

"The Americans have need of the telephone, but we do not. We have plenty of messenger boys." - Sir William Preece, Chief Engineer, British Post Office, 1878.

... good enough for our transatlantic friends ... but unworthy of the attention of practical or scientific men. - British Parliamentary Committee, referring to Edison's light bulb, 1878.

"X-rays will prove to be a hoax." - Lord Kelvin, President of the Royal Society, 1883

"Heavier-than-air flying machines are impossible," -- Lord Kelvin, president, Royal Society, 1895.

"It is apparent to me that the possibilities of the aeroplane, which two or three years ago were thought to hold the solution to the [flying machine] problem, have been exhausted, and that we must turn elsewhere."- Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1895.

"Fooling around with alternating current is just a waste of time. Nobody will use it, ever." - Thomas Edison, American inventor, 1889 (Edison often ridiculed the arguments of competitor George Westinghouse for AC power).

"Radio has no future." - Lord Kelvin, Scottish mathematician and physicist, former president of the Royal Society, 1897

"Everything that can be invented has been invented."- Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899

"Airplanes are interesting toys but of no military value," -- Marechal Ferdinand Foch, Professor of Strategy, Ecole Superieure de Guerre, 1904

"That the automobile has practically reached the limit of its development is suggested by the fact that during the past year no improvements of a radical nature have been introduced."- Scientific American, Jan. 2 edition, 1909

"The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?" -- David Sarnoff's associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.

"Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" - H. M. Warner (1881-1958), founder of Warner Brothers, in 1927

"There is no likelihood man can ever tap the power of the atom." -- Robert Millikan, Nobel Prize in Physics, 1923

"Stocks have reached what looks like a permanently high plateau." -- Irving Fisher, Professor of Economics, Yale University, 1929.

"There is not the slightest indication that nuclear energy will ever be obtainable. It would mean that the atom would have to be shattered at will."- Albert Einstein, 1932.

"I'm just glad it'll be Clark Gable who's falling on his face and not Gary Cooper," - Gary Cooper on his decision not to take the leading role in "Gone With The Wind."

"The energy produced by the breaking down of the atom is a very poor kind of thing. Anyone who expects a source of power from the transformation of these atoms is talking moonshine." - Ernest Rutherford, shortly after splitting the atom for the first time.

"I think there is a world market for maybe five computers."- Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943

"Man will never reach the moon regardless of all future scientific advances." -- Dr. Lee DeForest, Inventor of TV

"The bomb will never go off. I speak as an expert in explosives." -- Admiral William Leahy, US Atomic Bomb Project, advising President Truman on atomic weaponry, 1944.

"Very interesting Whittle, my boy, but it will never work."- Cambridge Aeronautics Professor, when shown Frank Whittle's plan for the jet engine.

"Computers in the future may weigh no more than 1.5 tons." -- Popular Mechanics, forecasting the relentless march of science, 1949

"It will be gone by June." - Variety, passing judgement on rock 'n roll in 1955.

"Space travel is utter bilge." - Richard Van Der Riet Woolley, upon assuming the post of Astronomer Royal in 1956.

"I have traveled the length and breadth of this country and talked with the best people, and I can assure you that data processing is a fad that won't last out the year." -- The editor in charge of business books for Prentice Hall, 1957

"Space travel is bunk." - Sir Harold Spencer Jones, Astronomer Royal of the UK, 1957 (two weeks later Sputnik orbited the Earth).

"There will never be a bigger plane built." - A Boeing engineer, after the first flight of the 247, a twin engine plane that holds ten people.

"We stand on the threshold of rocket mail." -– U.S. postmaster general Arthur Summerfield, in 1959.

"The concept is interesting and well-formed, but in order to earn better than a 'C,' the idea must be feasible," -- A Yale University management professor in response to Fred Smith's paper proposing reliable overnight delivery service. (Smith went on to found Federal Express Corp.)

"A cookie store is a bad idea. Besides, the market research reports say America likes crispy cookies, not soft and chewy cookies like you make," -- Response to Debbi Fields' idea of starting Mrs. Fields' Cookies.

"We don't like their sound, and guitar music is on the way out," -- Decca Recording Co. rejecting the Beatles, 1962.

"Transmission of documents via telephone wires is possible in principle, but the apparatus required is so expensive that it will never become a practical proposition."- Dennis Gabor, British physicist and author of Inventing the Future, 1962.

"There is practically no chance communications space satellites will be used to provide better telephone, telegraph, television, or radio service inside the United States."- T. Craven, FCC Commissioner, in 1961 (the first commercial communications satellite went into service in 1965).

"But what ... is it good for?" -- Engineer Robert Lloyd at the Advanced Computing Systems Division of IBM, 1968, commenting on the microchip.
"If I had thought about it, I wouldn't have done the experiment. The literature was full of examples that said you can't do this," -- Spencer Silver on the work that led to the unique adhesives for 3-M "Post-It" Notepads

"The super computer is technologically impossible. It would take all of the water that flows over Niagara Falls to cool the heat generated by the number of vacuum tubes required." -- professor of electrical engineering, New York University

"I don't know what use any one could find for a machine that would make copies of documents. It certainly couldn't be a feasible business by itself." -- the head of IBM, refusing to back the idea, forcing the inventor to found Xerox

"There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home." -- Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977

In conclusion:

"We have been cocksure of many things that were not so." - Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

"This isn't right, this isn't even wrong." - Wolfgang Pauli
 
Having had four months to reply to my query of "similar events," Samuel Halpern was silent. This is obviously because there ARE no "similar events" for him to cite.
I dare say that Captain Edward Smith demonstrated the greatest incompetence in the history of modern seamanship, not only in fatally damaging the brand new vessel, but even in the abandonment of it, much to the detriment of his passengers and crew, for which he was ultimately responsible.
 
If it were me, with all the other incidents in Smith's career (covered here at Titanica), I wouldn't have let him anywhere near Titanic!

Smith sure looked the part, though! A captain straight out of central-casting! Perhaps that was a consideration. Because with Smith's history of close-calls, groundings, and collisions, it damn sure couldn't have been his seamanship. Or maybe Smith and Ismay were lovers ;)
 
Well said, my friend. Well said. Another regular here at Titanica.org has stated that he would not allow anybody to say anything negative about his good Captain Smith. Harrumph.

1. Was in charge of the Olympic when it collided with another vessel.
2. Charged virtually full speed when another captain stopped his ship for the night out of concern for safety.
3. Failed to oversee the save evacuation of his passengers who did not so much as fill the life boats launched.
4. Failed to break open the locker containing binoculars, so watchmen could properly do their jobs.

Smith was a buffoon of the highest order. He was the only one who truly deserved to go down with the Titanic, other than Bruce Ismay, who cut back the bulkheads and the number of lifeboats, and got on a lifeboat while women and children perished.
 
>>4. Failed to break open the locker containing binoculars, so watchmen could properly do their jobs.<<

Which locker? Why break open when

1. There was no locked locker with binoculars
2. Binoculars useless at night
3. even IF there was a locked locker there were more than one set of keys.

>>Another regular here at Titanica.org has stated that he would not allow anybody to say anything negative about his good Captain Smith. Harrumph.<<

Not true. But it seems some people are resistant against each fact presented and came up with their false claims.
 
>>4. Failed to break open the locker containing binoculars, so watchmen could properly do their jobs.<<

Which locker? Why break open when

1. There was no locked locker with binoculars
2. Binoculars useless at night
3. even IF there was a locked locker there were more than one set of keys.

>>Another regular here at Titanica.org has stated that he would not allow anybody to say anything negative about his good Captain Smith. Harrumph.<<

Not true. But it seems some people are resistant against each fact presented and came up with their false claims.

It is well known that an officer left the key to the locker containing binoculars at his own residence.
One of the lookouts testified at the board of inquiry that IF they had binoculars, he believes they could have seen the iceberg in time to avoid it.

Binoculars are extremely useful in that they gather more light than human eyes can.


The lookouts had NO BINOCULARS to use when Titanic hit the iceberg. You're the one making the false claims.
 
It is well known that an officer left the key to the locker containing binoculars at his own residence.

Oh you mean the (fake) one with the note "crows nest telephone" on it?!
The box in the crows nest was even not locked and there were no binoculars in them.

2381. Was there any place in the crow's-nest for glasses? - Yes.
2382. On the "Titanic"? - Yes, there was - a small box.
2383. There was a box in the crow's-nest? - Yes.
2384. If I understand you aright, there was a box there for glasses, but no glasses in the box? - I could not tell you if they were for glasses, but there was a box there that would hold glasses.
2385. Did you look for glasses at all in the crow's-nest? - We asked for them.
2386. On the "Titanic"? - Yes. I did not personally ask for them, but one of the other fellows did, and they said there were none for us.


One of the lookouts testified at the board of inquiry that IF they had binoculars, he believes they could have seen the iceberg in time to avoid it. Binoculars are extremely useful in that they gather more light than human eyes can.

What he believes is irrelevant. The binoculars were useless at night without moon.

Senator NEWLANDS. When you were a lookout, were you accustomed to use the glasses?
Mr. JONES. Oh, yes, sir.
Senator NEWLANDS. Were they much of a help?
Mr. JONES. Not much of a help to pick anything up; but to make it out afterwards, they were.

Hogg
17518. Do you mean you believe in your own eyesight better than you do in the glasses?- Yes

Symons
11994. As a rule, do I understand you prefer to trust your naked eye to begin with? - Well, yes, you trust your naked eye.

Didn't we already had that same discussion on another topic you started here on ET and now came up with the same claims?!


The lookouts had NO BINOCULARS to use when Titanic hit the iceberg.

And? Do you really believe that they had the binoculars fixed at the eyes all the time?!
Carpathia also nearly hit an iceberg, so what is your excuse for it?


You're the one making the false claims.

Said by he who even don't know the name of the people ("an officer" "one of the lookouts").
And still waiting for the source about Ismay "cut back the bulkheads and the number of lifeboats".
 
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Mark Baber

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Moderator's note: An impermissible massage and a response to it have been removed. Keep the discussion on the topic and not on the perceived personality of any participant.
 
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The key (to the binoculars) that could have saved the Titanic:
Key that could have saved the Titanic

Which begs the question: IF the binoculars were as worthless as Ioannis Georgiou says again and again, why did literature and witnesses say otherwise? Optics are useful at gathering light, obviously.
Ioannis insists otherwise, in his attempt to rescind science and human experience.

-----------------------------
From the Daily Telegraph Article cited above:

"One, Fred Fleet, who survived the disaster, later told the official inquiry into the tragedy that if they had had binoculars they would have seen the obstacle sooner.

Related Articles
When asked by a US senator chairing the inquiry how much sooner, Mr Fleet replied: "Enough to get out of the way."

The key and its importance has only properly come to light 95 years later after it was put up for auction.

Alan Aldridge, of auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Sons in Devizes, Wilts, said: "We think this key is one of the most important artefacts from the Titanic to have come to light.

"A few days before the Titanic sailed, Mr Blair was bumped off the ship, a decision which probably saved his life.

"But in Blair's rush to leave the Titanic he carried this key off with him in his pocket and forgot to hand it to his replacement, Charles Lightoller.

"Obviously he only realised this after the Titanic had left Southampton and kept the key as a memento. But had Lightoller had the key then there probably would have been a pair of binoculars in the crow's nest.

"It is the key that had the potential to save the Titanic."

Mr Blair, 37, from Broughty Ferry, Forfarshire, sailed on the Titanic from Belfast to Southampton on April 3, 1912.

He had been due to be the second officer for the Titanic's voyage to New York on April 10. But the White Star Line, the ship's owners, removed Mr Blair and drafted in Henry Wilde, a senior officer from sister ship, the Olympic, because of his experience of such large liners.

He wrote of his disappointment in a postcard he sent to his sister-in-law days before the Titanic left Southampton. In the card, which is also up for auction, he wrote: "Am afraid I shall have to step out to make room for chief officer of the Olympic.

This is a magnificent ship, I feel very disappointed I am not to make her first voyage." The 46,000-ton Titanic struck the iceberg in the north Atlantic at 11.45pm on April 14 and sank at 2.20am on April 15. Mr Wilde was among those who perished.

According to the US inquiry into the sinking, Mr Fleet recalled seeing Mr Blair with binoculars during the trip from Belfast to Southampton. Asked where Mr Blair's glasses went, Mr Fleet replied: "We do not know. We only know we never got a pair." Senator Smith, the chairman of the inquiry, said: "Suppose you had glasses… could you have seen this black object [at] a greater distance?"

Fleet: "We could have seen it a bit sooner."

Smith: "How much sooner?"

Fleet: "Well, enough to get out of the way."

Smith: "Were you disappointed that you had no glasses?"

Fleet: "Yes, sir."

Mr Blair, who was later awarded the King's Gallantry medal for jumping into the Atlantic to rescue a crewman, eventually passed the key on to his daughter Nancy. She gave it to the British and International Seamans Society in the 1980s.

Intriguingly, the key may not entirely unlock the Titanic mystery. According to an alternative account, it may have unlocked the crow's nest telephone.

It is expected to fetch up to £70,000 on September 22."
 
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As already mentioned in post No. 10 there are crew members who state otherwise.

Senator NEWLANDS. When you were a lookout, were you accustomed to use the glasses?
Mr. JONES. Oh, yes, sir.
Senator NEWLANDS. Were they much of a help?
Mr. JONES. Not much of a help to pick anything up; but to make it out afterwards, they were.

Hogg
17518. Do you mean you believe in your own eyesight better than you do in the glasses?- Yes

Symons
11994. As a rule, do I understand you prefer to trust your naked eye to begin with? - Well, yes, you trust your naked eye.


Aside that the key sold at auction had the note to be for the telephone there was no rule for lookouts to have binoculars.

I would also recommend this research article instead of taking newspaper reports which had several mistakes and repeat the same legends (as about why Wilde got aboard). But is seems it is easier to use google and wikipedia instead of doing own research.

We have no look-out glasses in the crow's nest.
 
>>Binoculars are extremely useful in that they gather more light than human eyes can. <<

No they're not. The coated lenses taken for granted which are useful for gathering and concentrating light were virtually non-existent in 1912 and there is no evidence that any of the binoculars on the Titanic, either company owned or personally owned had coated lenses.

Also, have you ever stood lookout watches at sea?

I have and under very adverse conditions of low visibility in the wintertime at night. I learned very early on that binoculars were useless for searching as they narrow your field of vision to the point of tunnel vision. Worse, when scanning, unless you do it VERY slowly, it's all too easy to miss something. The lesson I learned here is that you scan the area with the naked eye and if you have them, binoculars come into play ONLY to identify a target AFTER you have spotted it in the first place.
 
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Which begs the question: IF the binoculars were as worthless as Ioannis Georgiou says again and again, why did literature and witnesses say otherwise?

John Jaeger, you be surprised how many elements of the Titanic's story are repeatedly and commonly stated as fact when in reality their very incorrect.

In this case as Ioannis correctly states, the keys were for the Telephone box in the Crow's nest (which was clearly used on the night of April 14th so they must have had a second key somewhere). The binoculars were normally stored in the officer's quarters on the bridge.

back to the mistake, the newspapers in the present day keep repeating this as factual for 2 reasons:

  • The ''word'' Titanic or anything related to it immediately attracts interests or readers today and essentially anything with the name on it can be sold (hence the number of terrible video games, rushed out historical books and a certain boiler fire documentary that bent the truth.
  • The reporters today (unlike us) are NOT experts in edwardian maritime tradition, White Star Line protocol or Titanic in general, and when this inaccuracy was made didn't question that the Binoculars would be stored somewhere else other than the Crow's Nest.
The point I'm trying to make, is that given the worldwide interest in Titanic (that led to China building their own attraction to it) anything that so much has ''Titanic'' on it will automatically attract readers, buyers etc and so the media is aways repeating / looking for new ways to mention it. Take ''Titanic: The New Evidence''. When the documentary appeared, if you Googled ''Titanic'' you got a million websites reciting the new story that a fire sunk the ship, and not one of them was accurate. Despite this, it probably generated lot of revenue from ads viewed and Newspapers brought.

Other notable examples include Thomas Andrews last moments in the Smoking Room, Murdoch suicide, the Band playing to the last second etc all often misreiprensted.

Overall, the media basically repeats the ''keys that could have saved Titanic'' as it's an eye opener headline that brings in readers (and money!) and they having not read the inquires or being experts know or care otherwise.

Don't aways trust everything you see, that the moral here.


(Note: Sorry if I kept repeating myself or made it a bit complicated).
 
A

Aaron_2016

Guest
The captain of the Carpathia said he saw the icebergs before his lookout men. The captain of the Californian also saw the ice before his lookout men and he wasn't even using binoculars when he first saw the ice. "This is my first experience of field ice. I think I saw the ice myself before they did."

Q - Did you have glasses?
A - I was not using them at the time. I looked through glasses after I had first seen it and could not make anything of it.

Even with glasses (binoculars) he could not make out what it was. The captain of the Mount Temple was asked:

Q - Do you ever use glasses in the crow's nest?
A - Never, sir


Another problem was the intense brightness of the stars. The captain of the Californian said they kept mistaking them for ship's lights. Survivor Lawrence Beelsey described the starlight on the horizon. I think if the lookouts were given binoculars they would have focused perhaps too much of their time observing the stars and trying to guess which one might be a ship, which could distract their attention away from the iceberg.

Mr. Beesley
"The night was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen. The sky without a single cloud to mar the perfect brilliance of the stars, clustered so thickly together that in places there seemed almost more dazzling points of light set in the black sky than background of sky itself; and each star seemed, in the keen atmosphere, free from any haze, to have increased its brilliance tenfold and to twinkle and glitter with a staccato flash that made the sky seem nothing but a setting made for them in which to display their wonder. They seemed so near, and their light so much more intense than ever before...... the stars seemed really to be alive and to talk. The complete absence of haze produced a phenomenon I had never seen before: where the sky met the sea the line was as clear and definite as the edge of a knife, so that the water and the air never merged gradually into each other and blended to a softened rounded horizon, but each element was so exclusively separate that where a star came low down in the sky near the clear-cut edge of the waterline, it still lost none of its brilliance. As the earth revolved and the water edge came up and covered partially the star, as it were, it simply cut the star in two, the upper half continuing to sparkle as long as it was not entirely hidden, and throwing a long beam of light along the sea to us.........we were often deceived into thinking they were lights of a ship."

The lookout on the Parisian kept mistaking the stars for ship's lights on the horizon. It was reported that lookout Frederick Fleet had warned the bridge several times before the collision. I wonder if he mistook the starlight for ships and this annoyed the bridge so much they ignored the final warning which turned out to be the iceberg. Like the boy who cried wolf.


.
 
Captain Smith...

1. Was in charge of the Olympic when it collided with another vessel.

I take the reference as referring to the Hawke collision.

Olympic was in pilotage waters at the time and under the charge of Pilot George Bowyer. Bowyer was giving all the relevant orders, including helm commands, engine movements, blowing the whistle and such like, and it was Bowyer who took all the key decisions on Olympic before and immediately after the collision. During the subsequent legal proceedings, therefore, the White Star Line's defence of their ship and commander by means of the compulsory pilotage defence succeeded.

The legal situation was quite different to today and, in fact, the law changed shortly afterwards.

Best wishes

Mark.
 
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Henry

Bowyer continued to pilot ships as before - he continued to take out Olympic; he took Titanic out; he took Oceanic out of Southampton for the final time in August 1914; and did not retire until 1929, if I remember rightly. I think it was Bowyer, as pilot, who protested when a yacht got in Olympic's way in an incident from 1912 or 1913.

Although the White Star Line's defence of compulsory pilotage had succeeded, they sought to clear themselves entirely. They eventually appealed through the courts all the way to the House of Lords, then the United Kingdom's highest court (replaced by the Supreme Court in 2009). The appeal failed, but although out of legal options the company continued to act as if they were in the right. Bowyer commented on it in his memoirs.

Best wishes


Mark.
 
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The key (to the binoculars) that could have saved the Titanic:
Key that could have saved the Titanic

Which begs the question: IF the binoculars were as worthless as Ioannis Georgiou says again and again, why did literature and witnesses say otherwise? Optics are useful at gathering light, obviously.
Ioannis insists otherwise, in his attempt to rescind science and human experience.

-----------------------------
From the Daily Telegraph Article cited above:

"One, Fred Fleet, who survived the disaster, later told the official inquiry into the tragedy that if they had had binoculars they would have seen the obstacle sooner.

Related Articles
When asked by a US senator chairing the inquiry how much sooner, Mr Fleet replied: "Enough to get out of the way."

The key and its importance has only properly come to light 95 years later after it was put up for auction.

Alan Aldridge, of auctioneers Henry Aldridge and Sons in Devizes, Wilts, said: "We think this key is one of the most important artefacts from the Titanic to have come to light.

"A few days before the Titanic sailed, Mr Blair was bumped off the ship, a decision which probably saved his life.

"But in Blair's rush to leave the Titanic he carried this key off with him in his pocket and forgot to hand it to his replacement, Charles Lightoller.

"Obviously he only realised this after the Titanic had left Southampton and kept the key as a memento. But had Lightoller had the key then there probably would have been a pair of binoculars in the crow's nest.

"It is the key that had the potential to save the Titanic."

Mr Blair, 37, from Broughty Ferry, Forfarshire, sailed on the Titanic from Belfast to Southampton on April 3, 1912.

He had been due to be the second officer for the Titanic's voyage to New York on April 10. But the White Star Line, the ship's owners, removed Mr Blair and drafted in Henry Wilde, a senior officer from sister ship, the Olympic, because of his experience of such large liners.

He wrote of his disappointment in a postcard he sent to his sister-in-law days before the Titanic left Southampton. In the card, which is also up for auction, he wrote: "Am afraid I shall have to step out to make room for chief officer of the Olympic.

This is a magnificent ship, I feel very disappointed I am not to make her first voyage." The 46,000-ton Titanic struck the iceberg in the north Atlantic at 11.45pm on April 14 and sank at 2.20am on April 15. Mr Wilde was among those who perished.

According to the US inquiry into the sinking, Mr Fleet recalled seeing Mr Blair with binoculars during the trip from Belfast to Southampton. Asked where Mr Blair's glasses went, Mr Fleet replied: "We do not know. We only know we never got a pair." Senator Smith, the chairman of the inquiry, said: "Suppose you had glasses… could you have seen this black object [at] a greater distance?"

Fleet: "We could have seen it a bit sooner."

Smith: "How much sooner?"

Fleet: "Well, enough to get out of the way."

Smith: "Were you disappointed that you had no glasses?"

Fleet: "Yes, sir."

Mr Blair, who was later awarded the King's Gallantry medal for jumping into the Atlantic to rescue a crewman, eventually passed the key on to his daughter Nancy. She gave it to the British and International Seamans Society in the 1980s.

Intriguingly, the key may not entirely unlock the Titanic mystery. According to an alternative account, it may have unlocked the crow's nest telephone.

It is expected to fetch up to £70,000 on September 22."




I used to have a pair of early 1900s binoculars ( more correctly a binocular telescope )

They were little better then opera glasses

they were about 3x magnification
very narrow angle of view
no coating on the lens - colour focus differently, flare, low light transmission
no prisms, so object to eyepiece was about 5 inches straight through
no adjustment of the distance between the eyepieces, so they basically don't fit anyone
no adjustment of there eyepiece for people whose eyes are not both the same optically - blurred in one eye
in short theye were useful for
examining something you could alaredy see and wanted to identify like a bird in a tree
reading something at a distance which you couldn't quite see or
but no use for looking at the view for example

chris
 
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